Watch The Gift Horse
- 1 hr 35 min
The Gift Horse is a 1952 British war film directed by Compton Bennett and starring Trevor Howard, Richard Attenborough, and Sonny Tufts. The film is set during the early days of World War II when the German army invaded Norway. The film follows a group of British sailors who are given the task of sailing an old, rusty destroyer, the H.M.S. Ballantrae, to Norway, to assist the Norwegian resistance in their fight against the Germans. The sailors are led by Captain David MacAllister, played by Trevor Howard, a veteran of World War I who was recalled to active duty at the outbreak of World War II.
The ship is in a terrible state and the crew is ill-prepared for the dangerous mission they are about to embark on. But with the help of the Norwegian resistance, who provide them with information and assistance, the sailors manage to carry out their mission, which involves attacking German supply ships in Norwegian waters.
The crew is also aided by a brave Norwegian woman, Maria, played by Sonja Ziemann, who risks her life to guide the ship through treacherous waters to a safe landing spot. Maria develops a romantic interest in one of the sailors, Lt. Jackson, played by Richard Attenborough.
But the film is not just about the sailors and their dangerous mission. It also explores the hardships and sacrifices that the Norwegian people had to endure during the war, and their heroic efforts to resist the invading German army.
The film was made in post-war Britain, when the memories of World War II were still fresh in people's minds. It was intended to be an uplifting and patriotic film, designed to boost morale and remind people of the sacrifices made by those who fought in the war.
The Gift Horse is a well-made film, with excellent performances from the cast. Trevor Howard is especially good as the gruff and loyal Captain MacAllister, who is determined to see his mission through to the end, no matter the cost. Richard Attenborough is also impressive as the young and inexperienced Lt. Jackson, who has to learn to be a leader under difficult circumstances.
The film features some impressive action sequences, including a thrilling sea battle between the H.M.S. Ballantrae and a German supply ship. The special effects are a little dated by modern standards, but they are still effective in conveying the danger and excitement of the individual scenes.
Overall, The Gift Horse is a well-crafted and enjoyable war film, which manages to balance action, drama, and romance effectively. It is a reminder of the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought in World War II and the hardships that the civilian population had to endure during the conflict.