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Film & Television

Bates is listed along with Terence Rattigan as the screenwriters for this 1942 film treatment based on the novel of the same name by Australian author James Aldridge.

The story is set in 1941 in Greece just as the Germans begin to make gains in the country. The plot follows the fortunes of a close group of fliers of the 80th squadron and becomes a love story between a young Greek nurse and the pilot of a Gloster Gladiator.

In 1941 a film production unit had been created by the Air Ministry to generate professional quality films to record the RAF’s contribution to the war. Bates’s film review Captains of the Clouds and the essay The Film in War point to his interest in film production around this time.

In 1944 Rank Studios commenced filming in Shropshire with Vernon Sewell as director and Osmond Borradaile as cinematographer. Produced by Paul Sofkin, the cast included Squadron Leader Richard Acworth DFC, Flying Officer Tommy Tinsey DFC, New Zealanders Flight Lieutenant Reg Hyde and Flying Officer Piggott.

After the aerial scenes were in the can, filming was cancelled indefinitely and the movie was never finished.