This is an epic story of the courage and endurance of the people and defenders of the island of Malta. It is handled in grimly realistic but not over-dramatic style. Camerawork is excellent, and some vivid war scenes of attacks on convoys are genuine newsreel shots.

This is an epic story of the courage and endurance of the people and defenders of the island of Malta. It is handled in grimly realistic but not over-dramatic style. Camerawork is excellent, and some vivid war scenes of attacks on convoys are genuine newsreel shots.

Alec Guinness plays a camera reconnaissance pilot enroute to Egypt. His plane is blown up, leaving him stranded in Malta. He is roped in to continue his activities during the siege of 1942 since his pictures disclose freight trains in Italy packed with gliders obviously intended for an invasion of the island. Jack Hawkins is the air officer in command who stands helplessly by while his airfields are blasted night and day.

A dual love interest impinges rather apologetically upon this war scarred scene, with Muriel Pavlow giving an endearing performance as a Maltese girl in love with her chief, played in a forthright manner by Anthony Steel. Flora Robson gives a distinguished characterization of a steadfast, sorrowing Maltese mother stoically facing the prospect of her son’s execution for treason.

Bulk of the acting laurels go to Guinness, who here forsakes his chameleon-like whimsicality for the shy diffident charm of an inexperienced lover.

Malta Story

UK

Production

Rank. Director Brian Desmond Hurst; Producer Peter de Sarigny; Screenplay William Fairchild, Nigel Balchin; Camera Robert Krasker; Editor Michael Gordon; Music William Alwyn; Art Director John Howell

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1953. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Alec Guinness Jack Hawkins Anthony Steel Muriel Pavlow Flora Robson Renee Asherson
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