Dark Blue World

2001

Action / Drama / Romance / War

13
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 62%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 84%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 5101

Synopsis


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March 06, 2018 at 11:05 AM

Director

Cast

Charles Dance as Wing Commander Bentley
Tara Fitzgerald as Susan Whitmore
Jeremy Swift as Cpl. Pierce
Anna Massey as English Teacher
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
960.67 MB
1280*522
Czech
R
23.976 fps
1hr 52 min
P/S 6 / 14
1.82 GB
1920*784
Czech
R
23.976 fps
1hr 52 min
P/S 1 / 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by frankiehudson 8 / 10

Best Battle of Britain film so far

This is a brilliant, lavish Czech film from the Sverak father and son team, all about two Czech pilots who flee to England to help the RAF in the Battle of Britain but who also fall out over a woman (the beautiful Tara Fitzgerald). Features some excellent and incredibly realistic aerial combat scenes – probably the best ever and much better than Pearl Harbour or even the film Battle of Britain - and a number of interesting general themes such as love, war, romance, comradeship, loss and servitude. Also, the trials and tribulations of moving abroad and learning a foreign language (though made easier here with the great stalwart Anna Massey).

The film has some great little motifs such as the world famous RAF bullseye device, shown throughout and at one point nicely reflected in the black vinyl record, spinning around cutely (music is another theme of the film, of course). Plus, all of the traditional icons of English life: dimpled beer glasses (unlike the post-war straight glasses used in Pearl Harbour), tea in a nice china tea set in an English country garden (though shot in the Czech Republic?), the mascot dog, a vintage bottle of HP sauce, even a darts board!

Of course, the airfield and surrounding countryside is ridiculously unlike anywhere in the south of England, though the virtuouso aerial sequences make up for this, showing Eastbourne and the Seven Sisters, always synonomous with southern England and the Battle of Britain. But best of all is the sensational musical score from Ondrej Soukup, as good as anything from Hans Zimmer yet all in the tradition of the late, excellent Ron Goodwin who scored the original Battle of Britain film amongst other classic English war films. There's even a nice little cameo role for the – apparently – famous Czech musician and actor (and Kevin Kline lookalike) Oldrich Kaiser, who plays on the piano the title theme song, Dark Blue Sky. Excellent!

It's got a few smutty yet funny little Freudian devices too, such as always showing an inflated condom floating by the ceiling whenever Karel (the callow but brilliant Krystof Hadek) is stuck at the airfield while his love rival and fellow pilot Frantisek (Ondrej Vetchy) is with Susan.

Another great English actor in this film! Charles Dance is of course fine as Wing Commander Bentley.

Highly recommended and well worth watching/hiring – get the DVD with special features (stuff like how they created the dog fights and stuff). Probably the only film ever to combine subtitles with characters speaking English, German, French and Czech all at once.

Reviewed by norton-25 10 / 10

The film is a gem

Centres on Czech WW2 pilots – the older Frantisek, the boyish impulsive Karel and in the background the quiet piano-playing Honza. As the film opens, it is 1950, the war is over and Frantisek and Honza are imprisoned in a former monastery. In their now Soviet-controlled native country they are 'enemy of the people'. Honza is severely maltreated by his Communist countrymen and dies.

In 1939 many pilots manage to escape German-occupied Europe and make their way to England where they join the RAF. Notwithstanding their high motivation and experience they face RAF reluctance and British stiff upper lip. Finally they fight gallantly in the Battle of Britain. However, Frantisek and Karel find their friendship severely tested when they both fall for the same woman.

In terms of romantic sub-plot, this is very similar to the Hollywood production Pearl Harbour. However, given the context of the film and Frantisek's eventual fate, it is also possible to read the English woman's treatment of the two men as symbolic of British treatment of the Czech and Polish RAF pilots: conveniently forgetting them once the war is over.

In addition, the film is a lot less cliché than Pearl Harbour and the characters are more fully realised. Dark Blue World also scores in terms of its stunning aerial dogfights, which were seamlessly created using a mixture of models, actual live-action aerial filming and out-takes from the 1969 epic The Battle of Britain.

In short, Dark Blue World is a well-made, moving, thought-provoking and exciting drama that puts the likes of Pearl Harbour to shame. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by trask77 9 / 10

Sparse realism

I've been a devoted IMDB visitor for a few years. This is the movie that finally compelled me to write in a review.

I caught this movie by chance (the opening credits happened to be scrolling past when I turned my TV on one morning). I thoroughly enjoyed the film for many reasons, all of which have been well covered by other reviewers -- the moodiness, the forgotten history of the Czech pilots, the subtle charm of the supporting characters, the fatalism of the main characters, and the first person view during the battle scenes.

But the element of "Dark Blue World" that really stood out was the lack of dramatic effects, especially during combat (and this is a good thing!). While the pilots were flying in battle no musical score accompanied them, no manipulative shots of worried spouses/girlfriends were interwoven, every little aerial maneuver did not elicit trite patriotic cheers, and viewers weren't asked to swallow unbelievable James Bond-esque pilot heroics. Instead the audience is allowed to feel the melancholy, fear and isolation of these single pilot fighters while they try to stay aloft during combat. As comrades are shot down we are spared tearful howls and the typical (but audience pleasing) revenge based heroics. Instead the other pilots sadly and quietly observe their fellow pilot's fate -- in reality they still need to remain intensely focused on their own safety and objectives at that very moment. We only briefly experience the pilot's breathing and the background roar of the engines as we, the audience, witness a friend spiral quietly down to his death. And then immediately 'we' need to jump back into combat mode and focus on survival.

Too often in Hollywood we're spoon-fed the emotions we're supposed to feel and no room is left for the viewer's imagination. "Dark Blue World" maintains a sparseness that captivates and involves the viewer, allowing us to invest in the movie and fill in the gaps and spaces using our own thoughts and feelings.

Excellent film, well worth seeing.

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