The daring raid on the great dams of western Germany by Lancaster bombers of 617 Squadron in May 1943 is probably one of the best known and most widely told stories of the Second World War. In 1955 the raid was immortalised on film by director Michael Anderson in The Dam Busters, starring Michael Redgrave and Richard Todd. It became Britain's top grossing film of 1955 and in the half-century that has followed, thanks to its almost annual airing on the small screen, it has become a film classic. It is also a firm favourite with aviation enthusiasts due in no small measure to the breathtaking flying sequences featuring the Avro Lancaster. Tucked away in the Pinewood Studios archives are hundreds of rarely seen 'still' photographs from the making of the film. Including everything from storyboarding to location shots, and from the stars and personalities to the aircraft themselves, it is estimated that only about 10 per cent of these high quality pictures have ever been published before. In this book they are supplemented by stunning and previously unpublished air-to-air photographs, taken by the aircrews who flew the Lancasters on camera.
Drawing on eyewitness accounts and interviews with film unit and flying personnel, Filming the Dam Busters evokes the optimistic outlook of the new postwar Elizabethan Age, when British cinema had a force and reach not equalled before or since.show more