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This movie begins in a World War II training depot of a British Guards armored regiment where recruits from many walks of life learn to survive the strict discipline and training together before going into battle in tanks. There is a cameo appearance by the real Sergeant Major Brittain, who was famous in the British guards regiments.
The BBC recently aired this on a lazy Monday afternoon in mid-August when probably not many were watching. But as this was made by Terence Young (future director of some prolific Bondmovies) I happened to tape it.
What a great surprise this proves to be. Probably about the sole movie account of a (chiefly) British tank battalion journey into France and Belgium after D-Day.
I will admit it's all very "stiff British upperlip" (jolly good show boys and so on)and especially the romance segments have dated badly, but there is a true feel of authenticity, not only that it's made about 4 years after WWII, but the director gives a realistic and almost documentary-like style to the battle scenes.
It all moves along at a brisk pace, and being a bit of WWII buff, it gave me a very rare insight and almost 'behind the scenes' view of a tankbatallion in action in 1944.
I'll doubt if it is available on DVD so you will maybe have to wait till the BBC airs it again, in 10 years or so !
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