21 June 2019 | boblipton
A Poor Print Makes An Unwatchable Film
It's the Second World War. Dirk Bogarde is sent on a mission to Rhodes to destroy two Axis airbases with a crew of British commandos and Greek partisans.
The copy of this movie that played on TCM today was in poor shape. Not only was it too dark to reveal much in the way of details, but the color balance on the Technicolor print it was drawn from -- or perhaps the telecine it was converted on -- was off; the dark-for-night scenes had gigantic swaths of blue, and the faces of the actors verged on orange. the cinematography by Wilkie Cooper looks like it was bleached into impressionism. It looks like it was drawn from a bad 16 mm. TV print. In addition, while there were many scenes shot on location in the Dodecanese, there were a tremendous number of process shots put together in such a way that there was no mistaking them.
It's a shame, because it's a talented director -- Lewis Milestone -- with actors worth looking at: Dirk Bogarde, Denholm Elliott, Akim Tamiroff, Gerard Oury, and Eric Pohlman head the cast list.
I think this movie is worth another attempt, but until I can see a copy drawn from senior 35 mm. elements, I cannot recommend this to anyway. If someone is aware of a better copy, I would like to know of it.