84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Propaganda and realism, 8 Jan. 2003
A story of the tough days of the Second World War (when Britain stood alone and kept losing up to the time of approaching victory in the Western Desert, despite losses in the Far East) made just before the Allied landings in Normandy. A 'keep the spirits up and victory will be ours' effort which has the massive advantage of great screenwriting (Ambler and Ustinov) and acting (Niven, Ustinov, Holloway et al and the wonderfully pompous Raymond Huntley). Excellent characterizations of, largely, moaning new soldiers being knocked into shape by Sergeant Hartnell as they become a force to take on Jerry. The last scene as the platoon advance into enemy fire is one to inspire and terrify: the ordinary British Tommy could win but there would be a cost; terrible but worth bearing. Bloody marvellous stuff. Literally.