Hazardous job of deactivating dud bombs after World War II appears sound material for a melodramatic and suspenseful film. But curiously Ten Seconds to Hell emerges as a downbeat picture.

Hazardous job of deactivating dud bombs after World War II appears sound material for a melodramatic and suspenseful film. But curiously Ten Seconds to Hell emerges as a downbeat picture.

Based on Lawrence P. Bachmann’s novel, The phoenix, the screenplay seldom draws sympathy for any of its characters. Of six former German soldiers who form a bomb disposal unit in Berlin at the war’s end, three are quickly killed in performance of their duties.

Jack Palance, self-styled leader of the unit, is a man of courage and conviction. But he’s a moody individual who appears to be continually wrestling with inner problems. Ruthless and egotistical is Jeff Chandler who has regard for no one except himself. Martine Carol, in an unglamorous role, runs a boarding house, where Palance and Chandle reside.

With the film shot on location in Berlin, cameraman Ernest Laszlo has provided some realistic backgrounds.

Ten Seconds to Hell

UK

Production

Hammer. Director Robert Aldrich; Producer Michael Carreras; Screenplay Robert Aldrich, Teddi Sherman; Camera Ernest Laszlo; Editor James Needs, Henry Richardson; Music Kenneth V. Jones; Art Director Ken Adam

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1959. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Jeff Chandler Jack Palance Martine Carol Wesley Addy Virginia Baker Richard Wattis

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