Fighter Attack (1953)
For Whom the Bell Doesn't Toll
Having flown over 200 missions, flight leader Steve (Sterling Hayden - Nine to Five) is due to be going home to America and girlfriend Diane. But before he goes he is persuaded to do one more mission to prevent enemy supply trucks getting to a depot in enemy filled Italy. But after being shot down Steve is found by resistance fighters Nina (Joy Page) and Bruno (J. Carrol Naish - Rio Grande) who help him to complete his mission by liaising with his squadron over the situation down on the ground.
Where do I start? Well "Fighter Attack" is not the most original of movies be it the idea of a pilot flying one more mission before returning home to the fact he gets shot down and stuck in enemy territory. To make matters worse the movie opens post war as we see Steve heading to a remote Italian church and so we already know he survives and therefore probably completed his mission as well. As such there is very little which will take you by surprise as it becomes an action adventure with Steve battling his way through enemy territory whilst there is the obligatory romantic element as he falls for Nina which leads to some complications. Basically from a narrative point of view "Fighter Attack" is ordinary at best.
But being ordinary wouldn't be so bad if what happens is exciting but unfortunately this has the feel of a movie made on very limited funds. The best it gets is the various scenes of old war planes flying in formation which is an impressive sight especially when we watch them come into land. But as for the rest of the action it is just as standard as the storyline. And to make matters worse "Fighter Attack" looks like it was made using inferior stock with many of the images looking washed out which might be an age thing but I doubt it.
And to keep on with the negatives the characters themselves be it Steve or Nina are as stereotypical as they come. It makes for ordinary performances from the likes of Sterling Hayden and Joy Page. And this has the knock on effect of giving us characters we don't really connect with or get behind to champion.
What this all boils down to is that "Fighter Attack" is just a typical post war action movie with a cliche storyline, cliche action and cliche characters. It isn't necessarily terrible but there are a lot better war movies which you could watch instead.
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