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Operation: Daybreak (1975)

In 1942, Britain sends a group of British-trained Czech commandos to Prague to assassinate SS-General Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Nazi security services.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Jozef Gabcík
...
Reinhard Heydrich
...
Karl Frank
...
Father Petrek
Diana Coupland ...
Aunt Marie
Ronald Radd ...
Carl, Aunt Marie's Husband
Kim Fortune ...
Atá
Pavla Matéjuvská ...
Jindriska (as Pavla Matejovská)
Ray Smith ...
Hájek
...
Heinz Panwitz, Chief Investigator
...
Fleischer, Gestapo (as Rene Kolldehoff)
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Storyline

In 1942 Czechoslovakia, SS-General Reinhard Heydrich is appointed to become the Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. The terror and oppression that follow cause Allied authorities in London to authorize a secret mission to kill the man who has come to be known as "The Butcher of Prague". The film shows the operation leading up to Heydrich's death as well as the massive German reprisals that followed it. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A hit-and-run operation with no place to run.

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

|

Release Date:

27 February 1976 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Seven Men at Daybreak  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reinhard Heydrich was nicknamed "Heydrich the Hangman" by the people in Nazi occupied Europe. See more »

Goofs

Both Heydrich and Hitler wear pre-war Nazi Party and SS uniforms throughout most of the film - Heydrich in a black SS uniform with swastika armband and Hitler in a brown Nazi Party jacket. By 1942, when Heydrich was killed, all SS personnel wore field grey uniforms and Hitler had by this time adopted a grey soldier's coat which had replaced his older style brown jacket. See more »

Quotes

[The last time they meet]
Anna: I never did get that red dress.
Jan Kubis: And I never saw that football match.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits show what happened to the real people portrayed in the film. See more »

Connections

Version of The Man with the Iron Heart (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One not to be missed
21 September 2007 | by See all my reviews

Yes the music does date the film (were ARP synthesisers ever a good thing) but does that matter? No!!

Some poetic licence is taken with the facts (how Jan Kubis really died or the romance with Anna) but the portrayal of the occupiers, particularly Reichsprotektor Heydrich in no way understated how heinous these people were.

The depiction of siege at St Cyril's conveys a whole range of emotions as tension builds. The motivation of the resistance was unquestionably heroic at this part of the episode.

This is so much more than an action story. However the issues tend to be portrayed in a very polar black / white manner. Even Karel Chudra's motivation is shown in very clear terms (he is treated far less sympathetically in Czech history). It is unfortunate that the film did not have time to develop the political tension between London and the local resistance. How aware was London of the probability of reprisals following the assassination? Was it their intention that reprisals would do more to stir local opposition to the occupation than the assassination itself? Why did Karel Moravec later take his own life?

Overall, however, this is a film to see and for the most part it is very realistic. Visit Prague and leave the tourist traps to see St Cyril's - it looks just like the movie and is almost guaranteed to make you cry for all the victims of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia.


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