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on 1 August 2017
For got how good this movie was just great British film making at it best
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on 14 April 2005
A truly realistic wartime drama. Based upon a true story of men sent out in canoes, dropped at night from submarines, to sink enemy shipping by placing limpet mines on the ships hulls in enemy ports. A fascinating film that l watched as a boy when the film first came out over 40 years ago and it hasn't lost it's edge.Wonderfull acting, made when the 2nd world war was still fresh in the minds of the scriptwriters and directors.
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on 8 July 2017
Great value
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on 26 March 2017
Good true story.
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on 10 November 2011
Good entertaining movie but is nothing like the book. I found the book to be one of the best true-to-life war stories I have read but I was so disappointed to find that the whole story had changed. Also bad special affects when blowing things up.
This book deserves the Steven Spielberg touch!
Brilliant book but not so good film.
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on 22 July 2010
You have to remember its a film based on real events (its not a documentary), yes the real thing did happen but it was made in an era when "blitz" humour was still in the memory of those alive at the time.

No doubt if it was ever remade it would be American Rangers saving the day!

The theme to the film is still played by the Band of HR Royal Marines
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on 22 August 2007
WOW, if you want to see the way the war was won, the skills and bravery, and sheer brilliance of the people who fought it, I'd highly recommend this film. There is also alot of humour in this film too.. as in real life you need humour to get through the horrors. I can't recommend this film highly enough.
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on 14 December 2016
A rendition of Operation Frankton Dec 1942, when a small canoe borne force of Marines from Combined Operations, penetrated Bordeaux Harbor, with the task of maximum damage to the German Naval and Merchant shipping there. The sinkings were also intended to block the Harbor, and prevent its use against UK channel and coastal shipping and convoys. Churchill, after the War stated in his memoirs that the Raid shortened the War by 6 months with the denial of Bordeaux Harbor to the German Navy.

It is an amazing account of the Raid, and the mind boggles at the courage and determination of those who carried it out. The film is rather "gung Ho" for the first 60 mins, along the lines of "all the Chaps together having fun before bashing Jerry" ..... classic 1950s stuff for Cinema audiences of the 1950s who still had that kind of mindset about it all, never mind the realities of the Operation. Therefore take that element on the chin as the run up to the Operation in the film is a little over the top with "Gung Ho Chaps" et al lol.

However, do put that latter element to one side as Film Craft, and focus on the realities of that mission. The dangers were mind boggling, and the outcome beyond the planners hopes. The members of the Public who were alive at the time in the UK fighting the War, were not called the "Greatest Generation" for nothing. Putting. the film "glitz" to one side .... the Operation itself was astonishing, even for Commando Forces.

The Greatest Generation indeed .......
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 January 2013
The story told in this film was inspired by Operation "Frankton" (7-12 December 1942), an incredibly daring raid by Royal Marines against German blockade runners anchored in Bordeaux. Those ships were large and fast transports travelling (frequently under false flags) from France to Japan and back, carrying sophisticated industrial tools and optic and electronic equipments to the Japanese and bringing back supplies for Nazi war effort, mostly rubber, tin, tungstene, other very rare metals (precious even in limited amounts), as well as silk, quinine and opium.

Operation "Frankton" was a quite unique thing, as the Royal Marines were brought by a submarine to the mouth of Gironde estuary, then had to travel by canoes to Bordeaux and then attack German ships with limpet mines. Paddling up the Gironde would take four nights (commandos had to hide during the day), and therefore the whole operation lasted from 7 to 12 December. After the attack the Marines were to scuttle the canoes and travel by foot to meet with French Resistance agents, who would help them escape to neutral Spain.

In "Cockleshell Heroes" the story is however a little bit amended. Names of the Royal Marines were changed and their characters were completely rewritten to make this film more interesting - and in some parts also more amusing. The key elements of the real story were respected: the operation takes place in December 1942, the target are indeed German blockade-runners in Bordeaux and the final results of the raid are the same in the film as in the real story. There were however may elements added, especially during the raid itself, to make the story more dramatic.

The description of the selection of participants, their training and other preparations were also amended, but mostly by the inclusion of some of the real practices used to select and train British commandos and secret agents during World War II. Although there is no shortage of tragedy in this film (especially during the raid itself), some elements during the training are absolutely HILARIOUS!

Jose Ferrer, who also directed this film, is excellent as the commander of the raid, but it is Trevor Howard who steals the show, as a bitter, somehow aged Royal Marines captain who was promoted only once in his long career and spend the last 20 years affected only to administrative jobs... Christopher Lee plays a little role in this film, as the commander of the British submarine HMS "Tuna".

This film is not as good as "Dambusters" or "Above us the waves", but still I watched it with pleasure. Some comic elements included during the training can seem strange in a war movie, but I rather enjoyed them. The main reason for taking away one star is that this film lacks the tension and the nail-biting suspense which were so present in the two films mentioned earlier - and also because some elements added to the raid itself were a little bit exaggerated and poorly executed.

Still, it is a film worth watching for all war movies amateurs. Enjoy!
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on 19 December 2009
A classic tale of bravery and currage the royal marines have shown throughout their history! An ausum long forgotten, must see film!
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