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Piece of Cake (The Complete Series)

4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 38.99
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Piece of Cake (The Complete Series) + First Light + Bomber Boys
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piece of Cake Jan. 20 2004
By lydia03
You don't have to be a military aviation or World War II buff to enjoy "A Piece of Cake". Originally aired on British television in 1988 and then the following season on Public Television here in the U.S.,"Piece of Cake" is a six-part mini-series, that follows the fortunes of Hornet Squadron - a fictional RAF fighter squadron - during the first year of World War II. Based on the book by Derek Robinson, the story begins on September 3, 1939 and ends on September 7, 1940.
"Piece of Cake" takes the viewer from Chamberlain's broadcast, through the so-called phony war, the fall of France and finally, the Battle of Britain. "Cake" tells the story of these historic events, not on the grand scale of a "The Longest Day", but on a small, intimate scale. Life and death, love and war, sorrow and joys are told through the stories of the men (boys in many cases) of this squadron - individually and collectively.
"Piece of Cake" is an example of what British television does so well - the ensemble production. There are no stars in this series, except perhaps the half-dozen or so antique Spitfires rounded up to perform the aerial sequences. The cast assembled were relative unknowns, although some have subsequently became familiar faces to viewers of PBS series such as "Masterpiece Theater" and "Mystery". Certainly the absence of big-name stars contributes to the realistic feel of the series. You are meeting each actor and the character he portrays for the first time.
Another factor contributing to authenticity of the series was the way "Piece of Cake" was filmed.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Was "Moggy" real April 14 2004
By A Customer
I remember the introduction given by Alistair Cooke about the many strange characters in the squadron. He said something like "Veterans of the time tell me that they recognised all the characters as people they encountered but not all at the same time and in the same squadron". This is confirmed by my own experience in Vietnam. I saw all the types over 2 tours, including a CO who insisted in tight formation flying. The typical helicopter pilot's idea of formation flying is "same day, same way". Eventually enough of the discontent of the pilots filtered upstairs and he was 'promoted' to a desk job. With that caveat, the series is well done and worth seeing.
A point worth making is that at the begining of every war, the troops have to find out what works and what doesn't, often at the cost of lives. Tight formation flying was a case in point. Essential in WW1, deadly in WW2.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Piece of Cake Nov. 28 2011
Some of the most outstanding flying of fighters in WW II and a touching story of the heartaches of young boys coming of age and trying to be men.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad Dec 31 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I'll watch anything based on the Battle of Britain. This wasn't bad but definitely dated. If you like the style of 1980's drama it may be for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars top notch May 11 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this movie for my husband. We had a not very good taped one. He watched it many times over and loved it. So I got him the DVD. He just loves it. A good war story that is personal and behind the scenes. A well written & acted war story from a different angle.
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5.0 out of 5 stars '" Bugsmasher " Feb. 19 2013
Well, we'll try to print up the 2nd review on this fine series unless it disappears into "Cyberspace" as in the 1st. Maybe just facts this time ? As a pilot, an A/C buff & dare we say a self proclaimed Historian of WW2, I really liked this series as a fictional account of the RAF's early years of WW2. For the Spitfire fan or addict this is a great DVD series with lots of T/O's, patrolling, dog-fighting, in-cockpit action shots, etc. Of course the true Historian will see many inaccuracies such as in the early part of the war the RAF never had Spitfires stationed in France. At this early part they flew Hawker Hurricanes in France. But, you get to witness as well as hear Spitfires doing what they do best & to me personally that alone is well worth the price of this DVD series in itself. I won't bore anyone with the wrong marks of Spitfires Hornet Squadron were flying when they returned to English soil to fight in the Battle of Britain or the reasons why? A really great cast of characters that fit their parts & no Hollywood heroes. A little humor, romance, sadness, fear, bravery with a touch of insanity all mixed in. Just as in a real squadron personality clashes could & did happen as in Hornet Squadron. A great series & quite like it was in reality or so I've been told as well as reading of such. Actually the wife & I got into this series looking forward to meeting the boys almost as if they were family as each segment opened. The new pilots, the old gang, no favorites dealing with MIA or KIA. We especially enjoyed the review narration at the beginning of each segment catching us up on the last segment to start the next. And the music just took us away to a bygone era. DEFINITELY FIVE STARS.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pannonius Jan. 8 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great flying good glipse of the RAF spitfire pilots in the early months of WWII and the Battle of Britain
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Piece of Cake and a Piece of History July 9 2002
A Piece of Cake, follows the exploits of Hornet Squadron as they go off to fight in the battle for France and later the Battle of Britain, as any aviation buff will know we English never sent any Spitfires to France but as there are only 15 air worthy Hurricanes in the world the makers used Spits.
This in no way detracts from the film and surprisingly they actually get most of W.W.2 aviation history right, including the battle of barking Creek where in reality the victim of friendly fire was a Hurricane and not a Blenheim, still at least they put it in.
My Uncle who flew Spits and Hurries in the battle of France and the Battle of Britain has seen the film and says that its one of the most realistic films that he has seen of squadron life and certainly surpasses the 1969 film the Battle of Britain for historical realism.
They did use real Spitfires, Heinkels. M.E. 109's and even a Rapide in the film but clever use is also made of some outstanding models( Only pointed out to me by my uncle)
The Flying sequences are superb! there is nothing quite like a Spitfire in flight.
A really good film and a must for every aviation Fan, Buy It you wont regret it
Warm Regards
Bob Yeoman (England)
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