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- Operation Crossbow
- Runtime:115 min
- Release Date:2014-03-21 16:20:43
- Director: Michael Anderson
- Genres: Action, Drama, War
MOVIE REVIEW:Operation Crossbow
In the annals of Allied history is one of the most secret and certainly
most desperate covert attempts to destroy the Nazi's ultimate weapons.
These weapons were called the Vengeance Rockets which nearly destroyed
England and it willingness to survive. This story written by Duilio
Coleitto and directed by Michael Anderson is comparatively close to the
actual facts. The conclusion in England was that the V-1 and V-2 were
wreaking havoc on London and the prime Minister (Patrick Wymark) called
on his war ministry to design a plan to destroy them. Innically, the
secret operation was called 'Operation Bodyline' but changed for the
movie under " Operation Crossbow." The idea was to select allied
officers, trained and educated as engineers, fly them to Germany, have
them infiltrate the German War Machine and sabotage the entire V-rocket
plant. What they did not harp on was that is was also considered a
suicide mission. George Peppard, Tom Courtenay and Jeremy Kemp play the
incredibly courageous allied agents who must carry out the task.
Anthony Quayle is superb as the traitorous English/German counter agent
who's job it is to stop them. Richard Todd, Paul Henreid, Trevor
Howard, John Mills, Richard Johnson and Sophia Loren round out the
cast. The movie is incredible with actual WWII footage and surprisingly
great dramatic acting. The introduction of Sophia Loren within the
actual story is puzzling, but interesting. A very good WWII action
movie considered a Classic by many movie fans. ****
A good line-up of actors from the '60s makes OPERATION CROSSBOW worth
your time and attention–although it has plenty of moments when certain
scenes seem to drag. But GEORGE PEPPARD, SOPHIA LOREN, JEREMY KEMP, TOM
COURTENAY, JOHN MILLS, RICHARD TODD, PAUL HENREID and HELMUT DANTINE
all lend their presence to a tightly knit espionage yarn, handsomely
photographed in vivid color.
I'll have to watch this one on a repeat showing because of a conflict
of schedule which didn't permit me to see the final scene, but I can
tell you that it's done in the style of all those "mission" films from
the '60s where it's necessary to assign spies to pose as Germans in
order to infiltrate what's going on in a munitions factory where the
latest weapons are being developed.
Worthwhile if you enjoy WWII adventures done up in typical Hollywood
style with a good cast. LILI PALMER makes the most of a small role, as
do most of the performers in the cast under Michael Anderson's
Despite the nice production values this war movie doesn't rise above a
pedestrian telling of some heroic mission 'round the end of WWII.
Ah, and it happens to be about V1 and V2 German secret weapons.
Ah, and there are mighty good actors scattered in it.
The rest is a soulless movie with a big lousy procrastinating device:
the extended cameo by Sophia Loren. She gets top billing, she gets a
couple of bland lines in uninteresting scenes opposite George Peppard,
and then that's all.
Then the movie goes on, at the pace of a diesel engine, seemingly
content with its historical background.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This tense World War II thriller about the threat that the Nazi V-1 and
V-2 rockets posed to the Allies after D-Day in 1944 does not surpass
"The Dam Busters." Director Michael Anderson helmed both films, and
producer Carlo Ponti blew major bucks on this large-scale saga about
sabotage behind enemy lines in an underground German laboratory.
Nevertheless,this atmospheric, star-laden movie lacks the momentum and
the charisma of "The Dam Busters." Aside from George Peppard and Sophia
Loren, who appears in an cameo, a line-up of classic British actors,
including John Mills, Richard Johnson, Tom Courtenay, Trevor Howard,
Anthony Qayle, Richard Todd, Allan Cuthbertson and Patrick Wymark,
dominate the cast. It is great to have so many of them on-screen at the
same time. Predictably, however, these civilized chaps chat quite often
for lengthy periods about information that we have to know about but
are not shown. The serious espionage military action follows a surefire
formula and the characters remain unruffled throughout the action
whenever they have an opportunity to react.
Anderson and scenarists Emeric Pressburger of "One of Our Aircraft is
Missing," Derrt Quinn, and Ray Rigby of "The Hill" struggle to enliven
the tight-lipped melodrama with elements of surprise and terror in a
narrative that takes its toll on all the Allied characters trapped
behind enemy lines in what boils down to a suicidal mission. The action
opens with German scientists trying to figure out why their flying
bombs crash. Eventually, photos of mysterious launching ramps intrigue
the British into bombing the site as well as sending in skilled
saboteurs who are specialists in rocket propelled technology. Peppard,
Courtenay, and Jeremy Kemp volunteer to bail out over enemy country and
carry out sabotage. No sooner have the British parachuted in than the
V-1 rockets start raining down terror on London. Our heroes have to
figure out some what to expose a factory some 80 feet underground.
Sophia Loren's last scene comes as quite a shock and adds fiber to this
thriller. The sensation that anybody can die enhances the tension in
the atmosphere. Sadly, "Operation Crossbow" misses the mark and amounts
to little more than a respectable wartime white-knuckler. Altogether,
"Operation Crossbow" amounts to a flawed,heavy-handed, but traditional
World War II thriller with the Germans as the in-name-only villains and
the Allies as the heroes. Composer Rod Goodwin of "Where Eagles Dare"
and "633 Squadron" provided the exceptional orchestral music.
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