Hurricane: 303 Squadron war movie
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Hurricane: 303 Squadron war movie

Hurricane: 303 Squadron (2018, United Kingdom)

Original / alternative title: 303: Bitwa o Anglię

Categories: aircraft movies dogfight movies

Hurricane: 303 Squadron

Director: David Blair

Czas: 123 minut

Laguages: English / Polish

war movies info
2022-07-01 / 2022-07-02

Desperate for experienced pilots RAF forms squadrons consisting of foreigners, but the commanders are reluctant to take them into action. Based on true story of Polish 303 Squadron.

Polish pilot Jan Zumbach travelling through occupied France using Swiss passport finally reaches his destination - airfield, where just days before his comrades were flying fighter planes trying to stop German invasion of the country. Zumbach takes the only plane that is still airworthy and heads for England to join his countrymen that were forced to retreat. The Battle of Britain is in full swing and Zumbach together with other Polish pilots in 303 Squadron are kept under training since none of them speaks English well enough to operate with other squadrons. Their commander, Canadian John Kent, finds it hard to communicate with his men or keep them under control. While on the training mission they stumble upon an ongoing battle and one of the Poles decides to join in...

This film is a poster boy for the "how to miss the point in 3 easy steps" campaign. Step one: take a real story that is worth making film about. Step two: add some fictional characters and events to spice up the original story. Step three: focus mainly on the fictional characters and water down the real story so it would lose any meaning. While basic story is similar to the true events the screenwriters decided to put some extra characters (like Weber or Phyllis), add over-sentimental flashbacks to add some extra depth to characters that did not really needed that, create completely unnecessary romantic dimension to the story, but at the same time forgot to explain why foreign pilots were so much more efficient than English ones. You know, in case the pilots would be important in this story.

But in Hurricane: 303 Squadron they really weren’t that important, the Zumbach’s relationship with Phyllis was so unique that screenplay focuses mainly on that aspect of 303 Squadron. I mean every war-time romance is completely different and it is worth to skip some actual war to see those two having some long conversations. And I won’t even mention the complete lack of realism of the fighting scenes, because it is so obvious a child could see that actual child had written them. And, of course, there are some factual errors, f.e. Frantisek was serving in Polish Air Force in 1939, so he didn’t "quit" Czech squadron, because he never was part of one in England.

Overall film built around the very interesting story of Polish 303 Squadron that turned out to be one of the best in the Battle of Britain, but with emphasis on "around". It is just collection of barely interesting subplots while the main story about the 303 does not give the right credit to the Polish pilots.

Our rating


Film value

3 / 10

Realism factor

2 / 5

Adventure factor

2 / 5

Historical accuracy

3 / 5

Hurricane: 303 Squadron 2018 war movie

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Hurricane: 303 Squadron

Creators of Hurricane: 303 Squadron

David Blair movies

David Blair


Robert Ryan movies

Robert Ryan


Cast of Hurricane: 303 Squadron

Iwan Rheon movies iwan-rheon

Iwan Rheon

as Jan Zumbach

Milo Gibson movies milo-gibson

Milo Gibson

as John A. Kent

Marcin Dorocinski movies

Marcin Dorocinski

as Witold Urbanowicz

Krystof Hadek movies krystof-hadek

Krystof Hadek

as Josef Frantisek

Stefanie Martini movies stefanie-martini

Stefanie Martini

as Phyllis Lambert

Radoslaw Kaim movies radoslaw-kaim

Radoslaw Kaim

as Zdzislaw Krasnodebski

Robert Portal movies robert-portal

Robert Portal

as Keith Park

Nicholas Farrell movies nicholas-farrell

Nicholas Farrell

as Sir Hugh Dowding

Christopher Jaciow movies christopher-jaciow

Christopher Jaciow

as Zdzislaw Henneberg

Events depicted in Hurricane: 303 Squadron

World War II (1936-1945) Battle of Britain (10 Jul 1940)

Hurricane: 303 Squadron trivia

Foreign pilots

What this film omitted to mention was reason why squadrons like 303 were so much more efficient than English ones, even though the foreigners were given the older Hurricane fighters and not Spitfires. When war broke out RAF was still in process of building its fighter squadrons and distinctly lacked experienced pilots or they died early in Battle of Britain, while the foreign pilots (like Poles, Czechs) were in active service for years already and fought during invasion of Poland and France, thus were better trained and far more experienced than British fighter pilots.

Themes in Hurricane: 303 Squadron

Polish pilots

War movies like Hurricane: 303 Squadron

303 Squadron 2018 war movie

303 Squadron (2018)

Polish pilots of 303 Squadron are eager to fight Germans over Britain, but it seems no one in RAF HQ wants them to join the war.

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