Life on a British bomber base, and the surrounding towns, from the opening days of the Battle of Britain, to the arrival of the Americans, who join in the bomber offensive. The film centres... See full summary »
The code letters "DF A" seen on an aircraft in this film (e.g., 54:58) are the identification codes for the famous Memphis Belle, the subject of a widely acclaimed William Wyler film. Memphis Belle flew with the 91st Bomb Group. The makers of this film did a good job of copying the style of the letters, which was a nonstandard style. See more »
Near the beginning of the movie when they are attacked by Me 109's, there is a view of a wing with three machine guns firing from the wing. No 109 had three internally mounted MG's in each wing. See more »
Christopher George is not up to Steve McQueen but nevertheless an acceptable second.
This is very much like "The War Lover" with Steve McQueen 10 years earlier in black-and-white, it is basically the same story, but that film was humanly so much more interesting. This is in colour, and although Christopher George is very much like Steve McQueen, almost like a twin character, he is grimmer, harder and more superficial - the McQueen character has an abyss of depth in its psychopathic possibilities, while Christopher George is only doing his job. Both died too young, by the way, Steve McQueen at 50 and Christopher George at 54.
What saves the film are the other characters, first of all Gary Marshal, who adds a very needful sense of humour and detachment to the grim show, while colonel Brandon (George) has no humour at all and never smiles. The case of the grounded pilot Palmer (J.D.Cannon) also adds some interest to the epic, while on the whole, like as if it was made for television, this is clearly less realistic than the McQueen feature, which offers so much more human insight into the lives of the bomber pilots in this dreadful war. Here it more amounts to aerobatics and showing off. McQueen makes that showing off pathological, while here it is superficial.
Nevertheless, it's an interesting film, better than its reputation, awfully exciting and with splendid scenery of war pilot flights in the air and in action. The only disturbing thing was Laraine Stephens' hair style, a cold blonde with too much make-up for that war and a coiffure belonging entirely to the 60s.
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