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The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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Original review at TVGuide

TV Guide review

One of Our Aircraft is Missing (1942)

During WW II, squadrons of heavy Wellington bombers take off from Britain at dusk and cross the English Channel for a raid on Stuttgart. On the return flight, six crewmen on one plane are forced to bail out over German-occupied Holland. Some Dutch children help them evade a German patrol; then, disguised, they are aided by an underground network that enables them to reach the coast and to return to Britain in a small boat. Almost immediately after being reunited with their squadron they are back in the air, flying even more dangerous missions into Germany. The second Michael Powell-Emeric Pressburger collaboration (the first on which Pressburger was codirector), this film does not reach the heights of their previous, similarly plotted picture, The Invaders (aka 49th Parallel). The best sequences are the opening ones, precisely detailing the raid as the men concentrate on their duties, adjusting instruments while their planes shake under the anti-aircraft fire all around them. The performances -- of the stiff-upper-lip variety--are all good, especially Godfrey Tearle's as the aircraft commander, Googie Withers' as an important link in the chain of rescuers, and Scottish character actor Hay Petrie's as an apoplectic burgomeister. The film's worth as a propaganda piece was considerable, but too many long-winded speeches about people uniting to fight the Germans date the film somewhat now. The film earned Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Special Effects.

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