Force 10 from Navarone (1978)

PG | 118 mins | Adventure | 22 December 1978

Director:

Guy Hamilton

Producer:

Oliver A. Unger

Cinematographer:

Christopher Challis

Editor:

Raymond Poulton

Production Designer:

Geoffrey Drake

Production Company:

Navarone Productions, Ltd.
Full page view
HISTORY


       The movie’s opening sequence replays scenes from The Guns of Navarone while voiceover narration relates that Allied Forces infiltrated the island of Navarone in 1943 and successfully neutralized the advantage provided by powerful guns the Germans embedded there.
       Var reported on 6 Dec 1978 that Will Jordan re-recorded some of Robert Shaw’s lines following the actor’s death on 28 Aug 1978; however, Jordan’s name does not appear in the onscreen credits. Although several sources, including an advertisement in the 21 Aug 1978 Box, named Samuel Z. Arkoff, head of the film’s domestic distributor, American International Pictures (AIP), as a producer, and an 8 Dec 1976 Var news item noted that Geoffrey Reeve joined the production as a producer, neither man receives onscreen credit. The 22 Dec 1978 LAT noted that novelist George MacDonald Fraser was “involved” with writing the script, but his name is not credited onscreen. Special effects supervisor Giuseppe Carozza is misspelled Guiseppe in the onscreen credits.
       News items in the 5 Aug 1968 Film TV Daily and the 9 Sep 1968 DV announced that Carl Foreman would produce the film version of MacLean’s novel Force 10 from Navarone, with DV further reporting that he would write the adaptation as well. Instead, Robin Chapman was hired to write the screenplay and Foreman received a “screen story by” credit.
       According to articles in the 2 Sep 1970 DV and the 18 Dec 1977 LAT, following the success of the first adaptation, Foreman urged MacLean to write a sequel ... More Less


       The movie’s opening sequence replays scenes from The Guns of Navarone while voiceover narration relates that Allied Forces infiltrated the island of Navarone in 1943 and successfully neutralized the advantage provided by powerful guns the Germans embedded there.
       Var reported on 6 Dec 1978 that Will Jordan re-recorded some of Robert Shaw’s lines following the actor’s death on 28 Aug 1978; however, Jordan’s name does not appear in the onscreen credits. Although several sources, including an advertisement in the 21 Aug 1978 Box, named Samuel Z. Arkoff, head of the film’s domestic distributor, American International Pictures (AIP), as a producer, and an 8 Dec 1976 Var news item noted that Geoffrey Reeve joined the production as a producer, neither man receives onscreen credit. The 22 Dec 1978 LAT noted that novelist George MacDonald Fraser was “involved” with writing the script, but his name is not credited onscreen. Special effects supervisor Giuseppe Carozza is misspelled Guiseppe in the onscreen credits.
       News items in the 5 Aug 1968 Film TV Daily and the 9 Sep 1968 DV announced that Carl Foreman would produce the film version of MacLean’s novel Force 10 from Navarone, with DV further reporting that he would write the adaptation as well. Instead, Robin Chapman was hired to write the screenplay and Foreman received a “screen story by” credit.
       According to articles in the 2 Sep 1970 DV and the 18 Dec 1977 LAT, following the success of the first adaptation, Foreman urged MacLean to write a sequel to The Guns of Navarone. MacLean wrote Force 10 from Navarone as a screenplay first, then wrote it as a novel. After MacLean completed the script, Columbia Pictures transferred the project from Foreman, who had reportedly lost interest in a Navarone sequel, to the Winkast Company in early 1969. Eighteen months later, the studio returned the film to Foreman to produce. Foreman hoped the original stars of The Guns of Navarone, Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn, would return to film the sequel, but later cast Robert Shaw as “Maj. Mallory” and Edward Fox as “Miller,” the roles previously played by Peck and Niven respectively.
       Reports on 15 Sep 1976 in DV, Var and HR, as well as a subsequent report in Var on 29 Sept 1976 announced that producer Oliver Unger; Foreman’s production company, High Noon Productions; and Mondo Films GmbH, a Munich, Germany, film production and financing company, had acquired the screen rights to the novel Force 10 from Navarone from Columbia for $300,000. The rights reverted to Foreman when Columbia deemed the project too expensive the previous year. Under the terms of the deal, Unger would produce and Foreman would serve as executive producer “under contract to High Noon.” Preproduction and second unit filming were scheduled to start Jan 1977, with principal photography scheduled to begin Mar 1977 at Pinewood Studios in London, England, before moving to Malta, then Yugoslavia or Greece. Although producers initially expected for the schedule to last twenty-four weeks, on 28 Sep 1977 DV reported a revised shooting schedule of sixteen weeks. Later, Unger and director Guy Hamilton headed a five-member team to scout locations for eleven days in Pakistan, reported Var on 19 Jan 1977. Unger signed an agreement to shoot in western Pakistan in winter 1977 and the National Film Development Corporation (NAFDEC), Pakistan’s state-run film agency, was prepared to provide partial financing in hope of entering into a co-production or location shooting deal, but the final terms proved too costly for the Pakistani government. Rather than revise the script and accept less money to shoot in Pakistan, Unger and the director’s company, Guy Hamilton Productions, chose to shoot in Europe, noted DV on 5 Jan 1978.
       Force 10 from Navarone began shooting 4 Oct 1977 in Yugoslavia at locations such as Titograd and Rijeka (now known as Podgorica, Montenegro, and Rijeka, Croatia, respectively). Nine weeks later, the production moved to England for four weeks to film scenes in London’s Shepperton Studios and the naval dockyard in Plymouth, then completed principal photography on 3 Feb 1978 after three weeks in Malta, according to Box on 28 Nov 1977, DV on 2 Dec 1977 and Var on 8 Feb and 17 May 1978.
       Retaining its right of first refusal on domestic distribution, Columbia opted to distribute the film internationally, according to articles in DV and HR on 2 Jun 1977. On 28 Sep 1977, DV announced that AIP had acquired Force 10 from Navarone for domestic distribution as a summer 1978 release. However, the film opened nationwide on 22 Dec 1978, according to production notes from AMPAS library files.
       The movie was budgeted in the $9 to $11 million range, with funding provided by a private investor, AIP, Columbia, Yugoslavia’s Jadran Film studios and the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) television network, which planned to air the film three times, reported the 28 Sep 1977 DV, the 18 Dec 1977 LAT and the 2 May and 6 Dec 1978 HR.
       Although the 18 Dec 1978 NYT review condemned virtually every aspect of the film, critical reception overall was positive. Edward Fox’s performance as Miller was singled out for praise in the 18 Oct 1978 Box, the 6 Dec 1978 HR and the 22 Dec 1978 LAT, and the 29 Nov 1978 Var found that Hamilton brought the same skill to Force 10 from Navarone that he had displayed in the James Bond films he had previously directed.
       On 20 Jan 1982, Var reported that Filmways Pictures Inc. sued Unger’s estate for the recovery of a $25,000 loan he borrowed against the proceeds of Force 10 from Navarone. With interest, a total of $29,260 was owed, the lawsuit stated. The outcome of the legal action is unknown.
       In a letter to the London Times published on 12 May 2002, screenwriter Robin Chapman claimed that George MacDonald Fraser received no credit as a script doctor on Force 10 from Navarone because he made only minor dialogue changes.
      After the end credits, the following text appears onscreen: “The producers of the film acknowledge with gratitude the co-operation of Jadran Film of Zagreb; Malta Film Facilities Ltd.,” and “Filmed on location in Yugoslavia, Malta, Jersey Channel Islands, and at Shepperton Studio Centre, Middlesex, England by Navarone Productions Limited.”

              While most references to Force 10 from Navarone acknowledged it as a sequel to The Guns of Navarone (1961, see entry), news items in the 15 Sep 1976 Var and 10 Aug 1978 HR charcterized Force 10 from Navarone as a “continuation” that used some of the same characters and locations. In an interview in the 10 Sep 1978 LAHExam, author Alistair MacLean stated that the film’s story line “bears little resemblance to what I wrote.” More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
28 Nov 1977.
---
Box Office
21 Aug 1978.
---
Box Office
18 Oct 1978.
---
Cleveland Plain Dealer
14 Feb 1979
Section B, p. 5.
Daily Variety
9 Sep 1968.
---
Daily Variety
2 Sep 1970
p. 3.
Daily Variety
15 Sep 1976
p. 1, 3.
Daily Variety
2 Jun 1977.
---
Daily Variety
2 Dec 1977.
---
Daily Variety
28 Sep 1977
p. 1, 6.
Daily Variety
5 Jan 1978
p. 6.
Daily Variety
19 Dec 1978
---
Daily Variety
24 Nov 1978
p. 3, 8.
Film TV Daily
5 Aug 1968.
---
Films and Filming
Jan 1979.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Sep 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jun 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Nov 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
10 Aug 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 1978
p. 1, 4.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
6 Dec 1978
p. 3, 33.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 1978
---
LAHExam
10 Sep 1978.
---
LAHExam
10 Sep 1978
Section F, p. 8.
London Times
12 May 2002.
---
Los Angeles Times
18 Dec 1977
p. 61, 64-65, 69.
Los Angeles Times
22 Dec 1978
p. 20.
New York Times
18 Dec 1978.
---
New York Times
22 Dec 1978
p. 14.
Variety
15 Sep 1976.
---
Variety
29 Sep 1976
p. 5, 94.
Variety
8 Dec 1976.
---
Variety
19 Jan 1977.
---
Variety
2 Nov 1977.
---
Variety
8 Feb 1978.
---
Variety
17 May 1978.
---
Variety
4 Oct 1978.
---
Variety
29 Nov 1978
p. 24, 26.
Variety
6 Dec 1978.
---
Variety
27 Dec 1978.
---
Variety
20 Jan 1982.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Guy Hamilton film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Asst dir
Prod mgr, Yugoslav unit
Asst dir, Yugoslav unit
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Co-prod
WRITERS
Scr story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit cam
Main unit cam op
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir, Yugoslav unit
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Const mgr
Const mgr
Prop master
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv
Ward chief, Yugoslav unit
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Dubbing mixer
Dubbing mixer
Sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff des
Visual eff cam
Sp eff supv
Sp eff supv
Sp eff supv
Spec eff, Yugoslav unit
MAKEUP
Chief make-up
Chief hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod asst
STAND INS
Stunt arranger
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Force 10 from Navarone by Alistair MacLean (London, 1968).
DETAILS
Release Date:
22 December 1978
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 22 December 1978
New York opening: week of 22 December 1978
Production Date:
4 October 1977--3 February 1978 in Yugoslavia, England and Malta
Copyright Claimant:
American International Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
22 February 1979
Copyright Number:
PA25103
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor®
Widescreen/ratio
Filmed in Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
118
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
25070
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1943 England, Major Mallory is reunited with his old combat mate, explosives expert Staff Sergeant “Milly” Miller, when they are summoned to the office of Commander Jensen. Allied Intelligence discovered that Nicolai, a man who betrayed Mallory and Miller at the Battle of Navarone, is actually an undercover German agent who escaped execution and is now in Yugoslavia, posing as a Russian partisan named Captain Lescovar. Since Mallory and Miller are the only ones who can visually identify Nicolai, Jensen is sending them to Yugoslavia to find and kill the man. They will travel with Force 10, a team of U.S. Rangers on a secret mission of their own. Although Lieutenant Colonel Barnsby, head of the Force 10 mission, is unhappy about transporting two “passengers,” he has no choice but to drop off Mallory and Miller with the Russian partisans. Two nights later, Force 10 secretly prepares to fly out of Italy when the military police drive by transporting a prisoner, Sergeant Weaver, of the U.S. Army Medical Corps. The policemen’s attempt to apprehend the special forces unit leads to a rushed departure and Weaver muscling his way onto the plane. Soon after takeoff, Force 10 encounters an aerial attack that forces Mallory, Miller, Weaver and rangers Barnsby and Doug Reynolds to parachute out of the plane. Reuniting on the ground, the five men retrieve Miller’s case of explosives and escape the German patrol. They encounter Russian partisans led by Captain Drazak and a female soldier, Maritza, who insist they join forces to fight the Germans. Drazak leads Force 10 back to his camp where they learn their ... +


In 1943 England, Major Mallory is reunited with his old combat mate, explosives expert Staff Sergeant “Milly” Miller, when they are summoned to the office of Commander Jensen. Allied Intelligence discovered that Nicolai, a man who betrayed Mallory and Miller at the Battle of Navarone, is actually an undercover German agent who escaped execution and is now in Yugoslavia, posing as a Russian partisan named Captain Lescovar. Since Mallory and Miller are the only ones who can visually identify Nicolai, Jensen is sending them to Yugoslavia to find and kill the man. They will travel with Force 10, a team of U.S. Rangers on a secret mission of their own. Although Lieutenant Colonel Barnsby, head of the Force 10 mission, is unhappy about transporting two “passengers,” he has no choice but to drop off Mallory and Miller with the Russian partisans. Two nights later, Force 10 secretly prepares to fly out of Italy when the military police drive by transporting a prisoner, Sergeant Weaver, of the U.S. Army Medical Corps. The policemen’s attempt to apprehend the special forces unit leads to a rushed departure and Weaver muscling his way onto the plane. Soon after takeoff, Force 10 encounters an aerial attack that forces Mallory, Miller, Weaver and rangers Barnsby and Doug Reynolds to parachute out of the plane. Reuniting on the ground, the five men retrieve Miller’s case of explosives and escape the German patrol. They encounter Russian partisans led by Captain Drazak and a female soldier, Maritza, who insist they join forces to fight the Germans. Drazak leads Force 10 back to his camp where they learn their hosts are in fact Serbian nationalists, or Chetniks, working with the Germans. As the German leader, Major Schroeder, confiscates Miller’s case, Mallory bluffs that he and his friends are army deserters and black market purveyors of a valuable new drug called Penicillin and that the medicine is effective only if the case is opened under the right laboratory conditions. Schroeder imprisons them while he checks their story. If true, Schroeder and Maritza could retire on the value of the drugs after the war. In the morning, Schroeder shows Mallory and Barnsby that the case is filled with firewood. When Mallory and Barnsby claim they buried the contents before they were picked up, Schroeder insists they retrieve the hidden drugs or he will have them shot. Leading Maritza and three guards to a remote location, Mallory and Barnsby prepare to attack their captors until Maritza unexpectedly helps them escape. Explaining that she was the one who replaced the explosives, Maritza instructs the two men to flee to a nearby partisan camp while she returns to the German-Chetnik stronghold. On the way, Mallory and Barnsby kill two Chetniks with bandaged faces who had been following them. Soon afterward, the two soldiers encounter a partisan patrol led by Captain Lescovar who takes them to his headquarters. While they travel, Mallory confides in Barnsby that Lescovar is the man he was sent to kill and that Lescovar recognized him, too. At the Russian camp, Mallory and Barnsby report their objectives to Lescovar’s leader, Major Petrovitch. Petrovitch expresses doubts that Force 10 can achieve its mission with no men or equipment and informs Mallory that the undercover German agent he seeks was identified and eliminated months ago and has no connection to Captain Lescovar. Later, Mallory and Barnsby learn that the masked men they killed were actually undercover partisan agents working with Petrovitch’s daughter, Maritza, the Russians’ inside agent at the Chetnik camp. Lescovar explains that the partisans and the Germans are fighting over a nearby bridge. The Germans are preparing a final attack and, because the Russians have tried several times to destroy the bridge and their failed efforts have cost so many Russian soldiers’ lives, Petrovitch has determined it is not worth any more attempts. Barnsby reveals that demolishing the bridge is Force 10’s mission, while Mallory insists Miller can destroy the bridge and he and Barnsby can rescue him. Disguised as the bandaged Chetniks, two of Petrovitch’s men lead Mallory and Barnsby, posing as prisoners, back to the German camp. Observing their arrival, Maritza refills the suitcase with the explosives. Inside the prison, Mallory and Barnsby rescue Miller, Weaver and Reynolds while Drazak returns to camp with the bodies of the slain Chetniks. As the Allied men depart the prison, an altercation breaks out, leaving Reynolds and Schroeder dead. Realizing Maritza is an imposter, Drazak beats her, then goes to the prison to investigate the commotion. The Allied men rescue Maritza and the explosives, then drive out of the camp as Drazak pursues them. At the Russian camp later, Mallory confides to Barnsby his doubts about Lescovar’s true identity. Meanwhile, Miller examines the bridge from afar and declares it cannot be blown up. However, when Mallory notes that there is a dam upriver, Miller confirms he can blast the dam and the rushing water will destroy the bridge. That night, as the Russians prepare for a supply drop, Maritza realizes Lescovar is signaling their location to the Germans. She runs to warn her friends but is shot and killed by Lescovar as a German plane shoots down the Russian soldiers. In the aftermath, Mallory and Barnsby realize the arrival of the enemy plane was no accident, but they still cannot prove Lescovar’s connection to the incident. At the Russian headquarters, as Lescovar blames the loss of life on bad Allied security, Petrovitch notes the Germans are bringing their tanks across the bridge at dawn, and the Allies have no resources to stop them. The major orders Lescovar to return Mallory, Barnsby, Miller and Weaver to an Allied military camp with a two-man escort. The next morning, Mallory explains to Lescovar that if they can get into a nearby German munitions storehouse, they can steal enough explosives to blow up the dam. Lescovar agrees but insists on accompanying them. Late that night, they infiltrate the German supply camp dressed as German soldiers. While Miller and Mallory steal explosives, Barnsby and Weaver manage the transport truck. Lescovar maneuvers the four men into loading the explosives onto a train, reveals his true identity as a German spy to a German soldier, and tries to capture the four Allied men. One of the Russian escorts foils Lescovar’s plan and the spy ends up on the moving train with the four Allies. Later, when Mallory and Barnsby question Lescovar’s identity and loyalty, a fight ensues and Barnsby shoots Lescovar dead. Barnsby insists that Mallory help him achieve Force 10’s mission and the four men jump off of the train and run toward the dam. They have two hours to prepare before the Germans mobilize their tanks. While Mallory and Barnsby penetrate the interior of the dam to set the charges, Miller and Weaver divert the German sentries away from the structure. Later, Weaver encounters Drazak and the two fight with knives until Weaver buries his blade in the Chetnik’s stomach. Miller and Weaver find a safe vantage point to observe the dam. Meanwhile, as they prepare to light the fuse, Mallory and Barnsby realize they missed the deadline. Dawn has arrived and the Germans begin driving their tanks across the bridge. Mallory and Barnsby set the fuse for twenty seconds, knowing they will not have time to get away. The blast knocks out Mallory and Barnsby, but the dam holds. While the Germans and Russians shoot at each other from opposite sides of the bridge, Mallory and Barnsby come to and realize that the explosion did not work. However, moments later, the dam begins to crumble and Mallory and Barnsby rush to escape as water gushes forth. German troops have almost reached the Russian side when the rushing river hits the bridge. Later, Mallory and Barnsby rejoin Miller and Weaver and they congratulate each other on their success until Mallory reminds them they are on the wrong side of the river, they will soon encounter angry Germans and Miller is completely out of explosives, so they “are going to have a very long walk home.” +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.