A fine British-cast film
By a customer
, 13 Aug 2004
Oh joy, a British film that makes no concessions for an American audience. Based on a real incident during World War 2, this features an all British cast, many familiar stalwarts of the small as well as big screen, and they all seem to thoroughly enjoy themselves bringing the story to life.
Although played out rather light-heartedly, the established Kenneth Cranham and new-comer Leo Bill bring depth and compassion to the two protagonists, and Anthony Valentine, in sadly little more than a cameo, excels as the spit-and-polish Regimental Sergeant-Major.
It?s a cracking little film, slight, perhaps, in many respects, but nevertheless you are drawn to the people and the story, and the period is delightfully evoked. My one complaint is that, when you have at core a real and true story, why do the scriptwriters always have to dress it up with more action and bigger bangs than actually happened? Is it not amazing enough that two essentially non-combatants did really go ?absent without leave? and borrowed a fishing boat to cross the channel, and undertook a brief and wholly unofficial raid on occupied France; and then managed to get back to the boat and home again? Why get them mixed up with a big paratroop raid based on the Bruneville raid, a true event but nothing to do with the dentists? story? It strikes me there was quite enough material here without painting the lily in that way.
Still, the film remains a delightfully diverting treat. The producers and writers deserve credit for not writing in a wholly superfluous American role to give the film a bankable minor Hollywood ?name? on the posters. They did, however, pay the price in that I don't think the film never got picked up for American distribution, and got only limited promotion and release here.
So, don?t be put off by the film's low profile, so low it may well have not have even shown up on your radar. If the producers can at least make some money from DVD and Video, such less than wholly commercial films may continue to be made.
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