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Alistair MacLean's movie adaptations


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Alistair MacLean wrote a number of war/spy/caper books that got turned into great movies in the 1960's: before Tom Clancy and such authors, this guy was putting out greats. I'll be honest, unlike :pig: and some others, i havent gottent to read his original works much, so I'm unsure how faithful they are (but Maclean did have a hand in the screenwriting for some of these), but the films were cool.




Prolly the most famous of the lot, Navarone featured Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn and David Niven, a trio i dont think acted before in the same film but realy pulled it off together in this one. Its about these 2 massive canons the germans have gaurding the seas of the greek island of Navarrone, and the effort to get endangered british troops off this fortified island. Six allied & greek troops go in, in hopes of blowing up the guns with dynamite, but find themselves in too deep when the germans themselves have help as well.


This rousing, explosive 1961 WWII adventure, based on Alistair MacLean's thrilling novel, turns the war thriller into a deadly caper film. Gregory Peck heads a star-studded cast charged with a near impossible mission: destroy a pair of German guns nestled in a protective cave on the strategic Mediterranean island of Navarone, from where they can control a vital sea passage. As world famous mountain climber turned British army Captain Mallory, Peck leads a guerrilla force composed of the humanistic explosives expert, Miller (David Niven), the ruthless Greek patriot with a grudge, Stavros (Anthony Quinn), veteran special forces soldier Brown (Stanley Baker), and the cool, quiet young marksman Pappadimos (James Darren). This disparate collection of classic types must overcome internal conflicts, enemy attacks, betrayal, and capture to complete their mission. Director J. Lee Thompson sets a driving pace for this exciting (if familiar) military operation, a succession of close calls, pitched battles, and last-minute escapes as our heroes infiltrate the garrisoned town with the help of resistance leader Maria (Irene Papas) and plot their entry into the heavily guarded mountain fort. Carl Foreman's screenplay embraces MacLean's role call of clichés and delivers them with style, creating one of the liveliest mixes of espionage, combat, and good old-fashioned military derring-do put on film. In 1978, the sequel Force 10 from Navarone was released, but MacLean fans will prefer to check out the action-packed thriller Where Eagles Dare.


and with that...




"One weekend Major Smith, Lieutenant Schaffer and a beautiful blonde named Mary decided to win World War II." Hah...this one's so crazy, its an awesome spy movie. Its WW II and the brits lose an aircraft over Nazi territory, and the the sole survivor, an American general, and stow him away in SS headquarters: a caslte with only one entrance, up top, reachable via a heavily-gaurded cable car. Trick is, said general knows the details of the upcoming D-Day invasion, and the brits realize how important it is to get him out of there, no matter the cost, before he can be forced to divulge any information. A crack commando squad is sent in to rescue him, with an army ranger specifically requested to be part of the team, for reasons he's unaware (played by the fucking man, Clint Eastwood, in his younger days).


If youre one of the people that coudlnt keep up with Mission Impossible because of all the double/triple/quadruple agents, youre gonna get lost or not enjoy this as much, because somehwere around the later half, it really goes crazy, but crazy awesome.


Scorned by reviewers when it came out, this concentrated dose of commando death-dealing to legions of Nazi machine-gun fodder has acquired a cult over the years. In 1968 Clint Eastwood was just getting used to the notion that he might be a world-class movie star; Richard Burton, whose image had been shaped equally by classical theater training and his headline-making romance with Elizabeth Taylor, was eager to try on the action ethos Eastwood was already nudging toward caricature. Alistair MacLean's novel The Guns of Navarone had inspired the film that started the '60s vogue for World War II military capers, so he was prevailed on to write the screenplay (his first). The central location, an impregnable Alpine stronghold locked in ice and snow, is surpassing cool, but the plot and action are ultra-mechanical, and the switcheroo gamesmanship of just who is the undercover double (triple?) agent on the mission becomes aggressively silly.




Finally, Force 10, billed as something of a sequel, came like 10 years later, only its got Harrison Ford and Robert Shaw, and really nothing to do with the first movie, now that i think about it. Its directed by the guy that did Goldfinger, and it got bashed a bit, but its a fun movie like the first, just not as strong.


In this version the roles of Mallory and Miller, who were played by Gregory Peck and David Niven, are now being played Robert Shaw and Edward Fox. 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. Whom intelligence believes made it 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.


Reviews show it as well-shot, good charcater development, good action and all, but i guess the interest just wasnt there after so long a gap from the first. Anyway, its also an enjoyable film.

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