It's sad that Powell and his long-standing collaborator Emeric Pressburger were forced into the grind of British war movies so soon after they had managed to transcend the limitations of most local cinema in movies like The Red Shoes and A Matter of Life and Death. Like their The Battle of the River Plate, this is superior of its kind, but that isn't enough to lift it into the areas that Powell and Pressburger mastered a few years earlier. It's based on an actual incident in World War II: British officer Bogarde is working with partisans in occupied Crete, and decides to kidnap the German commander-in-chief to boost the war effort. General Kreipe (Goring) is duly hijacked and trekked across country by night into custody on a British vessel. The scrupulous reconstruction is all pluck, stiff upper lips and mutual respect for one's foe. It's distinguished by Powell's sense of landscape (as in 49th Parallel), and by a vigorous Theodorakis score.