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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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 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 »
In the spring of 1944 an RAF Mosquito Squadron are ordered to attack a German rocket fuel plant in Norway. The mission involves flying up a heavily defended fjord and bombing a cliff overhang in an attempt to bury the factory, which is built into the rock.
I bought this on DVD in a '3 for £20' offer, as I had fond memories of it from childhood, and it had been around 20 years since I last remember seeing it. I have to say that it's not nearly as good as I remembered it to be. The plot is full of cliches and there's the inevitable love interest for the lead. That said, there are points to recommend it. Cliff Robertson gives another reliable performance as the Wing Commander in charge of the squadron, and there are equally dependable turns from Harry Andrews and Donald Houston. The numerous flying sequences with the Mosquito Bombers are expertly filmed, and it's a real bonus to finally see the film in its correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The special effects aren't bad for 1964, and Ron Goodwin's famous score underpins the whole venture.
The main problem that I have with the film is that it borrows heavily from 'The Dam Busters' in terms of plot, without ever scaling the heights (no pun intended) of that classic. It may have lush Panavision photography, better effects etc., but lacks the nail biting tension and expertly constructed drama of its predecessor. However, it's perfectly acceptable entertainment, if somewhat abrupt at the end.
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