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Write a 1000 word review of two films on the Battle of Britain. "The World at War" and "The Way to the Stars"

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Film and history: The Battle of Britain Write a 1000 word review of two films on the Battle of Britain The world at war was a twenty six part documentary series produced between 1971 and 1974 by Jeremy Isaacs of Thames Television. It features many key interview subjects from the common soldier in the armies to major figures in the war. The series was proved popular and controversial when it was first broadcasted in 1974, with the emotive music by Carl Davis and the voice of Laurence Olivier as narrator. This review is on a clip from the series focusing on the Battle of Britain. The drop in morale of Churchill's forces following the fall of France to the Nazis is evident from this clip. The documentary presents the battle of Britain as restoring British confidence and describes it as Britain's "finest hour". ...read more.


There are many references throughout that lead us to believe that Germany were not trained and prepared enough for an air war over England. The commentary of the Battle itself or the interviews with Adolf Galland the Luftwaffe Squadron leader illustrate Germany as the weaker side. It is blatant that the film is directed at a British audience as there is a lot of pro British bias throughout it. One would be persuaded to agree with the interpretation offered that Germany was pessimistic and much weaker than their British opponents, this was in fact the case and it cost Germany the Battle of Britain. The Way to the Stars is set on a RAF airfield in the 1940's; it follows the intertwined lives of several characters throughout the war. The film begins with pure atmosphere and emotive music. In the opening shot the camera prowls through a derelict post war airfield picking up tokens from the war such as telephone numbers scribbled on the wall and a sign on the floor, it is quite a moving scene. ...read more.


The "stiff upper lip" attitude is heavily on display throughout the film and Anglo-American relations seem to be another focal point on display, after all it was a subtle propaganda film made during the war by the Ministry of Information. The manor in which one of the women in the hotel speaks to Peter Penrose makes the viewer aware of the class relations at the time. The women, an aunt of Iris appears to look down on Penrose and speaks to him in an inferior manor. The class divide is evident here, even between the upper class and the typically respected RAF pilots. The way the film represents the historical issue of the Second World War is somewhat different to the approach likely to be adopted by an academic historian. This film never leaves the ground and is centered more on relationships and dealing with war. Whereas historians would take a different approach and look at it as it was, a world war and not just how it affected British and America lives. ...read more.

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