Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nazi Week: Force 10 from Navarone

Hallo an alle und willkommen to Day 4 of Nazi Week and what say we give the Jerries a right thrashing eh what?   Yes today we shall endure a sequel to director J. Lee Thompson’s Guns of Navarone based on the writings of novelist Alistair MacLean.  So prep your pack, limber up and for God’s sake clean your weapon.  This is Force 10 from Navarone.

War time is still tea time!

Spoilers can’t just stand here like ‘ducks in thunder’!

Like sequels of old it may be difficult to get the original actors to reprise their roles and so characters Mallory (Robert Shaw of From Russia with Love, Tomorrow at Ten, Battle of the Bulge, A Man for All Seasons, Custer of the West and Jaws) and Miller (Edward Fox of The Duellists, Soldier of Orange, The Big Sleep, Gandhi and Never Say Never Again) recaps from The Guns of Navarone’s ending of the island fortress successfully sabotaged and a bit of recovery for each fellow and now off to track and kill Nicolai.  Thought to be a traitor to the Germans during the Navarone Mission they discover Nicolai (Franco Nero of Django, The Repenter, The Girl, Django Strikes Again and Die Hard 2) is in fact Colonel von Ingorslebon, a German spy that may have infiltrated the Yugoslavian Partisans as Captain Lescovar.

Well I dunno. I'm making it up as I go.

To get to Yugoslavia Mallory and Miller link up with Force 10, An American sabotage crew that um “acquired” a bomber plane from a British air base to keep their mission quiet. Lt. Col. Barnsby (Harrison Ford from American Graffiti, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blade Runner, Frantic, Working Girl and Cowboys & Aliens) takes off with his stolen aircraft as a couple of MPs spot him with their prisoner Weaver (Carl Weathers of Magnum Force, Rocky, Semi-Tough, Death Hunt, Action Jackson and Predator), who bobs and weaves and gets onboard said plane joining up with Force 10.
Both Doctor Jones and Apollo Creed look less than thrilled to be joined up with the limey duo but orders as they say are orders.  Reynolds (Angus MacInnes of Star Wars, Outland, Superman II and Witness), a weapons man isn’t exactly overjoyed with the mission and rightfully so and they are shot out of the sky by Luftwaffe fighters and they barely make it to shore.   

Thinking they have ran into their contacts they are unpleasantly surprised with Serbian guerrillas collaborating with the Germans led by Captain Drazak (Richard Keil of Eegah, House of the Damned, Brainstorm, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker and Pale Rider) and is brought before the base commander Major Schroeder (Michael Byrne of Richard III, Champions, Ellis Island,  The Good Father, Buster and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) and Barnsby  claims they are criminals and that they are fleeing from the Allied forces.
Ulp, had to get the hangin' judge.

And now I have just a few points of observation about the movie.  Panavision is solely anamorphic lens with standard 35 mm from some amazing aerial shots, force perspective shots via scale models, and some great dolly track shots.  Michael Byrne has played a Nazi against Harrison Ford in this film as well as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  The film is action packed, solid story and a heck of a cast.  Oh and not mentioned in the previous, former Bond girl Barbara Bach plays a concubine.   Just for the fellas on that one hehe.