1960s Operation Crossbow (1965)

Published on February 17th, 2012 | by Chris

1

Operation Crossbow (1965)


Reviewed by:
Rating:
2
On February 17, 2012
Last modified:October 3, 2012

Summary:

I hate that feeling where a movie sounds like it might be good, or at least interesting, and then, well, its not. That's what happened with Operation Crossbow, anyway.


Operation Crossbow (1965)I hate that feeling where a movie sounds like it might be good, or at least interesting, and then, well, its not.  That's what happened with Operation Crossbow, anyway.

Billed as a movie about a "top secret operation to infiltrate the Nazi's secret rocket base!" turns out to be not much more than a rather dull attempt at intrigue or something.  Probably more an excuse to get Sophia Loren on screen, in a sequence that takes far far too much screen time.

Part of the reason I watched this movie, was I had just finished watching the recent NOVA episode on the British recon photo experts and how they managed to deduce the locations and meaning of the V-1 and V-2 rocket sites.  This seemed relevant.  Well, I think I enjoyed the NOVA episode more.

Long story short, American Curtis (George Peppard) and Brit Lindemann (Trevor Howard) infiltrate the base disguised as scientists.  They (of course) manage to expose the position of the base exactly as British bombers make their run.  Of course this is at the cost of their own lives.  Making it all more dramatic I suppose.

Turns out "Crossbow" was actually the name of the over-arching operation against the German long-range weapons program, you can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Crossbow

As a movie, well, this movie anyway.  I was pretty disappointed.  It felt more like an episode of some 2nd rate 1960's TV series to me.  Your milage may vary of course....  Giving a 4/10...  I just wasn't feeling the love on this one.

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Description

Operation Crossbow was one among many '60s films aiming, in the wake of The Guns of Navarone, to cash in on nostalgia for "the Good War" of 20 years earlier, plus snag a share of the spy-movie market stoked by James Bond...

DVD Information

Binding: DVD
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Audience Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Brand: Warner Home Video
Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Original Release Date:
Actors:
  • Sophia Loren
  • George Peppard
  • Trevor Howard
  • John Mills
  • Richard Johnson

Features

  • Factory sealed DVD

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a nifty WWII spy thriller, June 30, 2004
By 
Alejandra Vernon "artist & illustrator" (Granada, Nicaragua) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
With a terrific international cast and excellent effects, this fast-paced thriller about spies infiltrating a German rocket installation is entertaining, and though much of the antics are improbable, especially in the final sequence, it does have a historical context to it. There was an Operation Crossbow, when Winston Churchill (well played by Patrick Wyman) was concerned about what misslies and rockets the Nazis were making.
The V-1 "Buzz Bomb" was a nightmare for those living in London in the summer of '44, and perhaps the most gripping part of the film is its depiction of London being hit with these dreaded missiles, with some amazing cinematography by Erwin Hillier.
George Peppard is a smooth spy, and does many scenes speaking German, though he looks 100% American, perhaps because of the hat he wears pushed back on his head, which would have been a givaway had he really been in enemy territory.
Richard Johnson is wonderful as Duncan Sandys, who believes... Read more
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Operation Crossbow, February 2, 2000
By 
Richard S. Garris (Berlin, New Hampshire) - See all my reviews
This engrossing war drama places stars George Peppard and John Mills as trained sabatuers in an underground factory where V-1 and V-2 "Buzz-bomb" rockets were being manufactured in Germany during world war II. This gripping drama is as suspensefull as it is realistic. Their mission is to destroy Hitler's ability to manfacture those terrible incendiary rockets which were terrorizing London during the latter stages of the war. Sophia Loren, thinking her husband already dead, discovers George Peppard impersonating him, and the action accelerates from there. This movie has it all, romance, great suspense and special effects as well as a thrilling climax. Several scenes are in German with English subtitles, and as a high school German teacher, I found this a pleasant addition to the film. This movie has aged well since its release in 1965. Give it a try.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best film about Nazi sabotage of its era I've ever seen, January 23, 1999
By A Customer
I loved this film when it first came out in 1965 (keep in mind the war was over for fewer than 20 years at that point, so the public's collective memory of the V-1 and V-2 weapons was much crisper then). The movie is superbly cast, despite producer Carlo Ponti's insistence that wife Sophia Loren get top billing. Paul Henreid (Casablanca) has a minor, but important role as the general in charge of testing the flying bombs. Lili Palmer plays her usual anti-Nazi resistance role with great believability. George Peppard, young at this point, plays the role as the central allied saboteur -- ably assisted by Jeremy Kemp and Tom Courtenay. The Loren character (a mother of two looking for her Nazi-loving husband) is superimposed over the mission to penetrate the underground Nazi missile factory and destroy it. The photography is spectacular, with thoughtfully conceived dissolves and segues that look just as good today as they did in 1965. For anyone who remembers London during... Read more
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Operation Crossbow (1965) Chris

Summary: I hate that feeling where a movie sounds like it might be good, or at least interesting, and then, well, its not. That's what happened with Operation Crossbow, anyway.

2.0


User Rating: 0 (0 votes)


About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.



One Response to Operation Crossbow (1965)

  1. paul says:

    one of my favorite movies with george peppard.

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