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The Dove Must Not Fly (1970)

La colomba non deve volare (original title)
An undercover Nazi in Libya aims to steal fuel and deliver it to a specific location in the desert where an Italian bomber would refuel on its way to Allied target.


Sergio Garrone

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Credited cast:
Horst Buchholz ... Pablo Vallajo
Sylva Koscina ... Anne
William Berger ... Major Harris
Riccardo Garrone
Howard Ross Howard Ross
Giuseppe Castellano
Carlo Gaddi Carlo Gaddi
Andrea Scotti Andrea Scotti
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carlo De Mejo


An undercover Nazi in Libya aims to steal fuel and deliver it to a specific location in the desert where an Italian bomber would refuel on its way to Allied target.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | War


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Italy | West Germany



Release Date:

12 March 1970 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Hell in the Persian Gulf See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

PAC, Inter West Film See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


The film's opening title card reads: "ADEN 1943" and the opening prologue states: "This film presents a glorious episode in the history of the Italian Air Force in the last war. It is also the story of the brave men in the Secret Services without whose aid many military operations could not have been carried out". See more »

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User Reviews

Waste of time war effort is a stock footage fest
29 June 2016 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

A supposedly "factual" Italian drama - as emphasised by the opening text, which honours secret service men - turned slightly laughable thanks to a very low budget and tons of stock footage. Every time a plane appears on screen stock footage is shown, and that's about three dozen times during the film's course. Action fans will also be in for a nasty surprise. Although the film opens with a cool shoot-out and a minor plane fight, this is just about all of the action we get - the rest of the film is plot-focused drama with very few thrills, and only some hummable music to recommend it.

Sergio Garrone, a spaghetti western veteran, handles the plot and character sequences well but fails to convince during the schlocky plane action as the interiors are cut with scratchy scenes of WWII stock footage. A major problem is that most of the film takes place at night, in the dark, making it very hard to see what the heck is actually going on for the most part. Lots of desert gun battles and tank fights are taking place but we get to see very little of them indeed - perhaps this is a problem with the print I saw, but I have a feeling footage may have been shot darkly to murkily disguise the low-budget models used.

In the film's favour, there is an above-average cast headed by Horst Buchholz (THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN) to ease and make things a little bit more watchable. Buccholz plays the Italian hero agent as a stern, cold-hearted bastard and there's little to love about him. Sylva Koscina lends some Italian beauty as a female character who tags along for a desert trek about halfway through the movie whilst there's able support from veteran performers, like William Berger and future Fulci cohort Carlo De Mejo.

THE DOVE MUST NOT FLY focuses on the planes and equipment over the human interest of the tale which doesn't make it easy to get into - you don't care for any of the characters and thus much of the action is pretty useless, that is if you could see it anyway. I can only imagine what a director like Enzo G. Castellari might have made of his - perhaps he would have turned it into one of his acclaimed slices of low-budget action coolness, but I somehow doubt it. One for stock footage enthusiasts (?) and war buffs only.

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