Hanover Street
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Customer Reviews:

  • "Hello, old friend...."
    This movie came out when I was in my teens and madly in love with Harrison Ford. At the time, I thought "Hanover Street" was one of those movies that was so bad it was good. But now that I'm an adult and I have revisited it, I see much more there that I didn't appreciate as a teenager.

    I love these characters...David Halloran starts out as being a wise-arse bomber pilot who takes nothing seriously. After he begins his affair with Margaret (whom he nicknames "Fred" when she won't tell him her name at first), he realizes that his love for her has become the most important thing in his life, and it almost makes him lose his edge as a risk-taker (a quality he has relied on to become a leader in his squadron).

    Paul Sellinger, a self-described "pleasant" fellow, is also in love with Margaret, his wife. His love for her makes him become brave and reckless as he senses her slipping away from him...he wants to be a hero for her, a hero like he sees Halloran as being, even though he has no clue about his wife's affair with the dashing bomber pilot.

    Margaret herself is kind of like a leaf on the wind...she loves her husband, her home, her daughter, her privileged life, but she also loves Halloran and the fire and passion he brings. The brutality and uncertainty of life in a time of war makes Halloran irresistible to her, yet the guilt she feels over her infidelity weigh on her soul whenever she is not with him. Even at the end of the movie, you don't get the feeling that she has resolved herself to what must be as Halloran has. That is really the most unsatisfying thing about "Hanover Street" -- it has an unfinished quality about it, as though there should be more between Margaret and Paul at the end to make it seem more uplifting.

    For whatever weaknesses may be in the actual storytelling, there are many scenes that are real gems. Every scene with Margaret, Sellinger, and their daughter stands out with very witty and warm dialogue. Halloran and Sellinger's mission to Nazi-occupied France is also excellent from beginning to end...even though I had seen the movie before, I was still on the edge of my seat the entire time.

    "Hanover Street" is basically the story of how the love of one woman can affect two men in very different ways. It makes one man weak, and makes the other man strong. Had the storytelling been more even, this could have become a classic film. As it stands, though, it's an enjoyable film full of romance and adventure, and I'm glad I was able to see it again after all these years....more info
  • "I LOVE YOU MAGGIE! THINK OF ME, WHEN YOU DRINK TEA."
    THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY, ABOUT A HANDSOME AMERICAN BOMBER PILOT, OF WWII; LT. DAVID HALLORAN, AND A VERY BEAUTIFUL, MARRIED BRITISH NURSE; MARGARET (MAGGIE). THE FIRST TIME DAVID AND MAGGIE MEET, IS ON HANOVER STREET, AND THEY FALL IN LOVE, WHILE WAITING FOR A BUS. MAGGIE'S HUSBAND PAUL, IS A HANDSOME,GOOD MAN, WHO IS A BRITISH INTELLIGENCE, OFFICER. MAGGIE IS TORN BETWEEN HER LOVE FOR DAVID, AND HER LOVE FOR HER HUSBAND PAUL. BOTH MEN ARE VERY BRAVE, AND GOOD, AND HAVE GREAT COURAGE. AS FATE WOULD HAVE IT, DAVID AND PAUL ARE SHOT DOWN BEHIND ENEMY LINES, DAVID FINDS OUT THEN, THAT MAGGIE IS PAUL'S WIFE. THE ONLY THINGS THAT I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT THE MOVIE, IS SOME BRIEF NUDITY, AND WHEN THEY TOOK GODS NAME IN VAIN, PLEASE GUYS NO "GD" CUSS WORDS! WHY NOT JUST SAY DAMN INSTEAD, IF YOU HAVE TO CUSS? I LOVED JOHN BARRY'S SOUL-STIRRING, BEAUTIFUL, MUSIC TO THIS WONDERFUL, AWESOME STORY! WHEN I FIRST SAW THIS MOVIE ON TV, SEVERAL YEARS AGO, I JUST LOVED IT!...more info
  • Hanover Street
    This is a great Harrison Ford movie, and probably not seen by a lot of people. Christopher Plummer also does some great acting. One of my
    favorite movies.
    Barbara S Taylor...more info
  • Silly but highly enjoyable
    One of the delights of DVD - even more than video - is that its insatiable desire for fresh product sees the resurrection of swathes of unloved would-be blockbusters that no self-respecting cinematheque would ever include in any retrospective and which would otherwise be left to rot in time-compressed panned-and-scanned graveyard slots on network TV just before the infomercials start. These aren't the forgotten or under-appreciated masterpieces awaiting rediscovery, but rather the misjudged, the misbegotten or the just plain mistimed, films before or after their time that never found their audience and, until the advent of DVD, would never have been given the chance.

    Hanover Street fits into all those categories at once. Intended both as a throwback to 1940s tearjerkers and an epic Summer event movie that would launch Harrison Ford to stardom (something that would still be another two years and a bullwhip away), it proved a major box-office failure and a source of much critical derision - not quite the Battlefield: Earth of its day, but close. It's easy to understand why, but, dammit, it is fun. Maybe not always in the ways its makers intended, but fun nonetheless.

    Ford is the bomber pilot with nerves of steel and no fear of death or heavy anti-aircraft fire - or at least until he falls in love with nice English girl Lesley Anne Down and starts to scrub missions because the engine never sounds quite right as he finds something to live for. To prove to himself and the various whisperers at the airbase that he's still got what it takes, he volunteers himself and his crew (including John Ratzenberger who, pre-Cheers, must have starred in almost every single US movie made in the UK from Star Wars to The Bitch) for a top secret mission over occupied territory. Naturally, it goes wrong and he finds himself behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied territory with a British secret agent (Christopher Plummer) out to prove his courage and show himself worthy of his wife's love by stealing vital documents from the local Gestapo headquarters. Yes, you know exactly what's coming next, but that's part of the fun of this unashamedly romantic throwback to World War Two morale-boosters: the Germans are dastardly, the Brits quietly heroic, the Yanks brash but decent sorts underneath it all, the French resistance irresistible and all the clich¨¦s are played straight as if freshly minted.

    Ford and Down were last-minute replacements when Kris Kristofferson and Genevieve Bujold dropped out of the picture. At the time, Ford admitted that he only took the role (his first lead) because he had never kissed a woman onscreen, which is as good an excuse as any. In the process he started a career trend of romantic flops and underachievers (Regarding Henry, Random Hearts, Sabrina, Six Days, Seven Nights), but hokey as this is - and it definitely is - this is by far the most entertaining. There's no shortage of cringingly bad dialogue ("Think of me when you drink tea") while an infant Patsy Kensit's deeply annoying turn as Plummer and Down's sugar-sweet oh-so-perfect daughter makes Shirley Temple look like a chainsaw-wielding drug-crazed Christina Ricci and will have you cursing the poor aim of the Luftwaffe. Plummer's unutterably decent cuckolded husband also seems stuck in post-transformation Captain Von Trapp mode - you keep on expecting him to thank Down for bringing music back into his home. Yet much of the humour is intentional, Plummer has a great speech about always being the guy who gives his coat to the drowning man that someone else has rescued and, while it's not exactly hardcore gritty realism, in an age of CGI effects it's refreshing to see a film that literally rebuilds part of WW2 London (even if it does plant a non-existent tube station in Hanover Street) just to blow it all up and in which the bombers are still all real vintage aircraft rather than pixels. Now that it's firmly in the past as an old movie, what was anachronistic in 1979 almost has exactly the kind of charm it failed to weave on cinema audiences all those years ago. And hey, it's a lot more fun than Pearl Harbor.

    Although on his audio commentary writer-director Peter Hyams acknowledges the influence of Joseph Heller's novel, Richard Masur's dialogue isn't so much inspired by Catch-22 as lifted from it verbatim. Still, since Mike Nichols didn't use much of it in his poe-faced movie version, and since Masur has such fun with it, you can forgive them the conceit. The film even shares the same cinematographer, David Watkin, though unfortunately it's from that period in late-seventies mainstream cinema when cinematography was both soft and dominated by Earth tones, so the film never looks quite as rich as it could, and this is reflected in the 2.35:1 transfer.

    Sadly, Columbia have missed a trick by not including an isolated score track - a particular disappointment because John Barry has famously little regard for his lush and unashamedly romantic score and has always resisted moves to include a suite on any of his own compilations (a 5-minute suite conducted by Nic Raine is included on Silva Screen's The Classic John Barry). No trailer either, though it does include trailers for Random Hearts, The Remains of the Day and Neil Jordan's The End of the Affair.
    ...more info
  • Best of both worlds
    This nice little movie combines action and romance in a balance that keeps everyone interested and enjoying the flick. Good story line and climatic ending make this a classic sleeper....more info
  • Great Date Flick
    This is a perfect date flick in that, it has something for everyone. For her you have the forbidden love story, with a young and hip Harrison Ford. For him you have bombers, explosions, and evil nazis. Everyone wins....more info
  • Pretty Good Story About Love And War
    Hanover Street in the theaters was a bigger bomb than any that fell in the period it depicts, World War II. I saw it on the TV not too long ago, and it is not too bad of a film. Harrison Ford, in one of his first films since Star Wars, is American Bomber Pilot David Halloran, a man who falls for a married woman. They have an affair, and then he is dispatched to fly a secret mission to deliver a covert operative into Germany. He turns out to be the husband of the woman he had an relationship with. Soon Halloran and this man must become friends and put their lives in each others' hands. There is some wit here, plus Harrison Ford and Christopher Lee, this movie has something for everybody. Check it out....more info
  • We have seen this one before...
    This is a very "flat" filmed thing with close to no story whatsoever - platitudes piled on top of another! Pitty, it had potential tough, with a better director... (It is most famous because Harrison wrecked his first marriage when he had a relationship with Lesley during the filming) Whoops, gossip! ;)...more info
  • excellent!
    an exceptional movie set in london during the war staring a very young harrison ford and lesley ann down. everything about this movie is perfect. although mostly a bittersweet love story, the entire movie is a delightful surprise full of wartime suspense and the sacrifices made in the name of friendship.you will love the ending, even though it will hard to see through the tears.this movie was made before harrison ford became a star .what a treasure!...more info
  • Consider the times
    I've always loved this movie. Yes, the plot is a little over-used, but you can't beat it for early Harrison Ford. The bedroom scenes are done with the taste lacking in many of today's movies. Richard Masur is very funny as the nervous bomb spotter. Two thumbs and two big toes up!...more info
  • Oh, what a beautiful story!
    This is another of Harrison Ford's movies that my husband and I watch at least once a week! Since we are from the "greatest generation" - to coin the phrase from Tom Brokaw's book - this brings back memories of the "great war" and things that happened so fast in those days.. A beautiful story about two beautiful people. P.S. It does have its funny parts, too....more info
  • A must-see for Harrison Ford fans!
    Hanover Street portrays young Harrison Ford at his romantic best. As a fearless fighter pilot in WWII stationed in England he meets and falls in love with a gorgeous Leslie-Ann Down who tries to hide the fact that she is married to Spy Master Christopher Plummer. Harrison loses his edge in flying fearlessly as he gains his affection for Down. He is assigned to take an England officer into Germany to uncover the identity of a double-spy. The plane crashes and the two end up escaping the French countryside together. That union is fateful, funny and touching. This movie is for the romantic at heart. I've seen it several times!...more info
  • Very romantic war movie, if there is such a thing
    Although the movie's love story was adultery, it really captured the love for passion and integrity...more info
  • **** Great Romance Film in '40s Style!
    I loved this movie because it reminded me of the tear-jerking films of the 1940s. Grab a tissue, get a warm blanket and enjoy getting your heart tugged in this WWII drama with the handsome Harrison Ford, Christopher Plummer and beautiful Ms. Downing...more info
  • Harrison is great but the story is preatty slick....
    This film is not a bad film. Harrison Ford and his co star does a great job acting but the story is not so good as you would hope. The films beginns out well when harrison meets this girl who is married and he wants to be with her. The girl and harrison falls in love but later in the movie harrison meets the husband of the girl he just falled in love with. I don't want to tell you all but the ending is very good and very sad. The ending pushed this film up many levels...more info