Sunday, 10 April 2011
Powell and Pressburger’s ‘Ill Met By Moonlight’
Above is the 1957 British film, Ill Met By Moonlight, based on the book of the same name by W. Stanley Moss, which recounts the kidnap in 1944 of the senior German commander in Nazi-occupied Crete, General Heinrich Kreipe, by British SOE officers and Cretan resistance fighters. Moss was one of the British officers involved in the kidnap, another was Patrick Leigh Fermor, who in the 1930s was part of the Katsimbalis circle and, after the war, wrote extensively about Greece, particularly the Mani, where Leigh Fermor settled and continues to live. The film is disappointing – somewhat flippant and also patronising in its portrayal of the Cretans – even more so when you consider that it was made by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, who together were responsible for a series of films in the 1940s and 1950s which are the finest in British cinema. The film does have a good score from Mikis Theodorakis.