Thursday 11 April 2019


From Hell to Victory (1979) - A film which is a special kind of awful. One of two all-star war films made in 1979 by Umberto Lenzi, this may be the better one. That's not saying much. It looks more professional than Battle Force, though all the battle footage is from  the overlong Eagles Over London (1969, an epic but ramshackle production more in lieu with Commando comic than real life, a blitzed London where the Royal Festival Hall and the Post Office Tower have already been built), all the sequences of London being from there, with a few cut-in shots of George Hamilton in a fake-looking phone box. This has not only Hamilton, but George Pepper (sic) too, who plays "the American", while Hamilton does a sporadic French accent and looks silly. Astonishingly once shown on BBC1, as a big movie premiere. Also with Capucine, Sam Wanamaker, Lambert Wilson, Jean Pierre Cassel, Howard Vernon as the Nazi, Horst Bucholz, it's the story of five buddies who meet every year, only for them to be all on different sides. There's random cuts to incidents that don't make sense. Again with Italian war movies of the 60s (Eagles Over London and Operation Crossbow especially), there's that weird Eurospy-WW2 hybrid, where there's big Ken Adam-y sets, gadgets, and everything looks like the 60s. And in this case, it's the same, though a few 70s haircuts sneak in (though most of the crowd scenes are reused from Eagles over London, hence why all of London seems to be Hispanic and dressed like it is in 1969). Lenzi is credited as Hank Milestone. It does look better than the average Italian actioner. But Warner sem to have coproduced.  Rewatched it on the crappier Pegasus UK print. And there the original footage actually looks like it's from the 60s.

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