Against the Wind (1948)

Not Rated   |    |  Action, War, Drama

Against the Wind (1948) Poster

British agents engage in hazardous duty behind German lines.


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3 March 2009 | Bunuel1976
| AGAINST THE WIND (Charles Crichton, 1948) ***
This unusual but typically low-key product from Ealing Studios (best-known for a series of classic comedies made between 1946-1955) is a semi-documentary depiction of the saboteur training undergone by a band of hand-picked civilians and their subsequent missions behind enemy lines; therefore, in both theme and quality, it anticipates the later, more acclaimed Hollywood offering DECISION BEFORE DAWN (1951) which, incidentally, I just caught up with a couple of weeks ago. The cast is mostly made up of the usual familiar British faces (James Robertson Justice, Gordon Jackson, Jack Warner, Robert Beatty, etc.) but 2 major roles are, very effectively, portrayed respectively by French and Canadian actors: Simone Signoret (appearing in her first English-speaking film when on the verge of attaining stardom on her home ground) and Paul Dupuis. Being in this company, there cannot fail to be lighter moments – especially during an early sequence where our heroes are being shown the tools of their trade i.e. booby-trapped dead rats, manure and even sausages! – among the continuous perils and occasional tragedies they have to face away from home (including being forced to cold-bloodedly execute a compromised companion and swallow the omnipresent suicide pill to escape torture at the enemy's hands).

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