Film / Force 10 from Navarone

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Force Ten from Navarone is a 1968 novel by Alistair MacLean, and a 1978 film adaptation starring Robert Shaw, Harrison Ford and Edward Fox. The events depicted take place during World War II but are entirely fictional. A small contingent of American soldiers, plus two of the British soldiers from The Guns of Navarone, are sent to Yugoslavia to carry out two separate missions. The Brits aim to eliminate a known traitor masquerading as a Yugoslav Partisan, while the Americans were sent to destroy a bridge.

Force Ten From Navarone is MacLean's only sequel work, written as a follow-on to the film adaptation of The Guns of Navarone rather than to the original novel.


Trope Ten from Navarone:

  • Accidental Murder: It's pretty obvious Bauer didn't mean to kill Reynolds. It doesn't stop Barnsby from blowing him away in revenge, though.
  • Action Girl: Maritza
  • Adaptation Name Change: Many, most of which don't really seem to do much except cause confusion: Maria is now Maritza, General Vukalovic is demoted to being Major Petrovich, Captain Droshy is Captain Drazak, and Captain Neufeld gets a promotion to Major Schroeder.
  • Adapted Out: A few:
    • Brown in the novel. Since he dies in the film version of The Guns of Navarone, and MacLean wrote Force 10 to more closely follow the film, Brown is MIA.
    • Andrea Stavros. In the book, he accompanies Mallory and Miller to Yugoslavia and even kills Captain Droshny (the Drazak equivalent). He's absent from the movie and is never mentioned.
    • General Zimmerman is never seen or mentioned in the movie.
    • Petar, who is replaced as the leader of the Partisans by Petrovich. Note that this isn't a simple character name change, as Petar is a young, blind boy and Petrovich is the movie's version of General Vukalovic.
    • Saunders and Groves, to a lesser extent.
  • Airstrike Impossible: It is unlikely that the Partisans had the airplanes necessary to carry bombs to destroy the bridge. Enter Force Ten.
  • Asleep for Days: In the novel, which starts moments after 'Guns' ended, Miller tells the crew of the destroyer that picked up the Navarone team not to wake them until they reach Cairo. When informed that the fleet wouldn't reach Cairo for two days, Miller simply replies "I know."
  • Awesome Suitcase: Staff Sergeant John Miller's suitcase chock-full of explosives. He seems to have a nearly infinite supply of them in his bag of tricks to confound and confuse the Germans while Barnsby and Mallory set the charges to blow the dam upstream of the bridge.
  • Badass Crew
  • Big Dam Plot: In both the book and film, the mission is a cover to destroy an important dam (Or more accurately, a strategically important bridge, but the only way to take out the bridge is to blow the dam so that the resulting flood can destroy the bridge).
  • The Big Guy: Drazak, literally, as he's played by Richard Kiel.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In the film, characters often speak untranslated German and Serbo-Croatian.
  • Black Market: When captured by the Germans, the Force Ten team claim to be black marketers, and that Miller's suitcase contained stolen penicillin that Weaver had diverted from Army stores for their own use.
  • Blind Musician: Petar.
  • Canon Foreigner: Colonel von Ingorslebon/Lescovar. There's no German Intelligence agent posing as a Partisan fighter in the book. Ditto Mike Barnsby and almost all of his men except for Doug Reynolds (who is a Royal Marine Commando in the book).
  • Death by Adaptation: Martiza and Schroeder, whose counterparts Maria and Captain Neufeld survive in the novel.
  • During the War
  • Eureka Moment: After Miller surveys the bridge and announces that there's absolutely no way he can destroy it with the supplies he has at hand, Mallory asks Miller what would happen if the bridge was hit by several million tons of water. This causes the team to change their plan from destroying the bridge to destroying the dam so that the unleashed river can destroy the bridge.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Miller and Mallory could barely tolerate each other in the previous movie, but act like close friends in this one.
  • Friend or Foe: Schroeder accidentally gets shot by one of his own men while held prisoner.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: Kills Zimmerman and takes out a bridge in the novel, whereas in the film all of the Germans manage to make it off of the bridge before it hits.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Marko sacrifices himself to kill Sergeant Bismarck and his men so the gang can escape on the train.
  • Idiot Ball: The characters have it during the scene where they rescue Weaver, Miller and Reynolds from the SS. They don't properly frisk the Nazis, allowing the Gestapo agent to pull a gun from inside his coat, and in addition to ignoring Bauer because they think he's a Harmless Villain, they inadvertently lay temptation in his path by leaving a gun within his reach. The fallout from this blunder leads to Reynolds' death and the gang having to violently shoot their way out, instead of simply walking out as they apparently originally planned.
  • In the Back: Saunders is killed by Droshny this way in the novel.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Upon realizing that they had failed to plant the charges needed to destroy the dam - and with it the bridge - before the Nazis began their dawn offensive, Barnsby and Mallory set the timer on the bomb for twenty seconds, shake hands, and casually stroll away. Fortunately for them, the blast wasn't as big as they expected - Miller wasn't able to make a dam-destroying bomb with the materials he had, so he instead built a bomb that would weaken its structure enough that the millions of tons of water it was holding back could finish the job.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Captain Neufeld in the book. After the Giant Wall of Watery Doom takes out Zimmerman and his entire armored column, he orders the few surviving German troops to retreat.
  • Large Ham: Petrovich.
  • The Load: Barnsby regards the British officers as this initially, but comes to accept their assistance when he lacks the men and equipment to carry out his mission.
    • The Force 10 team expects Weaver to be this. Since he's black and they're about to parachute into Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia, they kinda have a point.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The Chetniks. Echoes Real Life as they tended to willingly work with German and Italian occupation forces in Yugoslavia.
  • Lured into a Trap: The Chetniks under Drazak pretend to be Partisans at first. Cue the Oh Crap! moment when the team sees the "Partisans" prove they are anything but, complete with stock taunts and laughter.
  • The Mole: Maritza and the two bandaged men for the Partisans, in the Chetnik camp. Also, the movie's premise is that the two British soldiers are to execute "Nicolai", the mole in the Partisans. It turns out he's really an undercover German officer named von Ingorslebon, posing as the trusty Captain Lescovar.
  • Noodle Incident: It's not explained why Sergeant Weaver is under arrest when Force Ten comes across him.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Very much subverted. The plane to Yugoslavia gets attacked. Approximately half the "Force Ten" contingent die in the airplane as a result.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Sergeant Bauer. While he isn't exactly dangerous, in stressful situations he quickly proves to be a huge liability due to not thinking straight. Because of is unassuming and bookish nature, when the heroes tie up Schroeder and the others, they seem to overlook Bauer. Cue him grabbing a gun and accidentally killing Reynolds after a failed attempt to make the good guys stand down.
  • Now What?: The Force Ten team succeeds in their mission, but they're stuck in the middle of Yugoslavia with no easy way home, their allies are all stuck on the other side of a river that won't be crossable for quite some time, the Nazis are all stuck on their side of the river, and Miller has finally run out of the various nifty explosive toys he had put in that briefcase.
  • Opening Monologue
  • The Other Darrin: Gregory Peck and David Niven do not reprise their roles from the first movie (Possibly because Force 10 was made seventeen years after Guns, making them too old to play people who should have only aged a matter of months between films at most). Robert Shaw and Edward Fox take the roles of Mallory and Miller, respectively.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The plan to steal explosives from the German supply depot. Miller dons an enemy uniform, walks into the appropriate warehouse, loads two boxes of explosives and some detonators on a hand cart, and walks out. Nobody asks who he is, why he's in the warehouse, or what he's planning to do with all those explosives.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Since the last three missions into Yugoslavia had been compromised before they even got into the country, Force Ten started their mission by stealing a plane from an Allied airfield, thus ensuring that nobody outside of high command knew that there was a mission. A passing MP car nearly ruined the mission before they got off the ground.
    • And a fighter patrol who spotted their plane entering Yugoslavian airspace shot the plane down and killed half the team before they could do anything, seriously complicating their later efforts.
  • Tanks, but No Tanks: In the film, the German tanks are portrayed by Soviet T-34s. While Germany did capture and use them, the film shows the 85mm gunned version, which was not in service when the film took place. (Very few of the 76mm gunned T-34's survived the war.)
    • Though that doesn't explain why the Panzer crews are wearing Soviet style tanker helmets...
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Averted (mostly) with Schroeder who seems like an honorable (if insufferably smug) Wehrmacht officer. Played straight with Nazi spy von Ingorslebon as well as the SS and Gestapo who show up to interrogate the prisoners.
    • Mostly averted in the novel, where Captain Neufeld and his superior General Zimmerman are depicted as being weary of the war and eager for it to end.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Some fanservice, as we see Maritza in a bathtub.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Drazak.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: And when Barnsby finally does, she complains it wasn't hard enough. Maritza is The Mole and she needs a convincing bruise to cover up letting Mallory and Barnsby escape. Fortunately, Mallory Would Hit a Girl.
    • In fact, Robert Shaw really did punch Barbara Bach in that scene, knocking her unconscious.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Stated almost literally by Major Petrovich as the reason for sending the team back to Allied-occupied Italy.
    Petrovich: You have outstayed your usefulness.

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