Romantic gem that tugs on the heart strings - a nostalgic fa
Darren Harrison | Washington D.C. | 05/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When Harrison Ford saw an advance cut of the original STAR WARS movie he realized the powerful impact the movie made. In subsequent interviews Ford said that it was at that point that he realized that he needed to get to work in a variety of projects so he could avoid being stereotyped by the role of Han Solo. Of the three leads of that movie that shook the world in 1977 he was the most active in the years immediately following, and the strategy appears to have worked as now, almost 30 years later, he is the only one who is considered a megastar. One of the movies Ford chose was the World War II romantic drama HANOVER STREET in the role of American bomber pilot David Halloran who falls for married English nurse Margaret Sellinger. The Halloran role was originally to be played by Kris Kristofferson, but it is a testament to Fords personality and acting that it is hard to imagine the movie as it was originally cast. Viewed today the movie has an impressive cast, but at that time Ford was perhaps the least known of the three leads. Playing Sellinger is the amazing and impossibly beautiful Lesley-Anne Down who was well known to British television audiences (in UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS) and in addition to an appearance in 1976s THE PINK PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN had, a year previously, appeared opposite Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland in THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY. Down would go on to make other movies such as ROUGH CUT (with Burt Reynolds) and my personal-favorite SPHINX (with Sir John Gielgud and John Rhys-Davies). But here she plays a nurse caught in a love triangle between the hotshot flier (Ford) and her British intelligence husband Paul (played by screen great Christopher Plummer). The movie really picks up the pace when David and Paul have to work together behind enemy lines. There is dramatic tension there as Halloran is initially unaware of the connection he shares with Paul and yet, the success of the mission depends on them cooperating. This is not an action movie by any means, but when there is action on the screen it is handled well in a nice understated manner. It seems that the transfer on this DVD has come in for some criticism, but I found it serviceable. I think the movie is actually quite beautiful at times. The direction by Peter Hyams is steady and he keeps the movie focused on the human drama unfolding before you. He also supplies an audio commentary for this DVD release that is amiable and light. On a trivia note, the young Sellinger's daughter Sarah is portrayed by the actress (and singer for the group Eighth Wonder) Patsy Kensit, who ten years later would appear opposite Mel Gibson in the action movie LETHAL WEAPON 2. Three trailers round out the special features."
Too much love, not enough war
Matthew Easterbrook | Ottawa, Canada | 08/08/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"That sounds like a crass statement to make, to be sure, but in the case of HANOVER STREET, it is, unfortunately, true. The first 75 minutes is taken up with Harrison Ford as an American flyboy who falls in love with upper-crust British nurse Lesley-Anne Down, who happens to be married to poor Christopher Plummer. He seems to be a pretty good guy, but apparently isn't "exciting" enough for her, so she hops in the sack with Ford. The last 45 minutes is much better, as Ford and Plummer find themselves stuck behind enemy lines in Occupied France together, and must work together to get out. It's only here in which the film really picks up -- too bad the movie didn't focus on this aspect rather than the mush.
The DVD itself has a transfer that's been criticized a bit, but I didn't think it was too bad. David Watkin's cinematography comes out nicely, although there is a fair bit of haloing surrounding the light sources in indoor scenes. The audio nicely features John Barry's lush romantic score (really, the only good thing about the romantic part of the film).
The extras are few: an audio commentary by director Peter Hyams, which is listenable, but not essential, and three trailers. All in all, an average DVD presentation of an average film.
The film: 3 stars. The extras: 3 stars."
Matthew Easterbrook | 01/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"an exceptional movie set in london during the war staring a very young harrison ford and lesley ann down. everything about this movie is perfect. although mostly a bittersweet love story, the entire movie is a delightful surprise full of wartime suspense and the sacrifices made in the name of friendship.you will love the ending, even though it will hard to see through the tears.this movie was made before harrison ford became a star .what a treasure!"
A must-see for Harrison Ford fans!
Matthew Easterbrook | 05/31/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Hanover Street portrays young Harrison Ford at his romantic best. As a fearless fighter pilot in WWII stationed in England he meets and falls in love with a gorgeous Leslie-Ann Down who tries to hide the fact that she is married to Spy Master Christopher Plummer. Harrison loses his edge in flying fearlessly as he gains his affection for Down. He is assigned to take an England officer into Germany to uncover the identity of a double-spy. The plane crashes and the two end up escaping the French countryside together. That union is fateful, funny and touching. This movie is for the romantic at heart. I've seen it several times!"
Consider the times
Matthew Easterbrook | 12/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've always loved this movie. Yes, the plot is a little over-used, but you can't beat it for early Harrison Ford. The bedroom scenes are done with the taste lacking in many of today's movies. Richard Masur is very funny as the nervous bomb spotter. Two thumbs and two big toes up!"