Over Here (1996)

Film details


Comedy drama set at an air-base in East England in 1942, when an RAF Spitfire squadron is joined by the first USAAF recruits. Part 1 - The recruits are eager to get into the fighting after training in the USA, but disaster strikes on their arrival when radar is knocked out in a German air raid leaving the incoming American transport planes unprotected. Group Captain Barker has no spare squadrons to escort them, especially since the whole of Archie Bunting's squadron is on leave at the wedding of the artistocratic pilot Charlie. Bunting's hungover squadron are recalled early, but only Archie has a plane with him, the rest have to get back by train. The American airbase to which the transport plane is heading is attacked and bombed by the Luftwaffe, and the furious Colonel Hewitt is forced to go with Barker to the English base. Meanwhile Archie contacts base and is given directions by Tully, who forgets to mention the incoming Americans and only warns Archie that there are enemy aircraft in the vicinity. Archie spots a plane and goes into an attack. The American plane believes it is being attacked by the Germans and confusion reigns until Archie realises that he has shot up an American plane. When the Americans spot him in his spitfire they assume he has chased off the Germans. Hewitt is livid at what he sees as total incompetence and threatens to report everything, although all the Americans on the plane are convinced they were attacked by a horde of Messerschmitts.

Part 2 - Archie finally entices the WAAF Bronwen into his bed, only to have to escape from her irate father the following morning. Whilst riding back to base on his motorbike he is involved in a head-on crash with Herschel, who has borrowed a jeep and is driving off for the day - on the wrong side of the road. They end up next to each other in hospital and share cognac and tinned peaches. Hewitt is persuaded by Barker to go along with the view that Archie saved the incoming American plane from a Luftwaffe attack, however, this version of events comes to the attention of an American PR officer. He considers it a great PR opportunity and morale booster, and he and various American reporters turn up at Archie's bedside to present him with the Silver Star medal from the US President, much to Archie's embarrassment. Archie discovers from Herschel that he had a date with Bronwen on the day they crashed. Whilst in hospital the two play cards, with Archie winning. Later Herschel discovers that Archie cheated using a mirror and determined on revenge they play a subsequent game in a pub with Herschel's deck of marked cards. Herschel wins but Archie tricks him into returning his money and more by pretending to have had his leg amputated making Herschel feel guilty. Much to Lady Billingham's horror, her son Charlie organises an Independence Day party, inviting the Americans and his squadron. His voluptuous cousin Rosemary attends the function - and with Archie having been warned off by Barker from getting entangled with Rosemary again after a previous party, she latches onto Herschel. He goes to her bedroom for a passionate encounter, but an unfortunate accident with the shutters makes this impossible. The American Captain Murphy discovers that Butler is the brother of Violet, the girl with whom he had a relationship in the First World War, and also that he fathered twins. Herschel finally gets one over on Archie by introducing him to Murphy, warning him about his wooden arm. Archie thinks Herschel is trying to con him and so shakes Murphy's artificial hand which comes off, much to everyone's consternation. At the end, an older Archie and Bronwen return to the village near the old air base and lay wreaths at the war memorial, which has the names of many of the British and American pilots on it.

Cast & Credits

Latest from the BFI

  • Latest from the BFI

    Latest news, features and opinion.

More information

Films, TV and people

  • Films, TV and people

    Film lists and highlights from BFI Player.

More information

Sight & Sound magazine

  • Sight & Sound magazine

    Reviews, interviews and features from the international film magazine.

More information

Back to the top