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633 Squadron


A WWII Royal Air Force squadrom prepare for an important and dangerous demolish a Nazi-run munitions factory deep in the fjords of Norway--an installation which is a source of fuel for German rocket-launching. Based on the novel by Frederick E. Smith.

Cliff Robertson, George Chakiris
1 hour, 34 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama
Director Walter Grauman
Starring Cliff Robertson, George Chakiris
Supporting actors Maria Perschy, Harry Andrews, Donald Houston, Michael Goodliffe, John Meillon, John Bonney, Angus Lennie, Scot Finch, John Church, Barbara Archer, Sean Kelly, Julian Sherrier, Geoffrey Frederick, Suzan Farmer, Johnny Briggs, Leo Bieber, Edward Brayshaw, Maxwell Craig
Studio MGM
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Blackdeer on January 7, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
World War II adventure film about a Royal Air Force fighter-bomber squadron assigned to destroy a Nazi rocket fuel facility in Norway. Cliff Robertson headlines the movie as a former Eagle Squadron pilot in command of 633 Squadron with a colorful assembly of international pilots. They embark on the hazardous assignment with the target located inside a Norwegian fjord, guarded by an immense array of anti-aircraft artillery. Worth noting is the story was probably inspired by the real-life exploits of RAF Mosquito squadrons that conducted such dangerous missions, hunting down Nazi ship convoys along Norway's rugged coastline.

The real attraction of this film is abundant footage of authentic World War II-era De Havilland Mosquito bombers used for the movie production. The scenes of these rare aircraft in flight are a delight, especially since there the are no airworthy examples left in the entire world today (the last one was lost with its crew in a tragic crash in 1996). The model airplane special effects are too obvious, especially when compared to the quality of "The Bridges of Toko Ri" starring William Holden. Nonetheless, it's still pretty exciting and viewers can't help but compare the squadron's climatic attack in the treacherous fjord with "Star War's" Jedi attack on the Empire's Death Star.

The script and several scenes could have been better, but the authentic aircraft are worth watching. Overall a decent adventure, dated, but enjoyable if you're a fan of the famous De Havilland Mosquito fighter-bomber built of wood, and flown by pilots in daring missions that helped win World War II.

For those interested, there's a nice De Havilland aircraft museum north of London, England, on the actual grounds where these impressive aircraft were built. The original prototype Mosquito airplane, and another production model used in the later movie "Mosquito," are on display.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film seems to have attracted a number of interesting, positive reviews--there is little for me to add except to say that is is a fine World War II thriller, featuring Cliff Robertson, George Chakiris and a solid British cast in support.

Of course, the real "stars" of the movie are the Mosquitos--seeing them fly is a feast for aviation fans. Some scenes really seem to put you in the cockpit with our heroes as they train for their "mission impossible". There is also a fair bit of model work involved, and this is perhaps the only area of the movie that is dated. Special effects have made huge strides since the sixties--when these planes crash or blow up, it is not done in a convincing way for modern audiences.

Cliff Robertson is fine in the lead--later in the decade, he was to win an Oscar for "Charly", yet he has always been under-rated. His career certainly had it's "ups and downs"--in the seventies, he blew the whistle on a Hollywood executive who was embezzling money, and good movie roles seemed to "elude" him for a while. Clearly, he is a man of great integrity. It was nice to see him, after so many years, have an important role in the monster hit, "Spiderman".

George Chakiris aquits himself well as a Norwegian resistance leader. British character actors, Harry Andrews and Donald Houston, provide the mandatory "stiff upper lips" ! When the movie is over though, it is those fabulous planes that you remember most.

The DVD is widescreen, with decent colour for its age--the sound is mono ( imagine those Mosquitos in surround ? ! ). The packaging is very rudimentary, but I suppose this is in keeping with the low price ?

If you like war films with the accent on aviation, this one is for you. Try it !
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Format: DVD
I love this film from my childhood - yes some of the special effects look a bit ropey now, but that's more than made up for by the genuine footage of the real Mosquitos in action and Ron Goodwin's fantastic theme tune - easily one of the best movie themes ever.
( By the way, anyone unconvinced that George Lucas in fact got the idea for the Death Star scene fom this fine film might like to know the following: When Lucas originally devised Star Wars and was showing a rough cut print to the movie studio bigwigs, he hadn't had enough budget left for the SFX to show them the Death star finale. So instead, he intercut aerial dogfight footage from British WW2 movies including the Dambusters, the Battle Of Britain, and .....633 Squadron. Case closed!!
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Format: VHS Tape
633 Squadron has great flying sequences involving the very unique WW-II British plane called the "Mosquito". The Mosquito was a twin engine "fighter bomber" made of WOOD that the Royal Air Force used for "unconventional" type flying missions portrayed in 633 Squadron. The Mosquito was a fast, light, multi-role aircraft that carried a crew of two seated side by side.
It was long suspected that the Nazi's had an Atomic Bomb development program and 633 Squadron's final mission is to fly through a heavily defended Fiord in Nazi occupied Norway and destroy a German plant that is suspected to be involved in Atomic research.
Cliff Robertson plays a "Yank" in the RAF I'm sure he was cast for US audience appeal (Robertson, an accomplished pilot, at one time owned a WW-II British Spitfire fighter) and George Chakiris (West Side Story) has a good role as a member of the Norwegian Underground.
The movie has all the usual flying cliches -- and a romantic interest as well. The flying sequences are first rate -- however, when the planes are flying through the Fiord a very crude attempt at simulating anti-aircraft fire from the gunners perspective is made and that detracts from an other wise exciting sequence given the technology available in 1964.
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