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Based on the true story of how, during World War II, a gang of desparadoes (British officers enlisted for "hostilities only" and local partisans) went to the occupied island of Crete and kidnapped a German General from under the nose of his army. That was the easy bit !!! They then had to get him back to Cairo, dodging an intense air and land search.Written by
Steve Crook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The lines of poetry that Major Patrick Leigh Fermor (Sir Dirk Bogarde) recites prior to the kidnapping are from "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" (Canto III, Stanza 22) by Lord Byron. See more »
(Possibly deliberate mistake by the filmmakers) Among the possessions returned to General Kreipe at the end of the film is his Ritterkreutz, lost very early during the kidnapping. In reality, as far as we know, the decoration has remained lost for ever. See more »
Think of `The Guns of Navarone', but with these differences:
(1) The band of adventurers genuinely like each other.
(2) Their mission is not to blow anything up. Rather, they plan to kidnap a German general and take him to Cairo. It's a publicity stunt. But it soon ceases to be a MERE publicity stunt: demonstrating German vulnerability may be as important as creating it.
(3) We get a good look at Crete - and NOT just because of spectacular scenic photography. We really feel at home on Cretan soil. Michael Powell, who had a talent for finding out-of-the-way composers (he also introduced Ralph Vaughan Williams and Brian Easdale to the cinema) has this time found Mikis Theodorakis, whose score is strongly flavoured but friendly to the ear.
With all this, `Ill Met by Moonlight' is an unusual venture by Powell and Pressburger, in that it isn't unusual: it's another World War II mission story, and there have been dozens. It IS more civilised than most. It tells its simple story neatly and cleanly; it's sweet, unpretentious, and disappointing only in that, since it was Powell and Pressburger's last official collaboration, it would have been nice to go out with a bigger bang.
The title is a line from `A Midsummer Night's Dream'. Its relevance is not obvious, at any rate not to me. Am I missing something?
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