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Fifties British War Films: Days of Glory

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The Great Escape with its jaunty theme music may have become an instantly recognisable war film, but journalist Simon Heffer does a worthy job reminding us of our own war film heritage. From the daring raids of The Dam Busters to the jocular bullishness of PoWs in The Colditz Story, 1950s British classics have shaped the way we see our wartime record, and it’s not all cosy folklore. Many of the actors had served in the war; their portrayal of understated heroism cuts through our modern predilection for cynicism.


Journalist and historian Simon Heffer explores the cinematic merit of films such as The Dam Busters, The Colditz Story and The Cruel Sea, and whether they say something significant about the society from which they emerged. Contributors include Donald Sinden, Sylvia Syms and Virginia McKenna.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Simon Heffer
Contributor Donald Sinden
Contributor Virginia McKenna
Contributor Sylvia Syms
Contributor Guy Hamilton
Contributor Michael Anderson
Director Hans Petch
Editor Sam Turner
Executive Producer Tom Webber
Producer Hans Petch
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