Attack on Sorpe Dam Film Review by Bob Jackson

Attack on Sorpe Dam Film Review by Bob Jackson

Father’s Day, 18 June 2023 saw Vulcan to the Sky Trust host the Midlands Premiere of the feature film “Attack on Sorpe Dam” which chronicled the story of 22-year-old George ‘Johnny’ Johnson who was, until his passing in December 2022 at the age of 101, the last of the original Dambuster 617 squadron.

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It told the story of the crew of pilot American Joe McCarthy, who had joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, during Operation Chastise, the raid on the dams of the Ruhr Valley, and specifically the attack on the Sorpe Dam which was undertaken in a totally different way than to the other dams.

The film by Andrew Panton Productions and with graphic modelling and imagery by renown Polish digital artist Piotr Forkasiewicz was a combination of real life, motion capture and 3D imagery of the highest calibre.

As the audience filed into the Stratford Suite at the Stratford Manor Hotel, they were accompanied by specially composed music by Alexander Leeming Froudakis and extremely talented composer and musician.

Sorpe Dam Film Premiere 3.resized

For an hour, following a brief introduction by Andrew Panton, the Producer, the audience of well over 200 sat spellbound whilst listening to the voice over by Johnny Johnson himself narrate the story. No bouncing mines in this story, just the true story of a crew determined to achieve their objective and return home. They did indeed achieve their objective and attacked the Sorpe, and they returned home. Sadly, the dam didn’t break unlike the others Mohne and Eder dams as it was of a different construction.

Sorpe Dam Film Premiere 4

Following an interval when there was the opportunity to inspect an incredible model Dambuster Lancaster at a scale of 1/32 complete with lights, rotating propellers and sound system made by modeller Jaroslav Kral in Czech Republic. Refreshments were also available and, as at all good premieres, the opportunity to purchase related film merchandise and mementos it was time for a question-and-answer session with the Producer, and members of the cast and production team.

And so the afternoon drew to a close, and a content audience departed having learnt that all was not quite as the cinema movie makers would have us believe.

A special thanks to Andrew, Piotr, cast members Steve Ramsden and Maurice Thompson and to Dave Bull from My World who facilitated the motion capture sequences in the film. Thanks guys, you and your teams created something really special.

Finally, thanks to the audience who attended We were able to fulfil our objectives of helping support the International Bomber Command Centre at Lincoln.


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