ZEPPELIN —– nap-inducing WWI air disaster. While it does have some decent-for-1971 special effects, and Roy Budd’s score valiantly tries to whip up the excitement that the movie never achieves, those qualities are defeated by the stretching-it plot, which lumbers for 100 minutes under
anesthesia direction from Etienne Perier.
1915: a Scotsman goes on a secret mission to Germany to steal plans for the Kaiser’s new sky-machine. The Germans plan to raid England and steal the Magna Carta (!) and the Crown Jewels (!!) so the Brits will presumably collapse in despair (losing 50,000 men in one afternoon on The Somme not sufficiently rattling).
Stiff playing from Michael York, decorative wasting of Elke Sommer, condescending Teutonic villainy from Peter Carsten and Anton Diffring. A real snooze, dismissed by critics, ignored by audiences. York survived this to brighten Cabaret, The Three Musketeers and Logan’s Run. Lovely Elke’s big Hollywood days were over (apart from A Shot In The Dark and The Victors she’d been wasted in a run of lousy projects), but she gamely soldiered on in Europe, gracing another three dozen movies (she nailed a great role in 1982, as the vile Magda Goebbels in the gripping miniseries Inside The Third Reich). With Marius Goring and Andrew Keir. Can’t sleep? Put this on.