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Operation Crossbow (2006)

Trevor Howard , Sophia Loren , Michael Anderson  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Trevor Howard, Sophia Loren, George Peppard
  • Directors: Michael Anderson
  • Format: Color, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: December 19, 2006
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JP3T
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,524 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Operation Crossbow" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Vintage featurette: "A Look Back at Crossbow"
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Operation Crossbow was one among many '60s films aiming, in the wake of The Guns of Navarone, to cash in on nostalgia for "the Good War" of 20 years earlier, plus snag a share of the spy-movie market stoked by James Bond. A decent-enough stiff-upper-lip thriller in its day, it's yet more enjoyable now. The nostalgia has deepened to include affectionate enjoyment of a fine, big cast now mostly departed, dependably hitting their marks in a jolly good yarn.

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

Product Description

A fearsome rumor reaches Britain's World War II command. The Nazis are developing rocket technology that could rain death on London and, then, New York. Quickly, England develops a plan to send saboteurs into the sites manufacturing the rockets. Just moments after the carefully chosen commandos parachute into the drop zone, their pilot receives an urgent message. The mission may be compromised. Abort. Operation Crossbow is the partly fact-based tale of how that team succeeded against daunting odds. Michael Anderson (The Dam Busters, Logan's Run) directs, guiding a huge cast in a film that builds to a spectacular finale, yet never neglects war's unsparing personal costs. As a record of a wartime espionage incursion and as an intrigue-filled thriller, Operation Crossbow is on both counts Operation Accomplished.

DVD Features:
Featurette:Vintage Featurette A Look Back at Crossbow
Theatrical Trailer


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a nifty WWII spy thriller June 30, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
With a terrific international cast and excellent effects, this fast-paced thriller about spies infiltrating a German rocket installation is entertaining, and though much of the antics are improbable, especially in the final sequence, it does have a historical context to it. There was an Operation Crossbow, when Winston Churchill (well played by Patrick Wyman) was concerned about what misslies and rockets the Nazis were making.
The V-1 "Buzz Bomb" was a nightmare for those living in London in the summer of '44, and perhaps the most gripping part of the film is its depiction of London being hit with these dreaded missiles, with some amazing cinematography by Erwin Hillier.
George Peppard is a smooth spy, and does many scenes speaking German, though he looks 100% American, perhaps because of the hat he wears pushed back on his head, which would have been a givaway had he really been in enemy territory.
Richard Johnson is wonderful as Duncan Sandys, who believes action is imperative and that "in war, decisions almost always have to be made on incomplete knowledge; if you wait until you're certain, you're sure to be too late", and goes against Trevor Howard as Professor Linderman, who is not convinced that the situation is serious, or even exists.
(Duncan Sandys was Churchill's son-in-law, and not a very popular fellow with the RAF, because he thought the future of air warfare was in missiles and rockets, and not in manned flight).
Other top-notch actors are Sophia Loren looking beautiful, Tom Courtenay, John Mills, Jeremy Kemp, Anthony Quayle, Richard Todd, and Lilli Palmer marvelous as a resistance worker in Holland.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Operation Crossbow February 2, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This engrossing war drama places stars George Peppard and John Mills as trained sabatuers in an underground factory where V-1 and V-2 "Buzz-bomb" rockets were being manufactured in Germany during world war II. This gripping drama is as suspensefull as it is realistic. Their mission is to destroy Hitler's ability to manfacture those terrible incendiary rockets which were terrorizing London during the latter stages of the war. Sophia Loren, thinking her husband already dead, discovers George Peppard impersonating him, and the action accelerates from there. This movie has it all, romance, great suspense and special effects as well as a thrilling climax. Several scenes are in German with English subtitles, and as a high school German teacher, I found this a pleasant addition to the film. This movie has aged well since its release in 1965. Give it a try.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best film about Nazi sabotage of its era I've ever seen January 23, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I loved this film when it first came out in 1965 (keep in mind the war was over for fewer than 20 years at that point, so the public's collective memory of the V-1 and V-2 weapons was much crisper then). The movie is superbly cast, despite producer Carlo Ponti's insistence that wife Sophia Loren get top billing. Paul Henreid (Casablanca) has a minor, but important role as the general in charge of testing the flying bombs. Lili Palmer plays her usual anti-Nazi resistance role with great believability. George Peppard, young at this point, plays the role as the central allied saboteur -- ably assisted by Jeremy Kemp and Tom Courtenay. The Loren character (a mother of two looking for her Nazi-loving husband) is superimposed over the mission to penetrate the underground Nazi missile factory and destroy it. The photography is spectacular, with thoughtfully conceived dissolves and segues that look just as good today as they did in 1965. For anyone who remembers London during the blitz, this is a must-see. No doubt, it will produce chills. Buy this movie, before some dope in Hollywood decides to cut it out. They should only transfer it to DVD. It's a real treasure. Take the phone off the hook when you watch, so you're not distracted.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In the same vein as "The Guns of Navarone" and "Where Eagles Dare" comes the 1965 WWII espionage movie "Operation Crossbow," which ranks among my personal favorites and will hopefully arrive soon on my favorite format - DVD.
With a stellar international cast this movie curiously gave Sophia Loren top-billing even though her role is little more than an extended cameo. It appears that the producer wanted to give the movie a greater appeal at the American box-office and so he asked his wife (Loren) to play the role of wife to the character which Peppard's character (an Allied agent) is impersonating. As such her appearance is unnecessary and feels tacked on (as it probably was).
But never matter, this is a solid war movie and the cast all handle their roles well. As far as stars go it's a virtual embarrassment of riches with the likes of Sir John Mills, Trevor Howard and Anthony Quayle (this time as a German agent) all performing admirably.
Taking as it's basis the development by Nazi Germany of the rocket technology that terrorized London in the closing days of the war this movie follows the initial British investigation into the possibility of a rocket threat (with Howard as the sceptic and Mills as the lead proponent), through the recruitment of German and Dutch speaking agents and on to the infiltration of the Germans underground bases.
It's all handled very well and is in fact a very handsome production with some excellent sets and locations. The suspense is also ratcheted up nicely in the closing minutes as the bombers close in on the base, looking and looking for the agents on the ground to "light" the target.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars For WW-II fans
A bit hard to believe in parts but overall a good yarn. Don't know how Sophia got top billing as she is only a bit player in the story.
Published 4 hours ago by JHDScot
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good
Published 18 hours ago by Mr.u
4.0 out of 5 stars Great WW II Movie
This is an absorbing story about the development of rocketry by the Nazis & the infiltration of their factories by service men who had backgrounds in engineering and could speak... Read more
Published 15 days ago by patricia king
4.0 out of 5 stars A good WW2 movie
There are many World War 2 movies and I think that "Operation Crossbow" is one of the good ones. Read more
Published 1 month ago by D. Dalton
3.0 out of 5 stars The plot however is childish at best and boring at worse
Filmed on location with historical film included, this film featured big name stars such as Loren, Pappard and Howard to mention a few. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jake
4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably Realistic World War II Espionage Saga.
I saw OPERATION CROSSBOW in the mid 1960s when it first came out and was surprised by how low key and how remarkably effective it was compared to the average Hollywood World War II... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Chip Kaufmann
5.0 out of 5 stars Operation Crossbow
While viewing this DVD, it is almost the same as reading a historical novel, that is both factual in part and improvised drama. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gary W. Phelps
4.0 out of 5 stars Great wartime spy thriller
This was a very enjoyable movie. It is a simple story of good vs evil. It is probably politically incorrect by modern standards. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tom Barnett
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable movie, quite well-done for its time, with a great cast. And...
Nothing new in my review that would be of any special interest except, possibly, for one thing: there is a LOT of spoken German in this movie. A LOT! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Thucydides 1
4.0 out of 5 stars old school: the best
For those who are still alive who actually went to Saturday movies at the local movie house (not a mall, not a cineplex) this is IT! Read more
Published 4 months ago by plunger
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