No Time to Die (1958 film)

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No Time to Die
US release film poster
Directed byTerence Young
Produced byIrving Allen
Albert Broccoli
Phil C. Samuel
Written byRichard Maibaum
Terence Young
Based onNo Time to Die (1954 novel)
by Ronald Kemp
StarringVictor Mature
Leo Genn
Bonar Colleano
Anthony Newley
Music byKenneth V. Jones
CinematographyTed Moore
Edited byBert Rule
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
August 1958
Running time
103 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

No Time to Die (US title Tank Force) is a 1958 film about an American sergeant in the British Army during the Second World War.


In North Africa during the Second World War, a squadron of British tanks is destroyed in battle by panzers of their German adversaries.

A tank commanded by American Sgt. David Thatcher (Victor Mature) is hit and he and driver Trooper "Tiger" Noakes (Anthony Newley) bail out. The squadron's attached reconnaissance vehicle, commanded by Sgt. Kendall (Leo Genn), becomes stuck in the sand and the crew bail out too.

The three survivors are quickly captured and transported to an Italian-run POW camp. Thatcher has a secret and tries to escape at every turn.



The film was based on a 1954 novel by Ronald Kemp.[1][2] Warwick Productions bought the film rights in 1955 and tried to get Montgomery Clift to star.[3] Sy Bartlett was assigned to write the script.[4]

In March 1957 Merle Miller was hired to rewrite the script.[5] Then Richard Maibaum did a draft. The script eventually became about five Allied soldiers, two Englishmen, a Pole, an American and an Australian, who escape an Italian POW camp in the Second World War.[6]

Alan Ladd was mentioned as a possibility as star.[7] In April 1957 Terence Young arrived in Hollywood to find two American leading men for the film.[8] Van Johnson, who had just made a film with Young, was a leading contender.[9] Jeff Chandler turned down the role (and fee of $200,000).[10]

In August 1957 Victor Mature signed a two-picture contract with Warwick, No Time to Die and The Man Inside.[11]

In September Mature left England for six weeks of location filming in the Libyan Desert, near Tripoli. The Queens Bays Tank Regiment assisted in production of the film.[6]

No Time to Die featured authentic war time Cromwell tanks as well as post-war Centurions and Charioteers as both British and German tanks. In the opening battle Leo Genn commands an AEC Armoured Car and wears the beret of the Cherry Pickers.

Sean Kelly was a South African actor who had been signed by Warwick to a seven-year contract.[12]


  1. ^ Display Ad 45 -- No Title The Observer (1901–2003) [London (UK)] 17 Oct 1954: 9.
  2. ^ "NOVELS.. REVIEWED BY GORDON STEWART This school was tough". The Argus (Melbourne). Victoria, Australia. 13 August 1955. p. 40. Retrieved 8 July 2016 – via National Library of Australia.
  3. ^ 'No Time to Die' Bought for Clift; Heflin Will Star in 'Distant Paths' Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 16 July 1955: 15.
  4. ^ REPUBLIC TO FILM SERLING TV PLAY: Studio Acquires 'Taps on a Bugle,' Third Work Sold by Author of 'Patterns' By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 16 July 1955: 12.
  5. ^ Of Local Origin New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 13 Mar 1957: 25.
  6. ^ a b MOVIELAND EVENTS: Mature, Genn Will Migrate to Desert Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 04 Sep 1957: C9.
  7. ^ 'No Time to Die' Likely for Ladd; Western Film Proposed for Brando Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 30 Mar 1957: B3.
  8. ^ 'No Time to Die' Bids for Americans; Cooper Classic Soon to Start Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 18 Apr 1957: C13.
  9. ^ Johnson Ponders London Film Role Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune (1923–1963) [Chicago, Ill] 31 May 1957: a3.
  10. ^ Bernice Block Will Produce Shocker Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 15 Aug 1957: B8.
  11. ^ STUDIO SUSPENDS KIM NOVAK PACT: Columbia Acts After She Refuses Paramount Role-- Debbie Reynolds to Star Nature Has Its Way Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 31 Aug 1957: 18.
  12. ^ Newcomers Win Capital Film Breaks; Robinson to Enact Mad Bomber Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 09 Feb 1957: B3.

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