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The Dam Busters (1955)

Approved | | Drama, History, War | 16 July 1955 (USA)
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2:43 | Trailer
The story of how the British attacked German dams in World War II by using an ingenious technique to drop bombs where they would be most effective.

Director:

Michael Anderson

Writers:

Paul Brickhill (book), Guy Gibson (based on Wing Comdr. Gibson's own account in "Enemy Coast Ahead") (as Wing Comdr. Gibson) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Todd ... Wing Commander Guy Gibson, V.C., D.S.O., D.F.C.
Michael Redgrave ... Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.
Ursula Jeans ... Mrs. Wallis
Basil Sydney ... Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris (now Marshal of the Royal Air Force) G.C.B., O.B.E., A.F.C.
Patrick Barr ... Captain Joseph (Mutt) Summers, C.B.E.
Ernest Clark ... Air Vice-Marshal The Hon. Ralph Cochrane (now Air Chief Marshal) G.B.E., K.C.B., A.F.C.
Derek Farr ... Group Captain J. N. H. Whitworth, D.S.O., D.F.C.
Charles Carson ... Doctor
Stanley Van Beers Stanley Van Beers ... Sir David Pye, C.B., F.R.S.
Colin Tapley ... Doctor W. H. Glanville, C.B., C.B.E.
Frederick Leister Frederick Leister ... Committee Member
Eric Messiter ... Committee Member
Laidman Browne Laidman Browne ... Committee Member
Raymond Huntley ... Official, National Physical Laboratory
Hugh Manning Hugh Manning ... Official, Ministry of Aircraft Production
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Storyline

The British are desperate to shorten the length of World War II and propose a daring raid to smash Germany's industrial heart. At first, the objective looks impossible until a British scientist invents an ingenious weapon capable of destroying the planned target. Written by Dave Jenkins <david.jenkins@smallworld.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Amazing Drama of the Sky-Terror Squadron...They Dropped the Hell Bomb! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 July 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Dambusters See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$75,687
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The squadron's mascot, "Nigger", was given beers to drink as depicted in the movie. However, the dog had a habit of urinating on people's legs which made the dog unpopular with many of the squadron's personnel. Also, the dog was killed when hit by a car, but unlike in the movie, the driver did attempt to avoid the dog and the occupants of the car were injured as a result. Any reports of Nigger's grave being opened, and the bones revealed proving not to be of a dog, are false. The grave was never opened, and is protected to this day. See more »

Goofs

In two shots of flights of three Lancasters taking off on the mission, each has a gap in the ventral fuselage where the bomb should be. Later shots of the bombers in flight have the weapon showing as a semicircular bulge in the same place - the silhouette of the bomb was presumably added in post-production, with the take-off sequence forgotten about. See more »

Quotes

Air Vice-Marshal Cochrane: Are you in touch with the reserve formation?
Group Signals Officer: All except Burpee, sir. He hasn't answered for some time.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The version released in the United States by Warner Bros. cuts aprox. 15 minutes, bringing the film's running time to 104 minutes. This version also changes the dog's name from 'Nigger' to 'Trigger,' but since the name is dubbed out, it's a very noticeable change. The uncut 119 minute version is available on DVD in the UK. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Super Gran: Supergran and the Birthday Dambuster (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

The Dam Busters
March
by Eric Coates
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Some Dam fine flying
18 September 2004 | by lucindaduttonSee all my reviews

Just like to respond to Howard Morley's comments. The dam's raids were urgently needed, and it took only a few months to form 617, train them and attack the dams. Quite a feat I'm sure you'll agree. The film nicely conveys the struggles and the friendships of the crews, put together from the best of the Commonwealth fliers. Even if the screenplay does take some rather large liberties with the story.

As to Guy, he was killed in 1944 on his way back from acting as Master Bomber on a raid over Germany. His Mosquito crashed in Holland, killing him and his navigator. To this day there are no explanations for the crash. Guy should not have been flying at all, but he was so desperate to get back in the air that Bomber Harris gave in and let him. A tragedy. Of the crew of G-George (Guy's ship on the raid) none of them survived the war. The crew crashed whilst trying to bomb the Dortmund-Ems canal later in 1943.

The film is a fitting tribute to the raid, and the massive losses of 617. Of the 19 ships to go out, 11 came back. Of the 77 crew lost on the raid, only 1 survived. This is why the dams were not bombed again. And the problem with the Sorpe was that it was an earth damn, the bombs were not very effective as with the Eder and Moehne.

How do I know all this? My Great-grandmother was a Gibson.

Watch the film and marvel.


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