Hanover Street (film)

Hanover Street (film)

:"There is also a street of the same name in Dominica's capital, Roseau."

Infobox Film
name = Hanover Street

image size = 200 px
caption = film poster by John Alvin
director = Peter Hyams
producer = Paul Lazarus III
writer = Peter Hyams
starring = Harrison Ford
Christopher Plummer
Lesley-Anne Down
Patsy Kensit
editing = James Mitchell
music = John Barry
cinematography = David Watkin
distributor =
released = 26 September 1979
runtime = 109 mins
country = USA
language = English
budget =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id =
awards =
imdb_id = 0079268

"Hanover Street" is a 1979 Anglo-American war film written and directed by Peter Hyams, starring Harrison Ford and Lesley-Anne Down.


Set in London during the Second World War , Captain David Halloran (Harrison Ford) an American bomber pilot serving with the Eighth Air Force in the UK and Margaret Sellinger (Lesley-Anne Down) a British nurse meet in Hanover Street in a chance encounter during an air raid

They meet again a week later in a secret assignation in Hanover Street. Although she is married, Sellinger and Halloran rapidly fall in love. She tries to resist, but is drawn to the charismatic American. By contrast her husband Paul Sellinger (Christopher Plummer) is, by his own description, sauve and pleasant but fairly dull. A former teacher, he is now a trusted member of British intelligence.

Halloran is subsequently sent on an undercover mission in Nazi-occupied France to deliver a British agent. At the last moment, Sellinger takes the place of the agent Leuitenant Wells, and himself joins the mission. His reasons are initially unclear, but he slowly revels that he wanted to prove himself.

The plane is hit, killing the rest of the crew. After being shot down in France, Halloran initially plans to try and head for the coast, but realising that Sellinger is not capable of surviving alone in enemy country (he cannot find the North, and badly injures his ankle after a matter of moments) he agrees to accompany him.

Sellinger slowly reveals his mission. He is to proceed to the German headquarters in Lyon and, posing as an SS officer, photograph an important document, listing the German double-agents in British intelligence. Halloran is immediatly horrified at the apalling risk, but realising there is little else to be done, agrees to co-operate with Sellinger.

Making contact with the local French resistance, they manage to get hold of a captured German vheichle and a spare uniform for Halloran. They proceed to Lyon, and deposit a document in the safe, allowing them to case the safe in which it is kept.

Returning the same evening, they sucsefully manage to photograph the documents, but as they are escaping a part of real SS troops raise the alrm. They manage to escape after a lengthy care chase, and make it back to the same farm where they had received assistance. However they are betrayed by a collaborator and are forced to flee again, pursued by hundreds of Nazi troops.

It has slowly dawned on Halloran that he is accopmany his lover's husband. He makes no mention of it to Sellinger, who is clearly devoted his Margaret, as both men must work together in order to survive. They manage to reach a bridge, on the opposite bank of which lies safety in the form of the resistance. As the bridge comes under heavy fire it begins to collapse, leading Sellinger, who has been shot and badly wounded, hanging over a deep plunge.

Instead of leaving him to die, as Sellinger tells him to, Halloran reaches down and grabs hold of the Englishmen. Sellinger looking up, asks him to visit his wife and tell her he loves her and his daughter. Refusing to let him die, Halloran drags him up, and carries him to safety. Jokingly, Sellinger looks up and says he has got a "wet coat, again" a reference to his pleasing but unhoeric personallity, contrasted with Halloran's dashing personae. The American shakes his head, saying "this time you got the girl". Sellinger then passes out, leaving Halloran fearing he will die of blood loss.

In London, Sellinger's wife waits anxiously for news. She has unsucsesfully tried to find out what has happened to her husband, both from the British and American authorities, but has worked out that Halloran and Sellinger are together. The phone rings, and she burts into tears. They are back home, and her husband is alive.

Going to visit him in the hospital in Hannover Street, she meets Captain Halloran for the last time. The embrace and kiss, and he tells her that he loves her "enought to let her go", she goes in to see her husband, while he goes out into Hannover Street, the same scene where the story had begun.


The aerial sequences were mostly filmed at the by then-disused Bovingdon airfield using five North American B-25s Mitchell bombers flown over to England from USA specially for the filming.

In the film, Down emerges hurriedly from a Piccadilly line tube station called "Hanover Street". In reality there was no such station and, since Hanover Street links upper Regent Street and Brook Street, this would not, in any case, match the alignment of the Piccadilly line – unless there were a fictitious spur similar to that which ran from Holborn to Aldwych from 1907 to 1994.


The film was a critical and commercial failure on its release, but has developed a following amongst aviation enthusiats due to the flying sequences.


Patsy Kensit was nominated for, but did not win, the "Best Juvenile Actress in a Motion Picture" award for 1980 from Young Artists Awards. [ [http://www.youngartistawards.org/pastnoms1.htm Young Artists Awards] ]


As appearing in screen credits (main roles identified) [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079268/fullcredits "Hanover Street (1979) - full credits."] IMdB. Retrieved: 7 June 2008.] :





* Dolan, Edward F. Jr. "Hollywood Goes to War". London: Bison Books, 1985. ISBN 0-86124-229-7.
* Harwick, Jack and Ed Schnepf. "A Buff's Guide to Aviation Movies". "Air Progress Aviation", Volume 7, No. 1, Spring 1983.
* Orriss, Bruce. "When Hollywood Ruled the Skies: The Aviation Film Classics of World War II". Hawthorne, California: Aero Associates Inc., 1984. ISBN 0-9613088-0-X.

External links

* [http://www.mayfair-london.co.uk/location.php?lid=47 Hanover Street, Mayfair London]
*imdb title|id=0079268
* [http://www.soundtrackcollector.com/catalog/soundtrackdetail.php?movieid=25718 SoundtrackCollector page]
* [http://www.londontown.com/LondonStreets/hanover_street_c80.html A modern-day tour of the film's title setting]

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