HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon
Benediction
Nezha Reborn
Evil Toons
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
Knockabout
400 Blows, The
   
 
Newest Articles
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
   
 
  One of Our Aircraft is Missing Bomber's Moon
Year: 1942
Director: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: Godfrey Tearle, Eric Portman, Hugh Williams, Bernard Miles, Hugh Burden, Emrys Jones, Pamela Brown, Joyce Redman, Googie Withers, Hay Petrie, Selma Vaz Dias, Arnold Marle, Robert Helpmann, Peter Ustinov, Alec Clunes, Hector Abbas, James B. Carson
Genre: WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: B for Bertie is the Royal Air Force bomber that was sent over the Netherlands during World War II to destroy Nazi property, but as we see, it meets a sticky end as it crashes to the ground, through a pylon and its overhead cables, in a shower of sparks. But our story starts fifteen hours before when the crew were receiving their orders and preparing to leave on their mission, where they were told they would have a replacement for their rear gunner: Sir George Corbett (Godfrey Tearle), who demanded to be part of the set-up. They take this in their stride, but it seems to bode ill for the rest of the flight into enemy territory...

The previous film helmed by the dream team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger had been 49th Parallel, a hit based around the story of a German U-boat crew trying to make it to the neutral United States through their own enemy territory of Canada. One of Our Aircraft is Missing could be regarded as the complement to that, for it depicted a British bunch making their way through the Netherlands while the Nazis tried to hunt them down. Indeed, despite the turnabout with the main characters' sympathies, it was very similar, and you had to admit if you compared the two the previous effort was superior.

Not that this 1942 follow-up was without interest, for a start it was the first film in which Powell and Pressburger used The Archers as their production name (though the famous image of the arrows landing in the target was nowhere to be seen at this stage), so historically it was intriguing. In its presentation there were innovations, too, as they endeavoured to render the plot as realistic as possible, so for example there was no music to be heard, not even in the most dramatic scenes - the opening credits play out over the sound of the bomber's engines, and though there is organ music and singing in the church, that's about it for the melodies.

The acting, too, was studiedly naturalistic as an excellent cast of names who would have been more recognisable then than now were put through their paces with a screenplay that ensured they were as conversational as possible, to impressive effect. The opening scenes in particular where the crew are chatting to each other over their radios to keep their nerves at bay were extremely absorbing, and you could imagine a genuine bomber crew would have had almost identical discussions as they flew off to serve their country. This was all to appeal to the audiences of the day who did not appreciate being patronised, a "tell it like it is" approach was appreciated in the British propaganda of the war years, and this was a good sample of that.

Once the crew bail out with their parachutes, their plane having been hit by anti-aircraft fire, they land in a rural Dutch location though one of their number is lost in the abandonment, leaving the remaining five to try and reach safety. Before they know it, they have been found by some local kids (one of the refugees speaks Dutch, helpfully) and given cover by a nearby village, their representative (Pamela Brown) equally helpfully speaking English, though there was subtitled Dutch spoken intermittently throughout. After successfully putting the Nazis off the scent, for a while at least, an elaborate plan unfolds which culminates in a row boat out to the North Sea, with a brief stopover at Googie Withers, and if the second half has been rather weighted down with earnest talk, the point of the exercise, to do for the Netherlands what 49th Parallel did for Canada, can be deemed achieved. It wasn't the best Archers film, but they were a mark of quality.

[The BFI release this film on Blu-ray with the following features:

Presented in High Definition
Newly recorded audio commentary by film scholar Ian Christie
An Airman's Letter to His Mother (1941, 5 mins): Michael Powell's powerful propaganda short, narrated by John Gielgud
The Volunteer (1944, 44 mins): an entertaining look at the Fleet Air Arm, directed by Powell & Pressburger and starring Ralph Richardson
Target for Tonight (1941, 50 mins): Harry Watt's acclaimed documentary reconstruction of a Wellington bomber's mission over Germany
The Biter Bit (1943, 14 mins): A propaganda short detailing the destructive force of wartime aerial bombardment, produced by Alexander Korda and narrated by Ralph Richardson
Image gallery
Includes reproduction of the original storybook based on the film by Emeric Pressburger
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio
***First pressing only*** Illustrated booklet with essays by Ian Christine and Sarah Street, an excerpt from A Life in Movies: An Autobiography by Michael Powell, a selection of original film reviews, notes on the special features and full credits]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 625 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: