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On the H.M.S. Defiant, during the French Revolutionary Wars, fair Captain Crawford is locked in a battle of wills against his cruel second-in-command Lt. Scott-Paget whose heavy-handed command style pushes the crew to mutiny.
In 1942 Britain was clinging to the island of Malta since it was critical to keeping Allied supply lines open. The Axis also wanted it for their own supply lines. Plenty of realistic reenactments and archival combat footage as the British are beseiged and try to fight off the Luftwaffe. Against this background, a RAF reconnaissance photographer's romance with a local girl is endangered as he tries to plot enemy movements.Written by
Derek Picken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
About half an hour into the film, there is a scene just before the Spitfires arrive at Malta, depicting an officer briefing the ground crews who states that each aircraft will have an identification number painted on it. When the aircraft arrive shortly afterwards, none of them have numbers on them. See more »
Very much a weekend afternoon film now, almost 50 years after it was made, this film gives an accurate portrayal of the wartime events which led to Malta's being awarded the George Cross. The footage of the air and sea battles is fascinating, but the acting is sadly wooden.
Jack Hawkins turns in his usual competent performance, but Alec Guiness is very bland. Flora Robson is an unlikely Maltese mother, symbolising the suffering of the island people. The other credited actresses, Muriel Pavlow and Renee Asherson, appear almost catatonic, and the two love affairs are utterly unconvincing.
A lot of the entertainment lies in spotting well-known faces in their younger days! No surprise to see Victor Maddern and Sam Kydd (whinging, but getting the job done!), Gordon Jackson (uncredited), a very young Rosalie Crutchley and an (almost) unrecognisable Nigel Stock!
Watch this to learn about Malta's wartime history, but choose another film if you want to see these famous names acting with some passion!
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