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In Greece during the war a small group of British commandoes and patriots land on an island with orders to attack two airfields from which the Luftwaffe is threatening allied forces in Egypt. The island is crawling with troops, and even moving by night the men soon run into trouble. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <email@example.com>
Regularly throughout the film, German troops are armed with British weapons. For example just after the commandos leave the submarine, a sentry is seen standing a post at an airfield with a British No.4 MK1 .303 rifle slung on his shoulder. While soldiers did use captured enemy weapons, it is highly unlikely in this situation. See more »
Average British WW2 commando adventure that would have looked better in black & white
Lewis Milestone's 1954 WW2 adventure has been largely forgotten about over time, and with justified reason as it is largely forgettable after viewing. However, that being said, it is better than many similar themed war films that were produced by the British during the 1950's and 1960's. Milestone was a pretty prolific director in his day, directing some superb films such as "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1930) - which I highly regard as being one of the best war films ever made and the original adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel "Of Mice and Men" starring Lon Chaney Jr. He also directed "Halls of Montezuma", a WW2 film about the Marines fighting in the Pacific. And later on, would direct Gregory Peck in the Korean war film "Pork Chop Hill". So Milestone was familiar with the war genre, and highly experienced, but "They Who Dare" stands out as one of his lesser known and forgettable efforts. A film that essentially would have faired better had it been in black and white, the colour looks awful in places as the characters seem to be portrayed against fake and animated backgrounds. According to IMDb, it was filmed in a studio in Surrey in England due to an apparent low-budget, which is further proved by some low-key explosions which serve to be the best of the lacklustre and small amount of action on show here.
Set during the Dodecanese Campaign, a failed attempt by the British to capture the Dodecanese islands in the Meditterean in 1943 following Italy's surrender, a small group of Royal Marine Commando's aided by a few Greek resistance fighters land on the island of Rhodes to infiltrate the German and Italian lines and to blow up two major airfields on the island which are being used to launch attacks on the Allies in North Africa. Led by Lt. Graham (Dirk Bogarde) the team faces many challenges, including lack of water, as they try and avoid detection from the swarms of German and Italian patrols deep in the heart of the island. They got in OK... but will they survive the mission and get back to the rendez-vous point with the sub in time? I was bored for the majority of this film's duration. The lack of action served to accentuate just how slow the film is, and as I already mentioned, it looks terrible in colour. It looks like a half-done job, like many films from this time that were faced with a low-budget but still tried to cheaply award their production the praised title of being in Technicolor. It just doesn't work here. The editing could have been a lot better... many scenes on the submarine at the beginning could have been chopped, including the embarrassing and distracting scene with the Greek submarine captain laughing at the cartoon drawings of Lt. Graham over dinner. "They Who Dare" would be one of Milestone's weaker films, albeit it isn't entirely bad. It is an enjoyable story and easy enough to follow, so served to be a decent enough way to pass two hours. Wouldn't be going out of my way to track it down, though.
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