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
Early in the film, in Norway, the partisan escapes in a Miles Messenger, a liaison and observation aircraft which first flew in 1942. See more »
When the Norwegians are fighting from the cover of the crashed Opel truck the Germans are driving an Alvis Saracen personnel carrier. This is both a British vehicle and a post war design that wasn't produced until 1952. See more »
In the spring of 1944 an RAF Mosquito Squadron are ordered to attack a German rocket fuel plant in Norway. The mission involves flying up a heavily defended fjord and bombing a cliff overhang in an attempt to bury the factory, which is built into the rock.
I bought this on DVD in a '3 for £20' offer, as I had fond memories of it from childhood, and it had been around 20 years since I last remember seeing it. I have to say that it's not nearly as good as I remembered it to be. The plot is full of cliches and there's the inevitable love interest for the lead. That said, there are points to recommend it. Cliff Robertson gives another reliable performance as the Wing Commander in charge of the squadron, and there are equally dependable turns from Harry Andrews and Donald Houston. The numerous flying sequences with the Mosquito Bombers are expertly filmed, and it's a real bonus to finally see the film in its correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The special effects aren't bad for 1964, and Ron Goodwin's famous score underpins the whole venture.
The main problem that I have with the film is that it borrows heavily from 'The Dam Busters' in terms of plot, without ever scaling the heights (no pun intended) of that classic. It may have lush Panavision photography, better effects etc., but lacks the nail biting tension and expertly constructed drama of its predecessor. However, it's perfectly acceptable entertainment, if somewhat abrupt at the end.
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