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Suicide Squadron (1941)

Dangerous Moonlight (original title)
Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 20 April 1942 (USA)
During World War II, an American newswoman falls for a Polish piano virtuoso...who wants to go back and fight.

Writers:

(original story), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Carol Peters Radetzky
...
Mike Carroll
...
Specialist
Percy Parsons ...
Bill Peters
Kenneth Kent ...
Andre De Guise (as Keneth Kent)
J.H. Roberts ...
Residing Physician
...
Shorty
...
British Commander
Frederick Valk ...
Polish Bomber Commander
O.B. Clarence ...
Waiter with Tray of Wine
James Pirrie ...
(as James Perrie)
Marian Spencer ...
Miss Gratton (as Marion Spencer)
Leslie Gordon
...
Pete
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Storyline

Prologue: in 1940, a shellshocked man fights to recall his past. Flashback: During the Nazi invasion of Poland, American reporter Carole Peters meets Polish airman Stefan Radetzky, also a piano virtuoso. Stefan is among the last to escape Warsaw; months later, in New York, he and Carole meet again, and marry. But the thought of his going back to fight is not only personally terrifying to Carole, but seems a great waste of his musical talent... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 April 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Suicide Squadron  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to modern sources, the air-battle scenes were filmed during actual combat. See more »

Goofs

The in-flight close up of a German bomber over England is a reversed shot as indicated by the plane's registration letters. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: LONDON NOVEMBER 1940 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dad's Army: Is There Honey Still for Tea? (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

The Rose of Tralee
Music by Charles W. Glover
Lyrics 'C. (or E.) Mordaunt Spencer'
Hummed by Derrick De Marney
Played on piano by Anton Walbrook (dubbed by Louis Kentner)
Played as background music when Stefan retrieves Mike's belongings
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Outstanding music, not-so-good a film
28 July 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Dangerous Moonlight is one of those almost completely forgotten films, apart from the music, and tracking the film down for the first time it is not particularly hard to see why that is.

The music by Richard Addinsell is the one component that people remember about the film, and it is also the best and only outstanding element about it. The Warsaw Concerto is very popular, is a concert show-piece and is still heard on the radio a lot, and judging from the hauntingly stirring and quite oddly beautiful way it's written for good reason too. Anton Walbrook is typically suave (though this is a long way from being one of his better performances), while lovely Sally Gray brings some poignancy to her role and Derrick DeMarnay is a suitably sympathetic confidant, his chemistry with Walbrook being particularly strong. The film is sometimes moving, and the aerial combat sequences are quite good.

On the other hand, Dangerous Moonlight was apparently made quickly and cheaply and it shows in some less than smooth photography, some choppy editing (like in the climatic dog fight) and some clearly artificial-looking sets. The script is lumbering and heavy-handed with some ham-fisted melodrama (Walbrook's dialogue is not always easy to understand too), the sometimes moving but thin story is really quite dull, over-dramatised and little more than nonsensical and heavy-handed propaganda, the film is routinely directed and the climatic dog fight agreed is choreographed pretty poorly. Apart from the three leads the rest of the acting is either wooden or overwrought, and Walbrook and Gray's chemistry while sometimes affecting doesn't ignite as well as it could have done.

In conclusion, loved Addinsell's music, but Dangerous Moonlight as a film on the whole left me cold. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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