Blu-Ray Review: One of Our Aircraft is Missing

4 British airmen

No one made films quite like Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Cinema which lifted the spirits until they soared. They collaborated twenty-four times in total, between 1939 and 1972, making some of the greatest British features of all time. The likes of A Matter of Life and Death, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and Black Narcissus are undoubted classics. One of Our Aircraft is Missing is another supreme piece of filmmaking.

On a routine mission over the Netherlands, a RAF Wellington bomber is shot down. Behind enemy lines, the airmen (including Hugh Williams and Eric Portman) bail-out and end up at a nearby town. With the help of the Dutch, aided by an English-speaking schoolteacher (Pamela Brown), they travel disguised in a supply truck. Headed for the coast and Jo de Vries (Googie Withers), an ally who styles herself as pro-German.

One of Our Aircraft is Missing is a beautifully crafted World War II classic. Every sequence is visually arresting, made with so much care and attention. Each time you think the story is going to sag they lift it up again, but to new heights. It’s a heart-warming tale of resistance and amity which conjures up the spirit of resistance and collaboration which ultimately won the war for the Allies. One of Our Aircraft is Missing is a blooming marvel.


  • Presented in High Definition
  • Limited edition (3,000 units): packaged with a re-production of the original storybook based on the film by Emeric Pressburger
  • Newly recorded audio commentary by film scholar Ian Christie
  • An Airman’s Letter to His Mother (1941, 5mins): Michael Powell’s powerful propaganda short, narrated by John Gielgud
  • The Volunteer (1944, 44mins): an entertaining look at the Fleet Air Arm, directed by Powell & Pressburger and starring the legendary Ralph Richardson
  • Target for Tonight (1941, 50mins): a record of a Wellington bomber’s mission over Germany
  • The Biter Bit (1943, 14mins): a propaganda short detailing the destructive force of the Allied bombing campaign, narrated by Ralph Richardson
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio
  • **FIRST PRESSING ONLY** Fully illustrated booklet with new essays by Ian Christie and Professor Sarah Street, writing on the extras by Alex Prideaux and full film credits

One of Our Aircraft is Missing is released on Blu-ray by the BFI on 4 October.

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