An American officer on a Landing Craft carrying plans for the Allied invasion of Europe in Normandy takes part on landing maneuvers, his craft was attacked and sunk by German EBoats. and he... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Col. Harry Martineau / Max Vogel
...
Field Marshal Erwin Rommel / Caporal Berger
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Brig. Dougal Munro
...
Sara Drayton
David Birney ...
Hugh Kelso
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Alan Stacey
...
Hélène de Ville
Niall O'Brien ...
Sean Gallagher
George Mikell ...
Maj. Hecker
...
Hofer
Kim Weeks ...
Mary Vibert
...
Greiser
Michael Sarne ...
Col. Kaufman (as Mike Sarne)
Paul Antrim ...
Sgt. Kelly
Amadeus August ...
Muller
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Storyline

An American officer on a Landing Craft carrying plans for the Allied invasion of Europe in Normandy takes part on landing maneuvers, his craft was attacked and sunk by German EBoats. and he finds himself on German occupied Jersey Islands. The Allies hatch a plot to rescue him by sending a British SOE agent impersonating an SD officer. Written by vlady@worldnet.att.net

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28 November 1990 (USA)  »

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I eisvoli  »

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

The German night fighter lets out the iconic sound of 'Jericho trumpet' used in Stuka dive bombers. The night fighter isn't a Stuka, so it shouldn't make the sound and also the siren makes a diving airplane sound in level flight. See more »

Quotes

Hugh Kelso: [after washing ashore on a beach] Am I in France?
Hélène de Ville: No, you're in Jersey.
Hugh Kelso: Great! Where's the Boardwalk?
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WW II espionage-rescue film on the Channel Islands
11 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This TV film of 1990 is something of a curiosity. It was made by GMT Productions, a European film company headquartered in France. It was done for TV, and was released in the U.S. on Nov. 28, 1990; but apparently not aired on a major network.

The film is based on a book by Jack Higgins – more on him later. It's a good fiction story – not unfamiliar for war films. And, the setting is very interesting – much of it takes place on the Channel Islands. But beyond that, this movie doesn't have much going for it.

Many people, today especially, may not realize that Germany did invade and occupy a part of Great Britain during World War II. The Channel Islands lie just off Normandy, the northern coast of France, across the English Channel from England. The Germans occupied the islands from the fall of France in June, 1940, until the end of the war. France was liberated within months of the June 6, 1944, D-Day landings at Normandy; but it wouldn't be until the end of the war in Europe on May 9, 1945, that the Channel Islands were liberated. German garrisons there held out after the fall of France, although cut off from all reinforcements and supplies. The Allies made no attempt to capture the islands. While the residents had to endure almost another year of oppression and Nazi rule, the islands were spared extensive damage and civilian casualties that likely would have occurred with an Allied attack before war's end.

So the story and setting are interesting and quite good. And they are mostly what earn this film the six stars I give it. The directing and editing are very choppy as though it was made for TV commercial breaks. The production values are poor – another reviewer has noted the post-war props and some other goofs in the making of the movie. The acting of Michael York in his double role as Erwin Rommel and as Corporal Berger is good. The rest of the roles are mostly average, but George Peppard is terrible in his role as Col. Harry Martineau.

Peppard was 61 when this movie came out. And he shows his age and a body that is very much out of condition. Dwight Eisenhower was only 51 at the start of WW II. Few generals stayed in the Army to age 60, yet Peppard plays an obviously older character. Martineau is a special agent of some kind in or for the British Army during WW II. It's never clear just what this is, except that he's an expert and the best at what he does. What he does is alluded to as a variety of things that use a variety of skills. He's fluent in German and other languages. He's a master at espionage with associated skills. He knows the martial arts and associated skills. And, he's a trained killer.

The only problem is that the chain-smoking, over-weight Peppard is no match for the role. So, we see him do very little by way of anything physical. His persona is a silent type. He's stiff, wooden and too sullen. The movie makers probably wanted us to view him as a thinking man, but it doesn't register that way with me. He has very little dialog and very little to say when he does have a line or two.

Michael York, on the other hand, is very good in his double role. Those in the German uniforms all seem to handle their roles much better. Deborah Raffin is OK in her role as Sara Drayton, the supposed mistress of Peppard's second character, Major Max Vogel.

Again, this movie is based on a book by British novelist, Jack Higgins (nee, Harry Patterson). He wrote thrillers and espionage books and was one of the most popular fiction writers of the last half of the 20th century. He took this, his final pen-name, in the 1960s after writing under several other names. As of 2015, he was still alive and writing at age 85. He has 84 novels to his credit with sales over 150 million. His 1975 novel, "The Eagle has Landed," is one of largest selling books ever published – topping 50 million copies. For many years, Higgins has lived in Jersey on the Channel Islands. Several of his books have been made into movies, but only a couple films have been as successful as his books.

This film is somewhat interesting because of the story and the setting. But, many, other than war film fans, may not enjoy it.


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