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Monday, August 30, 2010

Hanover Street (released in 1979) - a war movie starring Harrison Ford (set during the second World War)

This is a romantic movie set against the back drop of world war two starring Harrison Ford, Christopher Plummer and Leslie Anne Down. Written and Directed by Peter Hyams it is known for the splendid aerial fight sequences.
Set in London, Lieutenant David Halloran meets Margaret Sellinger at a tea stall near Hanover street and soon are attracted to each other. Margaret is very much married to a simple Paul Sellinger who is away at war; and she is attracted to the charismatic Halloran. Soon Halloran and Margaret meet clandestinely and fall rapidly in love irrespective of their other relationship.
Paul Sellinger is with the British intelligence, and is a simple school teacher who needs to prove himself. and is given an assignment of penetrating Nazi German Head quarters inn Lyons in France. He has to photocopy the list of all the double agents active in Britain. The task of delivering him across German lines falls in to the capable hands of Halloran.

The two men are not aware of each other and travel together to France. Here they are shot down and Halloran needs to help Sellinger who is grievously wounded. He agrees to accompany him on the mission and contact French Resistance troops. They get hold of an uniform and soon penetrate the German defenses and get hold of the papers.
But as luck could have it they are betrayed by a collaborator and flee with the papers with the SS hot on their heels. Halloran has worked out that Sellinger is the husband of Margaret and saves him from tight situations. So after many cliff hanger moments Halloran and Sellinger make it through not before Halloran giving up on his love.
Here Margaret in London comes to the conclusion that both the men she loves are in a mission together. Ultimately she manages to reach a wounded Sellinger and Halloran and has to choose between the two. Well no prizes for guessing who the lucky one is. Margaret says her good byes to Halloran and proceeds to look after her husband and her duties. Halloran who loves her so much to let her go, moves down Hanover street to his place.
Released in 1977 this movie was a commercial and critical failure. It is not hard to understand why, because the movie which harps so much on romance glosses over the attraction felt by the lead pair. The initial meeting scenes between the two doomed lovers are very irritating and clich├ęd that you feel like hitting them to get it over with. It dwells on the duties of husband and wife and its aerial fight sequences. It seems to have a quite a following for the action sequences, but as a romantic movie it is a dud.
Moreover the story is so predictable and moves at a snails pace that you almost feel sorry for Sellinger to have such a wife and friend. I wouldn't recommend this tale of so called forbidden love, just watch some horror film instead. It will save you from ennui.

Hanover Street (released in 1979) - a war movie starring Harrison Ford (set during the second World War)

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