You really cannot go wrong with any movie that stars Robert Shaw, Harrison Ford, Barbara Bach and Edward Fox and this movie - mauled by the critics on release - really is a great action adventure war movie. In fact the Jimmy Carter White House picked the movie only weeks before its December 1978 opening to be the Thanksgiving movie to be screened at Camp David. Many saw this film as a disappointment due to its attachment to 1961's The Guns of Navarone, but if taken up on its own merits then one can see that this is really nothing more than a fun movie for fun's sake. The movie gets its title from the Alistair MacLean book of the same name, but bears little resemblance to the actual narrative of the novel. In fact the differences are so apparent that MacLean would go on to loosely adapt part of the screenplay into his 1982 book "Partisans". Initially there had been plans to film this movie shortly after the 1961 original with Gregory Peck and David Niven reprising their roles. Following the success of the original movie producer Carl Foreman asked MacLean to write a sequel novel on which a follow-up film would be based. The film was announced for 1967 but after the script got bogged down in development hell MacLean decided to develop the screen treatment as a book and "Force 10 From Navarone" was published in 1968. Throughout the 1970s Foreman tried to secure financing and eventually patched together enough money to finance the production. But by the time the movie finally went before the cameras (some 17 years after the original) it was thought that Peck and Niven were too old and the decision was made to recast. In an interesting footnote to this theory Peck and Niven would team up two years later in the excellent World War II action adventure "The Sea Wolves" in which the two actors played retired veterans seeking one last hurrah, by covertly blowing up a German ship in the neutral Portuguese harbor of Goa in India. Bond fans will notice a number of actors in this movie that had already occupied roles in the Bond franchise or would go on to appear in the series. In addition to Shaw (from "From Russia With Love"), Bach (who was fresh off playing the Russian spy Anya Amasova in "The Spy Who Loved Me"), and Edward Fox (who would go on to play M in the rogue 007 movie "Never Say Never Again") there is also Bach's co-star from "The Spy Who Loved Me" Richard Kiel, who was riding high as somewhat of a cultural icon (hey, he appeared in a Shredded Wheat TV commercial) after playing perhaps the most famous 007 henchman Jaws. The Bond connections do not stop there, George MacDonald Fraser worked as a script doctor after Ian Bannen left the production. Fraser would go on to write the screenplay for the 1983 007 movie "Octopussy." I suppose the Bond connection is most apparent in the choice of director with "Goldfinger"'s director Guy Hamilton handling the honors. His sure direction shows his usual flair and expertise handling action that he so ably previously demonstrated in (perhaps the best of the early James Bond movies) the aforementioned "Goldfinger" and the World War II drama "Battle of Britain." Hamilton does succumb to some espionage clichés at times, such as when one of the characters stumbles across the traitor sending a message, but all of these instances are handled capably and add to the familiar nature of the plot. As already mentioned the plot of the movie is also very different from the MacLean book, but some good Boy's Own adventure that actually flows slightly better than its literary namesake. Shaw (in his last movie role) plays Mallory (yes the same character that Peck played in the original) and he and Fox's character (who was played by Niven in the original) are sent into Yugoslavia to identify and kill a traitor from the first movie. So, they hop a ride along with Force 10 (headed by Ford's character) who are headed to the same location with the mission of destroying a key, strategic bridge. Of course things do not go entirely to plan, and soon the action begins to come thick and fast. An interesting piece of trivia I discovered when researching this movie is that the bridge over the Tara River was actually destroyed by partisans in 1942 with the original engineer that built the bridge involved in the operation to destroy it. Filmed on location in Yugoslavia (with members of Tito's Yugoslav army playing both partisans and Germans), England and Malta the crew had to endure freezing temperatures and even a rash of kidnapping that led producers to limit the actors movements. Shepperton Studios in England provided four soundstages for interiors, and the largest studio tank in Europe (Malta) was used to film the movie climax with a $1 million miniature dam. As previously noted the critics almost universally hated the movie and the movie-going audience did not warm to it either with the $10 million production only bringing in $7.2 million during its U.S. theatrical run. Matters were probably not helped when the U.S. distributor American International Pictures trimmed the picture down from 126 minutes to 118 minutes and redubbed some of the scenes, with an impersonator performing the duties for the late Robert Shaw. However in the 30-plus years since its release the movie has developed a cult following among World War II movie buffs. In an interesting footnote, Columbia Pictures was the defendant in a 2008 lawsuit brought by the estates of the late producers of the film Carl Foreman, Sidney Cohn and Oliver Unger and surviving producer Peter Gettinger over unpaid money from distribution rights. The New York Supreme Court found in favor of the producers, saying they were entitled to funds that had been withheld for over 30 years by Columbia Pictures.