This WWII adventure stars Rock Hudson, with a moustache that ages him, as Captain Turner, paratrooper and demolition expert, who is the only survivor of a failed mission into the German-occupied Italian countryside to destroy the Della Norte dam.
He enlists the support of a group of revengeful Italian children orphaned when their parents were massacred by the Nazis.
Moved into this determined group of one adult man and several inspired boys and girls is a beautiful, curvaceous German doctor, Bianca (Sylva Koscina, pictured at right).
She assists Turner’s recovery, encourages his modified rapist’s ardour when she tries to kill him, and eventually finds a new set of values.
The climax, with some excellent special effects, provides a dam burst to remember. The action is directed with panache and furnishes some visual comment on the awfulness of war.
But Hornets’ Nest is far too long and the script not interesting enough to hold one’s attention for an hour and 45 minutes.
Giacomo Rossi Stuart