Mallory and Miller are back. It seems that there was traitor with them at Navarone, whom they thought was executed. But it seems that not only was he not executed, and he was not a traitor but a German spy. Intelligence believes he made it to Yugoslavia and is now with the Partisans. So, Mallory and Miller being the only ones who can positively identify him are sent along with a unit called Force 10, which is led by Colonel Barnsby, who objects to their presence. It seems that Force 10 has a mission of their own which Mallory and Miller know nothing about. When their plane is shot and most of the team is killed, they mistakenly believe that some of the locals they meet are Partisans but in reality are German Allies, so they are taken prisoner, and have to convince the German commander that they are not spies or else they will be killed. Written by
British actor Michael Byrne who plays the Nazi officer Schroeder in this film, would later face off against Harrison Ford again as another Nazi officer, this time named Vogel, in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. Also, interestingly enough, Byrne is a year YOUNGER than Ford. See more »
When the goods train is shunting in the yard, it consists of wagons (open) and vans (closed), clearly of British outline; one vehicle has a number panel from 1970's British Rail. After the saboteurs are carried away in this train, it is seen to emerge from a tunnel, consisting of an electric locomotive (see elsewhere: anachronism), pulling only a train of continental outline vans. See more »
I don't suppose they taught you German at that awful school of yours?
What, instead of Latin? Heaven forbid, old boy.
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Opening credits prologue: SOMEWHERE IN ENGLAND 1943 See more »
World War II has spawned so many stories, films, books, songs, TV shows, from garbage to genius, that one could easily spend an a lifetime absorbed in them. Here is a basic WWII movie that tells a very straight forward story about a small group of soldiers trying to blow up a bridge in enemy held territory. It doesn't try to be Bridge on the River Kwai, another film where a small group of special forces travel (on foot I might add) to destroy a bridge important to the enemy forces.
On the plus side is that the action takes place in Yugoslavia, not the setting of too many war movies made in Hollywood, so that gives this some interesting moments (how many movies have Croatian Chetniks in them?). Also, Robert Shaw, good in anything, and Edward Fox have a great rapport, trading lines with impeccable timing. It would be easy to believe they are lifelong friends in real life the way they portray their characters. Harrison Ford gives a solid performance as a young overachieving officer, helping the subplot of the new blood clashing with the old veterans. Barbara Bach is beautiful, but not much other reason for her to be around. Carl Weathers actually gives a nice performance as the rebellious black soldier, implausibly brought along by weirdly improbable circumstances. Facing the fact that the Armed Forces were segregated during WWII, it seems like the makers wanted to have a black included in the movie and had to make up some way to do that, coming up with a ridiculously contrived way to have him along. It's unfortunate they couldn't come up with something better because, though Weathers is likable and his character brings something to the party, they way they did it undermines the plotline.
The action is okay, though the payoff at the end, clever as it is, ultimately fails because of the special effects--they just weren't that well done; they seemed like they came from a grade b movie.
If you've seen some WWII movies like A Bridge Too Far, Kelly's Heros, Battle of the Bulge, the Devil's Brigade, or Where Eagles Dare and liked them, definitely give this one a try. Not a classic, but a decent addition to the crowd.
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