Hanover Street

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Assuring her the war will end, but how about this movie?

HANOVER STREET—-“ Think of me when you drink tea.”   In 1979, smack between his legacy cementing with Star Wars and Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and before Witness and The Mosquito Coast showed he could really act, Harrison Ford struggled through this old-fashioned romantic nonsense set during WW2.  A faint try at updating 1940 favorite Waterloo Bridge, adding some sex , swearwords and air raids; it’s pretty awful.2

Lesley Anne-Down, at the top of her turn at bat, plays the English love interest to cocky Yank flier Ford, who finds time from pasting the Nazis to woo her away from her dull husband, Christopher Plummer (see: thankless roles taken for paycheck).  Plot dictates have both men ending up behind Jerry lines, in chase & explosion foolishness more at home back in the movie era this film pays homage to.  Weak brew, directed by Peter Hyams.

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John Barry did the score. Barry’s prodigious talents could lean to jazzy excitement like his Bond missions, or lush romanticism ala Out Of Africa and Dances With Wolves.  This one, minus inspiration from the sappy screenplay, has you thinking “Hmm, that sounds like John Barry, if John Barry was phoning it in.”

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Reviews were not kind, business was poor (only $3,000,000 in the US), bad enough to engender a showbiz story (true?) that had the crew of Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom playing a joke on Ford when he was tied up for a torture scene.  Bette Midler came on set, sporting a whip, giving him the riot act over the worst movie she’d ever seen—Hanover Street.  Good story, even if this isn’t quite that terrible.  Aviation aficionados applaud this for the use of five vintage B-25 Mitchell bombers for the air raid scenes, and apparently the movie has some cachet with a slice of viewers who swoon over material dealing with Love Found, Then Lost, Yet Living On—the whole An Affair To Remember/ Somewhere In Time ploy. Weep away, ladies.

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Call me when you’re ready to act, dear boy

109 minutes, with Alec McOwen, Michael Sacks, Richard Masur, John Ratzenberger and an 11-year-old Patsy Kensit (now there’s a character: “All I want is to be more famous than anything or anyone”).

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