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David L. Cunningham
Based on a true story, Sergeant Peter King of the Army Dental Corps, too old to fight, and Private Leslie Cuthbertson, a trainee dental mechanic in the Corps, are thrown together by their passionate desire to see active service. Armed with just two revolvers and a dozen grenades, King persuades Cuthbertson to join him on a mission to occupied France. In a letter to Winston Churchill, King explains their intention to invade France and fight the Germans. After a number of failed attempts, they finally arrive by boat and stumble across a German radar station. They succeed in blowing up what they believe to be the main Operations Room, but are soon forced to make their escape as the entire compound unexpectedly erupts with gunfire and explosions. After narrow escapes from the Germans and a stray mine in the Channel, the two men are picked up at sea and interrogated as spies. Identified as deserters, they are returned to their barracks to be court-martialed. At the eleventh hour King and ... Written by
This film's closing prologue states: "King and Cuthbertson never saw each other again. Sergeant Peter King was transferred to active service where he won the MC. He was awarded the DSO in Korea and finally promoted to Major. He retired to New Zealand and died in a motoring accident in 1962 . . . Private Leslie Cuthbertson was transferred to the Durham Light Infantry and also survived the war. In 1967, he was made Deputy Lord Mayor of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He died in 1995." See more »
The pub at which the two soldiers stayed prior to stealing a boat for their journey to France, had all its' lights blazing at night even though the whole country was under blackout regulations throughout the war. See more »
What an unexpected delight is this true-ish wartime tale of two army dentists determined to do something for the war effort. A grizzled WW1 Sergeant and callow private go AWOL, heading for Cornwall and then to France armed with a rucksack of grenades, a couple of pistols and the odd dental tool. Possessing a comic lightness of touch rarely seen in Britain since the halcyon days of the Ealing comedies, this wonderful tale of British eccentricity is hilariously funny mainly because it never goes for the obvious laugh. Realisitic enough that the adventure is frequently nerve-wracking, with a splendid plot that constantly wrongfoots your guesses, the mismatched comic pair of Kenneth Cranham and Leo Bill work brilliantly. Filmed in vibrant colours so rarely seen in a British film, the movie succeeds way beyond its modest ambitions. It's the rare sort of film that banishes the blues and puts you in a good mood that lasts for ages afterwards. What more can you ask from a film than that?
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