Restored to its crisp former glory to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Angels One Five is a documentary style drama which sees Jack Hawkins in the role of Squadron Leader Tiger Small who grounds volunteer reservist TB Septic Baird (John Gregson) to an operation centre after he crashes his Hurricane on the RAF centre runway in order to avoid a collision with another aircraft.
The film itself not only follows the tough decisions made by Small in the lead up to what would ultimately become 1940’s Battle of Britain, but also the struggle for Baird to get airborne as a pilot and do front line battle for his country.
There are many fabulous scenes in this film, from the air attack alert sequences to the bombing of the airbase, all acted out with painstaking precision. The fact that many of the featured events are based on director George More’s own WWII experiences evidently lends itself to the realism of the feature.
The DVD also includes image restoration comparisons, the original film trailer and a background into the events of The Battle Of Britain.
A timely commemoration of perhaps Britain’s greatest historical triumph in modern history and one of the best classic war movies of the 1950s, Angels One Five deserves a revisit for anyone with an interest in WWII or indeed the classic British movie genre.
- Angels One Five is available from Studio Canal on DVD and BluRay now.
- A version of this review by Andy Howells appeared in the South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on September 4, 2015