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Battle of Britain Blu-ray

United States
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer | 1969 | 133 min | Rated G | Jun 03, 2008

Battle of Britain (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-2
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.35:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital Mono
French: Dolby Digital 5.1

English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, Korean

25GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Region A (locked)

List price: $19.99, Price history

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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 3.5 of 53.5
Audio 3.5 of 53.5
Extras 0.4 of 50.4
Based on 5 user reviews

Movie appeal


Battle of Britain


Battle of Britain Blu-ray offers solid video and audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

A powerful, colourful and star-studded re-creation of the epic 1940 battle that took place in the skies over England. Surprised and understaffed, the British forces used determination and guile to valiantly hold off the superior forces of the German Luftwaffe in the early days of World War II. If England had lost, the Germans may very well have won the war. The incredible cast includes Michael Caine, Robert Shaw, Curt Jurgens, and Laurence Olivier, in a no-expense-spared production featuring stunning airborne dog-fight sequences.

For more about Battle of Britain and the Battle of Britain Blu-ray release, see Battle of Britain Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Starring: Harry Andrews, Michael Caine, Trevor Howard, Curd Jürgens, Ian McShane, Kenneth More
Director: Guy Hamilton

» See full cast & crew

Battle of Britain Blu-ray, Video Quality

  3.5 of 5

MGM brings Battle for Britain to Bluray in a 1080p/MPEG-2 encoding that overall is very pleasing and natural, but not without some problems. To the good stuff; the print from which the encoding is derived looks free from blemishes and scratches. This is probably the most natural looking presentation I have reviewed so far, no pumped up colors, no highly polished look, no overly contrasted images, just natural looking images that resemble what we see when we go out doors. For this to be a nearly forty year old film, there is an amazing amount of detail both fine (Look at the detail everywhere in Sir David Kelly's office), and far field detail as well (Look out in the distance of outdoor shorts). The film grain looks coarse, but not objectionable. The aerial scenes looked amazing, so amazing that some of the visual effects just fall apart before your very eyes. Quite frankly, the picture quality is quite good, and looks like film on video, not film turned into video by excessive processing and digital manipulation. Now it's on to the problems.

Right off the bat I saw some variation in picture quality between the opening titles, when subtitles were present, and when they weren't. I noticed that resolution dropped which tells me they used a dup for these instances, and the original negative in the absence of titles and subtitles. There is also an occasional image pulsing and some edge enhancement as well. Not one of these issues effected my enjoyment of the film. MGM deserves a lot of credit for getting this films picture quality as good as it is.

Battle of Britain Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  3.5 of 5

There are three flavors of audio found on Battle of Britain all English language based. The first, a Dts Master Audio Lossless track at 16/48khz, a second Dolby Digital encoded track featuring Sir William Walton's Score (at 448kbps), and the original mono mix at 192kbps. I gave all three a listen, and expectedly the Dts track comes off the best and most spatial sounding of all. I thought this was always a mono mix, but it appears there were some 70mm 6 track prints struck with stereo effects and music mix, with mono dialog. It appears the Dts track comes from this print, and the Dolby Digital with Sir Walton's score comes from the 35mm print with mono dialog and effects, and stereo music tracks. The difference between the two is quite noticeable.

Taking into consideration the age of the entire soundtrack, it sounded pretty darn good with nice analog warmth to it, and some edginess as well. Dialog is always clear, but a little rough and brittle on occasion. Sound effects are directional, limited in dynamic range when compared to today's soundtracks, but sound quite natural nevertherless. When planes take to the skies, the sound field is filled with the sound of aircraft; you can almost smell the fuel. Gun fire and explosions sound natural and directionalized, without the pumped up bass enhancing of today's tracks. Aircraft engines sounded natural and true (the use of authentic aircraft helps tremendously). On the Dts tracks, all of this is spread throughout the frontal soundstage and bled to the rear soundstage giving the mix a nice sense of space. Flyovers and flybys are nicely panned, and move organically through the room.

The music benefits greatly from the higher bitrate Dts track, and is very well recorded. The orchestra is quite small compared to the one hundred and ten piece orchestra's that record film scores today, but it sounds full and warm, and is a nicely balanced 20 piece orchestra that sounds larger than it is. Individual instruments are occasionally positioned in a pretty exaggerated fashion, but not quite enough split the soundfield. The Dolby Digital track is lower in level, constricts everything but the score into the center channel which causes it to lose alot of impact, and sounds somewhat thinner than the Dts encoded soundtrack. All things weighted, this soundtrack sounds quite good, but certainly not great.

Battle of Britain: Other Editions

2-disc set

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Battle of Britain Blu-ray, News and Updates

War Classics on Blu-ray from Fox/MGM - April 22, 2008

Fox Home Entertainment and MGM Home Entertainment have announced five war film classics coming to Blu-ray on June 3rd. MGM will bring 'Battle of Britain' and 'A Bridge Too Far', while 'The Longest Day', 'Patton', and 'The Sand Pebbles' will come from Fox. Video ...

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