🎥 Appointment In London – 1953
The Story …
Wing Commander Tim Mason (Dirk Bogarde) commands a wing of Avro Lancasters based in England. He is nearing the end of his third tour of operations, meaning that he has flown nearly 90 missions over Germany.
Having twice volunteered to continue operational flying, Mason is keen to make it a round 90 “ops”, but just as he is nearing the end of his tour he receives orders banning him from further flying.
Meanwhile, losses are mounting and several raids are being seen as failures, so that some of the members of his crews, Brown (Bill Kerr) and “The Brat” Greeno (Bryan Forbes) among them, are thinking that there must be a “jinx” at work. Soon afterwards, “The Brat” is caught sending unauthorised telegrams off the station …
These turn out to be written to his wife, Pam (Anne Leon), rather than anything more sinister; however, Mason reprimands Greeno for the lapse in security. A few days later, Greeno’s aircraft fails to return from a raid and Mason agrees to meet Pam, who has asked to see him.
With only one more flight to go, he accepts that the decision to ground him was for his own good, and he visits Brown’s aircraft as Brown and his crew prepare to take off on a mission. As the crew board the Lancaster the large 4,000 lb “cookie” bomb that is part of the bomber’s load, slips from the bomb shackles and injures one of the crew.
With no time to obtain a replacement crew member, US observer Mac Baker (William Sylvester) takes his place. Mason decides to go as well, to reassure the crew’s worries about the jinx, and the bomber takes off.
During the attack on the target, the Pathfinder plane directing the raid is shot down, causing the remaining bombers to begin bombing inaccurately. Hearing and seeing this, Mason takes the Pathfinder’s place on the radio, broadcasting corrections and accurate instructions, and the bombing becomes accurate again.
Listening-in to the Pathfinder’s broadcast back in Britain, Mason’s commanding officer, Group Captain Logan (Ian Hunter) hears Mason’s voice and realises that he’s disobeyed orders and flown on the operation. However, Mason’s intervention turns the raid from a probable failure to a success, so on Mason’s return Logan greets him at his aircraft.
At the end of the mission, Mason, along with Eve Canyon, Brown and Greeno’s wife Pam, take a taxi to Buckingham Palace to receive an award from King George VI
- Directed by Philip Leacock
- Screenplay by John Wooldridge, Robert Westerby
- Story by John Wooldridge
- Produced by Aubrey Baring, and Maxwell Setton
- Cinematography : Stephen Dade
- Edited by V. Sagovsky
- Music by John Wooldridge
- Production Companies : Mayflower Productions, British Lion
- Distributed by British Lion Films (UK)
- Release Date : 17 February 1953
- Dirk Bogarde as Wing Commander Tim Mason
- Ian Hunter as Group Captain Logan
- Dinah Sheridan as Eve Canyon
- William Sylvester as Major “Mac” Baker USAAF
- Bryan Forbes as Pilot Officer Peter Greeno (“The Brat”)
- Walter Fitzgerald as Dr. Mulvaney, Group Medical Officer
- Bill Kerr as Flight Lieutenant Bill Brown
- Anne Leon as Pam Greeno
- Charles Victor as Dobbie, the Innkeeper
- Richard Wattis as Pascal
- Carl Jaffe as German General
- Sam Kydd as Ackroyd
- Terence Longdon as Dr. Buchanan
- Michael Ripper as Bomb Aimer
- Campbell Singer as Flight Sergeant (Chief of Ground Crews)
- Harold Siddons as Flight Lieutenant Saunders
- Anthony Shaw as “Smithy”
- Anthony Forwood as Sandy
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