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Night Ambush (1957)
"Ill Met by Moonlight" (original title)

 -  Action | Adventure | Drama  -  July 1958 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 991 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 8 critic

Led by British officers, partisans on Crete plan to kidnap the island's German commander and smuggle him to Cairo to embarrass the occupiers.

Writers:

(adapted from the book: "Ill Met By Moonlight" The Wartime Diary in Crete of), , 1 more credit »
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Title: Night Ambush (1957)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Major Patrick Leigh Fermor D.S.O. O.B.E. also known to the Cretans and the German Secret Police as PHILEDEM
Marius Goring ...
Major General Kreipe
David Oxley ...
Captain W. Stanley Moss, M.C.
Dimitri Andreas ...
Niko (as Demetri Andreas)
...
Sandy
Laurence Payne ...
Manoli
Wolfe Morris ...
George
...
Andoni Zoidakis
John Cairney ...
Elias
Brian Worth ...
Stratis Saviolkis
Roland Bartrop ...
Micky Akoumianakis (as Rowland Bartrop)
George Eugeniou ...
Charis Zographakis
Paul Stassino ...
Yani Katsias
Adeeb Assaly ...
Zahari
Theo Moreas ...
Village Priest
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Storyline

Based on the true story of how, during World War II, a gang of desparadoes (British officers enlisted for "hostilities only" and local partisans) went to the occupied island of Crete and kidnapped a German General from under the nose of his army. That was the easy bit !!! They then had to get him back to Cairo, dodging an intense air and land search. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They stole a General under the noses of his 20,000 crack paratroops See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

July 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night Ambush  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David McCallum's film debut. See more »

Goofs

The moon changes from nearly full to first quarter in the space of one day. Not only are the phases going backwards, it takes a week to change from full to last quarter. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Patrick Leigh Fermor aka Philedem: Field Marshal Rommel won't be in Cairo but you will be!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Straight WWII adventure - in some respects
24 January 2000 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

Think of `The Guns of Navarone', but with these differences:

(1) The band of adventurers genuinely like each other.

(2) Their mission is not to blow anything up. Rather, they plan to kidnap a German general and take him to Cairo. It's a publicity stunt. But it soon ceases to be a MERE publicity stunt: demonstrating German vulnerability may be as important as creating it.

(3) We get a good look at Crete - and NOT just because of spectacular scenic photography. We really feel at home on Cretan soil. Michael Powell, who had a talent for finding out-of-the-way composers (he also introduced Ralph Vaughan Williams and Brian Easdale to the cinema) has this time found Mikis Theodorakis, whose score is strongly flavoured but friendly to the ear.

With all this, `Ill Met by Moonlight' is an unusual venture by Powell and Pressburger, in that it isn't unusual: it's another World War II mission story, and there have been dozens. It IS more civilised than most. It tells its simple story neatly and cleanly; it's sweet, unpretentious, and disappointing only in that, since it was Powell and Pressburger's last official collaboration, it would have been nice to go out with a bigger bang.

The title is a line from `A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Its relevance is not obvious, at any rate not to me. Am I missing something?


20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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