Thursday, June 2, 2022

"Force Ten from Navarone" and Brute Yugoslavs


I'm a big fan of Golden Age Hollywood movies. I recently re-watched "The Guns of Navarone," an all-star World War Two war adventure and heroism epic made in 1961. Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle, James Darren, Irene Papas, Gia Scala, and Richard Harris star. John Lee Thompson directed. The plot: a crack team of commandos must take out some huge Nazi guns in order to allow British ships to enter a battle area. The story is not true, but it does reflect, if an exaggerated way, WW II fighting in Greece.

Each star tries to steal the screen from the others. I have to award points to David Niven for being unforgettable but also understated. Not easy given the rest of the powerhouse cast. And boy oh boy but was Irene Papas hot. The story is not very believable but it's a fun watch. Lots of expansive shots of Greek scenery. The ending when navy ships make their "whoop, whoop" sounds always gives me chills. You can watch that scene here. Maybe it will give you chills as well.


They really don't make movies like that anymore, and when I learned that there was a sequel, "Force Ten From Navarone," I knew I wanted to see it. It's directed by Guy Hamilton, who also directed James Bond films. Harrison Ford, Robert Shaw, Carl Weathers, Franco Nero, Edward Fox, and Barbara Bach star. It's not as good as "Guns of Navarone," but it offers lots of gorgeous Yugoslav scenery. And it also offers Bieganski, the Brute Polak stereotype.


As I make clear in my book, "Bieganski: The Brute Polak Stereotype," this stereotype is applied to all Eastern European, Christian, peasant-descent populations.


Bieganski-style characters are found in pop culture, media, academia, folklore, and other venues.


Bieganski-style characters are brutal, violent, stupid, hateful, and bigoted.


And of course Bieganski is to blame for Nazism's crimes. Not German Nazis, but Slavic, Christian peasants.


In "Force Ten from Navarone," the heroic team is menaced by perfidious Slavs lead by Richard Kiel. Kiel suffered from gigantism. He was 7'2" tall. He famously played a Bond villain. In "Force Ten from Navarone," Kiel played Drazak, a Yugoslav collaborator with the Nazis. He tricks and betrays the film's heroes and hatefully menaces a black American soldier, (Carl Weathers), and calls him "Blackie." He threatens to slice off the man's face. Drazak is so evil the Nazi in charge urges him to be "gentle." The Nazis are, of course, civilized, clean, neat, orderly, intelligent, and not shown doing any sadistic mayhem.


Barbara Bach plays Maritza, a Slavic woman who has sex with a Nazi officer. She is shown nude. Her having sex with a Nazi and her nudity debase her. She's a female Bieganski. Drazak eventually beats her, because that's what Bieganski types do. She is killed by a Nazi who is disguised as a Yugoslav, because, hey, what's the difference. A loser all around.


The use of the Bieganski Brute stereotype in "Force Ten From Navarone" is especially vile given how hard Yugoslavs fought against the Nazis. From Wikipedia, "The five largest resistance movements in Europe were the Dutch, the French, the Polish, the Soviet, and the Yugoslav; overall their size can be seen as comparable, particularly in the years 1941–1944."


Yes, some Eastern European, Christian, peasant-descent populations did collaborate with the Nazis. That's an historical fact that deserves to be taught, as all history deserves to be taught. "Force Ten from Navarone" does not deal in historical facts. When it comes to Slavs, it deals in stereotypes.


The movie's story was by Carl Foreman. Foreman was born to a Jewish family in Chicago and was eventually blacklisted, and later was rehabilitated. He was, for a time, a member of the Communist Party. The Communist Party, of course, did circulate the Bieganski stereotype to justify its post-war occupation of Poland. I have no idea if Foreman introduced the Bieganski stereotype into the script or if it is found in the book on which the movie is based. When the commandos finally meet up with some good Slavs, those Slavs all have bright red stars on their big, furry hats. Commie Slavs are good.


  1. Thanks for this review. As always with your movie reviews it is excellent. I too loved "The Guns of Navarone", though I could not watch it again now. And I am glad i never saw this very political, very Woke follow-up.

    It is blatant revisionism - twisting the truth and twisting minds and hearts, in that it clearly signals who may safely be despised (Eastern Europeans), and who must be respected (Actual Nazis). I see similar propaganda running through pretty much everything Hollywood produces these days, which is why I try to avoid its product as much as possible.

    For example, Psalm 11:5 tells us:
    "Jehovah examines the righteous one as well as the wicked one;
    He hates anyone who loves violence."

    Isn't Hollywood, with its gloating close ups of increasingly violent scenes, training us to love something that our Creator, the God of Abraham, hates?

  2. Iga Swiatek is the only stable female tenis player of the world.. She has won last 35 games. 9 other female leaders perished in Paris. Iga has only one problem - she is Polish. Only a Spanish journalists criticies this discrimination. Basic informations

  3. 'Bloodlands' by Timothy Snyder is back Traditional critics also returns - too little about the Holocaust and collaboration.

  4. The Filthy Thirteen included originally 8 Polish soldiers. Here nothing about them

  5. The Warsaw Seven included Eddy Malas, Edmund Lojko, Francis Palys "Frank", George Baran, Joe Baranosky, Joe Oparowski and Joseph Oleskiewicz "Joe". The eighth was Martin “Max” Majewski, an American soldier with Polish roots.

  6. 'Indigenous population' participated in the Holocaust. The name 'indigenous' has been used to describe Native Americans, exterminated by Europeans. But Larry Eugene Jones rewrites history 'new and often painful questions about the complicity of indigenous populations in the mass murder of European Jewry, particularly in the East.' UK police also participated in Channel Islands, so the splendid supremacism looks nasty.

  7. The Israeli excursions brainwashed young Israelis. Finally the government cancelled them.

  8. I do not have the book, but here is a short description I have commented, my text is awayting acceptance. The typical German words "Dennoch wäre die Vernichtung des europäischen Judentums ohne das Zutun der lokalen Bevölkerungen in der bekannten Form nicht möglich gewesen." (The local cooperation was important.) A dozen nations, few dozens political groups, one phrase. Some of the nations were intensively persecuted, some were partners.

  9. Teenager from Poland in the USA

  10. A summary of a German book "Open wounds of Eastern Europe" and my comment to the summary. I do not have the book.

  11. Found this article today:

    It begins:
    "Guy Ritchie's new £125 million film Operation Fortune — with a cast headed by British stars Hugh Grant and Jason Statham — was pulled from release because it featured a group of Ukrainian gangsters.
    The spy action thriller, which was filmed in 2020, was set to come out this spring but disappeared from schedules. I'm told that the nationality of the gangsters has now been edited out.
    A trailer, which can still be seen on YouTube, shows Statham, as spy-for-hire Orson Fortune, realising that a deadly weapon has been bought by a Ukrainian crime syndicate."

    I thought it rather interesting in the light of your post above. Because, yes, usually Eastern Europeans are very safe targets - especially Poles. But how quickly the Zeitgeist can change leaving you and your movie floundering.

    And, in shining contrast, how perfect our Creator's standards are. The Golden Rule requires us to treat everyone with the same kindness and courtesy we would want for ourselves. If we do that, we need not fear the shifting sands of political correctness. And yes I seem to have mixed my metaphors a bit there - but have kept them seaside based.


Bieganski the Blog exists to further explore the themes of the book Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture.
These themes include the false and damaging stereotype of Poles as brutes who are uniquely hateful and responsible for atrocity, and this stereotype's use in distorting WW II history and all accounts of atrocity.
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