Tuesday, January 15, 2013

......One of Our Aircraft Is Missing

After an RAF bomber is shot down over Nazi occupied Holland, a team of six fighter pilots relies on the charity of the Dutch freedom fighting underground as they make their way to the North Sea for their escape back to Britain. "......One of Our Aircraft Is Missing" is one of the early of films of the lengthy collaboration between Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, known collectively as The Archers, and one of several they made to assist the Allied war effort during WWII. The film is wonderfully written, with much patriotic verve, and painstakingly made, but it does feel somewhat rushed, as surely it must have been to serve its purpose at the time. The mumbled Britspeak is also very difficult to understand. Of its cast, you can glimpse a young Peter Ustinov as a priest and Googie Withers delivers an excellent speech as a Dutch resistance member. A better example of a similar film can be seen in "49th Parallel," the Archers' previous work which details a band of marooned Nazis who are also confronted by the goodness and resilience of the people they encounter as they maraud their way through Canada to a then neutral United States.