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naseby

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Pretty dire actually, but a fair plot-line ** Spoilers **, 21 August 2016
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Watchable for the famous DH Mosquito but nothing else to hold it of any merit, sadly. As others have mentioned, poor acting, sixties-style hairdressing rather than a brylcreem-and-bright-red-lipstick timeline, the film is particularly bad and lacking. Also, as mentioned, stealing far too many aerial scenes from the superior '633 Squadron' make this a dim, Sunday afternoon type of low-budget flick. Interesting plot, actually, however maybe badly executed, mention of 'Highball', not quite the normal 'bouncing bomb', but a device developed mainly for the navy, to bounce against enemy warships. The plan is thus, to 'bounce' them into the mouth of a tunnel to destroy a 'V3' rocket facility. Added to this Munroe's (McCallum) quandary of his adopted 'brother' and superior Officer 'Scotty' (David Buck), missing presumed dead, but actually among the POWS, with an amnesiac bump on his head/unaware of whom HE is.The Nazis are going to use Scotty AND the POWs as a 'Human shield', once they have got wind of the coming RAF attack. Complicating things further of course, is the fact Quint is in love now with Scotty's 'alleged' widow. It's all meant to be hush- hush, especially more so, (David Dundas - he of the 'Blue Jeans' song, years ago and featured on a Levi's advert) blabs to everyone about the POWs plight after being told NOT to - leading to a so-called bonus operation with 'Highball' and the assistance of the French Resistance to bomb the POWs compound to free them ONLY when the V3 facility is destroyed FIRST (any Highball bombs 'left over' are only THEN to be allocated to free the prisoners).This has deliberate echoes of the 'Operation Jericho mission' also executed by DH Mosquitoes. Character actor George Layton (he of the famous British 'Doctor'comedy TV series) mentions this was his first film role. Nice to see the pretty Suzanne Neve as Scotty's 'widow', Beth, but not a lot to remember this for, EXCEPT as I've said, its stealing of 633 Squadron's scenes!

*** SPOILERS*** The rise of a confident, hard, criminal mod!, 28 April 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This hung in the back of my mind somewhere, as a kid at the end of the 'sixties - where had I heard of this programme's title/name? A parent? ! Teacher... in the street? Even in the playground?!?!?

My inquisitive mind, on finding it out on release on the web, along with some other programme included in the purchase, entitled 'Spindoe' which I'm not familiar with, made me buy it.

I wasn't disappointed though... a cocky, hard, flash, arrogant and unforgiving young Peter Egan, brushes aside any morality, takes on any risky job of robbery, including no-holds barred violence and works his way up through the ranks of Lennox's (Timothy West) criminal empire of 'Scot-Yanks' and the aspiration to remove Lennox rather than work for him.

Even Timothy West as the suave but unforgiving gangster surprises. There's ample support also from a more 'working- class' Donald Burton in the firing line. Burton had played Captain Nialls (later) in the TV series 'Warship' and was also married to Carroll Baker, yes, she of 'The Big Country'. I'm not saying Egan hasn't excelled but he's never done anything better here in my mind and maybe he was offered other roles after this in this vein that he may have even turned down (who knows?) but he'd be a right 'Ray Winstone' in typecasting by now!!!!

As the previous reviewer says, if you can overlook the black-and-white cheapish TV production values, which makes it appear like it's filmed in your own front room with a video camera and the 'sixties background music etc., Egan's performance alone will impress you and make it all worthwhile. It's so different in that aspect from even just five years later from 'The Sweeney' or anything expensively-American of course.

SPOILERS ** This could have had potential, 15 November 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Strange Brit film-noir, in the sense Jayne Mansfield is playing a gang leader (and not even the moll). Anthony Quayle, playing out of character, (Jim) (if you 'don't' include 'Ice Cold in Alex, where he makes good anyway/let off).

Simply said, Mansfield's 'Billie' character, sets up her then lover (Quayle) into taking part in a robbery. Carl Mohne as 'Kristy' her 'real'(?) lover, 'makes a phone call to the police to land Jim in it, but it looks like it still had Billie's blessing to land Quayle in it too??? Although the strange thing is, she's left Jim to hide the money without anyone knowing, (including her, where he stashed it). Kristy, thinking she DOES know, is hanging around. Meanwhile, Jim takes the rap because of the 'phone call, does his stretch and is released. However, all in the meantime Billie and the gang, have done numerous robberies whilst Jim was inside. This I don't really get, as Mansfield/Billie didn't know/locate the money from the first robbery with Jim, carries on robbing in the meantime. It's not as if she had Jim's money and was going to use it to finance jobs.

On Jim's release, Mansfield and the gang want the money from the first job, Jim of course rebels/refuses for taking the rap - it's not long before the gang decide or rather Kristy does, to kidnap Jim's son, Joey (typical 60's name) in return in trying to get him to blab.

Mansfield though is not warmed to the idea of harming or even taking Joey, as Kristy is a psychopath. This is where the film adds a bit more tension in the overall plot of finding Joey, who's in the hands of one of the gang, who's happy to kill joey if Jim isn't forthcoming wit the loot.

Edward Judd plays a good role as the Inspector after both Mansfield's gang and all the loot from all the robberies as well as trying to wrest Joey from Kristy's minions.

Predictable kind of turns with cops and robbers etc., with some fair action/fighting and tension. It has to be said Quayle played a great role and very well. Mansfield, on the other hand also predictably still plays a dumb blonde role too much like Marilyn Monroe, spoiling it, though for me and the film. She does a good about-face with Mohne's character realising he's a dangerous psycho though. One thing, there's a plot part of the loot being buried and then found to have later, explosives covering it - Jim goes to find it surprised of course, but what's more surprising is the fact the explosives are left out in the open/unguarded!!!

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Dire beyond belief! Spoilers, 26 August 2015
1/10

I don't know HOW this ever got to be made, despite the stalwarts of British cinema/familiar faces, plus, off the top of my head in 1967, Freddie and the Dreamers, had used up any popularity they had by then. They produced dire songs here too.This really was an awful script and acting in a vain attempt to capitalise on the 'pop-stars-into-film' genre, especially really limited to 60s bands. This is really forgettable and not pleasant, or funny in any way. It had to be viewed though as 'part' of this genre, in my book, but I regretted every minute of it, even though the actors I've said, had 'support'. 'The 'gang' are just that, a troupe of Boy Scouts unwittingly helping and then foiling a couple of robbers. Do yourself a favour - give it miss, promise! Saw this recently, on the new UK satellite channel TalkingPictures.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Take it for what it is, sixties-style Viking romp! *** Spoilers ***, 20 June 2015
7/10

It it is what it is...the OTHER Viking film of the sixties, A Moorish King, Aly Mansah (Sidney Poitier) cajoles after much fighting with his Viking adversary, Rolfe (Richard Widmark), looking out of place as much as the British supporting cast for a legendary 'Golden Bell' named 'The Mother of Voices' at the 'Pillars of Hercules'... well, there's much gold in that of course and we all know Vikings and maybe, a Moorish king, would love to have 'half the world in gold' if they could (as we would, without the adventuring). The Vikings at first as I've said, have an uneasy peace after nearly being executed by the 'Mare of Steel'... but choose instead to work together - and of course, it would keep the captured Vikings alive - for the time being! There's plenty of Viking-like drinking, using ladies for entertainment, talk of 'Odin' a captured wench-beauty in and on the 'Moor' side, Arabs who are reigned by a rich king with a lovely Rosanna Schiaffino as Aminah, his Queen. As mentioned, a strange miscasting for the likes of British supporting actors, Edward Judd, Colin Blakeley, Gordon Jackson and Dave Lodge as Rolfe's Viking 'crew'/stalwarts. I was half expecting Graham Stark, Sam Kydd, Percy Herbert, Michael Ripper and Harold Goodwin to be in there on that basis! It's as I say, a sixties-style Viking saga as much as 'The Vikings' was with its American headers of Poitier and Widmark and swashbuckling adventurism - still, this is what we grew up with and it's a lot better than the CGI nonsense and limited acting we see, so enjoyable when it has a TV run and welcome, just sit back and enjoy it! Nice touch as - shall I tell you, it does say 'Spoilers' at the top of my heading ... so read no further ... if... you wanted to know that the bell falls on Sidney Poitier and kills him! nice one! Filmed in Yugoslavia, this doesn't belie the fjords of Norway in any way.

Impact (1963)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Lacklustre, has a little merit though, 18 May 2015
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not anything to write home about, but I've always like Conrad Phillips in these budget-flicks from 'Butcher's films' which seem to be doing the rounds on obscure Satellite/Freeview channels and, put out by 'Reknown Films' on DVD.

A pretty thin story, of a reporter, Jack Moir (Phillips) who constantly bothers a local hoodlum nicknamed 'The Duke' Dukelow, with bad publicity about him. Needless to say, the latter has him put out of the way by framing him for a mail-train robbery of around £60,000. Moir is sentenced to 20 months in prison and swears/exacts revenge on his release. It's pretty staid to be honest. Two points, as Malcolmgsw points out, that 20 months for robbery of £60,000 especially involving coshing a cop, is a ludicrously short sentence, which would probably start at least eight years plus, even if you didn't serve the full term of it. Another load of rubbish surely is, as has also been said elsewhere, that the police (led by Mike Pratt) would surely not expect him to be hanging around waiting to be pinched with the evidence that was 'planted' on him (that he hadn't known about until they unearthed it). Of course, though, cops are cops 'We're a very narrow-minded lot' as was quoted in the film 'Villain' from Inspector Matthews. From an interest point of view, Ballard Berkeley as Moir's Newspaper boss puts in an early appearance before his 'famous' one as 'The Major' in Fawlty Towers. Anita West, 'The Duke's' resident singer and floosie disappeared as a character actress (sorry, actor) sometime in the seventies/eighties (Crossroads) but puts in a welcome appearance too. A pretty laughable ending is also had to add to the purile writing of the story. Again, bad skiffle and jazz music as well as short back-and-sides and Brylcreem add to the atmosphere but worth it only for a curious look of B-support movie featurettes..

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Worth only for the cast, forget everything else! **SPOILERS**, 6 April 2015
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This starts out as promising, with Paratroopers disappearing out of the sky, 'in comes Jim' (Patrick Allen) as the sort of armed forces special investigator to try to find out what's happening. If you didn't know Sean Connery's brother, Neil, was in it, just watch and you'll almost think it was Sean, as Allen's right-hand man/pal. Although his acting's pretty wooden, it's worth taking a look for this reason alone.

The plot as I have said, starts off interestingly enough, but Allen is given a pseudo Anthony Hopkins Naval Officer (When Eight Bells Toll) type of persona coupled with Bond in chasing every bit of skirt that happens to come his way. Liaising with the sceptical 'Ministers' and top brass that values him (a rather uninterested-looking George Sanders) this bumbles along.

The location scenery is fair and there are a rash of good supporting British actors that make it a little interesting from a British film history point of view. Patrick 'The JAW' Allen's role is much like he always can't get out of, the suave-cardigan lolloping type. He's a good enough actor, but the script here doesn't do anyone justice. The plot concerns of course, yes, you guessed it, aliens snatching our boys, an enigmatic female (Lorna) whom Allen can't wait to pounce on, which is central to the plot (not him pouncing, Lorna!).

This was very 60s from Tigon at the end of the horror/sci-fi genre in British film making and it didn't do it any favours.

The music score/incidental music is done to the death/lamped up almost at every moment, perhaps it helped you from dozing off in the cinema as the plot gets lost, slows and is a disappointment, as is using the 'flying saucer' from the Dr Who film 'Daleks Invasion Earth, 2150'. That part of it definitely let it down further. Again, worth watching for a good British cast a lot of us grew up with in British film making but that's about all, don't invite your friends around for pop and popcorn on this one.

"C'mon, skipper, let's have a punch-up!" Pretty ordinary **** SPOILERS ****, 5 April 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Another Harry Alan Towers production, which makes me wonder where he gets the money from to do these low-budget flicks as surely even Mickey Rooney wasn't cheap in those days, perhaps not as much as Lex Barker. Towers had hired Barker before (Code 7, Victim 5). Rooney is the perpetrator of his own misgivings in this one, as a conniving little con-artist/smuggler to put it mildly, pursued by international villains he owes. Interestingly, as others have said, set in 60s Beirut before the near-destruction of the city just 20 years later and a flavour of culture and sophistication, that indeed it was at the time. There's plenty of Euro-crumpet along the way, as we're talking about a flight crew whose plane has been grounded from flying on to London due to a dickie engine - hence the '24 hours 'to fix-kill'', leaving Rooney (as 'Norman Jones') tailed by the villains in question.

Barker does his best as the dashing flight captain, to inevitably protect Jones among his own little romance with Helga Sommerfeld and ultimately his crew from the fez-wearing Walter Slezak character and his foreign minions. There isn't much typically Lebanese apart from the location, just hoodlums with guns, fisticuffs, Barker's avuncular approach to Rooney's character before his patience wears thin on him, and, as I've said a nice bevvy of beauties along the way.

It's standard fare, watchable but only just and special attention as mentioned to Beirut of the 60s - it wouldn't make it into the Oscars by any stretch, I hope they got some money back on it, but would think with the international cast (including the excellent bird-chasing Michael Medwin, he of my title quote) that was the idea to flog it around the English-speaking and European world - perhaps even the Lebanese went to see it! Again, no-one can fault the location shooting, may be worth it for that alone.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Get up, you ******* abortion!!!!!!!! **SPOILERS**, 24 March 2015
9/10

Fine cast of stalwart actors and superstars in mostly the British film industry make their mark in this war-actioner regarding the mercenary- era stories of note in 1960s-70s post-independent African countries. This has a plot a little more than that with skullduggery at home from a wealthy Industrialist, Stewart Grainger who's tasked Richard Burton as Allan Faulkner a former Colonel, of course taking on the same mantra with all the rag-tag of experienced ex-soldiers he can muster to extricate (not kidnap really is it?) a made-up African leader Julius Limbane (Winston Nshona) from of course a made-up African state of Zimbala.

To cut a long story short, that's the job. But you have to watch how easily it falls into that kind of film/movie. Right from recruiting the right-hand men, their protests from the wife/or the men's happily leaving them notes/divorce right away and although they're getting paid, no pondering on them perhaps getting killed violently thousands of miles away. The major Actors, Richard Harris, (Rafer Janders), Roger Moore (Shawn Fynn), Hardy Kruger (Peter Cotzee) playing a hard- lined Apartheid era soldier and of course the wonderful Jack 'NCO' Watson as well as homosexual (purposefully) support from Witty, played by the excellent Kenneth Griffiths' medic make this an excellent blood and guts saga of this kind of genre. What is of course added, is the issues in the film. Africa, hot exotic but not welcome in a sweaty fighting-atmosphere and our band up against what appears to be Cuban- led African soldiers (very tight on info here of the time!).

The mission goes ahead, parachuting into Zimbala but alas, after the extrication of Limbane from the prison where he was held, the men find they're double-crossed by Grainger and left to rot, for his new deal's with someone else and what is in his best interests. The team are now tasked with fighting their way out for themselves as well an injured Limbane.

Burton and Co. have to plan a new way out, get this, they actually stumble on a DC-3 some miles away from an irate Irish missionary priest (Frank Finlay) who's known begrudgingly to Janders. However, this is their little lifeline in a while, but of course, they're all getting wiped out along the way in getting to it! There are some usual and okay-ish action scenes and plenty of bullets flying as expected. Janders and Coetzee are killed more or less at the last knockings as is medic Witty in a last stand with a number of the African soldiers as is the stalwart NCO Jack 'Sandy' Watson. The remainder, Burton and Moore make the plane and fly back out. Limbane though, dies, so that was worth it!

What made the film which can be a bit standard is of course the good cast. There has been much made about the film for other reasons which are reflected 'in' it, for example 'Africa rising' as Limbane and the racist Coetzee exchange the ideology behind whites in Apartheid South Africa and the Africa movement to remove them. The two bond over what must be done to secure both their futures in the new Africa or South Africa that will come - coincidentally, the issues really DID make South Africa what it is as Mandela's fairness and compassion mirrored that of the banter between Coetzee and Limbane.

What makes it is as I said is the fine cast and as is mentioned, perhaps an American actor would have propelled it in the states more, as Burton, though respected in America was in his last throes of his career. There are good feelgood moments too when Burton takes out Grainger back home in 'Merry old' and neat touches like Coetzee killing guards with his cyanide-tipped crossbow. Some of the dialogue can be exceptionally British and dreadful 'isn't he a love', 'you two beauties' (Moore talking about a couple of hoodlums, incidentally, one of which is David Ladd, Alan's son - only a cameo role too small of course for the American-impact market as I mentioned).

A good, watchable film, but wouldn't say it's out of the ordinary, just a great cast nonetheless as I say! (Watch out for lesser-known but interesting actors, Stanley Baker's son as 'Esposito' and Ian Yule, Playing 'Tosh' a former real-life mercenary with Colonel 'Mad Mike' Hoare, who was also an NCO in 'Zulu Dawn'. 'Take the high ground!').

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
XX Spoilers XX, 13 March 2015
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not entirely awful, but not entirely good either, Mainly, if you're a fan of the British film-noir crime genre of course. David McCallum, a brooding, vicious, little villain decides to kill for money. Enter his old chum Kenneth Cope, fresh out of prison as the mate wanting his cut from another job they did yet HE went inside for. McCallum talks his chum into that 'one last job'at the strip club he frequents, having sized-up the Boss's takings from the office safe even though Cope's five minutes out of prison. But can McCallum ride his luck and stop at killing? Nope - he carries on, basically. That's about it and of course, as no-one in those days in British cinema at least was allowed to be seen to be getting away with crime, (until after 1970 I believe?). That's about it as I say, he gets his in the end. Set among the world of a strip club in typical 50s/60s style of Brylcreem, cigarettes and bad jazz music complete with cymbals at the drum kit,(oh and London smog) the script is pretty ordinary and does drag in a few places. It has its 'kitchen-sink' atmosphere, arguing with his dad, but he is a villain so it's not surprising. However, it has just enough to hold you as another one for the wet Saturday/Sunday afternoon slot when you haven't anything to do. It IS, interestingly worth seeing alone perhaps for McCallum playing an out-of-character villain, with a cockney accent of sorts, something not seen a lot of in his career, the only other one offhand I can think of for him was 'Violent Playground'. Although Cope's played 'wrong-uns' he plays a good role as just that. Worth also of note, McCallum's then-wife Jill Ireland starring as the 'girl in the picture'. Pretty lame ending but the one you couldn't do much with, well, they couldn't here!


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