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“Attack on the Iron Coast” a Film by Paul Wendkos Essay


Globally, movies have always formed an imperative part in the literature behind the social, political, and economic realm with several lessons drawn from such films. Movies are currently the most powerful and attractive means of entertainment whilst carrying valuable lessons, ideas, and opinions about cultural and contemporary social matters that societies need to understand their influence in normal life. They form an integral part of child development and adulthood lifestyle, offering different experiences and imaginations that science and history are paramount themes (Bellour 15). The proliferation of global events that compose true-life stories triggered the move towards the improvement of the movie and film industries, immediately after the global events of the last world war that saw the American acting industry grow in twofold. One of the most exhilarating moments of movie making activities that marked the growth of the American movie sector, are the movies introduced in the year 1967. This essay explores the movie, “Attack on the Iron Coast,” providing insight onto its themes and concepts.

Overview of the movie (Plot Summary)

One of the outstanding American movies of 1967 is the movie with the title “Attack on the Iron Coast.” The movie that appeared in the American film market in 1968 under Paul Wendkos movie directory antics provided a greater insight into the historical influence of Second World War that acted as a heavy drawback to the global economic, social, and political paradigms. “Attack on the Iron Coast,” produced from the Anglo-American based Oakmont Productions with the staring Lloyd Bridges, Sue Lloyd, Mark Eden, Mark Eden, Andrew Keir and Maurice provides a comprehensive insight into the scenario of the Second World War. Lloyd Bridges leads the smart English cast, providing a fascinating man-to-man war mission drama that overwhelmed viewers and penetrated into the film market almost immediately after the proceedings of the World War II. Bridges, as a hardheaded commando, portrays how leaders in the world super power nations behaved during the world war moments with civilians suffering as the struggle for global supremacy among powerful states intensified.

Bridge’s commando film, “Attack on the Iron Coast” is an 89-minute runtime movie that Paul Wendkos directed with an aim of providing lessons drawn from the events that unfolded during the Second World War moment. Bridges with his closest nautical adversary, Andrew Keir provides a story that reflected the unfolding that involved the Germany, Canadian and the French troops who engaged in ramifying wars across the French coast the remained under German combat during that moment.

At the onset of the movie, loose Canadian commando major James Wilson (Lloyd Bridges), organizes a deadly combined combat operation in the federation of French port Le Clare to destroy German defense wall. Wilson armed maneuver dubbed Operation Mad Dog, aimed at destroying German detonative explosives that existed in the French coast. German battleships had been attacking others strongly along the French coast. On the opposition was a royal navy captain Franklin Owen whose son died during Wilsons operations dubbed as the Raid type that occurred along the French coast of Le Plage.

The angry Wilson with less national ethos seems moved by his ego even after his initial attempt failing to succeed in his military attacks. The combined military attack over the German warships turn futile after Germany noticing the minesweeper that was gradually approaching the French coast. Wilson and his group fail to stop the ramming ship but unfortunately crash the dock gate constantly leading to a running battle between the commandos and the Germans leading to Wilson’s injury, several deaths, and captures including Franklin. It was during this moment that numerous countries revealed the armories and all the deals unknown for several years of existence in the supreme nations. This movie unveils the historical background of famous Second World War contributors including their costly armories like the Bismarck battleships, which truly belonged to the Germans political leader, Otto von Bismarck. The movie straightforwardly presents a theme that entails political and leadership supremacy, which streak character of the autonomous leaders of the 19th centuries who undertook military missions to gain international ascendancy at the expense of nation’s economic wellbeing.

Aspects of Cinematography

Cinematography is the science and art applied during photographing of a movie. It entails visual designing and compositions principles that accompany the motion of the film and the actions incorporated in the movie itself (Gibbs and Bye 21). Paul Wendkos struggles to ensure that the cinema is not unique, but conveys the intended message with lots of activities in the movie portraying the realities behind the intended themes. However, Paul Wendkos manages to apply some cinematic principles to enhance the video imaging of his filmmaking. One of the cinematographic principles employed in the “Attack on the Iron Coast” movie is the unity principle that entails focusing on capturing images as whole instead of partial visual capturing (Frost 95). In most scenarios of the film, the director of photography, captured soldiers on both ends in a wide range of background and the fore of the cinema comprised several war or soldierly activities especially those exposing the training sessions in St. Katharine docks. The cinematographer focused on capturing the largest warships at the coast to enhance the theme.

Another momentous cinematographic techniques used by Paul Wendkos in his filmmaking is the contrast principle of photographing. The dark and light sceneries appeared to be captured according to the events as they unfold. The aspect of lighting and contrast gives an in-depth on circumstances with spatial relationship between events that contain emotional attraction to the movie (Gibbs and Bye 21). The visual appearance of this movie incorporated with old buildings; demonstrate the real geographical aspect of the era1945-1949. Balancing of the sound effects and visual effects was another crucial aspect that the photographer in the movie considered.

During this action, the sound effects lubricated by the credible groovy musical gain designed by Gerard Schurmann made the movie seem enthusing with no splits or sound distortions exhibited in the movie. Paul Wendkos and Gerard Schurmann combined an alluring sound beat that accompanies the movement of the soldiers and events as they unfurl. The sound coding of excellent tunes as the ship sails across the French sea makes the movie more appealing with each tone giving the movie its quality.

Contrast in filmmaking simply defines ways in which the photos in the movie appear with the aspect of light/dark coloring being of significant importance (Frost 93). The movie “Attack on the Iron Coast” is a film worth watching with the photographer (Paul Beeson) keenly understanding the plot each section of the movie takes and what theme each part contributes to the movie by controlling light tactfully. According to Gazetas (13), the contrast aspect of cinematography in this movie triggers the viewers and provides an emotional attraction that improves the storyline of the movie. The level of light though deemed poor quality as compared to the digital visual technologies in the contemporary world, but in the common sense represented situation as they appeared during that epoch. Paul Wendkos understood remarkably well the importance of producing the movie with dark colored analogue like photos, which seem appealing to the viewers regarding the historical situation of the digital system. The nights appeared dark as the natural setting appear, hence increasing the value of the film.

To elaborate and provide a deeper insight into the military theme of the movie “Attack on the Iron Coast” the cinematographer of this movie ensured that numerous setting involved the scenarios where the soldiers appeared training, discussing a mission, or even launching attacks. Paul Wendkos and Gerard Schurmann managed to keep the movie intriguing enough by balancing the camera flexibility thereby producing several snapshots, video simulations of greater focus with balanced angle shooting. Despite use of, a meager budget estimated to approximately $1million, Wendkos interactively engages the viewers with tantalizing representations that matched the video setting using oblique camera angles and swift pace to keep up with the movements of the actors (Gazetas 14). Probably a military scene always seems occasioned by military activities with soldiers training, preparing for an attack or even launching attacks from their base. Similar proceedings are eminent in the movie with soldiers seen in their soldiery attire rolling down during training, arming themselves with weaponry or physically battling almost throughout the movie.

Another significant cinematographic aspect in the movie “Attack on the Iron Coast” is the visual design or composition that involved the application of directionality and rhythm principles that made the matching of the movie from each successive scenario. Rhythm refers to constant appearance or repetition of certain sounds that accompanied different situations, moments and actions of the movie while the element of directionality in cinematography of the movie refers to the camera having a specific focus in the filming process maybe to attain clarity or trace certain utterances. Directionality was eminent throughout the movie with the photographer skillfully capturing the movements of individual military leaders, especially Captain Franklin and Lieutenant Commander Kimberly who played pivotal roles in organizing the combined military operation, as well as the destroyer and minesweeper warships. For viewers to understand main characters and their contributions to the movie, it sounds essential for the director to use the element of directionality to deliver certain focuses especially to the parts demonstrating the theme.

Visual balancing as an important principle in determining the quality of the film produced remains an essential cinematographic element. Despite using a low-budgeted film process, Paul Wendkos understood the significance of balancing the visual aspects as each of the video coding in the form of geographical scenes, personal focus and infrastructure setting has its lesson incorporated. This simple, but catchy movie developed through numerous zones, regions, and sections that carried different actions and subjects, which played a significant role in developing the movie story and conveying the theme to the viewers. Therefore, by focusing on providing a comprehensive film coverage that seemed equally integrated, the viewers received each part of the composition with more insights. The presumptions that exist among viewers is that if one scene receives little cinematographic attention, then the theme in that scenario is typically void.

Content and theme of the movie

The concept behind this action movie rests upon the military theme that signifies the moments of Second World War, when leaders especially from superior economies began displaying their power to attain global supremacy. During the World War II, which remained an international and historical crisis across all nations, military war entailed an all-round martial battle from land, marine and air forces to single internal security officials. During the events of the First World War and the Second World War, military conquest was the main determinant of supremacy among nations and Paul Wendkos ensured that he managed to instigate this in the film with commandos and the Germany troops portraying their military sovereignty. The movie portrays the ramifications that results from military attacks across the French coast and demonstrates how a single war eruption affects a wide geographical zone, consequently affecting numerous civilians and destroying worthy property. Just like the Second World War that began from a small geographical zone and spread across continents, the movie portrays similar situations.

Getting fixed to writing film analyses about a comedy with lots of fascinating stories has always shifted the main aim of film analysis. Viewers tend to write several analyses that finally compose little or even no historical significance. Perhaps the most influential and enthralling movie or film should at least entail some serious cultural, historical or even adventure of real human aspects that sets viewers with greater artistic over the history and background of filmmaking. Human beings live in societies where turnarounds ensue each single moment with and giving a recap of the events as they unfold throughout each successive generation, typically through films present a rich historical trivia. Paul Wendkos in his production “Attack on the Iron Coast” form a typical example of the most intellectual movies that provide a stable crossover from the historical development of socio-political stance to more advanced contemporary world. First World War and Second World War and their events are worth recalling and putting them in visual manifestation seems more significant.

Aspect of global power

The works of Paul Wendkos and his low-budgeted, but fascinating movie “Attack on the Iron Coast” unleashes how the world has been falling under the influence of political autonomy right from the interiors to the exteriors of each nation. There has been a growing concern in the present decades over how the United States and other developed economies seem to be controlling the planet with some developed nations feeling the international political jealousy. Just as the happenings between the Canadian commandos and the German soldiers who battled over the French sea through their military powers, similar happenings are becoming more evident in the contemporary world when Syria, Iraq, Iran South Korea, and others are gradually preparing their arsenals to take over the control of international politics. Presidents and their military commanders are not feeling the corporate importance of peaceful nations if the global powers are sliding away from their arms. An aspect that seems more overwhelming to other countries who feel as U.S is manipulating the world.

Wendkos practically employs traditional cinematographic aspects in the filmmaking to provide the situations as they appeared during the Second World War, with little ambiguities in the film designing. This provides a beautiful sensation into the reality embedded in the movie, with characters in the movie especially Captain Franklin and Lieutenant Commander Kimberly as the military leaders remaining stubborn in the way to approach the German problem. According to Manchel (53), it is always significant for filmmakers to consider relevant aspects associated to filmmaking including the effects of television and film on the social, political, and economic events that compose a greater part of human life. “Attack on the Iron Coast” is an old but mature film that allows an all-round viewer inclusion cutting across people of all age, with an aim of demonstrating the influence of global war and politics on normal civilians. This film also brings out the reality behind global transition and transformation from the analogue video graphing to digital innovations.

Cinematic elements and their significance

Drama and actions are among the most significant cinematic elements that describe the happenings as they occur throughout the movie (Manchel 69). The mood inside the film demonstrates how activities in the military are more of activeness as the producer swiftly uses the camera to keep up with the pacing. Constant changes of the sounds produced by different objects and persons in the movie with fluctuating moods demonstrated by actors throughout the movie gives the movie the sense of soldiery realities. This film contained actors with sober movements that encompassed the seriousness desired while undertaking military missions with few or little soft melodies but sounds of bang, hammering, slumming accompanying the actions of participants to demonstrate harshness of the events. For its steadfastness, the camera of the photographer keeps the same pace as the actions to allow the viewer obtain the entire visage necessary for developing imaginations and illusions at the viewpoint (Bellour 15). All cinematographic aspects in the movie coincided nicely with the anticipations of events.


Acting and movie making are the principal and most sensational means of delivering themes and concepts through visual and sound coding. Action movies are among the filmmaking techniques that provide human beings with a greater insight into the real world events. Important cinematographic aspects or principles like the use of visual and composition techniques including visual balancing, contrast/lighting and coloring as well as rhythm and unity principles are all equally crucial elements in filmmaking. A movie as postulated by Manchel (53) must always remain historically relevant by providing all necessary life lessons from social, political and economical paradigms.

Paul Wendkos in his production “Attack on the Iron Coast” form a typical example of the most intellectual movies that provide a stable crossover from the historical development of socio-political stance to more advanced contemporary world. During the events of the First World War and the Second World War, military conquest was the main determinant of supremacy among nations and Paul Wendkos ensured that he managed to instigate this in the film with commandos and the Germany troops portraying their military sovereignty. Similar situations mark the events of the film with Germans and Canadians fighting for international political supremacy in French coast.

Works Cited

Bellour, Raymond. The analysis of film. Morton St, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000. Print.

Frost, Jacqueline. Cinematography for Directors: A Guide for Creative Collaboration. New York: Michael Wiese Productions, 2009. Print.

Gazetas, Aristides. An Introduction to World Cinema. San Joaquin Valley, California: McFarland, 2008. Print.

Gibbs, John and Douglas Pye. Style and Meaning: Studies in the Detailed Analysis of Film. City of Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005. Print.

Manchel, Frank. Film Study: An Analytical Bibliography. New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1990. Print.

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""Attack on the Iron Coast" a Film by Paul Wendkos." IvyPanda, 21 May 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/attack-on-the-iron-coast-a-film-by-paul-wendkos/.

1. IvyPanda. ""Attack on the Iron Coast" a Film by Paul Wendkos." May 21, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/attack-on-the-iron-coast-a-film-by-paul-wendkos/.


IvyPanda. ""Attack on the Iron Coast" a Film by Paul Wendkos." May 21, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/attack-on-the-iron-coast-a-film-by-paul-wendkos/.


IvyPanda. 2020. ""Attack on the Iron Coast" a Film by Paul Wendkos." May 21, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/attack-on-the-iron-coast-a-film-by-paul-wendkos/.


IvyPanda. (2020) '"Attack on the Iron Coast" a Film by Paul Wendkos'. 21 May.

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