Saturday, November 19, 2016

'One of Our Aircraft is Missing' BD: Thrilling Tale of Downed RAF Crew Making Way Across Holland



The Olive Films November 15, 2015 Blu-ray release of the 1942 British drama "One of Our Aircraft is Missing" awesomely shows how things became more serious since the 1941 premiere of the (Unreal TV reviewed) companion release of the lighter WWII-centric  "Pimpernel Smith" The Olive liner notes provide a good synopsis of the propaganda aspects of "Aircraft." These comments include that "Aircraft" is an early film for the British production entity known as "The Archers."

Like "Smith," "Aircraft" begins with an apt scroll regarding its subject matter. In this case, it is a brief report on Dutch farmers who help a downed aircraft crew.

The story of the "B for Bertie" blokes begins at their base. We learn that the group includes professional football (my people call it soccer) player Bob Ashley and a well-known actor married to a famous entertainer. These men and three peers are under the command of  tough but fair commander Sir George Corbett.

Once the boys are in the air, the audience sees what surely is actual footage of anti-aircraft fire from the ground. This is only part of the thrilling depiction of an incident that requires that the crew abandon their plane over Holland.

On landing, the then-known survivors began their fascinating lesson on surviving behind enemy lines and making their way home. This includes early insight regarding the dual problems of wearing uniforms and lacking access to civilian clothes. Related issues regarding clothing arising later in the film provides further insight into deciding what to wear sometimes potentially involving life or death considerations.

The group soon encountering three small Dutch children is one of the most entertaining in the film. The mix of naivety and awareness regarding living under Nazi occupation makes our young heroes very endearing.

The initial mutual wariness regarding the crew and the local adults is less endearing but is more fascinating. The common-sense indications of trustworthiness and truthfulness offer good insight regarding the risky circumstances of a group of strangers asserting to be allies and the people on whom they hope to rely posing a threat of turning them into the enemy.

Like "Smith," stating much more about "Aircraft" would spoil the enjoyment of watching it. Suffice it to say that the cast, which includes several renowned British actors, all play their roles very well. This is on top of the adventures of their characters providing an excellent education on the topic of downed WWII-era pilots finding their way back to friendly territory.

Both the real-life subject matter of the film and the attributes described above, make "Aircraft" one that truly the whole family will want to watch.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Aircraft" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.