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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

They Who Dare (1954)


Starring: Dirk Bogarde, Denholm Elliott and Akim Tamiroff
Distributor: StudioCanal


Certificate: PG
Release Date: 07 September 2022

Based on the true story of "Operation Anglo", which involved an attack on two airfields on Rhodes by the S.B.S. (not the S.A.S. as portrayed in the film), They Who Dare is set during the Second World War, Lieutenant Graham (Dirk Bogarde) is sent on a mission to destroy two German airfields on Rhodes that may threaten Egypt. Under his command, a group of six Special Boat Service, two Greek officers and two local guides are assembled. The group is taken to Rhodes by submarine and comes ashore at night on a desolate beach. From there, the group has to traverse the mountains to reach its targets and blow up as many of the aircraft as possible. Hunted by the many enemy patrols, is seems an impossible mission to complete and make it back to the submarine in time...

Presented in its original 1.33:1 (4:3) aspect ration They Who Dare opens with a score heavy intro. While the picture quality is fine, looking crisp and clean, the sound is pretty awful, sounding like a heavily warped record. Thankfully this issue only crops up when the score is front and centre, which isn't that often.

The story is still as engaging and suspenseful today as it would have been in 1954 on the film's release. Of course, considering the time period it was made, there's little jeopardy as you pretty much know that the main character is going to survive... the only question is: who else makes it.

All of the cast get their moment to shine and it does feel more of an ensemble piece than a star driven vehicle. And I think it's a much better film for it.

Extras include Interview With Historian Saul David (24 min, 05 sec which puts the film into historical context. It explains which parts are authentic and which parts are fabricated) and Stills & Lobby Card Gallery (1 min, 25 sec).

A good, solid war movie that's worth adding to your collection.


Nick Smithson

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