Attack on the Iron Coast (1968)

Attack on the Iron Coast (1968)
 
 

Keir's Attack on the Bridges

Lloyd Bridges in Attack on the Iron Coast (1968)

I didn't see it mentioned anywhere but it appears that "Attack on the Iron Coast" was inspired by Operation Chariot a British Army and Navy attack on the dry dock at St Nazaire. That isn't that unusual as since WWII there have been many war movies either based or inspired by actual war time operations. But sadly due to a lack of stars, limited budget and a director whose style, at least in this, lacks flare makes "Attack on the Iron Coast" ultimately ordinary and forgettable.

Haunted by an operation which had failed Major Jamie Wilson (Lloyd Bridges - Last of the Comanches) is put in charge of operation Mad Dog, a daring plan to cripple a Nazi held dry dock in France using commandos and an exploding boat. But not only does he face objection in the shape of Captain Franklin (Andrew Keir) but due to the previous failure his need to win could be his own down fall.

Mark Eden in Attack on the Iron Coast (1968)

The trouble with "Attack on the Iron Coast" does really stem from what could have only been a limited budget as whilst some may recognize Andrew Keir and Mark Eden the only big star is Lloyd Bridges. That lack of star power is not the only issue because the various action scenes all lack a sense of excitement and power which frankly makes them feel dull. And that really arises from a director who it now feels was just doing the work but had no passion for the movie.

But when you look beneath the lack of budget, stars and style "Attack on the Iron Coast" had the potential to be good. The first third of the movie endeavours to set up this conflict between Wilson and Franklin with Franklin believing not only that the mission is suicidal but that Wilson is too driven by his past failure making him a danger to the men. With frankly better actors and a director who could bring this conflict to life this could have built a fantastic atmosphere but never once achieves it.

And then there is the actual operation itself and again in the hands of a director who maybe was more passionate about things this all could have been more exciting. But from the training to the actual mission it is all so stilted and ordinary with no real excitement.

What this all boils down to is that "Attack on the Iron Coast" is largely a forgettable war movie made at a time when the genre was sinking out of fashion. And it has a feel of that with what looks like a limited budget and few big star names.

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