633 Squadron has enjoyed an unqualified string of successes. Their luck changes when they are assigned to bomb a German rocket fuel plant, in Norway which is guarded by heavy anti-aircraft defences, and the plant is considered bomb-proof. Their nearly impossible mission is further complicated by a German air raid, the difficult approach to the target and the capture and torture of the underground leader who is assisting the squadron. Written by
Derek R. Watts
The Norwegian underground receives a message in Morse code telling them that "M Day" has been moved up to 0630 hours. It is actually sent in good Morse code, but the entire text of the message reads only "MX" and there is no sign-off. See more »
Attack on base by fighters: German WWII fighters had very limited range. A squadron practicing bombing in Scotland would not be based in SE England within range of German fighters. See more »
I'm afraid we will have to persuade you. Take off his clothes.
[begins to rip Bergman's shirt]
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I have a feeling this isn't the only time that Cliff Robertson played the trans-Atlantic star beefing up a late British war movie for the US market. However, Cliff is NOT playing a British squadron leader! There were a large number of Canadian and Australian flyers in British squadrons during WWII. We also have the fleeting appearance in the movie of an Indian pilot. I suspect Cliff is representing a Canadian - though there were also a few US volunteers flying in the RAF in WWII (as late as 1944 and in a bomber I'm not so sure about - but its not totally impossible!) The real casting problem is George Chakiris. Very Greek/Italian and not at all Norwegian in appearance or accent! Also he lacks the screen presence or acting ability of Robertson. Considering his sister's looks I can only assume that there was a Greek milkman in that Norwegian town in the 1930s! Maria Perschy looks suitably Norwegian (and stunning) and doesn't try too hard for an accent otherwise than educated English - which considering she was Austrian may well have been a very good thing! Oh but the film has real flying scenes of Mosquitos and a flying score to match the Dambusters March so its a film worth watching. The lack of CGI is a huge bonus (though it does present us with some very dodgy models in action and the memory they destroyed a few real Mosquitos making the film). It also has one of the most stirring old-fashioned closing lines in film history delivered as only Harry Andrews could.
So I'd recommend watching it with critical facilities on 'mute' - enjoy what's there to be enjoyed and ignore the rest of it!!!
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