Ships With Wings
The new Fleet Air Arm is not a toy, even aboard Ark Royal seen christened and launched.
This lands a lad in island trouble, just where the Greeks are overwhelmed by the Krauts “stiffening up” the Eye-ties, and the Royal Navy is steaming just that way to bolster the Army on attack.
Nolbandov’s model work is an extensive and well-nigh unsurpassable feast objectionable to Bosley Crowther (New York Times), the plot construction also irked him and other notables, George Perry (Forever Ealing), Mark Duguid for the British Film Institute (“stiff-upper-lipped”), Halliwell (“dramatically insubstantial”) and whoozis, whereas Churchill’s cavil is a natural precaution (cp. David Miller’s Flying Tigers).
“Yugoslavs! Mighty Germany offered you the hand of friendship, but your king refused it! You have been betrayed! Do not despair! We are coming to liberate you!” The partisans. Torture, reprisals, Nabokov’s “lever of love”. René Char, “ignominy had the aspect of a glass of water.”
“One day you’ll pay for this, for your cruelty, your greed, your brutality. You’ll have no strength to stand up to the world’s hatred, because all decency has been knocked out of you, because you’ve no conscience!”
“Hitler’s our conscience! Nobody can stand up to us!”
“We had other conquerors as powerful and ruthless as you, we beat them in the end.”
“Now, I want you to understand one thing, Germany has no enmity for the youth of Yugoslavia, we wish only to show you how to play your part in the future of your country, within the New Order!” The close shot of a bomb covered again with the folded items in a suitcase one layer at a time, gradually deadening the tick as well, might be remembered in Puce Moment (dir. Kenneth Anger) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (dir. Stanley Kubrick), variously.
Danischewsky & Dighton screenplay, the highly poetic model work again (Roy Kellino), cinematography Wilkie Cooper, fine score by Frederic Austin, Michael Balcon for Ealing.
Britmovie, “the film is unconvincing and cliché-ridden, and not for a moment are its players believable Yugoslavs. The only notable thing about it was...” Hal Erickson (All Movie Guide), “a British-made WWII picture glorifying the efforts of a small group of Yugoslavian resistance fighters who struggled against the Nazis.” Halliwell’s Film Guide, “a rather obviously English cast” led by John Clements and Godfrey Tearle with Stephen Murray and Michael Wilding “doesn’t help to make this flagwaver convincing.”