To commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day, MGM is releasing this classic British war film on 2 Disc SPECIAL EDITION DVD. With restored picture and sound it also includes, for the first time, Sir William Walton’s original score, which was composed and then not used in its entirety on the final film…until now.
Directed by the legendary GUY HAMILTON (Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever) and featuring a stellar cast including MICHAEL CAINE, TREVOR HOWARD, LAURENCE OLIVIER, CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER, ROBERT SHAW, SUSANNAH YORK and EDWARD FOX THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN is the story of how the Royal Air Force outnumbered by the German Luftwaffe managed to overcome insurmountable odds and win the battle of the air in World War II. Out to own for the first time ever as a 2 Disc Special Edition DVD from 24 May 2004 (RRP £19.99).
In the summer and Autumn of 1940 Britain and German air forces clashed in the skies over Britain. The R.A.F Fighter Command although hugely outnumbered defeated the German Luftwaffe in what was to become known as the Battle of Britain . It proved to be one of the most important moments in Britain’s 20th Century history and a turning point in World War II.
With stunning cinematography a moving soundtrack and spectacular aerial combat sequences THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN is a must for all war film fans.
There is also a fascinating story behind the soundtrack for the Battle of Britain. Sir William Walton composed the original music for the 1969 classic production but it is thought that the brevity of his score was a determining factor in its rejection by the studios.
Instead, the studios commissioned the composer Ron Goodwin to write a new score for the film. The only piece of Walton’s score used in its entirety in the film was the famous Battle in the Air sequence.
The recording of the original Walton score was then lost for many years until the assistant music editor Timothy Gee, one of the last surviving crew members, decided to track it down. He has subsequently told us how disappointed the director; cast and crew were that the film would not be seen with the Walton score.
Miraculously the score, made up from three reels, was recovered in recording engineer Eric Tomlinson’s damp garage where it had been stored until 1990.
Gee then worked closely with MGM to restore Walton’s soundtrack to its original glory in time for the Special Edition releases, and now for the very first time THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN can be watched and enjoyed with Walton’s stirring score.
This very special release should bring pleasure to admirers of the work of Goodwin and Walton and quality film music in general.
The 2-disc Special Edition DVD release includes the following extras:
Recollections of an R.A.F Squadron Leader featurette
Authenticity in the Air featurette
A Film For The Few – Making of featurette with Guy Hamilton, Michael Caine, Susannah York, Christopher Plummer and Bernard Williams