An RAF squadron is assigned to knock out a German rocket fuel factory in Norway,, which is part of the Nazi effort to lauch rockets on England during D-day, by flying up a well-defended fjord at low level.
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George More O'Ferrall
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633 Squadron has enjoyed an unqualified string of successes. Their luck changes when they are assigned to bomb a German rocket fuel plant, in Norway which is guarded by heavy anti-aircraft defences, and the plant is considered bomb-proof. Their nearly impossible mission is further complicated by a German air raid, the difficult approach to the target and the capture and torture of the underground leader who is assisting the squadron. Written by
Derek R. Watts
The film's opening prologue states: "This story is inspired by the exploits of the Royal Air Force and Commonwealth Mosquito air crews during World War II." See more »
The Mosquitoes used in the movie are of the B.Mk.IX or XVI versions with bulged bomb bays to accommodate 4,000 lbs 'Cookies'. The bombardiers' clear noses were painted over and a quartet of 'machine guns' (but not the four 20mm cannon) added to make the aircraft look like FB.Mk.VIs. See more »
Wing Cmdr. Roy Grant:
I killed him, Hilde. He was in the building, and I knew it.
You knew they were torturing him. You stopped it. Erik cannot thank you, Roy. So I thank you for him.
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I am a great fan of "633 Squadron" and have read a few articles about the making of the film so I can correct a few errors in previous postings.
In the original 1956 novel the central character was Wing- Commander Roy Grenville. This was changed to Wing - Commander Roy Grant for the film. The script did make it clear that Grant was an ex - Eagle Squadron pilot. A number of Americans did fly for the RAF during WW2. After Pearl Harbour the Eagle Squadrons were eventually transferred to the USAAF but some Americans stayed in the RAF so it is not totally implausible to have an American leading an RAF squadron.
I agree that the Greek American actor George Chakiris does not look very Norwegian! However the casting of these two American actors (Robertson and Chakiris) was done to ensure the success of the film at the American box office. British war films with all- British casts tend to bomb at the American box office. The 1969 film "Battle of Britain" was the most successful film at the UK box office when it came out but it was a financial disaster in most other countries. That was why the American role in "Operation Market Garden" was prominently featured in the 1977 film "A Bridge Too Far".
I agree that the ending was ambiguous. In Frederick E Smith's 1976 sequel "Operation Rhine Maiden" it was made clear that Wing Cdr Grant had survived the crash and become a POW - in the film it is not clear whether he had died or just lost consciousness.
All the Mosquitoes used in the film were obtained from No 35 Civilian Anti Aircraft Cooperation Unit in Exeter which retired its last Mosquitoes only a few weeks before filming began. These civilian - piloted Mosquitoes were the last in service anywhere in the world.
A total off 11 Mosquitoes were used in the filming though only four were airworthy . Three Mosquitoes were destroyed during filming.
A few of the Mosquitoes used in the film still exist though none are currently airworthy. The B-25 Mitchell used as the camera plane still exists albeit in a derelict condition at North Weald Airfield in England.
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