Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.
Historical reenactment of the air war in the early days of World War Two for control of the skies over Britain as the new Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force determine whether or not an invasion can take place. Written by
John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Towards the end of the film, a British Spitfire flyer shoots down a German bomber, which then falls over central London before crashing into a railway station. This actually happened, (although the fighter used in the real incident was a Hurricane, not a Spitfire and the bomber was a Dornier Do17 rather than a Heinkel 111). The RAF pilot didn't shoot the bomber down, though; he had run out of ammo when he spotted the bomber apparently trying to attack Buckingham Palace. In desperation, he rammed the bomber, taking off the tailplane. The fuselage then crashed into Victoria Station. Incredibly, he managed to parachute to safety. His own plane rammed into the ground at 350 mph. It was buried so deep that the authorities just left it there. In May 2004 the former RAF pilot was on hand as the remains of his aircraft were unearthed to make way for a new water main. Remarkably, part of the incident was captured on film, the tailplane fluttering down and the fuselage section (minus the wings outboard of the engines, which were torn off by aerodynamic forces) plummeting towards the ground. See more »
When oil is seen to spray onto the cockpit windows of plane in trouble it is playing on the glass if (as it probably was) sprayed by a crew member. See more »
A movie commonly praised while in the air but damned once the scenes move to the ground. I found it all watchable and quite inspiring. Not every actor rises above cameo level, but Michael Caine is good, and I would follow Robert Shaw into the thick of any battle fought in human history. The battle scenes are still the best aerial combat sequences on celluloid.
It's odd that Maltin gives this movie fewer stars than the Europroduction "Blue Max", with its staged-looking combat sequences and campily awful dialogue.
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