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
Early in the film, in Norway, the partisan escapes in a Miles Messenger, a liaison and observation aircraft which first flew in 1942. See more »
One of the German armored cars used in the ambush scenes (the one that isn't the Alvis Saracen) is an obvious fake. The gun barrel appears to be stuck onto the front of the turret, with no provision for changing elevation. See more »
The Men of the 633 Squadron of the Royal Air Force have one nasty mission to perform. The Nazis have built a factory deep within a cliff with an overhang on a Norwegian fjord that is making a special fuel for rockets they're developing.
The RAF encountered a similar problem in The Guns of Navarone where an overhang protected two large pieces of artillery that was wreaking havoc on allied shipping. They gave up bombing there, but the Norwegian resistance brought in a geological consultant who says if they come in low and hit a certain spot with a fissure the whole thing will collapse and bury the factory under tons of rock.
The RAF mission, come in low and drop bombs enough to crack that fissure. It's a nasty mission for Cliff Robertson and his men even with aid from a ground attack planned by George Chakiris with the Norwegian resistance.
What's best about 633 Squadron are the special effects where they used vintage Mosquito fighter planes from World War II. It's really done quite well and is exciting.
As usual an American actor is brought in via the RAF Eagle Squadron for foreign pilots who enlisted before Pearl Harbor. In this case it's Cliff Robertson although he's a fine actor, isn't exactly box office. Maybe the producers thought he would be as he was just coming off playing John F. Kennedy in PT 109.
I'm also not quite sure why the Nazis would locate a fuel for rockets that were to be used in defending the western Europe beach from the invasion in Norway. Maybe they were listening on Winston Churchill who was constantly advocating a Norwegian invasion though American military and his own military told him that wasn't feasible. If it was for a cross channel invasion defense, that would have presented a transportation logistics problem for the Germans.
In any event it's nice war film with great special effects.
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