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Hans Adalbert Schlettow,
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A secret jet aircraft capable of traveling three times the speed of sound is being developed by a group of scientists secretly. On the day of the test flight, one of the scientists dies in ... See full summary »
This was a surprisingly gripping film. Although the start was shaky (the two young men larking around during the school hols, and talking with plum orchards in their mouths, and being very much mummy's boys), in fact what this did was to paint a contrast with what follows, and the speed with which they had to grow up and assume life and death responsibilities for the (much older) men under their command. The scene where the son has just gone off to Gallipoli and a neighbour comes in with vacuous chatter, and the camera focuses on all the emotions a mother would feel at such a moment was better than anything I've seen out of Hollywood of the period. Then the scenes on the boat where the officers think its all going to be a doddle, and then get mown down while trying to land was very telling. As to the camera work, there were some startlingly modern touches, particularly when a low slung camera follows the troops through the water as they rush ashore. Finally, the way the camera viewed the battle front from a very narrow perspective emphasised the way frontline troops are often in the dark about what is going on just 100 yards away (a brilliant effect in Battleground (US c1949).
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