Review: Force 10 From Navarone
Blu-ray: Force 10 From Navarone (1978)
After a gap of 17 years Force 10 from Navarone is the sequel to The Guns of Navarone, both based on a fictional Greek island in Alistair MacLean novels. The original stars of Mallory (Gregory Peck) and Miller (David Niven) are now played by (Mallory) Robert Shaw, who died before the films release and (Miller) Edward Fox. It also stars Harrison Ford (hot off Star Wars), Carl Weathers (hot off being Apollo Creed in Rocky), Franco Nero, Barbara Bach and Richard Kiel (both had previously been in James Bond films which director Guy Hamilton had a hand in).
Near the end of the war, Mallory and Miller are sent to find then kill Nicolai, a German spy, who previously betrayed the Navarone mission to the Germans and is now believed to have successfully infiltrated the Yugoslav Partisans as Captain Lescovar (Franco Nero – phwoar).
To get to Yugoslavia, the two men are forced to pair up with ‘Force 10’, an American sabotage unit, led by Colonel Barnsby (Harrison Ford), and as they are stealing a Lancaster bomber, they inadvertently pick up with Weaver (Carl Weathers), a US Army sergeant escaping arrest by the military police.
You see where this is going? Yes, it’s a wartime, Sunday afternoon caper you sit and watch with your dad. Now really I should be comparing this to The Guns of Navarone, BUT despite knowing that at some point I have watched it, I have no memory of it whatsoever. In fact, I thought Frank Sinatra was in it (he isn’t, that’s another film). So as a stand-alone film, it’s entertaining enough.
I do find Franco Nero mesmerising and out of all the cast it’s Carl Weathers that shines through the action sequences AND the racial put-downs. You don’t have to have seen the first film to ‘get’ this one despite some of the characters being the same.
The jewel of this release is without a doubt, the extras. No stuffy academic BORING long winded extras here, oh no, this is solid, ENJOYABLE entertainment that gives you a real insight into the making of this film and what happened behind the scenes. “From Žabljak With Love” and “A Life Behind the Lens” are wonderful, really down to earth men who made the film, give warts and all accounts and I was glued to the TV! Hearing about the problems of filming while trying to keep Robert Shaw standing because he was so pissed is GOLD.
Indicator releases are without a doubt my favourite for extras, they are so watchable.
So in all, a good solid dad film, with a cracking set of extras and a lot of Franco Nero being brooding and handsome.
INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION 2 x BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES
- High Definition remasters
- Extended version with original mono audio, and alternative stereo and 5.1 surround options (126 mins)
- Limited edition exclusive presentation of the original theatrical cut, with mono audio (118 mins)
- Audio commentary on the extended version with film historians Steve Mitchell and Steven Jay Rubin (2020)
- This Is a Giant Movie (1978, 21 mins): archival location report by Channel Television featuring interviews with producer Oliver A Unger, and actors Edward Fox and Carl Weathers
- Tour de Force (2020, 24 mins): actor Angus MacInnes recalls his early film role
- From Žabljak with Love (2020, 28 mins): the making of the film as told by construction manager Terry Apsey, stuntman Jim Dowdall, grip Dennis Fraser, chief hairdresser Colin Jamison, and chief make-up artist Peter Robb-King
- A Life Behind the Lens (2020, 33 mins): a tribute to the acclaimed cinematographer Christopher Challis, featuring interviews with fellow directors of photography and camera crew Dennis Fraser, Oswald Morris, John Palmer and Sydney Samuelson, as well as archival footage of Challis
- The BEHP Interview with Ron Goodwin (1999, 89 mins): archival video, made as part of the British Entertainment History Project, featuring the celebrated composer in conversation with Linda Wood
- A Show of Force (2020, 26 mins): a look at the different versions of Force 10 from Navarone
- Super 8 version: cut-down home cinema presentation
- Original trailers, TV and radio spots
- Image gallery: publicity and promotional material
- New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
- Limited edition exclusive 80-page book with a new essay by Sheldon Hall, archival production reports including interviews with cast and crew members, an interview with actor Robert Shaw, recollections of the film’s Yugoslavia shoot excerpted from the memoirs of cinematographer Christopher Challis and screenwriter George MacDonald Fraser, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and film credits
- Limited edition exclusive set of five replica production stills
- UK premiere on Blu-ray
- Limited edition of 5,000 copies
Force 10 from Navarone is released on 29th June 2020.
Review by Tina from a disc kindly supplied by Powerhouse Films.
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