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MICHAEL WINNER DIRECTS OLIVER REED IN 'HANNIBAL BROOKS'

Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS Year: 1969 Rating: ****

Short, quirky, extremely offbeat Michael J. Pollard is like a novelty song of an actor, with BONNIE AND CLYDE his one big hit while in other movies — like Michael Winner's fourth collaboration with THE SYSTEM star Oliver Reed titled HANNIBAL BROOKS — Pollard doesn't really fit at all... 

Although he's almost deliberately cast against type as a gung-ho explosives-expert leading partisans around to kill Germans, and since Reed himself hardly seems part of World War II, both work together comfortably enough in a hybrid of road movie, physical comedy and action/adventure where Reed, a POW in Germany... after conveniently working in a German zoo... takes a prized elephant across enemy lines to their long-shot goal of Switzerland... 

The System's Oliver Reed, John Alderton and John Porter-Davison in HANNIBAL BROOKS

And there's hardly any pressure to think otherwise — although it's not an entirely happy ending for some of the humans including a bad German, a good German and a lovely Polish ingenue (meanwhile Reed & Winner's THE SYSTEM co-stars John Alterton and John Porter-Davison turn up with POW-Cinema legend James Donald)...

Overall the usually bombastic Reed seems passive and indifferent towards war, catered to the Vietnam-era audience as Winner overindulges in zoom shots, the camera almost constantly rocketing forward and back — yet mostly to showcase the gorgeous Austrian locales that, like that elephant, provides splendid backdrops for a nifty time-filler. 

Karin Baal in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed and John Alderton in HANNIBAL BROOKS
John Porter-Davison in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Michael J. Pollard in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Karin Baal in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Helmuth Lohner in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed and Peter Carsten HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed and Karin Baal HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Ralf Wolter and Maria Brockerhoff in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Wolfgang Preiss in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Ralf Wolter and Maria Brockerhoff in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Helmuth Lohner and Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS with bad German Peter Carsten
Karin Baal in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
James Donald in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed and Lucy in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed and Aida the Elephant as Lucy in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Wolfgang Preiss in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Karin Baal in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Karin Baal in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS with Helmuth Lohner
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Maria Brockerhoff in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed in HANNIBAL BROOKS
 Oliver Reed,in HANNIBAL BROOKS
The System's Oliver Reed, John Alderton and John Porter-Davison in HANNIBAL BROOKS
James Donald, Oliver Reed, John Alderton and John Porter-Davison in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Terence Sewards, John Alderton, John Porter-Davison in Hannibal Brooks
Terence Sewards, John Alderton, John Porter-Davison in Hannibal Brooks
THE SYSTEM actor John Alderton in Hannibal Brooks
Wolfgang Preiss in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed, John Alderton with John Porter-Davison and Michael J. Pollard in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Terence Sewards and John Alderton in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Helmuth Lohner, Terence Sewards, Oliver Reed and John Alderton in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Oliver Reed and John Alderton in HANNIBAL BROOKS
WWII POW Movie Icon James Donald from The Great Escape, King Rat & Hannibal Brooks

John Alderton in Hannibal Brooks
Karin Baal and Peter Carsten HANNIBAL BROOKS
Helmuth Lohner in HANNIBAL BROOKS
Karin Baal in HANNIBAL BROOKS

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