Atomistically deposited films may form with high residual stresses which may be either tensile or compressive in nature. These film stresses represent stored strain energy which may affect the adhesion of the film-substrate couple and in the limit may cause spontaneous fracture at or near the film-substrate interface (loss of adhesion). In the post cathode magnetron sputter deposition of molybdenum films, we have found that the intrinsic film stresses are generally anisotropic and may easily exceed the fracture or adhesive strength of the film-substrate couple. The residual stress anisotropy in the film is dependent on the orientation with respect to the post cathode and the magnitude and nature of the stresses are very dependent on the deposition conditions, particularly gas pressure during sputtering. By using a pressure-cycling technique, we have deposited thick (5 microns) films of molybdenum which have little residual stress or stress anisotropy.