GenreDrama, History, War Running time1h 45m CinematographyReginald Wyer LanguageEnglish
Release date12 January 1959 (UK)
6 July 1960 (US) WriterJohn Eldridge (screenplay), Michael McCarthy (screenplay), David E. Walker (book) CastPeter Finch (Jan Smit), Eva Bartok (Anna), Tony Britton (Major Dillon), Alexander Knox (Walter Keyser), Malcolm Keen (Johan Smit), Christopher Rhodes (Alex) Similar moviesThe Sea Wolves (1980)
Opera o amsterdam operation amsterdam 1959
Operation Amsterdam is a 1959 British action film, directed by Michael McCarthy, and featuring Peter Finch, Eva Bartok and Tony Britton. It is based on a true story as described in the book Adventure in Diamonds, by David E Walker. The action of the story covers a few days in May 1940 when the Germans invaded the Netherlands. The composer Philip Green composed two original pieces of music for the film, the Pierement Waltz and the Amsterdam Polka.
In May 1940, as the German invasion of the Netherlands is under way, the British government decides to send a team to the Netherlands on board HMS Walpole to secure stocks of industrial diamonds before the invaders can get to them. Accordingly, two Dutch diamond experts, Jan Smit (Peter Finch) and Walter Keyser (Alexander Knox) with a British Army Intelligence officer, Major Dillon (Tony Britton), are dropped by ship off the Dutch coast. Dodging German bombs and suspicious Dutch police and soldiers, they commandeer a car driven by Anna (Eva Bartok), whom they have just saved from trying to commit suicide. The four of them drive to Amsterdam.
They meet Jan's father at his diamond business house and he agrees to try to persuade other dealers to bring their diamonds later that day for transport to Britain. But as many of the stones are stored in a time-locked bank vault which won't open for 24 hours, they recruit a group of sabotage experts to break in.
With the Dutch police, including suspected fifth columnists, on their trail, the group manage to break into the vault and recover the diamonds. The three visitors make their escape whilst the armed Dutch helpers hold down the police and soldiers. They drive back to the coast, barely dodging German bombers.
As they embark on a commandeered tugboat to take them back to the waiting ship, Anna elects to remain in the Netherlands and work with the nascent resistance movement.
Peter Finch as Jan Smit
Eva Bartok as Anna
Tony Britton as Major Dillon
Alexander Knox as Walter Keyser
Malcolm Keen as Johan Smit
Christopher Rhodes as Alex
Alfred Burke as Dealer
Tim Turner as Dutch lieutenant
Carl Jaffe as Diamond merchant
John Horsley as Commander Bowerman
Keith Pyott as Diamond merchant
Melvyn Hayes as Willem
Oscar Quitak as Diamond merchant
George Pravda as Portmaster
Peter Swanwick as Peter
Petra Davies as Menschi
John Bailey as Officer
John Le Mesurier as Dutch Colonel
Filming took place in October 1958.
The film was one of seven Rank films bought for distribution in the US by 20th Century Fox. The others were Upstairs and Downstairs, Sink the Bismark, Northwest Frontier, Ferry to Hong Kong, The Wind Cannot Read and The Captain's Table.