Here we have yet another Italian/Spanish World War II film, concerning an "impossible mission" taken on by misfit soldiers. How many times did the Italians make this type of WW2 movie in the 1960s and 1970s? There's DIRTY HEROES, BATTLE OF THE COMMANDOS, FIVE FOR HELL, COMMANDOS, LAST DAY OF THE WAR . . . this one of the better ones, although it's in no way a classic.
The plot: The Germans have built a secret airfield which threatens the D-Day invasion. Flak in the area is so heavy that Allied planes can't get through the bomb the airfield. So High Command calls in French commando Sgt. Cloadec (Aldo Ray!!!, in the same type of role he had in GREEN BERETS) to take on the impossible task of leading 4 misfit commandos behind enemy lines to destroy the airfield. The mission takes on various twists and turns until the climax.
Unfortunately we never get to see too many enemy soldiers pursuing the good guys. The lack of extras is only one piece of evidence which suggests the low budget. Besides Aldo Ray, the producers couldn't hire any other easily recognizable actors for the movie. The special effects are the worst I have ever seen. They usually involve burning model plastic aircraft. And I am not kidding; the closeups are just as bad as the awful effects in BRIDGE TO HELL. The heroic "Colonel Bogey-esqe" musical score is rousing at first but soon goes into monotony. But we do finally get to see some action and a little bit (a very little bit) of originality and some good acting. The cinematography is quite decent; the movie was filmed out in the woods some place, for the most part, but resembles France pretty accurately for once. Most Italian war movies are set in France or Germanty, but look like they were filmed in -- well -- Italy or Spain.
Overall, the movie is entertaining but really lacks originality and is also undeniably cheap. But, it's well paced, solidly directed and contains some good characters.
5 out of 10 stars.
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