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Night Ambush (1957)

Ill Met by Moonlight (original title)
Unrated | | Action, Adventure, Drama | July 1958 (USA)
Led by British officers, partisans on Crete plan to kidnap the island's German commander and smuggle him to Cairo to embarrass the occupiers.

Writers:

W. Stanley Moss (adapted from the book: "Ill Met By Moonlight" The Wartime Diary in Crete of), Michael Powell | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Major Patrick Leigh Fermor D.S.O. O.B.E. also known to the Cretans and the German Secret Police as PHILEDEM
Marius Goring ... Major General Kreipe
David Oxley ... Captain W. Stanley Moss, M.C.
Dimitri Andreas Dimitri Andreas ... Niko (as Demetri Andreas)
Cyril Cusack ... Sandy
Laurence Payne ... Manoli
Wolfe Morris Wolfe Morris ... George
Michael Gough ... Andoni Zoidakis
John Cairney ... Elias
Brian Worth Brian Worth ... Stratis Saviolkis
Roland Bartrop Roland Bartrop ... Micky Akoumianakis (as Rowland Bartrop)
George Eugeniou George Eugeniou ... Charis Zographakis
Paul Stassino ... Yani Katsias
Adeeb Assaly Adeeb Assaly ... Zahari
Theo Moreas Theo Moreas ... Village Priest
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Storyline

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 <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Un exploit sans précédent dans l'histoire de l'espionnage See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Greek | German

Release Date:

July 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Ambush See more »

Filming Locations:

Alpes Maritimes, Alps, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

(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 »

Quotes

Major General Kreipe: You're not going to leave me in the hands of these... Cretans?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The South Bank Show: Michael Powell (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Straight WWII adventure - in some respects
24 January 2000 | by SpleenSee all my reviews

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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