The Valiant (1962)

  |  Action, Drama, War


The Valiant (1962) Poster

During World War II, two Italian frogmen, who placed magnetic mines under a British warship, are captured and interrogated by British intelligence about their mission.


6.9/10
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25 January 2008 | Bunuel1976
6
| THE VALIANT (Roy Ward Baker, 1962) **1/2
This was one of a number of Italian WWII-set collaborations with English-speaking countries, a couple of which I watched recently – namely THE CAPTIVE CITY (1962) and TORPEDO BAY (1963). While the handling is fairly dull, the film's main plot develops into a sustained suspense situation as a British vessel (commandeered by stiff-upper-lipped John Mills) is planted with explosive charges by Italian naval officer Ettore Manni and his (wounded) companion, who are then imprisoned on the ship itself after refusing to give details of their mission including the whereabouts of the bomb itself.

An underwater search at night fails to reap the desired results and Mills – with the help of officer Robert Shaw (who's married to an Italian girl) – determines to retrieve the necessary information which could save the ship and the life of more than a thousand men on it. Doctor Liam Redmond opposes his treatment of the P.O.W.s, but remains on board to cure the injured man even after the vessel has been evacuated. The explosion eventually occurs early the next morning – when the ship was scheduled to set sail for war duty; the film, then, ends with Mills awarding Manni for his integrity and loyalty to his cause three years after the fact.

As I said, the film is generally interesting (like the same director's DON'T BOTHER TO KNOCK [1952], it's mostly confined to a single setting) though the interrogation/confrontation scenes do get repetitive; it's also bogged down by resistible comic relief provided by two marines appointed to guard the saboteurs.

P.S. I'd love to revisit Mills' previous effort with Baker (in all, they worked six times together) i.e. the eccentric psychological Western THE SINGER NOT THE SONG (1961) – which I acquired some time ago.

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