Hanover Street is reasonably effective as a war film with a love story background. Unfortunately it’s meant to be a love story set against a war background.
Drawing his inspiration from M-G-M’s 1940 release, Waterloo Bridge, and other pix of that ilk, writer-director Peter Hyams has moved this tale of star-crossed lovers up to World War II England, where American flying ace David Halloran (Harrison Ford) and British hospital nurse Margaret Sellinger (Lesley-Anne Down) meet during an air raid, and fall hopelessly in love.
Only when Down takes a back seat, and Ford is thrown together with her cuckolded husband, Paul, a British secret service topper (Christopher Plummer), does Hanover Street manifest any vital life signs. The last third of the picture becomes a model of efficient war filmmaking.
Down again distinguishes herself in a role that doesn’t seem up to her standards, while Ford back in the pilot’s seat again projects an earnest, if dull, presence. Rest of the cast is under-utilized. John Barry has contributed a score that evokes Douglas Sirk’s glossy tearjerkers of the 1950s.