Review: ‘633 Squadron’

Cinematically, 633 Squadron is a spectacular achievement, a technically explosive depiction of an RAF unit's successful but costly mission to demolish an almost impregnable Nazi rocket fuel installation in Norway. The production, filmed in its entirety in England, contains some rip-roaring aerial action. Unfortunately, this technical prowess is not matched by the drama it adorns.

Cinematically, 633 Squadron is a spectacular achievement, a technically explosive depiction of an RAF unit’s successful but costly mission to demolish an almost impregnable Nazi rocket fuel installation in Norway. The production, filmed in its entirety in England, contains some rip-roaring aerial action. Unfortunately, this technical prowess is not matched by the drama it adorns.

The characters of the scenario from the novel by Frederick E. Smith are somewhat shallowly drawn and fall into rather familiar war story molds and behavior patterns.

Cliff Robertson skillfully rattles off the leading assignment, that of a Yank wing commander whose squadron is chosen for the dangerous mission. George Chakiris is adequate though miscast and rather colorless as a Norwegian resistance leader who is to pave the way for the vital bombing raid. Maria Perschy supplies decorative romantic interest as Chakiris’ sister and eventually Robertson’s girl.

633 Squadron

UK

Production

Mirisch. Director Walter Grauman; Producer Cecil F. Ford; Screenplay James Clavell, Howard Koch; Camera Ted Scaife, John Wilcox; Editor Bert Bates; Music Ron Goodwin; Art Director Michael Stringer

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1964. Running time: 94 MIN.

With

Cliff Robertson George Chakiris Maria Perschy Harry Andrews Donald Houston Michael Goodliffe

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