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During WW II, British commandos visit occupied Holland to keep a fortune in diamonds out of Nazi hands. Tense action follows as Anna, Jan and their colleagues play cat and mouse with the Dutch army, knowing that one of their number may be a traitor. Written by
Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>
The film opens with the Nazi invasion of Holland on Friday 10th May 1940, Churchill's rise to British Prime Minister the following day, and then the launch of Operation Amsterdam itself on Sunday 12th May. See more »
When the agents are driving away from the loyal Dutch soldiers, the rear-screen projection image of the receding roadway dissolves into another, similar piece of footage. See more »
The producers are most grateful for the valuable co-operation of the Royal Netherlands navy and the civic authorities of Amsterdam and Ymuiden. See more »
"Operation Amsterdam" from 1959 stars Peter Finch, Alexander Knox, Tony Britton and Eva Bartok in a Rank film based on a true incident. In 1940, there was a British move to get industrial diamonds out of Holland so that the Germans could not make use of them.
A British Major (Britton) travels to England with two diamond experts (Knox and Finch) to persuade diamond merchants in Amsterdam to give over their industrial diamonds, which would be brought to England.
There is danger all around them, with soldiers, shootings, and bombings everywhere. At a harbor, a young woman, Anna (Eva Bartok) tries to drive into the water to commit suicide after her fiancée's parents are killed, as she blames herself for inadvertently causing their death. The men are able to stop her and make use of her car, and her knowledge of Amsterdam, all the while not sure if they can even trust her. No one, in fact, can trust anyone, since German parachuters are disguised as Dutch soldiers.
Jan (Finch's) father, who is a diamond merchant in Amsterdam, appeals to his circle to relinquish their stashes so that the major and the men can bring them to a destroyer on which Churchill is allowing them to travel. The time is short -- will the merchants cooperate? Or have they come a long way for not very much? I found this film very exciting and very moving. The atmosphere was tense throughout. Peter Finch gives a wonderful performance as Jan, and he was so handsome and had good chemistry with the beautiful, mysterious Anna of Bartok. Alexander Knox seemed to be an afterthought, not given much to do.
Knowing what the Dutch suffered during the war made this an emotional experience watching the courage of the people who helped the men along the way. This wasn't the officially formed resistance, but an earlier group who didn't want the Nazis in Holland and probably were the core people when the official Resistance began.
Highly recommended. I think the story is compelling enough to overcome editing criticisms, the time of release criticisms and the like. Powerful stories are timeless.
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