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One of Our Aircraft Is Missing [DVD]

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Product details

  • Actors: Godfrey Tearle, Eric Portman, Hugh Williams, Hugh Burden, Pamela Brown
  • Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
  • Producers: Emeric Pressburger
  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Universal Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 12 May 2014
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00J0VW4SQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,536 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Based on the methods actually employed by Dutch citizens who smuggled stranded Allied airmen back to England, Powell and Pressburger's film follows the story of a group of six such airmen who parachute from their crippled plane into a wood. Discovered by some Dutch schoolchildren, they are taken to a farm where their potential saviours grill them for hours before offering to help. After enduring many narrow escapes from the Nazis, the airmen eventually reach a sea-port, but they still have to make the crossing in the most dangerous of circumstances.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 103 people found the following review helpful By K. Harvey on 23 May 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film was made during the war by Powell and Pressburger and more accurately represents the attitudes and aspirations of people at that period than any of the "war" films about WW2 made afterwards.

It was also made with a view to strengthening the ties between Britain and her hard-pressed allies in occupied Holland. It shows a typical bomber crew of young men drawn from very different backgrounds in Britain who, but for the war, might never have met but are bonded by a common purpose. When they are shot down in occupied Holland the heroic populace come to their rescue; misunderstandings are cleared, trust is formed, friendships are established, even love and romance blossom. It is well-paced and very exciting but without the mindless machine-gun spraying that flooded later films. These young men had to use their brains and nerves to get them through. The script is sharp: it is an intelligent film which suceeds at many levels. I won't spoil the ending for you but this is one of the most authentic pieces of purposeful film making I've ever seen and has great charm.

Two very famous scenes from it are worth a mention. One is the German Officer inspecting the congregation of the church during the sermon (a young Peter Ustinov - wonderful as the priest) when the airmen are hiding amongst their Dutch friends. The organist rebelliously plays a few notes of the Dutch national anthem quietly with his feet on the pedals which only the congretation will recognise. The German officer pauses in the doorway as he hesitates before leaving and his reflection is held in the organist's mirror. It is a beautiful, classic moment in film-making. The other is the scene in the Dutch mayor's dining hall where a fake wedding reception is being given.
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99 of 103 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of Our Aircraft Is Missing, released in 1942, was the first film Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger made after formalizing their partnership as The Archers, with both taking equal credit for writing, producing and directing. In 1941 they had collaborated on The 49th Parallel. In 1943 they would make The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, the first of a series of masterpieces they created in the Forties. In practice, Powell directed, Pressburger wrote and did most of the producing, and they closely collaborated on every aspect of their films.

The movie tells the story of the crewmen who bailed out of their bomber, B for Bertie, over The Netherlands in 1941. Even more, it tells the story of the Dutch men and women who endangered their own lives to give the crew shelter, to protect them and to pass them on to the North coast of Holland until rescue could be arranged.

Bertie, a two-engine bomber, is returning from a run over Stuttgart when it's hit by flak. The plane loses an engine but the crew nurse the plane along until the second engine stutters out over Holland. The six-man crew bail out. Five land together; one is missing. There is John Haggard (Hugh Burden), the pilot and the youngest; Tom Earnshaw (Eric Portman), the co-pilot, a Yorkshire businessman before the war; Frank Shelley (Hugh Williams), the navigator, a West End actor with a famous wife; Bob Ashley (Emrys Jones), the radio operator, a soccer star; Geoff Hickman (Bernard Miles), the front gunner, an owner of an auto garage; and George Corbett (Godfrey Tearle), the rear gunner, at least twenty-five years older than the others, a knight, a member of parliament who immediately signed up with the Royal Air Force when war was declared.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Ty-Fry-Typhoon on 16 May 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
An excellent little war movie, made during the war its about a crew of a Wellington Bomber that gets shot down while on a bombing raid.

It follows the crew as they travel with the help of the resistance across enemy occupied territory and try to get back to blighty.

If you like films like the Dambusters, Wooden Horse and Angels One Five you'll like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 July 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Following in the wake of the previous year's highly acclaimed 49th Parallel, this 1942 follow-up wartime tale by master film-makers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (The Archers) is another engaging (and rather original) piece of story-telling. As the film title clearly signals, here we follow the attempts of six RAF airmen as they try to navigate their way out of the occupied Netherlands following the ditching of their Wellington bomber (code-named B for Bertie), it having been hit by German flak following a bombing raid over Stuttgart. Although, for me, the film is not in the same league as their later masterworks (Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, Colonel Blimp, etc), particularly from a visual perspective, it is still an absorbing work, featuring some spectacular black-and-white photography (particularly the air- and sea-borne footage) by Ronald Neame, and including a witty and perceptive script from the duo (for which they received an Oscar nomination - incredibly the only Oscar nomination that Powell ever received).

What, for me, OOOAIM showcases most effectively is the period camaraderie and banter between the six shot down crew members. In particular, each of Godfrey Tearle's aristocratic, gunner Sir George Corbett (the film's ultimate hero), and Hugh Burden and Bernard Miles' equally well-spoken gunner Geoff Hickman and pilot John Haggard (respectively) provide a nice contrast with Frank Shelley's more down to earth Welshman and navigator, Hugh Williams, and Eric Portman's dour Yorkshireman and co-pilot, Tom Earnshaw, (despite being a Halifax-born man, Portman, if anything, here slightly overdoes his 'whippet-breeding credentials').
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