In 1949, during the Chinese Civil War, British warship H.M.S. Amethyst sails up the Yangtse river but on the return trip finds its way blocked by a barrage fire from the Communist Chinese shore batteries.
A man occupies a position of trust with a merchant in an East Asian port. He's sacked when he's caught stealing, but he pretends to commit suicide and a captain he befriended agrees to take him to a secret trading post.
Violette Bushell is the daughter of an English father and a French mother, living in London in the early years of World War 2. She meets a handsome young French soldier in the park and ... See full summary »
Having pulled off the smallest ever train robbery, Little Walter and his crew decide to get out of London. The six of them set up business in a disused monastery off the Cornish coast, ... See full summary »
A troop of British soldiers are out in the jungle to record jungle noises and troop noises in the jungle so that the recordings can be played back by other troops to divert the enemy to their whereabouts. As they progress to what they think is closer to the base camp they find themselves farther and farther from radio range until the only channel they can get clearly is that of a Japanese broadcast. They now realize they are probably only 10 to 15 miles from a Japanese camp! The tension is added to by rowdy and openly admitted "non-hero" Private Bamforth who has nothing good to say about anyone and especially Corporal Johnstone (who holds an equal dislike for Bamforth). When a Japanese soldier is taken as their prisoner, the true colors of each man comes to the surface ... Written by
When the Japanese are firing their machine gun at the patrol it is quite clearly a British Bren gun with the characteristic vertical curved top loading 30 round magazine. The Japanese had MGs with short horizontal stiffer bullet clips that fed in from the side. See more »
I haven't watched this film for a long time and, having just seen it on BBC2 TV, I felt that it hasn't aged well. Perhaps it was better as a stage play? Ubercommando in his review summed it up well: "I just don't believe in characters who, under such pressure to escape, would just bicker at each other when the enemy is just around the corner... Some characters don't want to shoot the Japanese prisoner because it will make too much noise and alert the enemy, but that doesn't stop them from yelling at the top of their voices!"
The only characters I felt any sympathy for were Private Smith (who seemed the most sensible of the squad) and the Japanese prisoner. Sergeant Mitchem had an impossible task, with a hostile corporal and the intractable Pte Bamforth, but he didn't come over as a likable character. As for the others, I several times thought "what a bunch of losers".
Of course, all this was what (probably) we were expected to feel, but other films portraying a small, disparate group of men up against it have done so far better.
Enough has already been written about Laurence Harvey, who was mis-cast. OK, the character may have been a brash, street-wise London wide boy before he joined the army, but his sympathy for the prisoner did not convince.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?