DAMBUSTERS 75: Restored film classic to premiere in Lincolnshire

New screengrabs from The Dam Busters. Photo: � 1954 STUDIOCANAL FILMS Ltd.
New screengrabs from The Dam Busters. Photo: � 1954 STUDIOCANAL FILMS Ltd.

A brand new restoration of film classic The Dam Busters is to be given its world premiere in Lincolnshire to mark the 75th anniversary year of the Royal Air Force’s most daring Second World War mission.

The unique outdoor screening on Saturday April 14 will form part of the official opening of Lincoln’s International Bomber Command Centre, situated barely seven miles from where the planes took off that fateful night.

During the Second World War, Lincoln became unofficially known as ‘Bomber County’.

It was home to a third of all bomber command stations and, due to the area’s flat geography, lent itself perfectly to runways and airstrips.

RAF Scampton was the base for 617 Squadron, famously referred to as The Dambusters following their legendary mission to destroy a vital trio of Germany’s dams in 1943.

Lincoln Cathedral was the last British landmark the squadron saw as they took off on their mission, making the nearby International Bomber Command Centre a suitably fitting venue in which to unveil the premiere of the restored film.

Poster advertising the Lincoln screening of The Dam Busters.

Poster advertising the Lincoln screening of The Dam Busters.

The £12.5 million centre opened in January to commemorate those who served and supported Bomber Command and recognising the significant contribution of Lincolnshire to the outcome of the Second World War.

Nicky Barr, the centre’s chief executive, said: “The International Bomber Command Centre are honoured and delighted to be hosting the premiere of the new digitally remastered version of The Dam Busters.

“All lives lost in the ‘Dam Busters’ raid are memorialised on the walls at the centre, so we feel it’s a fitting place to be holding the premiere.”

For the 2018 restoration of The Dam Busters, STUDIOCANAL went back to the original 1954 camera negative and sound negative.

The camera negative was scanned at 4K resolution in 16bit and the ACES workflow was applied to the restoration process which resulted in the creation of a 4K DCP, UHD version and a new HD version which were produced with the same high technological standards as today’s biggest international film releases.

However, the filmmakers used rear projection during certain scenes in the offices and in the planes, a process which is dirty and contains sparkle, scratches, etc, which cannot be restored.

The new restoration of The Dam Busters will screen in HD in Lincoln, in partnership with The Luna Cinema, the UK’s leading producer of open air cinema.

Gates open at International Bomber Command Centre at 7pm on April 14, with The Dam Busters screening at 8pm.

Tickets, priced at £14 and £12 concessions (plus booking fee) are available at www.thedambusters75.co.uk/lincoln-premiere.

On May 17, the actual anniversary of the raid, TV historian Dan Snow will host commemorations at the Royal Albert Hall, including a screening of the film.

The event will also be simulcast into over 300 cinemas nationwide. Tickets are also available from the above website.

Film captures the thrilling action and suspense of daring mission

Regarded as a British classic, The Dam Busters is directed by Michael Anderson (Logan’s Run/Around the World in 80 Days).

Based on the legendary true story of Commander Guy Gibson and his squadron, The Dam Busters (1955) captures all the thrilling action and suspense of the magnificent exploits of a group of young pilots and their crews, charged with taking out the supposedly impenetrable Ruhr river dams of Germany with an ingeniously designed bouncing bomb.

Starring Richard Todd as Gibson and Michael Redgrave as scientist and engineer Dr Barnes Wallis, the film also immortalised composer’s Eric Coates’s masterpiece: The Dam Busters March.

The Dam Busters will be available on DVD/Blu-ray/EST via STUDIOCANAL’S Vintage Classics label from June 4, with extras including an exclusive ‘Making of The Dam Busters’ documentary.

The film will also be available in a special collectors edition featuring a 64-page booklet, a rare aerial photographic print of the Mohne Dam following the attack (signed by the original 617 Squadron) and a set of five art cards.