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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.


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

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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


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


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


Drama | History | War


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

5 August 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Ilha Heróica  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The footage of the stricken Ohio being towed into harbour is footage of the actual event, shot in 1942. See more »


About half an hour into the film, there is a scene just before the Spitfires arrive at Malta, depicting an officer briefing the ground crews who states that each aircraft will have an identification number painted on it. When the aircraft arrive shortly afterwards, none of them have numbers on them. See more »


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

Interesting war footage, disappointing acting
5 May 2002 | by (England) – See all my reviews

Very much a weekend afternoon film now, almost 50 years after it was made, this film gives an accurate portrayal of the wartime events which led to Malta's being awarded the George Cross. The footage of the air and sea battles is fascinating, but the acting is sadly wooden.

Jack Hawkins turns in his usual competent performance, but Alec Guiness is very bland. Flora Robson is an unlikely Maltese mother, symbolising the suffering of the island people. The other credited actresses, Muriel Pavlow and Renee Asherson, appear almost catatonic, and the two love affairs are utterly unconvincing.

A lot of the entertainment lies in spotting well-known faces in their younger days! No surprise to see Victor Maddern and Sam Kydd (whinging, but getting the job done!), Gordon Jackson (uncredited), a very young Rosalie Crutchley and an (almost) unrecognisable Nigel Stock!

Watch this to learn about Malta's wartime history, but choose another film if you want to see these famous names acting with some passion!

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