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    5. From The Guns of Navarone to Fury: The 10 Greatest ..

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    From The Guns of Navarone to Fury: The 10 Greatest “Men on a Mission” Movies Ever Made

    Navarone guns, 1961. Photo: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

    Unexpectedly, it took Guy Ritchie 25 years and 15 pictures to make his first real film about men on a mission. After all, few working directors today are more comfortable with the gritty action that the genre demands, and with previous projects titled The Gentlemen, Covenant and Operation Fortune: Stealth of War, he has established himself as one of the leading Hollywood directors of male-oriented bloodshed. However, only now, in his new film, The Ministry of Ungentlemanly War, has he fully embraced one of the most beloved subgenres in cinema.

    Based on Damien Lewis's non-fiction book Churchill's Warriors, Ritchie's film tells the story of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), a covert unit created in 1940 on the orders of Winston Churchill with the intention of wreaking havoc in Nazi-occupied Europe. Since this is a Ritchie film, one naturally expects a star-studded cast (led by Henry Cavill and Cary Elwes, whose career has been enjoying a major renaissance of late), bloodshed by the gallon, and tough-guy wisecracks by the gallon.

    It remains to be seen whether it will be a box office success or a flop (Ritchie's films have gone in all sorts of directions over the last few years), but either way, he joins an elite group of films that, at their best, are among the best. the most endlessly interesting thing ever created.

    You know the score: a group of people, either fearless elite heroes, or desperate ones with nothing to lose, or something in between, who are recruited by their superiors to carry out a very dangerous mission, where the chances of success are low and the probability of death is high, and the likelihood that There is a traitor or coward hiding among them, it is almost obvious.

    Here are ten of the best films to ever come out of Hollywood, set throughout Europe during World War II, as well as Alcatraz Island, Great Britain, southern Africa and even space. The only thing they have in common is that they are all rightfully considered classics; The Ministry of Ungentlemanly War will have to make a lot of effort to join them.

    1. The Guns of Navarone (1961)

    While there were plenty of low-key World War II adventure films made in the 40s and 50s, it was J. Lee Thompson's action epic that defined the action genre as we know it today. Based on the best-selling novel by Alistair Maclean, it contains many elements that have become iconic over the decades, from a stellar cast (including Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn and Richard Harris) to a simple but inspiring plot, British Intelligence dispatches an elite band of Allied commandos. destroy two impressive guns on the island of Navarone in the Aegean Sea.

    It acts as a less morally complex cousin to The Bridge on the River Kwai (by the same screenwriter Carl Forman) and is an extremely effective combination of explosive action and who-is-the-turncoat suspense before building to a thrilling and rousing climax. The sequel, Navarone's Force Ten (1978), has its charms (including an early appearance by Harrison Ford) but can't match the original.

    2. The Dirty Dozen (1967)

    Of course, the main characters in Man on a Mission don't necessarily have to be sympathetic. This was tested to the limit in Robert Aldrich's hilariously gritty picture, in which the ever-impressive Lee Marvin recruits some of the US Army's most heinous criminals for a suicide mission that involves wiping out many members of the Nazi high command at a French castle, thus paving the way for the Day D. If they survive, they will be pardoned. They are not expected to survive, and the vast majority of them do not.

    What makes The Dirty Dozen so endlessly entertaining is the contrast between Marvin's laconic major and the gleeful performances of a supporting cast of rogues' gallery that includes Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland and Telly Savalas, who all act like they're vying for worst actor. background. The explosions and shootouts are as thrilling as anything in the genre, but what's memorable is the countercultural cynicism as World War II was won through the efforts of this particular group of inglorious bastards.

    Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson in The Dirty Dozen 3: Where Eagles Dare (1968)

    Roger Lewis's recent authoritative biography of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Erotic Vagabond, makes little room for Burton's profitable World War II epic, which he disparages as a “popular and heartless war film” that saved the actor's box office reputation. Others disagree. Geoff Dyer even wrote a whole book about it, The Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, and it would be fair to describe Brian J. Hutton's picture as probably the definitive war epic of a man on a mission, containing a ridiculous amount of double crosses, triple crosses. crosses and even a quadruple cross, Burton shouts out bad dialogue (scripted by Alistair MacLean from his novel) as if he were Henry V raising his troops on St. Crispin's Day, and Clint Eastwood understandably looks stunned as he guns down dozens of Nazis. Add to this some of cinema's greatest cable car scenes, stunning Austrian cinematography and Ron Goodwin's iconic score, and you have a classic that can be re-watched endlessly.

    Where Eagles Dare Photo: Getty 4. The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

    There are countless “Men on a Mission” photographs of the exploits of British and American soldiers in Europe and Japan, but relatively few of them turn the tables and focus on top-secret Axis missions. The Great Escape director John Sturges' film is one of the few to offer an alternative perspective: a band of elite German commandos are sent to England with the goal of assassinating Churchill and must infiltrate a small village in Norfolk before preparing to carry out their task.

    One could argue that the film, based on a Jack Higgins novel, hedges its bets with audience sympathy; The Germans, led by Michael Caine's Colonel Steiner, are honorable and decent, meaning the audience half wants them to succeed in their task even as Allied forces hunt them down. It all ends with a brilliantly unexpected ending that gives Cain's character an unexpected moment of triumph before historical accuracy is restored.

    Michael Caine in The Eagle Has Landed Photo: Allstar Picture Library Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo 5. Wild Geese (1978 ) )

    Ten years after Where Eagles Dare, Burton's career quickly declined, but he managed to achieve later success with this cult action film. It amps up the gore and profanity compared to earlier films in the genre, but nonetheless earns its place on this list thanks to the fully committed performances of its stellar cast, which includes everyone from Roger Moore to Frank Finley, not to mention about its endless possibility of revision.

    Its story of a group of mercenaries sent to Africa to rescue an imprisoned politician, only to be tricked by their employer and forced to fight countless heavily armed soldiers trying to escape, is as gripping and thrilling as one can imagine. . Things peak in the iconic finale, when Burton is forced to kill his wounded comrade Richard Harris as they escape to save him from excruciating torture at the hands of the militia; one day, when you watch it for the umpteenth time, you think that Harris will escape too.

    Roger Moore in the movie “The Wild Geese” Credits: Allstar/Cinetext/RANK 6. Aliens (1986)

    An unorthodox but nevertheless extremely entertaining film about men on a mission, James Cameron's testosterone-fuelled sci-fi war film breaks the rules of the genre in every way. Not least because this is the only figure on this list who is preceded by a woman in the form of Sigourney Weaver's Ripley, the only survivor of the events in the previous photo and happy to show a group of heavily armed marines that she is just as skilled. in killing xenomorphs as they are as they travel to the home planet of the eponymous creatures.

    Combining all the character types of the best war pictures (Paul Reiser's slippery, wily Burke; Bill Paxton's nervous comic relief; Michael Biehn's heroic Corporal) with Weaver's well-deserved Oscar nomination in the title role of a woman who's simply had enough of the acid. Bloodied Aliens, this film remains one of the best action films ever made. I wish Cameron hadn't gone all vegan and into Avatar when his red meat photos like this remain so captivating.

    7. The Rock (1996)

    Michael Bay's remarkable OTT action thriller is, in its own way, not only a deconstruction of the genre, but also a celebration of it. To begin with, the task facing the men is to infiltrate Alcatraz, America's notoriously hardest prison to escape, rather than escape it, in order to stop Ed Harris' noble but misguided general from holding San Francisco to ransom using chemical weapons. And second, the heavily armed Marines (led by Bean, which must be a reference to Aliens) are destroyed by Harris' soldiers seconds after their arrival, leaving the “chemical super-freak” Nicolas Cage long imprisoned in Sean Connery's MI6 prison. agent to save the day himself.

    It has more comedy and silliness than many of the films on this list, but still contains wildly overblown action scenes and a fairly sober approach to all things militaristic; It's typical of Byham that, at the moment of the explosive climax, it is the US President who has to give a somber speech about how America has failed Harris' character. And yet, despite all this, it is hilariously funny, thanks to the double act of Cage and Connery. What a pity that there was no continuation.

    Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage in the movie “The Rock” Author: Alami 8. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

    Early reports for Steven Spielberg's gritty World War II epic suggested it would be a return to lighter territory after the bleakness of Schindler's List and Amistad. The preliminary word was wrong. The opening sequence of D-Day, a desaturated symphony of random bloodshed and gore, has rightfully gone down in cinematic history as one of the most visceral scenes ever committed to film. Once things calm down, the film picks up a more normal routine with Tom Hanks leading a group of soldiers on a mission to find Matt Damon's Ryan, the only surviving young soldier in his family. Interspersed with brief, often horrific moments of violence, it can drag on at times, but by the time Hanks, Damon and the remaining soldiers make a heroic and outnumbered last stand in a French city against an implacable German attack, it's no less thrilling. a display of courage against incredible odds, just like everything else here.

    Saving Private Ryan Photo: AJ Pics/Alamy Stock Photo 9. Inglourious Basterds (2008)

    Trust Quentin Tarantino, an avowed aficionado of the man-on-mission genre, to come up with a picture that completely subverts the form by offering a postmodern take on war pictures. It can be as frustrating as it is entertaining, but it's rich in memorable action, clever twists and a memorably subversive climax. While the titular “bastards,” led by Brad Pitt's hillbilly lieutenant, are the film's nominal focus, their mission (much of which involves scalping Nazis) seems to interest Tarantino less than the gallery of scoundrel characters he's created, including Michael. Fassbender's suave film critic-turned-commando, Jewish cinema owner Mélanie Laurent's vengeance-fuelled streak, and, most importantly, Christoph Waltz's unforgettable SS officer Hans Landa.

    It's the closest cinema has ever come to offering a Nazi Sherlock Holmes, and seems to be several steps ahead of the characters and the audience right up until the very end. Tarantino recently revealed what he believed was Landa's fate after World War II, being hailed as a hero for his actions in the film and enjoying his new life as an amateur detective on Nantucket Island.

    10. Fury (2014)

    Brad Pitt seems to enjoy starring in World War II movies. In addition to Inglourious Basterds, Robert Zemeckis's romantic thriller Allied and the Austrian mountaineering film Seven Years in Tibet, he had a memorable role in David Ayer's tank action film as the silent but noble “Wardaddy”, the staff sergeant in charge of leading the group. . a group of men caught in the heart of Nazi Germany in the final days of the war.

    The dynamic between Pitt and his young soldiers, to whom he, in his gruff way, acts as a surrogate father, is well developed. graphically, but what makes the film incredibly exciting are the images of tank battles, in which the titular Fury fights against almost countless SS soldiers. Like many of the films on this list, it culminates in a tense, thrilling final showdown against impossible odds, and like the rest, it's something of a given that not all of the actors – even the big ones – will make it out alive. .

    Brad Pitt in the movie “Fury” Photo by: Giles Keith

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