Monday, July 22, 2013

633 Squadron (1964)

Director: Walter Grauman

Starring: Cliff Robertson, George Chakiris, Maria Perschy, Harry Andrews, Donald Houston, Michael Goodliffe, John Meillon, John Bonney, Angus Lennie, Scott Finch

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The greatest adventure since men fought on earth...or flew over it!

Plot: An RAF squadron is assigned to knock out a German rocket fuel factory in Norway,, which is part of the Nazi effort to launch rockets on England during D-day, by flying up a well-defended fjord at low level.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

After getting through half of D-DAY THE SIXTH OF JUNE (1956) before realizing the dull love story wasn't going to disappear in favor of some WWII action, we popped it out (for me to finish later) in favor of this picture.  See, my friend and I were jonsing for a good WWII actioner and something had to give so I popped in 633 and it was great.  Well, it was a lot of fun.  One of the best things it had going for it was the Cliff Robertson.  This guy oozes with charisma.  He's so damn likable in everything I've seen him in.

It's just a fun picture no matter how you slice it and it's got a rousing score by Ron Goodwin.  They really do a great job with the tension in the final assault that it kept me guessing the whole way through if they were going to pull it off and, if they did, who would survive because the odds were stacked against them.  The Germans were nicely handled as smart soldiers, not the knuckleheads you often get in these pictures. That was refreshing. It wasn't until I was searching the net today for movie posters and a trailer that I came across folks saying that George Lucas used this movie as one of his main inspirations and one that he copied for the Death Star assault at the end of STAR WARS (1977).  Check this out.

Now, there's a video and audio edit job done on it but he's not lifting bits and pieces from all over the movie.  This is all from the last twenty minutes and in order.  It's just tightened up to help sync with the audio.  Being the huge STAR WARS fans my friend and I are I'm surprised we didn't pick up on this in some small way when we watched it last night.  It's a valid comparison.

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