View Full Version : OT-- 633 Sqn

06-03-2005, 08:00 AM
I found this at the local grocery on DVD & wondered if it was worth the $10.

06-03-2005, 08:00 AM
I found this at the local grocery on DVD & wondered if it was worth the $10.

06-03-2005, 08:28 AM
Good music.

06-03-2005, 11:28 AM
It made Channel 4's top 100 War films list, coming in at number 45. TBH I can't remember the film but it's gotta be better than the awful film, Mosquito Squadron.

06-03-2005, 11:33 AM
It's a good movie, and it comes from a four book set of 633 Squadron books. I don't know if they're still in print, as I bought mine nearly thiry years ago. They were published by Bantam in their "War Books" series.

06-03-2005, 11:46 AM

Any assessment of the movie '633 Squadron' needs to me made in the context of the year it was released - 1964.

By the usual standards of the early-to-mid 60's, it was a pretty good effort; a reasonably well liked and popular movie at the time.

I'll deal with the negatives first, then the positives, then an 'IMHO' summing-up.


The Germans are generally portrayed as sinister, evil types but British/Commonwealth guys and their Norwegian allies are mostly 'thoroughly decent chaps' - (typical fare for movies of the 50's and 60's).

The dialogue, by today's standards, is corny, hackneyed and full of cliches - (again, common at that time).

A plot that seemed full of suspense and quite clever then looks somewhat predictable now. (Audiences are just more sophisticated these days!)

Little touches that would have been accepted by most 60's viewers, but just don't cut it today - like the obviously very fake looking (and somewhat improbable) prosthetic 'hand' of one of the aircrew! Also a few action frames that were obviously 'film over film'.


The Squadron and the story, though both fictitious, were inspired by some unusual and very daring real life Mosquito squadron exploits and the 'spirit' of the movie manages to capture this sentiment.

REAL Mosquito aircraft. They may be bomber versions with the nose perspex painted over and fake gun barrels to look like FBVI's, but hey, a real Mossie is a real Mossie!!! F#$%ing magnificent to behold!!! (In case you haven't guessed, one of my WW2 favourites!)

As someone else has already mentioned, the music - this can be stirring if you're emotional like me!

Some of the flying sequences still look reasonably good, and represent a filming achievement for 1964. Some shots were taken with stunt pilots doing real 'knap-of-the-earth' stuff.


I saw this movie shortly after release and read the book as well. I remember enjoying both and the movie was a favourite for me as a youngster. Today, I look at it more critically, with some cycnicism I didn't have back then. But it's nostalgic, I can still enjoy it and its got those lovely Mossies!

If you can put up with the dated presentation, the stereotyped characterisations and the 'plum-in-the-mouth' corn dialogue, this is still a movie well worth watching. It has its fair share of redeeming features.

Worth $10.00? Your call.

Best regards,

han freak solo
06-03-2005, 09:06 PM
I bought a copy a month ago for $10, too.

At first glance through the chapters I thought it had silly special effects. But, after watching it from front to back and taking into account when it was made, I like it. Worth $10 to me!

Why they had an American (Eagle Squadron?) leading the squadron is a choice they must have made for the potential American audiences.

06-04-2005, 02:27 AM
Hi guys...

Just a bit more trivia on the 633 Squadron saga, a footnote on a couple of the characters and their nationality, etc:

If memory serves me correctly (and this is thinking back 40 years - asking a lot!!!), a couple of the key characters as depicted in the movie vary somewhat from the book.

In the book, the leader, Roy Grenville, is British.

The squadron 'ratbag character type' (and don't they always have to have at least one ratbag character?), named Gillibrand, is a Canadian.

Gillibrand is extremely extroverted and fancies himself as a great 'chick magnet' (or 'ladies man', as they used to call it then). He doesn't make 'the big mission', because he dies heroically defending the squadron base from a surprise attack by Bf 110's.

Just prior to this, he'd been charged for some offence or other and was due to be court-martialled. I do still remember the words in the book, after Gillibrand dies: "There would be no court-martial for Gillibrand now."

In the movie, the leader (as mentioned by han freak solo) is played by Cliff Robertson and was, I think, meant to be American (though some people thought he was meant to be Canadian - not picking up on the uniform details??).

The Character of Gillibrand was changed in the movie to be Australian (actually played by an Australian actor, John Meillon). In the film, he survives to the big mission, during which he dies in suitably heroic fashion.

The movie does pay tribute to the real Mosquito crews with the following intro screen:

"This story is inspired by the exploits of the Royal Air Force and Commonwealth Mosquito air crews during WW2".

As the movie is part of my home collection, I can refer to it now but I must rely on my memory for the details in the book. I don't think it's been in print for a long time.

Enough of the movie trivia for now!

Best regards to all,

06-04-2005, 02:50 AM
http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif Panther, I got all 4 too...

Probably an age thing - Rhine Maiden was my favourite (althougth that was 1st one I read, which is probably why)

It crossed my to try to do a short campaign based on them if we get the Mossie one day.

06-05-2005, 01:43 AM
Hi stathem,

Yeah, OK, I confess!!! I AM an old fart!

And I'm hanging out to "get the Mossie one day"!! (drool, drool)

Best regards,

06-05-2005, 05:00 AM
Good review above by Panther. I too saw it at the cinema when it first came out, and will still give it a quick look when it appears on the box from time to time.
They actually destroyed several Mossies making the film, something that wouldn't happen today.
My biggest beef with it, as a film, is having a Greek (George Chakiris) play a Norwegian (Lt. Erik Bergman); a most peculiar casting choice, about as worthwhile as having Genghis Khan played by John Wayne.


06-06-2005, 10:32 AM
Hi there Dunkelgrun,

Thanks, and yeah, George Chakiris didn't 'cut the mustard' as a Norwegian for me, either. But his 'sister' (played by Maria Perschy?)certainly did!

All the best,

06-06-2005, 11:21 AM
Thanks for all the replies.
Panther, that is one of the better film reviews i have read. Based on the info provided here, i will probably pick it up. It would be hard to beat real Mossie footage.

S! & thanks to all.


06-07-2005, 06:44 AM

Thanks. Grit your teeth for the cornball and enjoy those Mossies!

Best regards,