- Movie Rating -

Hanover Street (1979)

| May 18, 1979

There was a period in the early 1980s when Harrison Ford could do no wrong.  For five years between The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Witness in 1985, he starred in at least one hit movie after another and even ended this successful run with his only Oscar nomination.  And YET in the two wintery years preceding it, in the wake of the success of Star Wars, it seemed that he could do no right: Heroes, Force 10 From Navarone, The Frisco Kid, and yes, I’ll even consider “The Star Wars Holiday Special.”

But the worst was Peter Hymns Hanover Street a gut-wrenchingly bad World War II romance that finds Ford as David, an American bomber pilot falling in love with Margaret a beautiful nurse played by Lesley-Anne Down.  The backdrop is the London blitz and, of course, since they are beautiful people in a war-torn backdrop they fall in love for not other reason than they are beautiful, he is a man, she is a woman, and there’s a war on.

Oh, and just to complicate things, she’s married to a secret agent played by Christopher Plummer, which turns out to be a tiny factoid that she fails to mention.  And just by coincidence, David is asked to pilot a secret mission into France where the husband will parachute into occupied territory.  Neither knows that they are in love with the same woman, but when it all comes to a head, poor Lesley-Anne Down has one of the most confusing and laughable monologue that I’ve heard in a while.

Hanover Street looks and feels like one of those movies that you see being made in a behind-the-scenes docudrama, one in which the filmmakers are making a movie that no one would ever want to see.  It skirts parody only be taking itself way too seriously, and falls into parody for exactly the same reason.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1979) View IMDB Filed in: War