This mediocre WW I adventure has York as a Scotch-German lad persuaded by the British Admiralty to pretend to defect to the Germans in order to steal the secret plans to Germany's latest super-dirigible. In Germany he quickly re-establishes his long-standing friendship with Goring,
designer of the zeppelin in question, as well as with Goring's wife, Sommer. Sommer quickly deduces that York is a spy, but she says nothing in order to protect her husband. Although he suffers from vertigo, York agrees to go on a test flight of the craft. But once they are aloft it is announced
that the airship is going on a secret mission--first to Norway to pick up mustard gas, bombs, and soldiers, then to Scotland to break into the secret archives where the British have moved all their national treasures for the duration. The big prize they seek is the Magna Carta; they believe
British morale will crumble if this document is stolen. York kills the radio operator aboard and tries to contact the British but fails. The ship lands near the Scottish castle, and the Germans pull off their well-choreographed assault. York breaks away and reaches the guardhouse, but the men
there refuse to believe him (he's still in his German uniform). Eventually he convinces them to call London. Soon reinforcements arrive, and the Germans retreat back to the ship with heavy losses. Most of them don't make it aboard, including Goring, who kills himself over his horror at the misuse
of his great invention. York and Sommer make it aboard, though, and start back to Germany with the remainder of the crew. The British dispatch fighter planes after the airship, and it continues to lose altitude over the North Sea. Finally York and Sommer jump into the water as the craft explodes
and swim ashore in neutral Holland to sit out the rest of the war.
ZEPPELIN fails on nearly every count. The script is ludicrous, the acting mediocre, and the direction indifferent. On the plus side, though, the battle scenes are well done, and the real star of the film, the dirigible itself, is quite impressive. Tragedy struck during the production when a plane
and a helicopter collided and four persons were killed, including second unit cameraman Skeets Kelly, a veteran of such films as CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN. Perhaps the most interesting thing about ZEPPELIN is the fact that its executive producer, J. Ronald Getty, is the son
of oil billionaire J. Paul Getty.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1971
- Rating: G
- Review: This mediocre WW I adventure has York as a Scotch-German lad persuaded by the British Admiralty to pretend to defect to the Germans in order to steal the secret plans to Germany's latest super-dirigible. In Germany he quickly re-establishes his long-standi… (more)