|Directed by||Michael McCarthy|
|Produced by||Maurice Cowan|
|Based on||novel Adventure in Diamonds by David E. Walker.|
|Music by||Philip Green|
|Edited by||Arthur Stevens|
Maurice Cowan Productions & Rank Organisation
Operation Amsterdam is a 1959 black and white British action film, directed by Michael McCarthy, and featuring Peter Finch, Eva Bartok and Tony Britton. It is based on a true story as described in the book Adventure in Diamonds, by David E. Walker. The action of the story covers 12–13 May 1940 (Whit Sunday and Whit Monday) during the German invasion of the Netherlands. The composer Philip Green composed two original pieces of music for the film, the Pierement Waltz and the Amsterdam Polka.
In May 1940, as the German invasion of the Netherlands is under way, the British government decides to send a team to the Netherlands on board HMS Walpole  to secure stocks of industrial diamonds before the invaders can get to them. Accordingly, two Dutch diamond experts, Jan Smit (Peter Finch) and Walter Keyser (Alexander Knox) with a British Army Intelligence officer, Major Dillon (Tony Britton), are dropped by ship off the Dutch coast. They survive a German air raid and escape the attention of a suspicious Dutch policeman. Needing a car, they manage to commandeer one driven by Anna (Eva Bartok), who is trying to commit suicide because she believes her fiance has been killed. Anna turns out to be a member of the Dutch security forces and agrees to help the mission.
The four of them drive to Amsterdam where they meet Jan's father, Johan (Malcolm Keen), at his diamond business house. Johan agrees to try and persuade other dealers to bring their diamonds later that day for transport to Britain. However, many of the stones are stored in a time-locked bank vault which won't open for 24 hours because of the Whit Monday holiday so they recruit Dillon's contacts, a Dutch resistance group, to break in.
Fifth columnist elements in the Dutch army launch an attack outside the bank but the group manage to break into the vault and recover the diamonds. Jan kills the leader of the fifth columnists, a Dutch army lieutenant (Tim Turner). While the resistance fighters withstand the attack, the three agents and Anna make their escape. They drive back to the coast, dodging a German air attack on the way, but find that their boatmaster has been killed. They commandeer a tugboat to take them back to the waiting destroyer, but Anna elects to remain in the Netherlands and work with the nascent resistance movement.
- Peter Finch as Jan Smit
- Eva Bartok as Anna
- Tony Britton as Major Dillon
- Alexander Knox as Walter Keyser
- Malcolm Keen as Johan Smit
- Petra Davies as Menschi (Johan's assistant)
- Alfred Burke as dealer working with Johan
- Christopher Rhodes as Alex (resistance leader)
- Peter Swanwick as Peter (safecracker)
- John Le Mesurier as Colonel Janssen (Anna's security force contact)
- Tim Turner as Dutch lieutenant (leader of fifth columnists)
- John Horsley as Commander Bowerman
- Melvyn Hayes as Willem
- Carl Jaffe as diamond merchant
- Keith Pyott as diamond merchant
- Oscar Quitak as diamond merchant
- Karel Štěpánek as diamond merchant
- Frederick Schiller as tugmaster
- George Pravda as portmaster
- John Bailey as suspicious Dutch police officer in port
The film was based on a true story. British intelligence smuggled out ten million pounds worth of industrial diamonds from Smit's Diamonds in Amsterdam.
The film was one of seven Rank films bought for distribution in the US by 20th Century Fox. The others were Upstairs and Downstairs, Sink the Bismarck!, Northwest Frontier, Ferry to Hong Kong, The Wind Cannot Read and The Captain's Table.
Variety said it had "plenty of excitement". The New York Times said "a surprisingly lukewarm drama has been culled from this tingling, true-life incident... Although it offers some fine tense panoramas of its doomed background, the picture remains curiously conventional in size and scope.... Not until the finale does the picture really get off its haunches.There are two consistent assets, one being a crisp, direct performance by Mr. Britton, as the realistic leader of the daring trio. First, last and always, there is Amsterdam itself."
- IMDb Company credits Retrieved 2011-09-05
- IMDn release info Retrieved 2011-09-05
- Adventure in Diamonds
- Dutch Polka
- HMS Walpole, event 13 May 1940 – uboat.net
- Filmer, Fay (20 September 1958). "GOSSIP". Picture Show. London. 71 (1851): 3–4.
- Scheuer, Philip K. (16 October 1958). "Old Yeller' Author Sells 'Creek' Tale: Gipson, Nash on, New Scripts; Rank Studios Found Thriving". Los Angeles Times: B11.
- Nepean, Edith (1 November 1958). "Round the British Studios". Picture Show. London. 71 (1857): 11.
- "Of Local Origin". New York Times: 25. 7 January 1960.
- Review of film at Variety
- Thompson, Howard (7 July 1960). "Operation Amsterdam' Takes Place Here". New York Times.