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Piece of Cake (The Complete Series)

4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 38.99
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Piece of Cake (The Complete Series) + First Light + Battle of Britain
Price For All Three: CDN$ 60.53

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
25 of 25 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class account of Battle of Britain Oct. 10 2003
Ignore the cover of the DVD. The love interest is really a minor part of this wonderful British miniseries which follows an RAF squadron through the "Phoney War" (September 1939 - May 1940), the battle for France (May-June 1940), and the Battle of Britain through its climax in the fall of 1940.
This is not your usual squadron of movie heroes. For starters, the squadron commander seems to spend more time working on the wine list than thinking about strategy. As for flying, he wants them to fly into battle in straight, wingtip-to-wingtip formations like a marching band. The pilots are for the most part upper class elites happy with the leader's 'fox and hounds' demeanor. Some of the pilots are not especially likeable, particularly "Moggy" , a boarding-school bully who, it turns out, is an ace killer. The one "Yank", a Canadian socialist and veteran of the Spanish Civil War, gets to smirk at the upper crust poseurs.
It's a good mix, and for the first six months of the war, there's not a lot of go at the Boche, and what is great about the series is the shock and surprise when the war begins in earnest. The battle scenes are as well done as the big screen "Battle of Britain", except we really know these characters by the time the real war hits. Some excel, some crack, and some pack it in. One character starts to speaking exclusively in quotes from Churchill speeches, unnerving the squadron adjutant. The final two episodes are very, very intense, and unlike Hollywood, the movie does not play favorites with who lives and who doesn't.
The Spitfire was the most beautiful plane ever flown, and we get good long looks at the real thing. The flying scenes are a treat. Great for grognards, but the story is well rounded and a good time should be had by all.
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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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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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
quick shipment and as advertised
Published 18 days ago by Robert J England
5.0 out of 5 stars "Piece of Cake" goes down a treat!
Wrong mark of spitfires were used in the series but the acting and story are first rate.
I saw this originally on PBS in the late 80's and was pleased to fined some scenes PBS... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Richard Avery
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
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.
Published 8 months ago by BlueHeron
5.0 out of 5 stars top notch
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. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Sheila Nethercott
5.0 out of 5 stars '" Bugsmasher "
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 ? Read more
Published 19 months ago by "BugSmasher"
5.0 out of 5 stars Pannonius
Great flying good glipse of the RAF spitfire pilots in the early months of WWII and the Battle of Britain
Published 20 months ago by pannonius
5.0 out of 5 stars Piece of Cake
If you like Spitfires then you'll like this one! It's full of Spitfires flying, landing, taking off, in combat, and some of the problems they encountered with the Spitfires.
Published on April 12 2009 by Daniel Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece Theatre production worthy of the name
Everybody I know who has seen this series has high praise for it. Based on Derek Robinson's superb book, the characters and scenes will stay with you long after you see them. Read more
Published on July 10 2004 by Scott Blake
5.0 out of 5 stars A quality show
I saw this series on TV years ago and had been after it ever since. It is a great war story, but is not a typical 'action' war movie. Read more
Published on June 1 2003 by M. Smith
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