i'd probably rate this higher than HEROES OF TELEMARK but it sure ain't no WHERE EAGLES DARE. chalk it up to late Sturges; the compositions are as clean as ever but you gotta sit through an hour of talk (admittedly from a murderer's row, from Donald Sutherland doing an impression of Coburn in DUCK, YOU SUCKER all the way to Larry Hagman) to get to the solid back 75 minutes of men-on-a-mission thriller. you can tell Sturges had a British crew, too...this is barely distinguishable from someone like Terence Young, just less wobbly dollies.
there's a point very late in this where i wondered if i'd misjudged it entirely, that maybe it had beaten INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS to a certain crucial punch, but no, this sticks to the textbooks, and it's possible that my deflation from that fakeout knocked this down even further. still, it's an undeniable influence on Tarantino's film.