Mature Tries the Great Escape
American sergeant, Daniel Thatcher (Victor Mature), is stationed in North Africa where he has been assigned to the British tank corps. Unfortunately Thatcher and hundreds of other allied soldiers find themselves being captured by the Germans which is especially bad news for him as before he was part of the tank corps he was the soldier who had once tried to assassinate Josef Goebbels and will surely be singled out when the Germans realise who they have. Whilst the British prisoners of war under Sergeant Kendall (Leo Genn) set about creating a committee to organize their escape plans Thatcher is in a greater hurry.
There are war movies which are about realism and then there are war movies about boys own entertainment and "No Time to Die", which is also known as "Tank Force", is all about the boys own entertainment. And in truth if I had seen this back when I was a boy and would watch "The Great Escape" and then watch it immediately again I would bet I would have enjoyed this too. But having only just come across "No Time to Die" I have to say that whilst an entertaining bit of prisoner of war escapism it is the sort of movie you don't need to think about and doesn't leave a lasting impression.
And it has to be said that "No Time to Die" does not need a great deal of reviewing as it comes down to Victor Mature as Daniel Thatcher being the rebel American soldier who doesn't go along with the British bossing it when it comes to who can escape and so making his relationship to Sergeant Kendall a tense one. And it also comes down to the detail of Thatcher having not only once been married to a Jewish woman who died in a concentration camp but also his history when it comes to having tried to assassinate Josef Goebbels. Beyond that this is just a typical boys own prisoner of war adventure where get two sides, the escape from camp and then their journey through the desert and towns.
Typical is also what you get from the acting with Leo Genn giving us stiff British sergeant whilst Anthony Newley does the cheeky corporal role. And there are a whole host of familiar British actors making up the cast with the likes of David Lodge and Percy Herbert showing up in minor roles. But of course what "No Time to Die" really is, is a vehicle for Victor Mature who turns in his typical action hero performance but it has to be said that by 1958 and having hit his mid 40s looked too old to be playing this sort of hero role.
What this all boils down to is that "No Time to Die" is just a typical boys own prisoner of war movie. It isn't a bad movie if all you want is some action heroics but compared to other prisoner of war movies it is quite basic.