Desperate Journey

Synopsis: When Flight Lt Forbes and his crew are shot down after bombing their target, they discover valuable information, about a hidden German aircraft factory, that must get back to England. In their way across Germany, they try and cause as much damage as possible. Then with the chasing Germans about to pounce, they come up with an ingenious plan to escape.
Director(s): Raoul Walsh
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
107 min

Halt! Halt!

Two-eight-two squadron.

Two- eight-two squadron.

Crew of D for Danny.

Report to operations room.

That's us, Canada.

Two- eight-two squadron.

Crew of D for Danny.

Report to operations room.

Yeah, yeah. Be right with you.

Seven, so I win again.

Is it a rule of the game

that you Yankees always win?

We win at this,

you pick up marbles at cricket.

But we don't use marbles for cricket.

- Terry. Terry.


CO wants us in ops.

- Okay.

Did my transfer to Interceptor Command

come through yet?

You're going to be sent back

to Australia to that new intelligence outfit.

- Huh?

- He is?

Yeah, going to search kangaroo's pouches

for fifth columnists.

Very funny. Very funny.

They're keeping you Australians

in the bombers.

Keeping in the Australians

in the bombers?

Well, if that isn't typical

brass hat idiocy.

The Australians are fighting men.

We're not truck drivers.

Oh. Very well, Mr. Bones. Why are they

keeping the Australians in the bombers?

They have sensible men

to keep them from running amuck.

I see.

And he sang as he sat

And waited while his billy boiled

- Are you still eating breakfast?

- No, sir. Lunch.

Learned during the last war,

never miss the meal in front of you.

Crew of D, reporting.

Flight Sergeant Connors is on leave.

- All others, present.

- Yes, I know that, Lane-Ferris.

We detailed Hollis to take his place.

Squadron Leader Lane-Ferris

is captain of your aircraft.

- You will report to him for orders.

- Sir.

Glad to have you.

Take the wireless operator's position.

- Very good.

- Get your crew seated, please.

Sir. Carry on, men.

Are you the son of Lloyd Hollis

who got 43 Jerries during the last war?

- Yes.

- Didn't take you long to get in this.

Wouldn't that be expected

of an ace's son?

I saw your dad get two of them.

In a trench near Bar-le-duc.

He was above...

Stop talking and pay attention, please.

All right. Sit down.

Squadron Leader Clark from Group

Headquarters has something to tell you.

- Will you carry on, please?

- Very good, sir.

A few hours ago, we received a report...

...that the rail intersection

east of Schneidemuhl...

...was dynamited last night

by Polish saboteurs.

This is the switch point.

All these lines carry

abnormally heavy traffic.

And a sizable blockade of munition trains

has undoubtedly occurred.

The Nazis are sure to reopen

the right of way within the next 12 hours.

But if we can put one stick of bombs

there before dawn...

...we will have done more to advance the

cause than ten raids on as many factories.

That's your job, gentlemen.

The enemy is sure to have a heavy

concentration of anti-aircraft batteries... protect the point.

But if the weather permits... should be able to carry out

your attack from high altitude.

- That's all I have to say, sir.

- Thank you.

May I have

the large-scale map, please?

Thank you.

Now, here is Schneidemuhl.

Quite a bit beyond

our normal bombing territory.

Actually on the edge

of the old Polish border.

Now, you make your approach

along this line...

...crossing Denmark,

coming over the Baltic...

...swinging inland

over Pommersche Bay.

From there, you shouldn't have difficulty

in reaching your objective.

- Terry?

- Yup.

I want you to help me

with a star sight this trip.

Sure. I'll get you a nice, new shiny one

every ten minutes.

Every half hour will be enough.

That's if you can keep serious that long.

This is important.

Johnny, old Canada

is going serious on us again.

Throw him a leadful of decimal points.

He'll be happy.

Here's the result

of long Canadian winters.

Nothing to do but sit by the fire,

figure out income tax.

Now, no kidding. Star sights will be

most important this trip.

Most of the way,

we'll be going over the water...

...with no chance for contact checks.

And if we can't keep a...

I was saying

that most of the way, we'll...

Say, look at these new fighters.


Gee, that's where I'd like to be,

flying one of these babies.

Things like that in the air

and we fly an ice wagon.

Yeah, sure. Now, look, Terry.

If you take one sight

just after we set the course...

...and another about...

- Oh, sure.

Sure, I'll get you

all the figures you want.

Air speed, wind speed, drift, oil pressure,

engine temperature, altitude, the works.

And if you play your cards right...

...I may throw in a couple of old

telephone numbers for good measure.

- I'll fly the first leg, Terry.

- Okay.

Take these with you.

- I want to check the first wireless bearings.

- How could I refuse?

Mother Hubbard

goes down into her cupboard.

Yeah, to lay a few eggs.

- Are your starters plugged in?

- Yes, sir.

- Starboard rear gunner in position, sir.

- Okay.

- Wireless operator in position, sir.

- Okay.

- Port roar gunner in position, sir.

- Okay.

- Navigator in position, sir.

- Okay.

- Midship gunner in position, sir.

- Okay.

- Bomb aimer in position, sir.

- Okay, Mother.

Crew in position.

Ready for takeoff, sir.

Cockpit check complete.

Ready to start up.

- Start up your port outboard engine.

- Yes, sir.

Cut it out, will you?

This is very important.

Here's your figures, sweetheart.


Say, can't you get

some hot conga music on that?

German stations are off the air.

Boys must be giving a pasting tonight.

- How are we doing, navigator?

Oh, seem to be right on course.

What's our indicated air speed, please?

Three forty.

- Thanks. You guessed right.

- Guessed it?

I felt it. Tell him how

your old man flew the last war...

...with a float compass

and the seat of his pants. Go on.

If you get a kick

out of doing figures, go ahead.

But I'll tell you

when we're over the target.

That's you again. You promised you'd

tell me how to do that. You never did.

- Will you have a sandwich, sir?

- Yeah, thanks.

- Will you save me the bag?

- Yeah, here you are.

Hello, skipper?

Position due north of Swinemunde.

Turn to one-six-two.

Turn to one-six-two.


Put one-six-two on the gyro.

- Take over now, Terry.

- Right.

Look at those clouds.

- I bet they stretch clear into Poland.

They may open.

I'll bet you five

to a stick of bombs they don't.

You can hold the stakes in your lap.

- Any contact checks?

- Nope. Not a thing.

We're nearly over the objective.

Hello, Johnny?

Keep an eye open for landmarks.

Landmarks? I'm more likely to see

a noodle in that soup.


Attention, attention, airport.

Four-motored bomber,

9500 meter, position M-5.

Well, looks like we go down under, eh?

We've got an hour's extra petrol.

We'll stay high.

- Maybe the clouds will open.

- Those clouds? Ha.

Why not go down, get it over with?

Too chancy.

You heard what that fellow said...

...about a concentration of anti-aircraft

to protect the point.

- Yeah, but...

- We'd be sitter shots.

Under that low ceiling.

Bet you if we did go down,

we'd take them by surprise.

Could blast them out

before they knew what hit them.

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Arthur T. Horman

Arthur T. Horman (September 2, 1905 – November 2, 1964) was an American screenwriter whose career spanned from the 1930s to the end of the 1950s. During that time he wrote the stories or screenplays for over 60 films, as well as writing several pieces for television during the 1950s. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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