Review: Hanover Street (1979)


Hanover Street (1979)

Directed by: Peter Hyams | 104 minutes | action, adventure | Actors: Harrison Ford, Lesley-Anne Down, Christopher Plummer, Alec McCowen, Richard Masur, Michael Sacks, Patsy Kensit, Max Wall, Shane Rimmer, Keith Buckley, Sherrie Hewson, Cindy O’Callaghan, Di Trevis, Suzanne Bertish, Jay Benedict , John Ratzenberger, Hugh Fraser, William Hootkins

Two years after Harrison Ford became a superstar with his character of Han Solo in ‘Star Wars’, he got to reprise that same role in the triple sweet romantic war drama ‘Hanover Street’ (1979). Ford plays a World War II B-25 bomber pilot who, on his day off in London, falls instantly in love with a nurse (Lesley-Anne Down), who is sadly already married to a sweet but dull British intelligence officer (Christopher plummer).

Actress Lesley-Anne Down has her big dreamy eyes cut to portray women from a different, more nostalgic time, for example in the classic British television series “Upstairs, Downstairs” (1971-1975) and the American Civil War epic “North and South” ( 1985, 1986). With those big eyes and her over-the-top sweet-voiced voice, the viewer has to do it, because Down gets to do nothing but show grace and shed tears over her infidelity, as she lies in the arms of rough, white-spirited Ford. .

A role that fits him perfectly and that he can easily get away with this time as well. No one can look as proficient as Harrison Ford, for example when piloting a B-25 bomber through an anti-storm gun, or when, being chased by the Wehrmacht, he tears through a swampy French field on a motorcycle.

“Hanover Street” gets underway when Plummer decides to embark on a dangerous mission into enemy territory himself to prove to his wife that he can be a hero too. The viewer already senses him coming, Ford has to drop Plummer over France, but their plane is shot down and both end up in trouble. The question is, who gets the girl?

The romance between Ford and Down is just as viscous as the thick layer of strings that is spread over the film. We don’t have to search for depth. And Plummer’s mission is not very realistic. But that’s not a bad thing, because on the other hand there are a few exciting action moments (unfortunately with slightly too flashy stunt dolls) and air combat scenes with real North American B-25 Mitchell bombers. ‘Hanover Street’ is fine pulp to dream away to.

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