ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING
(director/writer: Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger; cinematographer: Ronald Neame; editor: David Lean; music: ; cast: Godfrey Tearle (Sir George Corbett, Rear Gunner in B for Bertie), Eric Portman (Tom Earnshaw, Copilot in B for Bertie), Hugh Williams (Frank Shelley, Observer/Navigator in B for Bertie), Bernard Miles (Geof Hickman, Front Gunner in B for Bertie), Hugh Burden (John Glyn Haggard, Pilot in B for Bertie), Emrys Jones (Bob Ashley, Radio Operator in B for Bertie), Pamela Brown (Else Meertens), Hay Petrie (Burgomeister), Googie Withers .(Jo de Vries), Joyce Redman (Jet van Dieren), Peter Ustinov (Priest); Runtime: 106; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger; United Artists; 1942-UK)
“Impressive wartime propaganda film from the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Impressive wartime propaganda film from the team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (“Pursuit of the Graf Spee”). Though not in the team’s top wrung (much too talky), it nevertheless satisfies because of the great natural performances and the narrative’s ability to elicit tension throughout. The script by the dynamic duo was nominated for an Oscar, but lost out to Casablanca.
The plot is set in 1941 and has a Brit bomber crew returning from a successful raid on Stuttgart being forced to bail out after shot down over occupied Holland. They try to make their way back to England. The six crewmembers are: Sir George Corbett (Godfrey Tearle), Tom Earnshaw (Eric Portman), Frank Shelley (Hugh Williams), Geof Hickman (Bernard Miles), Hugh Burden, and Bob Ashley (Emrys Jones). They are helped by schoolteacher Else Meertens (Pamela Brown), who questions them and when satisfied with their story hooks them up with the resistance network– where they are given disguises, supplies and directions. The burgomeister (Hay Petrie) stands out as one of the locals who gallantly helps the Brits.
Powell has a cameo in an early scene as an air controller. There’s also no musical score, adding to the film’s attempt at realism.
REVIEWED ON 8/23/2006 GRADE: B+