Hannibal Brooks
Oliver Reed, Michael Pollard, James Donald
Directed by Michael Winner
Originally released 1969
MGM 2012

Hannibal Brooks is a good addition to the MGM Limited Edition Collection of on-demand DVD. This WWII comedy about a soldier and elephant on the lam is fun to watch though it is uneven in tone. You also have to forgive some of the minor glitches like continuity problems in some shots but it is nothing that gets in the way of enjoying this movie. MGM Limited Edition DVD are made on demand from the best print possible. Here, it is very good and in the original widescreen format with a couple of specs here and there.

Brooks is a peace-loving British POW sent to work at the Berlin Zoo where he is put in charge of Lucy the elephant. After the zoo is bombed the director arranges for the elephant to be sent to Innsbruck and Brooks to accompany her. With him are a pretty German woman to serve as cook and two soldiers, one nice and one a jerk, to serve as guards.

Stuff happens and the movie changes tone after Brooks decides to cross the Alps to Switzerland instead and keeps coming across fellow escapee and now resistance fighter Packy (Michael J. Pollard). He also learns that sometimes you have to wage war even if you do not want to.

Hannibal Brooks is far from being a classic but it is original enough and it entertains. Better in a similar vein is La vache et le prisonnier with Fernandel.

Look for James Donald of Great Escape fame as the Padre.

Other titles in this collection

Body Slam

Call me Bwana – Bob Hope

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