Very Good DVD Release
Benjamin E. Cressy | NH USA | 02/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've been looking for a decent transfer of THE BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN and finally found this DVD. The colors are beautiful and there is hardly a scratch or hole in the print to be seen. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, a bit flat but completely clear. Finally, the film is presented in the original 2.35:1 letterbox format and NOT in 1.33:1 full screen. Not only does it contain EL ALAMEIN, but also contains the 1951 MGM picture GO FOR BROKE! starring Van Johnson. It looks and sounds pretty good, but not as good as EL ALAMEIN did. Both films contain a 6-chapter search feature.Both films are excellent and this is definitely worth buying."
GO FOR IT!
Kate Tranum | Sioux City, Iowa | 12/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just bought this for my husband's birthday... he loved the two films... he teaches history and is an NUT. I found them very enjoyable also, surprisingly. Go For Broke is the story of the 442nd Regiment... a group of GI's who were of Japanese descent. They were sent to Europe in WWII to fight the Nazi's... the story revolves around their battles and the drama of the interaction with "white" US combat units.The Battle of El Alamein was a real treat. It is in Letterbox format, and unlike Go For Broke is in color... which is absolutely striking. The film is dubbed but is very interesting in that it tells the story of combat in the North African desert - FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF THE ITALIANS!!! Marengo did a great job on these films and if you like war movies I highly recommend this double feature."
Go For Broke in El Alamein... Finally,,,
Patrick Selitrenny | Switzerland a.k.a. Helvetia Felix | 10/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I refer to the previous reviewer, when they say that it finally made it on DVD at last, and I mean El Alamein, Go For Broke!, which is also available separately.
I had a videotape since the early 1980s, and was starting to show its age, as well as the very irritating Video (Pan & Scan) Format.
Now we are finally treated with the full widescreen (2.35:1 ratio, letterboxed, not anamorphic) and a Dolby Digital 2.0 Mon soundtrack which is far better than the sound on the VHS tape.
Alas, there is still something missing. While both the Tape and this DVD are 96 minutes in length, and this is the correct for the U.S. version, dubbed in English, the original Italian version ran at about 117 min. when originally shown in movie theaters in Italy.
Where are the missing 21 min.?
Being this an Italian movie with British, Italian and Spanish actors, they may be stuck somewhere, either in Almeria or at Cinecitta...
I am just mentioning this, because there were some explanatory scenes, which were filmed in both in Italy and in Britain (or was it the British Legation in Cairo? I can't remember exactly which one), which did show the preparations to the offensive, before actually moving to the Main Titles. Moreover, there were scenes of various participants to the Battle which were shot at night and in their respective encampments, showing us more in detail who was who, and what they were thinking, just before the next morning's action).
In my view very important scenes altogether, but alas, that never made it in the final American Print of the movie.
Also one could argue about the lack of the original armament, on both sides. The Italians use M3A1s instead of the SdKfz. 250 and 251, which can still be understood, because both Germans and Italians were badly prepared and equipped, hence occasionally they tended to "borrow" such vehicles from the Enemy.
No, this is not the problem, the problem are the Tanks depicted, mostly refurbished unknown Tanks for the German side (the Italians did not have viable tanks to mention of, only very capable trucks and motorcycles) as stand-ins for the PzKpfw. IIIs and a few IVs, and on the British side we have mostly late Sherman Tanks (probably borrowed from the Israeli Army of the time) and M36 Tank Destroyers "Jacksons" which were only introduced in late 1944.
It may be interesting to know that even a Warner Bros. multi-million Mega Production earlier, in 1965, suffered the same fate. I am referring to "Battle of the Bulge" which also sported American Medium Tanks as stand-ins for German Heavy King Tigers!
Perhaps today, we might still do something about it, especially on the Digital side of affairs.
Why can't we update these two movies, as was done, unnecessarily in my view, on movies such as "Star Wars"?
It would add historical accuracy, at least on the material used by the opponents. I think we have reached almost perfection with CGI effects and we could blank out the erroneus tanks and replace them with digitally created period accurate vehicles and Tanks.
Besides, the actual vehicles, especially for tanks such as the Tiger I and King Tiger, would look far more impressive on film than their American counterparts.
But when it comes to pure Artillery pieces instead, then we are served with the actual thing, which ads to the accuracy.
Nevertheless, it is fascinating to know that we have an Italian perspective on such an important turning-point Battle in Northern Africa.
Battles scenes are done "Italian-Style", hence sport a lot of zooming out and in and panning with the camera, that at times can be confusing, but then again war is a confusing matter.
The involvement of aerial attacks is practically totally omitted, but still and amazingly so, the movie still manages to be gripping and interesting at the same time and shows us the tragedy of losing a battle, when confronted with an overwhelming force, such as represented by the British forces in this movie.
Alas, there is no mention of Canadian, Australian and even American forces involved in it... this is a major point against this movie.
But if taken with a bit of lenience, the film is still very watchable and is amazingly well told, especially for a movie made in 1969.
The director Calvin Jackson Padget is actually Giorgio Ferroni, who was known as a specialist for Italian Comedy and Epic sword & sandals movies.
The cast is formed by some of the finest European actors of the time. Among them Michael Rennie as General Montgomery, Robert Hossein as Rommel, George Hilton who is known for some Spaghetti Westerns he used to star in in his earlier career, Enrico Maria Salerno, probably best known by Italian moviegoers and theater aficionados, since he was mainly a stage actor, although he had appeared in many Italian, as well as French movies.
All in all I would truly recommend this DVD, also because it is the only one available, in this line of quality, and shows that even a minor DVD producer can do a good job in digitally transferring movies on disc.
In my humble view, a must buy."