Skip to main content

The Great Lost 70s Movie?

The more I think about it, Force 10 From Navarone, which did not fare well at the Box Office, is a classic that remains undeservedly unsung.  It came out in 1978, and, one supposes, in the wake of Jaws, and Star Wars, looked a bit  old fashioned with its boy's own derring-do.  I last saw it the other night, as a birthday treat on DVD in an extended cut - before then, in the cinema, when I was 12.

It is has held up very well, and is in fact as entertaining as the film it is the far-fetched sequel of.  It is a genuine marvel of 70s casting, as each of its main actors (many my favourites) had recently been in one of the great, quintessential 70s films: Edward Fox was hot from The Day of the Jackal; Robert Shaw from Jaws; Harrison Ford from Star Wars; Carl Weathers, from Rocky; Barbara Bach from The Spy Who Loved Me, as was Richard Kiel.  Indeed, the Bond connection is hardly accidental - for the director was none other than Guy Hamilton, director of the best Bond pictures, including Goldfinger.

Nor was the screen story written by a nobody - but instead, by the great Carl Foreman, who had previously written The Guns of Navarone, High Noon, and The Bridge on The River Kwai (another film about destroying a bridge).  The score was by Ron Goodwin, who had earlier written the music for Whirlpool, Village of the Damned, The Day of the Triffids, and Where Eagles Dare, as well as Frenzy.  Classics all.  The cinematographer was Christopher Challis, an old hand, who had filmed the great war pic, Sink The Bismarck!  and Billy Wilder's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes as well as A Shot In The Dark - again, major UK films. And, it was edited by Raymond Poulton, who had cut such diverse classics as Invitation to the Dance, and The Mouse That Roared.

The art director, Fred Carter, cut his teeth on seven episodes of the Avengers.  In short, the film is pure quality, from top to bottom.  The best boy probably sat on Hitch's knee at some stage.  So, why has this thrilling, clever romp become less than the holiday telly classic it deserves to be, somewhere amidst The Italian Job, The Man Who Would Be King, and The Great Escape?  No idea.  But watch it for a pure hit of 70s adrenaline.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

OSCAR SMOSHCAR

The Oscars - Academy Awards officially - were once huge cultural events - in 1975, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Shirley MacLaineandBob Hope co-hosted, for example - and Best Picture noms included The Conversation and Chinatown. Godfather Part 2 won. Last two years, movies titled Birdman and Spotlight won, and the hosts and those films are retrospectively minor, trifling. This year, some important, resonant films are up for consideration - including Hidden Figures and Moonlight, two favourites of this blog. Viola Davis and Denzel Washington will hopefully win for their sterling performances in Fences. However, La La Land - the most superficial and empty Best Picture contender since Gigi in 1959 (which beat Vertigo) - could smite all comers, and render this year's awards historically trivial, even idiotic.

The Oscars often opt for safe, optimistic films, or safe, pessimistic films, that are usually about white men (less often, white women) finding their path to doing the right thin…