Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.
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
When Mallory and Barnsby return to the Chetnik camp to free their comrades, Mallory addresses Schroeder's clerk as Sergeant. The clerk is wearing corporal's chevrons. Sergeants in the German army in WWII wore their rank insignia on their shoulder tabs. See more »
[after an unexpected delay in Miller's explosives]
[notices the dam hasn't collapsed yet]
Miller! That useless git!
It didn't work!
Yes I know it didn't work!
Well let's get out of here!
Yeah let's get out of here, when I see Miller I'm going to ring his useless neck!
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Opening credits prologue: SOMEWHERE IN ENGLAND 1943 See more »
Some time after the successful mission to destroy the huge guns on the island of Navarone, Mallory and Miller are sent to Yugoslavia to kill Nikolai, a German agent who nearly blew the Navarone operation, and who has now infiltrated the Partisans. To get there they are attached to Force 10 led by Col. Barnsby, who have their own mission to destroy a vital bridge. From the outset things go wrong, as they steal a Lancaster from an airfield in Termoli, are joined by Sgt. Weaver (escaping US MP's), then get shot down, bail out, and are captured by Chetniks who are loyal to the Germans.
By the time this sequel to 'The Guns Of Navarone' was made, 17 years had passed. Gregory Peck and David Niven were too old to reprise their roles, so Robert Shaw and Edward Fox took over. Harrison Ford, fresh from 'Star Wars', played Col. Barnsby, Franco Nero signed on as Nikolai, and Richard Kiel, Barbara Bach, and Carl Weathers all came from recent box office hits - the former two from 'The Spy Who Loved Me', the latter from 'Rocky'. Guy Hamilton was hired to direct (Goldfinger, Battle of Britain, Live and Let Die etc.)
This film has been much maligned over the years, somewhat unfairly. It could never hope to emulate its predecessor, and therefore takes a different approach. While 'Guns' had a taut, serious tone, this adopts a more tongue in cheek feel. Some of the interplay between Shaw and Fox is quite deadpan and amusing, with the actors obviously not taking proceedings too seriously. Harrison Ford looks uneasy at the start, but settles into his role as things progress. The use of the stunning Yugoslavian countryside gives the film a unique feel, and it appears to have had a decent budget. The score harks back to the type of Boys Own adventures that were so popular a decade earlier.
There are some flaws, yes. Possibly more tension could have been injected at some points, and Mallory seems to have lost the ability to speak fluent German since 'Guns'. It's not in the same league as that film or the marvellous 'Where Eagles Dare', but it's an enjoyable way to pass a couple of hours on a cold, wet winters' night.
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