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Movie Reviews

The Cockleshell Heroes  

Now I must admit I am partial to a good old fashioned WWII Movie and when I sat down to watc this one I was hoping it might have been one of them. How disappointed I was.

Now I freely admit most of the old WWII Movies are probably completly non Politically Correct IE the Germans are the bad guys and the Allies are the good guys with little room for shades of grey or even a balanced discussion or a realistic depiction of what they are portraying. Personally this doesn't normally bother me as long as you accept the story for good old fashioned "Boys Own" or "Commando" stories (for our American readers think Sgt Rock).

This Movie tries to be based on that lines but does not manage to achieve fully what it wants to be. Ie a HEROIC story of man against the odds.

Made in 1955 and starring Trevor Howard this Movie is based on the raid by Royal Marines to blow up ships in a French harbour by Kayaks. Source material sounds like it could have been a very dramatic movie with heaps of suspense.

Instead the action is very soggy indeed. Have you ever heard of a nighttime raid being filmed during the day? Yes they did. Quite often when you see the sky during the raid it is blue. But pardon me considering the raid was supposed to have been in December should the sky not have been jet black and very dark. Completely ruined any sense of the reality the Movie could have had.

Something else that was terrible about the Movie. Trevor Howard was only supposed to be the admin officer on the mission and not actually go. But 15 minutes before the mission one of the men is injured and without having had any training he volunteers to go along. His age in this movie is also at least 50-55 which would have made him completely unsuitable for the mission. But oh no they take him anyway because "I'm a quick learner" . Doesn't exactly instill much confidence for the mission does it ?

Although Trevor Howard is the best known character in the Movie, the lead is actually played by Jose Ferrer who was not the most heroic of actors to play a hero (the film's description , not mine) coming across as a bit of a snob and not a great leader of men as a character in a Movie such as this should be.

Well as you can guess the raid succeeds. Did you have any doubt it wouldn't ? But most of them are captured and they are shot for being saboteurs. Trevor Howard utters a totally cheesy line as they are about to be shot "stand firm lads" as if it mattered that they stood proud as they were shot. Normally you would feel something for the characters at this point but I felt nothing for them in this Movie considering they had not bothered to flesh any of the characters out other than Howards and Ferrer's and one of the other soldiers.

If you see this Movie in your TV listings don't bother. Find one of the other classic war Movies to watch instead.

Tall Guy

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