Der wilde Haufen von Navarone (1978)

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Der wilde Haufen von Navarone: Directed by Guy Hamilton. With Robert Shaw, Harrison Ford, Barbara Bach, Edward Fox. During World War II, several oddly assorted military experts are teamed in a mission to raid and destroy a bridge vital to enemy strategy.

“World War II has spawned so many stories, films, books, songs, TV shows, from garbage to genius, that one could easily spend an a lifetime absorbed in them. Here is a basic WWII movie that tells a very straight forward story about a small group of soldiers trying to blow up a bridge in enemy held territory. It doesnu0026#39;t try to be Bridge on the River Kwai, another film where a small group of special forces travel (on foot I might add) to destroy a bridge important to the enemy forces. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOn the plus side is that the action takes place in Yugoslavia, not the setting of too many war movies made in Hollywood, so that gives this some interesting moments (how many movies have Croatian Chetniks in them?). Also, Robert Shaw, good in anything, and Edward Fox have a great rapport, trading lines with impeccable timing. It would be easy to believe they are lifelong friends in real life the way they portray their characters. Harrison Ford gives a solid performance as a young overachieving officer, helping the subplot of the new blood clashing with the old veterans. Barbara Bach is beautiful, but not much other reason for her to be around. Carl Weathers actually gives a nice performance as the rebellious black soldier, implausibly brought along by weirdly improbable circumstances. Facing the fact that the Armed Forces were segregated during WWII, it seems like the makers wanted to have a black included in the movie and had to make up some way to do that, coming up with a ridiculously contrived way to have him along. Itu0026#39;s unfortunate they couldnu0026#39;t come up with something better because, though Weathers is likable and his character brings something to the party, they way they did it undermines the plotline.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003enThe action is okay, though the payoff at the end, clever as it is, ultimately fails because of the special effects–they just werenu0026#39;t that well done; they seemed like they came from a grade b movie. u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003enIf youu0026#39;ve seen some WWII movies like A Bridge Too Far, Kellyu0026#39;s Heros, Battle of the Bulge, the Devilu0026#39;s Brigade, or Where Eagles Dare and liked them, definitely give this one a try. Not a classic, but a decent addition to the crowd.”


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