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Coastal Command (1943)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 12 users  
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Documentary style presentation of the work of RAF Coastal Command. Shows their work in protecting convoys and attacking enemy aircraft, ships and U-boats, all done by the actual men & women of the RAF.

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Title: Coastal Command (1943)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Roger Hunter ...
Himself (as Pilot Roger Hunter)
Charles Norman Lewis ...
Himself (as Flight Sergeant Charles Norman Lewis)
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Storyline

Documentary style presentation of the work of RAF Coastal Command. Shows their work in protecting convoys and attacking enemy aircraft, ships and U-boats, all done by the actual men & women of the RAF.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | War

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Release Date:

17 April 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Comando Costeiro  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Riding Along on the Crest of a Wave
(uncredited)
Written by Ralph Reader
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User Reviews

 
Eastward Wings The First Flight of Beauforts!
21 October 2014 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Once you get past the fact that the men and women we see are non-actors and sound unconvincing, it's really an enthralling documentary about life and missions from fictional bases of Coastal Command in Scotland and Iceland. It's a kind of training film for civilians -- "This is what our boys are doing and here's how it works." It's true that Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote the musical score but you might not notice it. The score doesn't overwhelm the images or the narrative, unlike, say, "Victory at Sea," in which Richard Rogers pounds your tympani with mallets. The orchestra is directed by Muir Matheson, who seems to have directed nearly every British sound movie ever made.

It's a paean to Coastal Command, and they deserve it. The target is a fictional German raider, the Dusseldorf. The crew we follow, in T for Tommy, mans a Sunderland flying boat, sometimes called "the flying porcupine" because of its relatively heavy armament. It's a big, four-engine mammoth. The interior of the fuselage looks like a half-constructed ballroom for a majestic hotel. Its weaknesses as a patrol plane were that it was slow and its range was limited.

In addition, though, there are nice shots of Beauforts, Lockheed Hudsons, and PBY Catalinas. Some Yanks on Iceland, serving their P-40s, get to envy the Brits taking off for a major engagement with a German battleship. I wouldn't have envied them. Everyone is bundled up in fleece-lined leather coats and jackets. They don't call it Iceland for nothing and northern Scotland isn't much of a climatic improvement.

There is a half-coordinated attack on the Dusseldorf by Hudsons and Beautforts. The Luftwaffe counters with a handful of Junkers 88s. An Australian Sunderland and a flight of RAF Beaufighters engage the Junkers, just after T for Tommy is damaged and one of the crew wounded.

Is the Dusseldorf sufficiently damaged that she must turn for home? Does the wounded man on T for Tommy smile as he lies there with a bullet through his arm, bantering about the leave he has coming? Do the Beaufighters shoot down one or two Junkers without loss to their own? Does T for Tommy make it back to base? This is a morale-boosting war-time documentary from 1943.


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