Based on true events, this "exciting, engrossing [and] breathtaking" (The Hollywood Reporter) action-adventure stars OscarĀ(r) winners* Cliff Robertson and George Chakiris as two WWII fliers pitted against the Nazis in a d... more »o-or-die mission. Filled with "blazing, pulse-pounding and realistic air-fighting footage" (Boxoffice), 633 Squadron will "put your heart in your throat" (Los Angeles Times)! 1944. Allied forces learn that the Nazis are planning to pummel England with an all-out rocket blitz. The only way to stop the threat is to send Mosquito bombers into narrow Norwegian fjords to create an avalanche that will crush the Nazis rocket-fuel plants. Can Wing Commander Roy Grant (Robertson) and the boys of the courageous 633 Squadron pull it off? And if so, will they live to reap the glory?« less
"World War II adventure film about a Royal Air Force fighter-bomber squadron assigned to destroy a Nazi nuclear weapons research facility in Norway. Cliff Robertson headlines the movie as a former Eagle Squadron pilot in command of 633 Squadron with a colorful assembly of international pilots. They embark on the hazardous assignment with the target located inside a Norwegian fjord, guarded by an immense array of anti-aircraft artillery. Worth noting is the story was probably inspired by the real-life exploits of RAF Mosquito squadrons that conducted such dangerous missions, hunting down Nazi ship convoys along Norway's rugged coastline. The real attraction of this film is abundant footage of authentic World War II-era De Havilland Mosquito bombers used for the movie production. The scenes of these rare aircraft in flight are a delight, especially since there the are no airworthy examples left in the entire world today (the last one was lost with its crew in a tragic crash in 1996). The model airplane special effects are too obvious, especially when compared to the quality of "The Bridges of Toko Ri" starring William Holden. Nonetheless, it's still pretty exciting and viewers can't help but compare the squadron's climatic attack in the treacherous fjord with "Star War's" Jedi attack on the Empire's Death Star. The script and several scenes could have been better, but the authentic aircraft are worth watching. Overall a decent adventure, dated, but enjoyable if you're a fan of the famous De Havilland Mosquito fighter-bomber built of wood, and flown by pilots in daring missions that helped win World War II.For those interested, there's a nice De Havilland aircraft museum north of London, England, on the actual grounds where these impressive aircraft were built. The original prototype Mosquito airplane, and another production model used in the later movie "Mosquito," are on display."
"This film seems to have attracted a number of interesting, positive reviews--there is little for me to add except to say that is is a fine World War II thriller, featuring Cliff Robertson, George Chakiris and a solid British cast in support.Of course, the real "stars" of the movie are the Mosquitos--seeing them fly is a feast for aviation fans. Some scenes really seem to put you in the cockpit with our heroes as they train for their "mission impossible". There is also a fair bit of model work involved, and this is perhaps the only area of the movie that is dated. Special effects have made huge strides since the sixties--when these planes crash or blow up, it is not done in a convincing way for modern audiences.Cliff Robertson is fine in the lead--later in the decade, he was to win an Oscar for "Charly", yet he has always been under-rated. His career certainly had it's "ups and downs"--in the seventies, he blew the whistle on a Hollywood executive who was embezzling money, and good movie roles seemed to "elude" him for a while. Clearly, he is a man of great integrity. It was nice to see him, after so many years, have an important role in the monster hit, "Spiderman".George Chakiris aquits himself well as a Norwegian resistance leader. British character actors, Harry Andrews and Donald Houston, provide the mandatory "stiff upper lips" ! When the movie is over though, it is those fabulous planes that you remember most.The DVD is widescreen, with decent colour for its age--the sound is mono ( imagine those Mosquitos in surround ? ! ). The packaging is very rudimentary, but I suppose this is in keeping with the low price ?If you like war films with the accent on aviation, this one is for you. Try it !"
Great Flying Scenes --Soapy On The Ground
R. Lewis | 12/07/1998
(3 out of 5 stars)
"633 Squadron has great flying sequences involving the very unique WW-II British plane called the "Mosquito". The Mosquito was a twin engine "fighter bomber" made of WOOD that the Royal Air Force used for "unconventional" type flying missions portrayed in 633 Squadron. The Mosquito was a fast, light, multi-role aircraft that carried a crew of two seated side by side. It was long suspected that the Nazi's had an Atomic Bomb development program and 633 Squadron's final mission is to fly through a heavily defended Fiord in Nazi occupied Norway and destroy a German plant that is suspected to be involved in Atomic research. Cliff Robertson plays a "Yank" in the RAF I'm sure he was cast for US audience appeal (Robertson, an accomplished pilot, at one time owned a WW-II British Spitfire fighter) and George Chakiris (West Side Story) has a good role as a member of the Norwegian Underground.The movie has all the usual flying cliches -- and a romantic interest as well. The flying sequences are first rate -- however, when the planes are flying through the Fiord a very crude attempt at simulating anti-aircraft fire from the gunners perspective is made and that detracts from an other wise exciting sequence given the technology available in 1964."
...george lucas hang your head in shame!
R. Lewis | 09/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this film from my childhood - yes some of the special effects look a bit ropey now, but that's more than made up for by the genuine footage of the real Mosquitos in action and Ron Goodwin's fantastic theme tune - easily one of the best movie themes ever. ( By the way, anyone unconvinced that George Lucas in fact got the idea for the Death Star scene fom this fine film might like to know the following: When Lucas originally devised Star Wars and was showing a rough cut print to the movie studio bigwigs, he hadn't had enough budget left for the SFX to show them the Death star finale. So instead, he intercut aerial dogfight footage from British WW2 movies including the Dambusters, the Battle Of Britain, and .....633 Squadron. Case closed!!"
Please buzz me with that Mosquito!
C. A. Luster | Burke, VA USA | 05/08/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Well I am an American, but I love the British planes and movies. This cast I think is mostly British and do a splendid job of acting. A group of international pilots in the RAF band together to bomb a factory that the silly Germans stuck under a large rock overhang just aching to be avalanched. Even though that would not have happened they at least have plenty of Anti-Aircraft guns and thats factual. Perhaps a slightly exaggerated story premise, but very entertaining and it certainly gives an idea of the heroism of the RAF pilots during WWII. Anyway this is a fine film especially for anyone that enjoys movies like "The Battle of Britain" or "Memphis Belle". As pointed out one benefit is the opportunity to see the magnificent "Mosquito" planes and the beautiful scenery they fly over. Did I mention that the sound of a Merlin engine not only arouses WWII pilots. With the great musical theme of the movie and the acting of cliff Robertson you have a winner. Good point about the models used in the bombing sequences. After all we are talking 40 year old F/X. Star Wars is almost 30 years old and we can certainly see how those special effects are now dated. George Lucas even went back and changed the Death Star explosion to improve it for the re-release. It might be nice to see an updated version of the models in this movie but then we couldn't poke a little fun at them and our age since most of us saw this as kids. Great movie and I have pre-ordered my DVD copy. For you fans of WWII movies, "Sink the Bismack" will also be out on DVD this month. Another great Brit movie."