The Dam Busters (1954) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Dam Busters (1954)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The British film tells the story of the development and utilization of the "bouncing bombs" in WWII. Michael Redgrave stars as Dr. Barnes Wallis, who developed these unorthodox explosives. Most of the film is devoted to the two years spent in creating the bombs and training the pilots.

Watch it now


Michael Redgrave
as Doctor B. N. Wallis, C.B.E., F.R.S.
Richard Todd
as Wing Commander Guy Gibson
Derek Farr
as Group Captain J.N.H. Whitworth
Ursula Jeans
as Mrs. Wallis
Basil Sydney
as Sir Arthur Harris
Patrick Barr
as Capt. Joseph Summers
Stanley Van Beers
as Sir David Pye
Colin Tapley
as Dr. W.H. Glanville
Raymond Huntley
as Laboratory Official
Ernest Clark
as AVM Ralph Cochrane
John Fraser
as Flight Lt. Hopgood
Nigel Stock
as Flight Lt. Spafford
Bill Kerr
as Flight Lt. Martin
George Baker
as Flight Lt. Maltby
Robert Shaw
as Flight Sgt. Pulford
Anthony Doonan
as Flight Lt. Hutchison
Eric Messiter
as Committee Member
Frank Phillips
as BBC Announcer
Ewen Solon
as Flight Sergeant G.E. Powell
Edwin Styles
as Observers at Trials
Patrick McGoohan
as Guard on Door
Frederick Leister
as Committee Member
Laidman Browne
as Committee Member
Harold Siddons
as Group Signals Officer
Hugh Moxey
as observer at trials
Richard Leech
as Squadron Leader H.M. Young
Denys Graham
as Flying Officer L.G. Knight
Brewster Mason
as Flight Lieutenant R.D. Trevor-Roper
Richard Thorp
as Sqd Ldr. H.F. Maudslay
Brian Nissen
as Flight Lieutenant A.T. Taerum
Anthony Shaw
as RAF officer at trials
Basil Appleby
as Flight Lieutenant R.C. Hay
Tim Turner
as Flt/Lt. J.P. Leggo
View All

Critic Reviews for The Dam Busters

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

Michael Redgrave is fine as the dedicated scientist who invents the bomb, and Richard Todd is lust right in the role of an RAF wine commander.

September 27, 2021 | Full Review…

Very British, very "Italian Job" without the laughs.

April 28, 2021 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

It is a great example of a story told chronologically that remains interesting throughout.

March 23, 2021 | Full Review…

The length is felt.

April 17, 2020 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

An exceptionally good war-in-the-air drama from Britain, based on the true story of the RAF's 1943 low-level raids on Germany's Ruhr dams.

October 28, 2019 | Full Review…

The film is over-long (the flying sequences include some repetition) and the music score is, regrettably, very blatant; but despite these drawbacks, a mood of sober respect is maintained.

February 17, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Dam Busters

I love films that combine my passion for WWII history with my passion for cinema.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

This isn't a bad movie, it's just boring, it would work better as a documentary or something because as a narrative film it's too boring.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

In "The Dam Busters," Barnes Wallis(Michael Redgrave), a research scientist at Vickers during World War II, and his doting wife(Ursula Jeans) do not so much raise their children, as breed them to be his lab assistants. His latest experiment involves a way to bomb the dams of the Ruhr Valley which could potentially cripple Germany's steel production. The high command is about to give up on this and let him play with his expensive toys somewhere in Scotland when he has a breakthrough. Even after a successful test with live aircraft, approval is slow in coming. But once it does, Wing Commander Guy Gibson(Richard Todd) is put in charge of the mission. Based on a true story, "The Dam Busters" is a gripping tale of dogged determination in the face of adversity during wartime, taking the viewer through all the stages of a military mission from planning to completion. At the heart of it is the contrast between two men, Wallis, the thinker, and Gibson who implements the plan. Gibson does not contemplate what he has been ordered to do because on the surface it is quite insane and impossible. As a veteran of many bombing sorties, he knows he cannot afford to be emotional during a war which has its many peaks and valleys, not to mention down time.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

The Dam Busters Quotes

News & Features