(director: Boris Sagal; screenwriters: Donald Sanford/Joyce Perry; cinematographer: Paul Beeson; editor: John Smith; music: Frank Cordell; cast: David McCallum (Quint Munroe), Suzanne Neve (Beth Scott), Charles Gray (Air Commodore Hufford), David Buck (Sqn. Ldr. David ‘Scotty’ Scott), Robert Urquhart (Major Kemble), David Dundas (Flt. Lieut. Douglas Shelton), Dinsdale Landen (Wing Commander Clyde Penrose), Nicky Henson (Flt. Sgt. Wiley Bunce), Vladek Sheybal (Lieutenant Schack); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Lewis Rachmil; MGM Home Entertainment; 1969-UK)
“A conventional stiff upper-lip Brit World War II flyboy low-budget drama.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A conventional stiff upper-lip Brit World War II flyboy low-budget drama, directed without inspiration by Boris Sagal(“The Omega Man”/”Made in Paris”/”The Helicopter Spies”). The minor war film about RAF heroics was too contrived, with a familiar love story triangle. It’s based on a trite story by Donald Sanford and Joyce Perry.
In 1944, on a bombing mission in France, RAF Squadron Leader David Scott (David Buck) is shot down and presumed dead, as his plane explodes. His best friend since childhood, Canadian-born pilot Quint Munroe (David McCallum), takes over as squadron leader. Air Commodore Hufford (Charles Gray) requests that Quint tell Scott’s widow Beth (Suzanne Neve) the news in person. It leads to a romance.
Quint’s Mosquito Squadron (consisting of twin-engine planes made largely of wood) is assigned to bomb a secret German plant used to develop a V-3 or V-4 super-rocket,located in a French chateau, in Charlon. On the mission, the squadron will deploy a new “bouncing bomb” called the “highball.” The men are anxious to attack the site, even if it’s risky. They learn through captured film that RAF crews are prisoners on the site and one of them is Scott. Tensions rise if the mission is worth it, if it means killing their own.
Filled with war drama cliches, wooden acting (except for Charles Gray) and unsatisfactory production values for a movie, it fails to excite. It only satisfies by using real footage of Mosquito Squadron planes and the air fight scenes are decent.
REVIEWED ON 12/16/2014 GRADE: C+