The movie was banned in Spain, which was still ruled by Generalisimo Francisco Franco, the fascist victor of the Spanish Civil War. See more »
Towards the end of the film, when Gregory Peck is digging up the guns, he unwraps a Sten gun. The Spanish Civil War took place from 1936 to 1939 and the sten gun wasn't in service until 1941. This means that it couldn't have been buried when they fled Spain. See more »
I had been looking forward to this one for some time, due to its rather imposing credentials; it's certainly well-made and acted but also heavy-going, slow and excessively talky.
Gregory Peck is even stiffer and glummer than usual as a washed-out guerrilla fighter; Anthony Quinn is generally more subdued than is customary for him, being effectively cast against type as Peck's nemesis (though his character is completely absent from the film's mid-section); after a belated entrance, Omar Sharif manages to steal the acting honors from under the nose of his more experienced companions by giving a moving portrayal of a conflicted priest. The excellent cast is rounded out by Paolo Stoppa, Christian Marquand, Daniela Rocca, Mildred Dunnock, Rosalie Crutchley and Michel Lonsdale.
Ultimately, the film lacks the touch of greatness but the unusual subject matter (adapted from an Emeric Pressburger novel) and the surprising but affecting child's eye view it takes of events keep one watching. Furthermore, the climactic assault on the hospital is both suspenseful and exciting and the ever-reliable Maurice Jarre contributes a subtly effective score.
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