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Customer Review

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A minor classic., 7 Nov. 2007
This review is from: The Malta Story [DVD] (DVD)
The suffering that the people of Malta went through during WW2 has largely been forgotten in the UK.

This film tries to show how much hardship was born by the Maltese and the British military on the island. It does it by conjuring a romance between an RAF pilot and a local girl, and generally it succeeds.

At the time the film was made parts of Malta were still showing the damage done by German bombing and the harbour and military installations were much as they had been during the war, making ground based scenes look quite authentic. Unfortunately, the films budget didn't run to halfway decent model work and anything showing planes in the air (that's not archive footage) is embarrassingly poor even for the day. At least being black and white, archive footage blends in pretty well.

The acting can be a bit emotionless at times (too much stiff upper lip perhaps), but Alec Guiness is excellent as the rather introvert pilot and he has good support from the likes of Jack Hawkins, Anthony Steel and Flora Robson.

Even allowing for it being an idealised portrayal of events on Malta, this film gives us a glimpse of what things must have been like for those involved and why the Maltese were awarded the George Cross Medal.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Sep 2012 15:59:21 BDT
Bedinog says:
'Stiff upper lip' is a bit degrading these days- it's worth remembering that many involved in wartime tragedy had to keep a lid on emotion simply to cope at the time. Many, like my late father had reccurrent nightmares until the end of their days.
A number of actors in British wartime and wartime-set films had themselves experienced situations most of us these days can only guess at, and their performances were often a reflection of their own coping mechanisms at the time.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Sep 2012 17:10:16 BDT
Mr. S. Crook says:
I simply meant that I thought the actors over did it a bit. Compare and contrast with "The Cruel Sea" or "Dunkirk", neither is exactly overwrought, but the actors do manage to convey how stressed and emotionally stressed they are without undue emotional outbursts. In "Dunkirk" the man who played the Jewish medical orderly (Leavey?) who volunteers to stay behind with the wounded; the expression on his face managed to convey that he knew exactly what would be likely to happen to him when the Germans arrived.

I had a grandfather who enlisted in 1914 and spent the whole war in trenches in France. He never spoke about it in anything other than the vaguest of terms, but was left with screaming nightmares for the rest of his life. I'm of the generation where grandparents were in WW1 and parents in WW2 so I'd not take any of it lightly. Your father has my admiration and sympathy for the sacrifices he must have made and the scars he had to bear as a result.
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