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Malta Story (1953)

Approved | | Drama, History, War | 5 August 1954 (USA)
In WW2, the island of Malta, strategically located and vital to supply lines in the Mediterranean Sea, is fiercely attacked by the Germans but staunchly defended by the British.

Writers:

(idea), (idea) (as Peter de Sarigny) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
Air CO Frank
...
Wing Cmdr Bartlett
Muriel Pavlow ...
Maria Gonzar
...
Joan Rivers (as Renee Asherson)
Hugh Burden ...
Eden, Security
...
Giuseppe Gonzar aka Ricardi
Reginald Tate ...
Vice Adm Payne
Ralph Truman ...
Vice Adm Willie Banks
...
Melita Gonzar, Maria's Mum
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Storyline

In 1942 Britain was clinging to the island of Malta since it was critical to keeping Allied supply lines open. The Axis also wanted it for their own supply lines. Plenty of realistic reenactments and archival combat footage as the British are beseiged and try to fight off the Luftwaffe. Against this background, a RAF reconnaissance photographer's romance with a local girl is endangered as he tries to plot enemy movements. Written by Derek Picken <dpicken@email.msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

NOW ! Another Great Performance in the ALEC GUINNESS Hall of Fame ! ...

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 August 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Ilha Heróica  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The siege of Malta made no difference to the outcome of the North African campaign during World War II as the British were also occupying Alexandria and Gibraltar. More than 85% of fuel losses by the Axis forces occurred on land, not in the Mediterranean. See more »

Goofs

The Spitfires that arrive on Malta in the early part of the film are low back models with teardrop canopies, which were not in wide spread service in 1942, when the film is set. See more »

Quotes

Maria Gonzar: Peter?
Flight Lt. Peter Ross: Yes?
Maria Gonzar: Do you think they will come?
Flight Lt. Peter Ross: Who? The Germans? I shouldn't think so.
Maria Gonzar: Why not. They have many more planes. There's not much to stop them.
Flight Lt. Peter Ross: I don't think things happen like that, do they?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: MALTA 1942 See more »

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User Reviews

 
Maltese, keep that stiff upper lip
13 November 2004 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Someone else unfortunately used the title, location, location, location, in his film review. It's not only the plot of the movie, it's the history of Malta.

Malta located south of Sicily and right in the middle of that Mediterranean bottleneck between Sicily and Tunisia has had the misfortune by geography to be smack in the middle of supply and trade routes since ancient times. That made it desirable real estate. Malta's been occupied by every conqueror operating in that area, most recently the British during World War II.

And at that time that island with its air and naval base was doing a lot of damage to Erwin Rommel's supply route in North Africa. With unbelievable courage the British garrison held on for over two years and was never really out of harm's way until the Allies took Sicily.

Lots of black and white combat footage used and together with the performances of the male leads, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, and Anthony Steel the film has a nice documentary feel. Guinness who plays so many quirky type characters on the screen is for once a very straightforward lead as Peter Ross aerial reconnaissance photographer. He has a romance going with one of the locals and her mother is played by Flora Robson.

There is an interesting subplot there in which Flora Robson's son is taken prisoner as a spy for the Italians and sentenced to be executed as a spy. He tells his British captors that he is in fact a Maltese patriot and that they are the occupiers and it's their occupation that is bringing death and destruction to his people. Not that he wasn't right. The Maltese finally do have their independence now.

A film that is a great tribute to the heroism of the British forces on the island of Malta.


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