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Mosquito Squadron (1969)

 -  War | Drama  -  17 January 1970 (UK)
5.5
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Squadron Leader Quint Munroe, an RAF pilot in World War II, has a hard time dealing with the presumed death in action of fellow Sq. Leader David 'Scotty' Scott, whose family practically ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Quint Munroe
Suzanne Neve ...
Beth Scott
...
Air Commodore Hufford
David Buck ...
Sqn. Ldr. David 'Scotty' Scott
David Dundas ...
Flt. Lieut. Douglas Shelton
Dinsdale Landen ...
Wing Commander Clyde Penrose
Nicky Henson ...
Flt. Sgt. Wiley Bunce
Bryan Marshall ...
Sqn. Ldr. Neale
Michael Anthony ...
Father Bellague
Peggy Thorpe-Bates ...
Mrs. Scott
...
Mr. Scott
Vladek Sheybal ...
Lieutenant Schack
Michael McGovern ...
Flt. Lieutenant Bannister
Edit

Storyline

Squadron Leader Quint Munroe, an RAF pilot in World War II, has a hard time dealing with the presumed death in action of fellow Sq. Leader David 'Scotty' Scott, whose family practically raised him when he was orphaned, so they were like brothers. RAF Air Commodore Hufford has a crucial task for Quint, who is no longer serving in the squadron: a reconnaissance flight over the château de Charlon, a castle in occupied France, where the Nazis are probably developing a new generation of flying bombs; the defenses are indeed suspiciously tight. When analyzed, the photos show the castle grounds harbor an underground launching tunnel, and Quint gets a nearly impossible precision top-secret mission: select and train a team in only 10 days, when the French underground believes the first launch is planned, to 'aim' a new type of bouncing bomb into the tunnel, to blow up the whole Luftwaffe installation. Quint falls in love with Scotty's young widow Beth Scott, whose crippled brother, Flight ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

To save England, he must sacrifice everything he loves.

Genres:

War | Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 January 1970 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El escuadrón mosquito  »

Company Credits

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 »
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(archive footage)| (archive footage)|
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The car David McCullum drives in the London scene appears to be a Rolls Royce Phantom I Henley Roadster 1927. See more »

Goofs

When leaving their aircraft after missions, the aircrews are seen to have blackened cheeks - just like the World War 1 fighter pilots who returned from aerial combats bearing the same marks. However the airmen of the 1914-18 conflict received the facial smudges from cordite smoke that was blown backwards from the exposed breeches of machine guns mounted in front of the open cockpits of that era. The Mosquito had a closed cockpit and its forward-firing weapons were mounted in the nose - the gun breeches were not exposed, they were situated below the plywood floor of the cockpit and expended cartridge cases went through ejection ports. Mosquito pilots sometimes complained about feeling excessive vibration through their feet when firing long bursts with 20mm cannons, but never had to worry about streaked faces. See more »

Quotes

[During a low level flight to a target in France, Munroe's Navigator leans over to him]
Flt. Sgt. Wiley Bunce: I hope you brought your driving licence with you.
Munroe: What for?
Flt. Sgt. Wiley Bunce: You fly this thing any lower, you're going to need it!
See more »

Connections

Edited from Operation Crossbow (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bad, bland little war movie
16 August 2003 | by (St. Davids, Pennsylvania, USA) – See all my reviews

The always-overrated David McCallum is one of the few good things in this low-budget World War II adventure piece, yet another quickie from Oakmont Films.

Sometime prior to D-Day – probably early '44 or '43 – a Mosquito Squadron is sent to bomb a V-1 rocket installation in France, when Squadron Leader Scott (David Buck) is shot down and presumed dead. His second-in-command, Quint Munroe (who just happens to be like a life-long brother to him) has to return to England and tell his beautiful blonde wife (Suzanne Neve) the sad news. As one would expect, Munroe and Mrs. Scott slowly fall in love. But when Munroe is chosen to lead a mission to bomb a new V-3 development center, things will chance quite a bit – because Scott is a prisoner held at the target fortress!

From start to finish, "Mosquito Squadron" is a total hack-job – literally. The story is filled with enough contrivances and clichés to drive any mildly serious critic mad. Let us take a brief look at a 1964 film entitled "633 Squadron". In said film, a squadron commander has a best friend shot down over Norway, and falls in love with his sister. Later on, he is assigned to bomb the fortress where his friend is being held. Sound familiar? And that's not all our title film steals! Virtually all of the aerial battle footage is directly lifted from "633 Squadron", while the new footage is comprised almost entirely of horrible-looking miniatures hanging from far-too-visible wires.

The writers have also directly copied another classic war film, "The Dam Busters". The feasibility of Munroe's mission revolves around a bouncing bomb, which will skip along the ground and roll into an open tunnel leading to the V-3 rockets. (I won't even mention how convenient it was to leave a big open tunnel to drop a bomb into). The real bouncing bomb (made famous in 1954's "The Dam Busters") was designed to skip on water to destroy Nazi dams – not the ground as is seen here! The idea of dropping a bouncing bomb on the ground is, simply, ludicrous and impossible. Introduction of this concept kills the storyline immediately.

The low budget shows up in every action sequence: the French resistance force is comprised of a half-dozen men in berets carrying Sten guns, and only a handful of German guards enforce security at the "fortress". The forests are obviously cheaply furnished soundstages, and a face-off with an imitation German "tank" is ludicrously shot. We never really see much of the German-held Château, and when we do it never looks as though we're inside some high-tech development center a la "Operation Crossbow". The scenes set in England fare somewhat better, with some excellent scenes set at airfields and a rather rowdy officer's club.

David McCallum and the cast of little-known English actors do a fair job, even though the no-frills script doesn't give them much to do. McCallum is a fair actor, nowhere near as great as his fans hail him to be, though. He was better suited for television than cinema, and that comes out in every scene. He often looks uncomfortable and awkward, but delivers his often banal dialog convincingly and with conviction. His scenes with Neve are often touching, even though audiences have seen this dozens of times before. There aren't any other actors worth mention among the ensemble, besides perhaps Charles Gray who would go on to play Blofeld in the James Bond film "Diamonds are Forever" a few years later.

Oakmont Productions financed a number of cheap British war films in the late 1960s and early 1970s: "Attack on the Iron Coast", "Hell Boats", "The Last Escape", "The One Thousand Plane Raid" among them. These quickies were best suited for TV viewing instead of theatrical release, but United Artists picked them all up and put them on the big screen. Anyone expecting a classic here – or in any of the aforementioned pieces for that matter – is in for a big disappointment. Check out "633 Squadron" instead.


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