BATTLE OF BRITAIN ‘Main Theme’ – Ron Goodwin

BATTLE OF BRITAIN ‘Main Theme’ – Ron Goodwin

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Battle of Britain is a 1969 film directed by Guy Hamilton, and produced by Harry Saltzman and S. Benjamin Fisz. The film broadly relates the events of the Battle of Britain. The script by James Kennaway and Wilfred Greatorex was based on the book The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood and Derek Dempster. The film endeavoured to be an accurate account of the Battle of Britain, when in the summer and autumn of 1940 the British RAF inflicted a strategic defeat on the Luftwaffe and so ensured the cancellation of Operation ‘Sealion’ Hitler’s plan to invade Britain. The huge strategic victory of the outnumbered British pilots would be summed up by Winston Churchill in the immortal words: “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” The film is notable for its spectacular flying sequences, echoing those seen in Angels One Five (1952) but on a far grander scale than had been seen on film before. These made the film’s production very expensive. The film has two musical scores. The first was written by Sir William Walton, and conducted by Malcolm Arnold. However, the music department at United Artists objected that the score was too short. As a result, a further score was commissioned from Ron Goodwin. Producer S. Benjamin Fisz and actor Sir Laurence Olivier protested this decision, and Olivier threatened to take his name from the credits. In the end, one segment of the Walton score, titled The Battle in the Air, which framed the climactic air battles of




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