• R, 1 hr. 55 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:    Jan Sverák
  • In Theaters:    Dec 28, 2001 Wide
  • On DVD:    May 28, 2002
  • Sony Pictures Classics

Dark Blue World Reviews

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flixsterman flixsterman
Super Reviewer
January 10, 2009
Compelling and well crafted movie that tells the little-known true story of heroic pilots for whom WWII never really ended.

Krystof Hádek is outstanding, I continue to be impressed with the quality of Czech actors and films.
Joseph E
Super Reviewer
August 10, 2007
Well unfortunately for the 2001 film "Pearl Harbor", I think I have found a film that beat it in being more engaging and more dramatic, despite a less-popcorn movie feel, and the non-100 million dollar budget!

Dark Blue World, or (Tmavomodry svet), isn't going to win you with high priced action scenes and effects, but it will get you with a lucid story line, that is drenched in heartfelt dialouge and makes you feel pride.

So what about the acting? Well of course this film is forgien and includes both Czech and English dialouge, but you can still really feel that they know what they are doing on screen and are just as good as our Hollywood counterparts, and maybe , especcialy in this film, maybe even better then some of them.

The score was rather impressive , although it wasn't as good I expected, but rather still as good as I was hoping. It really meshed well in the right action scenes, mellowing out when it was a really good time for it to slow down.

Yes, somehow this film kept me thouroghly enganged throughout, and I rather found this film as a little gem for my collection. I am not sure why, but this film is a film in which you never hear of it, but when you do, you can't stop not hearing about it, from yourself!
Shrewlord Shrewlord
Super Reviewer
January 4, 2011
A Czech film about Czech fighter pilots flying for the R.A.F in world war two, the immediate build up and the aftermath. I found it very interesting to see this inspiring and also tragic tale from a Czech perspective. Fans of war films will obviously like it but there's a great deal here of a human and historical nature to fulfil a wider appeal too.
elziard elziard ½ December 2, 2007
exceeded my expectations based on poor reviews when it was released. the visuals - especially the fighters and the special effects - were great. it's a touching story and light with humor and frightening in it' reality. it suffers only in the love triangle plot point though it's not done poorly, just unnecessary.
pstastny45 pstastny45 July 30, 2006
An amazing movie that shows how the pride coming from WWII in czech pilots was During Communism...very nice fly fhightinh scenes RECOMEND!!!
Greg D November 10, 2011
It is pretty much the same movie as Pearl Harbor and it tries to cram in too many emotional urges into one film.
Lee M September 17, 2007
Pearl Harbor without the product placements, without the Hollywood bombast, and certainly without the $100-million-plus budget -- and the better for it.
Shrewlord Shrewlord
Super Reviewer
January 4, 2011
A Czech film about Czech fighter pilots flying for the R.A.F in world war two, the immediate build up and the aftermath. I found it very interesting to see this inspiring and also tragic tale from a Czech perspective. Fans of war films will obviously like it but there's a great deal here of a human and historical nature to fulfil a wider appeal too.
joseph e. joseph e. ½ July 30, 2010
Well unfortunately for the 2001 film "Pearl Harbor", I think I have found a film that beat it in being more engaging and more dramatic, despite a less-popcorn movie feel, and the non-100 million dollar budget!
!!
Dark Blue World, or (Tmavomodry svet), isn't going to win you with high priced action scenes and effects, but it will get you with a lucid story line, that is drenched in heartfelt dialouge and makes you feel pride.

So what about the acting? Well of course this film is forgien and includes both Czech and English dialouge, but you can still really feel that they know what they are doing on screen and are just as good as our Hollywood counterparts, and maybe , especcialy in this film, maybe even better then some of them.

The score was rather impressive , although it wasn't as good I expected, but rather still as good as I was hoping. It really meshed well in the riht action scenes, mellowing out when it was a really good time for it to slow down.

Yes, somehow this film kept me thouroghly enganged throughout, and I rather found this film as a little gem for my collection. I am not sure why, but this film is a film in which you neer hear of it, but when you do, you can't stop not hearing about it, from yourself!
Zach Olmstead Zach Olmstead ½ February 27, 2010
Forget Pearl Harbor. This is the true aerial action story of 2001. Its great acting and fine action scenes create a truly masterful film.
Cameron A. Cameron A. ½ February 14, 2010
A fine film that shows that more than just the US and the UK forces played a part in WW2. A lovely story that goes a long way to show how people coped during such an aweful time. Even the heroes are show more as humans and most movies dare to protray. The film also has some sublime visual effects that go largely unnoticed - the sign of good story telling being backed my good post work.
Tony Hand Tony Hand May 27, 2008
Dark blue world is one of the finest foreign films about WWII I've seen to date. Everyone involved really seemed to care about the project they were involved in and the result is a very entertaining and for the most part accurate depiction of a side of WWII we very rarely get to see.

What we have here is a story of two Czech pilots, Franta and Karel, who upon the occupation of their country decide to jump ship and head for England to enlist in the RAF. Just how they get to England at the end of 1939 remains a mystery, but it suffices to say that many Czechs, Poles and French crossed the Channel to England, in time for the Summer of 1940. The two pilots leave behind their families and loved ones, actually one of the most endearing scenes is where Franta has to leave his beloved dog behind, and are accepted into the foreign ranks of the RAF, where they undergo a series of training scenes, including a brilliant section on learning English and formation flying, on bicycles!

They have to contend with sitting around waiting to be called into the operational status after their training is complete as the RAF were very reluctant to let the Czechs and Poles get involved in "their finest hour". Only when things heated up, where the foreign contingent called in. This leads to the meat of the film, the superbly done battle sequences. This is where the films producers have outdone Hollywood easily. One can feel the cramped condition of the cockpit, the desperate nature of aerial combat and the horror of being shot down. When bullets and cannon fire strike a spitfire in this film you know it. For the most part the two combatants aircraft are represented well. Although the spitfires are mid-war and late-war models and the 109's are Spanish built buchons. But both are effective enough for the job. The computer animated heinkels are also very well done as are the out-takes from the 1969 film "Battle of Britain", cleaned up and inserted seamlessly into the finished movie.

It's during one of these "shooting down" sequences that one of our pilots, Karel, meets Susan played by Tara Fitzgerald. The obligatory love interest. Fitzgerald is a potential war widow, whose husband has been feared lost in the Atlantic, with the Navy. The pilot, the younger of the two, falls instantly for the older woman and becomes besotted by her. This is where the friendship of the two Czech pilot's is severely tested as later the older pilot, Franta, falls for Fitzgerald too who in turn falls in love with him. Complicated.......hmm?The love distraction doesn't really interfere with the run of the film too much and the action sequences more than make up for their lack of pace, but I'm I the only person whose sick of filmmakers dispersing petty love stories into war movies? They usually don't work very well.

There are flaws though. I would have liked to see more of the Battle of Britain section and the hardships endured by fighter command in the summer of 1940 and also, the later war years are inserted without any real knowledge of what period of the war we're in. Another technical flaw is the camouflage of the spitfires doesn't change throughout the war, they remain in the 1940 pattern of green and brown when they should have been painted green and gray after 1941. In addition, the flashback sequences of Franta, from a Soviet forced-labour camp after the war, is never really comfortable as a framing device, but it does introduce us to some interesting characters such as an SS doctor which Slava shares his prison with. The SS doctor is presented as a man and not the usual cardboard nazi monster of Hollywood movies. It's quite refreshing to see.

Another slight flaw at the beginning, is a scene where the Czech pilots talk about flying to Poland and helping them. However, I very much doubt that any Czechs would have flown North to Poland as antagonisms between Poland and Czechoslovakia were still very strong from the polish seizing of the Teschen region of Czechoslovakia in the late '30s.

But the flaws are small enough when placed into the film as a whole and only someone with an above average interest in World War II will notice them.

Overall, if you like war movies and especially war movies based on aircraft and air warfare, then you will like "Dark blue world". It certainly blows some recent war movies out of the water and is entertaining in its own right. The subject matter is one you will probably not see onscreen again soon and the 1940's atmosphere is presented perfectly, as are the difficulties in trying to blend foreign volunteers into a generally mono-ethnic combat force.
videohead videohead June 16, 2004
Even if you're not a WWII buff, you'll enjoy the story (Theme: Frindship, Romance), and the cinamatography. The Special Effects were also great. Czech film makers are coming of age.
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