Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 34

Thread: 633 Squadron

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    47
    Liked
    0 times
    I haven't seen a thread on this one, so I'd like to see if I can kick one off.



    One of my favourite war movies, it stars Cliff Robertson as the dashing but war-weary Squadron Leader picked to undertake a dangerous mission to attack a factory (making rocket fuel for V-weapons) deep inside a Norwegian Fjord.



    Possibly one of the worst examples of "fashionable" mis-casting is included in the film, with George Chakiris (at the time, the star of West Side Story) slotted into a sort of cameo role as a Norwegian resistance agent.



    Other stars include the magnificent Harry Andrews, plus dear old Angus Glennie from "Crossroads" fame (if fame is the right word) playing a cockney navigator to Cliff Robertson.



    Harry Andrews gets the best line in the film: At the end, when none of the aircraft have returned, the station Intelligence Officer complains to him:



    "But they could all be dead - all 633 Squadron !"



    To which Andrews fixes him with a steely glare and declares:



    "You can't kill a Squadron."



    Roll credits, cue music - lovely stuff . . .



    The real stars, of course, are the wonderful Mosquito aircraft and the rousing theme tune, that still gets used in adverts and the like today. The film of the Mosquitos thundering through the Scottish Highlands during training, while the theme music blares away, is one of the most memorable of any war movie.



    Real Mosquitos were used (although none fly in the UK now) and in fact, one was even deliberately wrecked for the very realistic wheels-up crash-landing scene, then set on fire and allowed to burn.



    On a boring note of triviality, the story was based on Banff Strike Wing, the only Mosquito force that ever undertook attacks inside Norwegian Fjords - except that they did it on a daily basis between 1944 and 1945. One of the Squadrons was actually numbered 333 Squadron. The similarities between the dashing, real-life leader of the wing - Max Aitken - and the fictional character Grant that Cliff Robertson plays, are obvious.



    This is Max Aitken at Banff (in north east Scotland) in the spring of 1945. I was one of the trustees who raised money to build a memorial to the wing and the 85 men who died flying with it.






  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    30
    Liked
    0 times
    Yes I loved this film when I first saw it as a child and the music still gets me.



    Surprisingly the music was used for the Dance GSCE Performance module this last year. I would have thought it a most unlikely piece of music to have to dance to but the pupils in my daughter's class put together a performance that really captured the spirit of it all!!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Country: United States wearysloth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1,115
    Liked
    19 times


    ...and the lovely Katy Wild in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment.



    Mr Lucas did lift the last chunk of Star Wars from here almost intact down to the cover-me-red-leader-I'm-going-in type dialogue.



    ...and poor George Chakiris, what a bad day at the office for him.



    Great stuff.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: United States
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,579
    Liked
    0 times
    I loved seeing these planes fly, and wish they were more plentiful.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,812
    Liked
    1 times
    Quote Originally Posted by wearysloth


    ...and the lovely Katy Wild in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment.



    Mr Lucas did lift the last chunk of Star Wars from here almost intact down to the cover-me-red-leader-I'm-going-in type dialogue.



    ...and poor George Chakiris, what a bad day at the office for him.



    Great stuff.
    Can't have been such a bad day with a sister like his..................

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,652
    Liked
    77 times
    The flying sequences are superb, some of it looks like its filmed in the Glens of the Scottish Highlands , I say that because there looks to be lots of distinctive Heather growing on the hills. ( Heather as you know is a shrub for any of you funny smart alecs thinking of making a rude joke!...) Angus Lennie had his 15 minutes of fame in the 60s it would seem, before crash landing into TV soap land of the worst kind, Crossroads! He was pretty good in The Great Escape and hangs dramatically on the barbed wire after being shot by a German machine gunner. If your going to die in a movie can't think of a better scenario than having Steve McQueen as your best buddy who tries to save you!....

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,044
    Liked
    1 times
    also Johnny Briggs

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: England Santonix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    989
    Liked
    3 times
    Quote Originally Posted by christoph404
    The flying sequences are superb, some of it looks like its filmed in the Glens of the Scottish Highlands , I say that because there looks to be lots of distinctive Heather growing on the hills. ( Heather as you know is a shrub for any of you funny smart alecs thinking of making a rude joke!...) Angus Lennie had his 15 minutes of fame in the 60s it would seem, before crash landing into TV soap land of the worst kind, Crossroads! He was pretty good in The Great Escape and hangs dramatically on the barbed wire after being shot by a German machine gunner. If your going to die in a movie can't think of a better scenario than having Steve McQueen as your best buddy who tries to save you!....
    Some of it was filmed in the Scottish Highlands and they used Dalcross airfield (Inverness) as their Highland base whilst shooting these scenes.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    332
    Liked
    0 times
    Couple of points:



    1) I REALLY dislike Cliff Robertson... so I would have been very happy if he had switched roles with George Chakiris! Or have been removed from the cast altogether...if they needed an American , my vote would have been for William Holden.



    2) A bit off-topic (but not entirely) I've often thought it would be interesting (at least for posterity!) to document the best WW II warplanes by category:



    Here's a starter:



    Best Fighter Bomber - DeHavilland Mosquito



    Best Night Fighter - Messerschmidt 110



    Best fighter - tied: Supermarine Spitfire/ P51 Mustang /(maybe) Focke Wulf 190 D



    Best Heavy Bomber - Avro Lancaster (night time)



    Best Heavy Bomber - B29 Superfortress / B-17 Flying forteress / B-29 Liberator



    Best All-Around Anti-ship/Submarine Aircraft - Bristol Beaufighter



    Best WW II jet Aircraft - Messerschmidt 262



    Best WW II reconaissance plane - Feisseler Storch



    and so on...



    (OK, I know this will be controversial!)

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Country: England
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    4,804
    Liked
    7 times
    It didn't see active service, but the Ho 229 was the most extraordinary design, and still looks futuristic now. Several prototypes were built and flown, one survives in the NASM in the States....



    The construction was all-wood, with steel heat shields for the twin jet exhausts which emerged over the wing roots. Very light, very formidable, and the resemblance to the post-war Northrop flying wings, and current stealth technology, pretty obvious. This was the fighter-bomber version; there were plans for an enlarged six-engined bomber to bomb New York...

  11. #11
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    29,732
    Liked
    418 times
    Quote Originally Posted by NappieB
    Couple of points:



    1) I REALLY dislike Cliff Robertson... so I would have been very happy if he had switched roles with George Chakiris! Or have been removed from the cast altogether...if they needed an American , my vote would have been for William Holden.



    2) A bit off-topic (but not entirely) I've often thought it would be interesting (at least for posterity!) to document the best WW II warplanes by category:



    Here's a starter:



    Best Fighter Bomber - DeHavilland Mosquito



    Best Night Fighter - Messerschmidt 110



    Best fighter - tied: Supermarine Spitfire/ P51 Mustang /(maybe) Focke Wulf 190 D



    Best Heavy Bomber - Avro Lancaster (night time)



    Best Heavy Bomber - B29 Superfortress / B-17 Flying forteress / B-29 Liberator



    Best All-Around Anti-ship/Submarine Aircraft - Bristol Beaufighter



    Best WW II jet Aircraft - Messerschmidt 262



    Best WW II reconaissance plane - Feisseler Storch



    and so on...



    (OK, I know this will be controversial!)
    I think you'd have to classify some of them, especially the fighters, year by year rather than over the whole war. There were quite drastic design changes over that period and sometimes one had a big advantage for a while, then another one would be changed to overcome that advantage and to give it an advantage of its own. Yes, a real arms race in the middle of the war



    Steve

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: UK
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    8,865
    Liked
    69 times
    I remember seeing George Chakiris in an extended musical epsiode of Last Of the Summer Wine,words and music by Bill Owen. West Side Story it certainly wasn't.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    47
    Liked
    0 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Marky B
    I remember seeing George Chakiris in an extended musical epsiode of Last Of the Summer Wine,words and music by Bill Owen. West Side Story it certainly wasn't.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B


    Did Norah Batty dance around singing;



    "PA-PA-PA IN YO-ORKSHIRE ! PA-PA-PA IN YO-ORKSHIRE!



    No, didn't think so . . . .

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,652
    Liked
    77 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Santonix
    Some of it was filmed in the Scottish Highlands and they used Dalcross airfield (Inverness) as their Highland base whilst shooting these scenes.
    Ah...I thought so! thanks for that info

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    47
    Liked
    0 times
    I found these still on a website about RAF Bovington, where some of the ground scenes were filmed. Take a look - interesting pics!









    And here's one of a Bomber version Mossie with it's glazed nose painted over to represent a fighter version for the movie.




  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    2,281
    Liked
    0 times
    To anyone interested in mossies there is a museum at London Colney. have been there and it is very interesting

  17. #17
    Senior Member Country: England
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    337
    Liked
    2 times
    Quote Originally Posted by NappieB
    Couple of points:



    1) I REALLY dislike Cliff Robertson... so I would have been very happy if he had switched roles with George Chakiris! Or have been removed from the cast altogether...if they needed an American , my vote would have been for William Holden.



    2) A bit off-topic (but not entirely) I've often thought it would be interesting (at least for posterity!) to document the best WW II warplanes by category:



    Here's a starter:



    Best Fighter Bomber - DeHavilland Mosquito



    Best Night Fighter - Messerschmidt 110



    Best fighter - tied: Supermarine Spitfire/ P51 Mustang /(maybe) Focke Wulf 190 D



    Best Heavy Bomber - Avro Lancaster (night time)



    Best Heavy Bomber - B29 Superfortress / B-17 Flying forteress / B-29 Liberator



    Best All-Around Anti-ship/Submarine Aircraft - Bristol Beaufighter



    Best WW II jet Aircraft - Messerschmidt 262



    Best WW II reconaissance plane - Feisseler Storch



    and so on...



    (OK, I know this will be controversial!)
    Pretty good list, nappieB, but I'd argue with a couple of your choices.



    Best Night Fighter: I'd say the Junkers Ju 88 G6, completely outclassed the Bf 110



    Best Reconnaissance plane: well, I wouldn't call the Storch a reconnaissance plane, more an army co-op spotter. The Mosquito was superb in the reconnaissance role, but then again, so was the Spitfire.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    53
    Liked
    0 times
    633 Squadron - one of the definitive war movies. Short but sweet, it cuts to the chase in its depiction of a frontline RAF Squadron towards the back end of the war. I'm quite surprised and also quite pleased that Cliff Robertson took the reins as the lead actor and he turns in a fine performance. I had never seen George Chakiris before this film but I thought he did OK with the small role he had. I greatly admired his character's courage in his final scenes in the SS headquarters.



    Scenes worth mentioning:



    1. The opening 'practice' run. Glorious shots of the magnificent Mosquitos in flight.



    2. The German fighter strafing the airfield. Very gritty and drops you right in the thick of the action.



    3. Any scenes with the Norwegian Resistance. Very courageous men and it was great to know that many civilians took it upon themselves to help defend their country any way they could.



    4. The final mission. Gosh, what can be said about this scene that hasn't already been said? I remember actively rooting for the brave Mozzie pilots the first time I saw this - the thundering music and the loud explosions are enough to get anyone's pulses pounding. I cheered every time a bomb landed and every time a Mozzie took out a German anti-aircraft installation. When the mission eventually reached its successful climax, I was literally bouncing up and down with delight. NEVER has a scene got my adrenalin pumping like this. AND IT WAS MADE IN 1964! This is one film that has withstood the test of time remarkably well.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    169
    Liked
    0 times
    I couldn't disagree with any of these thoughts. I first watched this when I was very young and being of the playground generation who played at Tommies and Jerries it made a lasting impression on me. One of my favourite scenes is where the Mosquitoes roar over a country pub and peel off prior to landing - that strange mixture of everyday normality and war. The making of this film is well documented in a magazine title, After the Battle which is still published and well worth a read. Back numbers are easily obtainable from the publishers so anyone interested in this film may find it of interest.



    Best



    Shaun

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    111
    Liked
    0 times
    i fully agree with shaun a fine film and the bomb droping into the bunker

    .best.mw

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Squadron Leader X
    By PeterJ in forum Looking for a Video/DVD (Film)
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 30-03-10, 12:09 AM
  2. Mosquito Squadron
    By Anthony McKay in forum Film Locations
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 29-11-09, 03:48 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts