HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
Night Drive
Luca
Prospect
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  Hannibal Brooks The Elephant And Hassle
Year: 1969
Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Oliver Reed, Michael J. Pollard, Wolfgang Preiss, John Alderton, Helmut Lohner, Peter Carsten, Karin Baal, James Donald, Ralf Wolter, Jürgen Draeger, Maria Brockerhoff, Til Kiwe, Ernst Fritz Fürbringer, Fred Haltiner, John Porter-Davison, Terence Sewards
Genre: War, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: British soldier Stephen Brooks (Oliver Reed) is having trouble with his armoured car behind enemy lines in Second World War Germany, and just as he gets it started, he encounters even more trouble when he comes under a hail of bullets from a German patrol who capture him, telling Brooks that for him, the war is over. Brooks, never the most committed of soldiers, is delighted and looks forward to spending the rest of the conflict in a prisoner of war camp, although he does assist American soldier Packy (Michael J. Pollard) in his escape attempt from the train taking them to the camp, an attempt that fails almost immediately. However, something will soon plod into Brooks's life while he is jailed that will change him forever...

Michael Winner didn't always direct numbingly sadistic thrillers, you know, nope, in the nineteen-sixties his career looked very promising indeed and while you can't accuse him of being a failure financially, there are those who wish he had continued on the quirkier path he went down during the first period of his, uh, canon. Here, as producer as well, he came up with the story with Tom Wright, and had the script written by burgeoning British talent Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais; the consequences were a war movie that is eccentric, silly, but somehow very enjoyable despite its inherent unbelievability.

As you may have guessed from that title, that something which plods into Brooks's life is an elephant, because he volunteers for menial work at the Berlin Zoo and ends up looking after Lucy, a loveable pachyderm. Finally, Brooks has something to care about - the war doesn't move him much further than exasperating him, but under Reed's recognisable style of sarcastic but just-about-composed acting, as if he were ready to blow at any minute, we believe that this man has formed an attachment. The elephant acts as if it didn't know it was in a film at all, and has little star quality; although animal lovers will warm to her, the script doesn't offer her much in the way of character.

Nevertheless Brooks has finally found the woman of his dreams, as in a funny way (funny peculiar, that is) this is a love story between man and towering, bulky animal. When the zoo is bombed, one of many scenes that make little sense other than putting Lucy in peril, Brooks is beside himself with worry, and visibly relieved when he is told to escort the elephant to Innsbruck to give her a new home. Yet when they get Lucy on the train, an S.S. officer (Wolfgang Preiss) shows up to tell them that the carriages are being commandeered and the only solution that Brooks and the Nazi soldier (Peter Carsten) find is to walk Lucy all the way to their destination. A truck not available, then?

The boorish soldier makes no secret of his dislike for the creature, but is kept from shooting it with his rifle by the other soldier, Austrian Willi (Helmut Lohner), and the young Polish woman (Karin Baal) who accompany them. Events contrive to see Brooks getting into a brawl with the Nazi, who ends up dead, something which gives Brooks little satisfaction even though he hated the man. Now they must escape to Switzerland, elephant and all, every so often encountering Packy (Pollard at his most typical) and his schemes to derail the Nazi war machine in some daft sequences that put Lucy into danger once more. Brooks finally reaches an agreement with Packy in that he may not like the killing, but recognises that it's part of war, even being on the right side. There are a handful of excellent stunts to liven things up, and Brooks is slightly more complex than you might expect, all adding up to a novel and picturesque take on the traditional escape-based war movie. Excellent music by Frances Lai.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 8894 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Winner  (1935 - 2013)

Opinionated British producer-director whose early comedies - You Must Be Joking, The Jokers, I'll Never Forget Whatsisname - were promising enough, but come the seventies he had settled into a pattern of overblown thrillers.

Of these, Death Wish was a huge hit, and Winner directed two similar sequels. Other films included horrors (The Nightcomers, The Sentinel), Westerns (Lawman, Chato's Land), thrillers (Scorpio, Dirty Weekend) and disastrous comedies (Bullseye!). Also a restaurant critic.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: