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(Review originally written at 18 August 2005)

This is one of the first real action movies as we know it today, ever made. The movie has lots of explosions and gun- and fist fights. The story is told in a fast pace with lots of cuts, even though the movie itself isn't short at all (158 minutes.).

Even though it is still a war movie, this movie isn't as heavy and or serious as many other WW II movies made in the same period. It is kind of in the same style as "The Guns of Navarone" (Also written by Alistair MacLean.). It's more is adventurous and fun to watch than heavy or realistic. Director Brian G. Hutton later also made the other 'fun'/adventurous/WW II movie "Kelly's Heroes".

Another element that distinct this movie from other movies from the same genre is the story. The story by famous writer Alistair MacLean is just brilliant! It begins as an average WW II rescue-mission movie but as the movie progresses the story takes several twists, until at a certain point you don't even know who to thrust anymore. The ending is really action-movie-like spectacular and features a tense fight an a moving cable-car followed by the perhaps even better car chase, which really reminded of the chase were Indy and his father are escaping the Nazi's on the motorcycle, in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" Even the music sounded kind of similar! I wouldn't be surprised if Spielberg and Williams were inspired by this movie. The same goes for many other movie directors and other persons in the movie business by the way. I see similarities between this movie with 'modern' work quite often, both in story and characters as well as the action, editing and many other elements from this movie. This really is an inspirational movie, that as an action movie, just like as for instance "North by Northwest", was far ahead of its time.

It was a bit strange to see Clint Eastwood in the sidekick role. The main character of the movie is played by the legendary Richard Burton. Both actors really push this movie to an higher level with their profession and expertise and both are very believable in their roles.

An entertaining, action packed adventurous war movie with a splendid story and two wonderful performances from the two main actors.

10/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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