OK, I know its an old film and the effects of today leave those of this film standing but what really makes a great film are the performances and story. This film has them both.
The write up says its based on real events, if my memory serves me correctly it isn't and Frederick E Smith makes no such statement in my copy of the book upon which it is based.
That said, it certainly is a great film. The performances are perfect and not overly heroic but depict the real pilots and other RAF servicemen as they should be down to earth, brave and young(ish), normal men caught up in the war, with their own loves and looking forward to life after the war with differing degrees of trepidation or longing.
The flying sequences are good and believable, the ending stirring and worthy of any do or die story with true heroism in the face of overwhelming odds.
This is the war film all others should be compared to and in the same league as The Dam Busters. Great stuff for any (war) film fan.