Seventeen years after Gregory Peck, David Niven and friends blew up The Guns Of Navarone comes this sequel, which, like its predecessor, is also based on a novel by Alistair MacLean. The Second World War epic is set two years after the original, in 1943, and sees the two survivors from the first story being sent behind enemy lines to Yugoslavia, to locate and kill the double agent who betrayed them in Navarone. Where originally Gregory Peck and David Niven played Mallory and Miller, this time Robert Shaw and Edward Fox portray them.
The two are attached to the Force 10, a group of US soldiers led by Lieutenant-Colonel Barnsby (Harrison Ford), whose mission is to blow up a bridge linking Germany and Yugoslavia. But when the group’s plane is shot down over Yugoslavia, the survivors are captured by a band of Chetniks, led by Captain Drazak (Richard Kiel), with both missions now appearing doomed.
An archetypal seventies war film, full of bravado, explosions and boys’ own heroism, Force 10 was Harrison Ford’s first movie following his appearance as Han Solo in a certain science fiction movie called Star Wars. Sadly, while Ford was in the early stages of a career that would flourish in the eighties, this was the penultimate film of irascible acting legend Robert Shaw, who died of a heart attack four months before the film was released in the UK.
The 7ft 2in Richard Kiel squeezed this performance in between two Bond films, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, in which he played the henchman, Jaws. And as you’d expect from someone who’s 7ft 2in, Kiel stands out here as a Partisan enemy.
UK | 118 minutes | 1978
Director: Guy Hamilton
Writer: Robin Chapman, Carl Foreman (based on the novel by Alistair MacLean)
Harrison Ford as Lieutenant Colonel Barnsby
Robert Shaw as Maj. Keith Mallory
Barbara Bach as Maritza Petrovich
Edward Fox as Miller
Franco Nero as Lescovar
Carl Weathers as Weaver
Richard Kiel as Drazak
Alan Badel as Petrovitch
Michael Byrne as Schroeder
Philip Latham as Jensen
Angus MacInnes as Reynolds
Michael Sheard as Sgt. Bauer
Petar Buntić as Marko
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