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The tale begins around the midpoint of the war, with Hitler aspiring to hurl a second Blitz against London using "flying bombs" and rockets. The British War Office starts recruiting officers fluent in the necessary technical fields, as well as German, Dutch, and/or French--the languages of the Nazi-occupied countries from which the Germans are recruiting technical personnel. The screenplay follows two tracks: the Germans' progress with their new aerial weaponry, and the progress of the Allied infiltrators--chiefly Yank George Peppard, chirpy Englishman Jeremy Kemp, and Dutchman Tom Courtenay--sent to penetrate the V2 project.
Despite the resemblance between the Navarone caves and the underground V2 launch center, Crossbow is something of an anti-Navarone. Its heroes are resolutely small-scale, and the mission is fraught with more opportunities for horrible miscues and moral-ethical murkiness than commando derring-do. The most memorable, indeed disturbing, part of the film involves Sophia Loren as the apolitical wife of a collaborator she doesn't know has been killed (and his identity assumed by Peppard). John Mills and Trevor Howard are deliciously deadpan trading war-council flapdoodle at the highest echelon, and Anthony Quayle (the spiritual leader of the Navarone mission) does yeoman service in a tricky role. Time--or rather, the transfer to video--has also been kind to the film's thin, overlit Metrocolor and last-reel special effects, which looked feebler on theater screens. The writers include Michael Powell's longtime partner Emeric Pressburger (under the pseudonym Richard Imrie). --Richard T. Jameson
Let me tell you about this movie without giving away spoilers.
The bombing of the rocket testing location on the Baltic coast did take place, but the attack on the underground Nazi rocket factory did not.
This movie has it all, romance, great suspense and special effects as well as a thrilling climax.
PLOT: destroy Nazi Germany's ability to build rockets.
PEENEMUNDE~ an ultra 'secret' facility built on the German coast and hides a secret. Read more
Terrific WW2 adventure movie. Right up there with The Heroes Of Telemark. I waited a very long time for this one to be available on DVD. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Gary Gilfoy
Good military story. Interesting viewing. Question historical background. Would be interested in knowing if there was an actual bombing mission as described.Published 2 months ago by Jim Blanscett
A well balanced war and spy movie. Despite the presence of Sophia Loren in the arms of George Peppard on the dvd frame, it is NOT a love story. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Guy Nerinckx
Another excellent WW2 thriller. Apparently based on a true story.Published 3 months ago by Dean K. Gibson