Operation Amsterdam (1959)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama, History, War

Operation Amsterdam (1959) Poster

When Germany invades Holland in 1940, a British intelligence officer and two Dutch diamond merchants go to Amsterdam to persuade the Dutch diamond merchants to evacuate their diamond supplies to England.


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10 November 2016 | Leofwine_draca
| Excellent backdrop for wartime heroics
OPERATION AMSTERDAM is a strong WW2 movie with a great premise: a team including a Brit and two Dutch are sent into Amsterdam just as the Nazis are invading the country. They've been tasked with retrieving a priceless cache of diamonds from the city's jewellers and thus preventing them from falling into German hands. Along the way they must contend with German mines, bombing, Fifth Columnists, and the German soldiers who have already begun arriving in the city.

It's one of the strongest backdrops I can remember seeing in a film and the suspense goes through the roof from the outset. What I liked about OPERATION AMSTERDAM is that, despite the outlandish premise, the whole thing is rooted in realism; there are no gung-ho heroics, just characters struggling through as best they can. The production values are excellent and while there isn't a wealth of needless action in the film, a climactic firefight is expertly choreographed and one of the best filmed ever (eat your heart out, HEAT!).

The cast is very fine and includes Peter Finch in a solid hero-type role. My favourite character was that of the lovely Eva Bartok, who plays a resistance fighter with courage and determination, even more so than the men she helps. The real star of the show, though, is director Michael McCarthy, who had previously only helmed TV fare and low budget B-films. In OPERATION AMSTERDAM he was given a proper budget and ran away with it, although the success was bittersweet; he died in the same year the film was released.

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