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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 <email@example.com>
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 »
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 »
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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