Your Christmas film: The Dam Busters on Channel 4 today

Michael Anderson’s 1955 film The Dam Busters is being shown again on Channel 4 today at 1.35pm UK time. It now seems to be a regular feature on both the main channel and Film Four.

Experience shows that this will result in a number of first time visitors reading this blog, so if this is you, welcome aboard. This is the one-stop shop for all Dambuster-related news and information, coming to you regularly for twelve years. I try to publish several items every month so please check back regularly. You can ensure you see every post by clicking the “Follow blog by email” button in the right hand column.

If you are searching today for information on when Peter Jackson’s new version of the 1955 film will appear, the news is simply that there is no news. Jackson bought the rights to remake the film back in 2006. At various times he has announced that a director has been appointed, that a script has been commissioned and that a number of life size model Lancasters have been built. However, in the fourteen years since the remake was announced he has been busy making three Hobbit films and a number of other projects and the Dambusters remake no longer appears in his IMDB listing. Make of that what you will.

If you want to see a list of the 133 men who took part in the Dams Raid, you can find it here. My recent book The Complete Dambusters, published by History Press in 2018, contains a full biography and a photograph of each man and can be ordered direct from the publishers, the usual online booksellers or your local bookshop.


13 thoughts on “Your Christmas film: The Dam Busters on Channel 4 today

  1. Reuben Holmes December 28, 2020 / 10:49 am

    Well at least it beats the much repeated Carry On films – so in the absence of a remake Carry On Dambusting……

    • Andrew Young April 16, 2023 / 10:02 am

      Since the original has now been digitally remastered, I think that it could be easily colourised and have some improved special effects to clean it up (like the crudely executed explosion plumes) and then be re-released. The acting, back in the 1950s, by WW2 military veterans, can’t be duplicated by modern actors. At this stage, I think that it would be best to wait another 30 years or so, because us baby-boomers will be dead by then and we won’t cringe at any remake getting the WW2 zeitgeist, non-verbal communication, language and mannerisms, horribly wrong.

  2. sf1378 December 28, 2020 / 4:45 pm

    Has all mention of the dogs name been censored from today’s broadcast? I missed seeing it on tv from the start and the key scene where the dog sadly dies.

    • tesseractorion December 28, 2020 / 5:35 pm

      Censoring the dog’s name doesn’t make any difference whatsoever to the film or what it’s about. I don’t know why it bothers people so much that we’re trying to be a bit more considerate nowadays.

      But I’m sure there’s uncensored versions available for people that insist on that super-accurate historical authenticity LOL…

      • sf1378 December 28, 2020 / 6:46 pm

        Thank you for being extremely facecteous and sarcastic in your response. Ironic given you mention “that we’re trying to be a bit more considerate nowadays.” You really are your own reward.

      • soljerblue December 28, 2020 / 10:50 pm

        The problem then becomes that “massaging” history has no limits. As holder of a graduate degree in that discipline, I deplore the attitude. History is what it is — the purpose then becomes what we can learn from it. Your approach would eliminate that option altogether.

  3. sf1378 December 28, 2020 / 4:48 pm

    Has all mention of the dogs name been censored from today’s broadcast? I missed seeing the film from the start today and then missed the part where the dog sadly dies. I feel modern censorship ruins old films – The Eagle Has Landed was on recently and the BBC butchered it too. I’m glad I own the extended edition DVD of that film and am considering buying The Dambusters on DVD uncensored.

    • charlesfoster December 28, 2020 / 5:33 pm

      SF: Please see the comments policy on this page.

      SF: Please see the blog’s comments policy on this page.
      All the posts on this blog give you the facility to comment, and these are welcome, providing that they are not defamatory, racist or sexist. I reserve the right to edit comments.
      However, if you have the urge to write about one particular topic – the name of the dog in the famous 1955 film The Dam Busters or its possible remake – then I won’t publish your comment. The reason why is because, frankly, this is a tedious debate that has already happened many times over. It might have been acceptable in the 1950s to use certain words, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t hurtful or wrong, even then.

    • sf1378 December 28, 2020 / 6:42 pm

      I just asked a very simple question concerning today’s broadcasted version out of curiosity. Nothing else. Nothing I wrote was “defamatory or sexist”. I’m amazed why you even needed to respond this way. A simple yes or no would have sufficed to my original question.

  4. Steve Ross December 28, 2020 / 5:33 pm

    I finally was able to recently purchase a copy of the original 1955 film. My thought is simply that any remake will be hard put to find actors of the scope and talent of Richard Todd and Michael Redgrave. Good luck with that!!

    • tesseractorion December 28, 2020 / 5:37 pm

      Those actors, like the film itself, were of its time; nowadays they appear stilted and wooden to me (but still great)…

  5. Susan Timms December 28, 2020 / 9:16 pm

    Remakes rarely match the original, however stilted the performances might seem to modern viewers. Those actors will forever be associated with the characters they played. Leave well alone.

  6. Joan Marcroft January 8, 2021 / 3:53 pm

    It was brilliant. So pleased we watched it.

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