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The Guns of Navarone 1961
Description: A squad of allied saboteurs are assigned an impossible mission: infiltrate an impregnable Nazi-held island and destroy the two enormous long-range field guns that prevent the rescue of 2,000 trapped British soldiers.
Released: 28 Apr 1961 Director: J. Lee Thompson Writers: Alistair MacLean (novel), Carl Foreman (written for the screen by) Actors: Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Stanley Baker Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, War
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The Guns of Navarone Reviews:

For any man growing up when I did, back in the late 1970s, it was well understood that "Guns of Navarone" was the sine qua non of journey films, a film you named mates about when you saw it listed in next week's TV Guide. It's difficult to trust so much time has gone by, both since my boyhood and since the movie was made, but "Navarone" still holds up very well, a character-driven movie alive with nuance and subtlety. It moves at an assured clip, not rushed or forced, making the viewer follow its storyline through each agonizing twist and turn.What makes the movie especially nice is the crisp dialogue, lines that mission up the moral and philosophical argument at the heart of the movie and which resonate today as much as then:Mallory: The only method to victory a fight is to be just as nasty as the enemy. The one thing that worries me is we're liable to wake up one morning, and search we're even nastier than they are.Franklin: I can't tell that worries me!Mallory: Well, you're lucky.Good performances abound, but the greatest by far is David Niven's Cpl. Miller, a complex hero whose smooth front and witty banter conceals much of the conflict of the film. It's he who tangles most often with Gregory Peck's Mallory, and has at least three scenes in the movie that are top-rate. We may like Miller because he keeps things humming and provides welcome comic relief, but he's no less the center of the movie than Peck or Anthony Quinn, the two well-cast leads whose relationship is enriched, at least from our remove, by the special vow Stavros has made to Mallory about the unsettled business between them.The plot is a thing of beauty, moving with all the synchronicity and intelligent accuracy of a diabolical cuckoo clock. The unique results have suffered more than a bit from the march of time (though one could remember that was the only part of the movie that won an Oscar in 1962). Some process shots are cringe-inducing now. But the pace is still gripping and the payoff spectacular. Here's the movie that was the template to each popcorn actioner that came after, its imprint recognizable on everything from the James Bond films to "Star Wars" to Indiana Jones. That's impressive, but more so is that "Guns" remains as entertaining as any one of them, and more thrilling than most.


Wow - I used to think "Guns Of Navarone" was a try-hard, almost-there kind of near-classic fight movie that had muffled sound, used a terrible coloring process, was poorly lit, was limited by budget and the technology of the time. Boy, was I WRONG - I had seen this movie few times, all on conventional/cable TV, VHS and even Laserdisc prior to the newest UCLA restoration actually out on DVD. I never fully engaged in the reality/experience of this movie. It was as if I was listening to Beethoven's Ninth on an AM clock radio in an adjacent room. The newly-restored DVD in its original widescreen format showcased on a large screen TV in surround sound is the ONLY method to totally take in this piece of art, unless you perchance receive lucky enough to see it in a cine complex.Unless you have viewed this movie in its original condition in a theater or restored, letterboxed with proper-sized screen and sound, your previous/future comments have ZERO merit, as far as I'm concerned. So many folks here have commented on this movie "lacking action" and being a "bore" - I should not disagree more. Although I have not read the ebook (something I rarely do anymore due to an unfortunate accident years ago), this film resembled a well-written novel. It was FULL of REAL hero development, bringing you mixed emotions - at times you love, feel for, loathe or despise them - even the German units officer, during the interrogation/capture stage (which I will not spoil), had a warm, admirable quality about him. I will purchase/rent/borrow an audiobook of this, if at all possible, because Alistair MacLean has some of the greatest written journey material ever brought to film. The action in this movie was aplenty - maybe not a Schwarzeneger thrillride, but that would have made it fully unbelievable. The hero development, internal conflict and subplots more than adequately fill the non-action lulls, if you wish to call them that. One reviewer here commented on a shipwreck stage of 15 mins that seemed like forever - the whole realistic shipwreck sequence was barely five mins long, FYI. Without going into too much "spoiling" detail, there was constant suspense while the Germans were nipping at their heels all movie long. It contained espionage, few hand-to-hand combat sequences, few shootings, knifings, cars/trucks being blown up, carjackings, explosions, dive bombings, mortar bombardments, strafings, assassinations, etc. With six boys and two girls vs few dozen Germans, you can't justifiably receive much more action packed into a script unless you would unnecessarily/unrealistically insert more just to intensify the film. The movie did not really need intensifying as the plot was powerful enough on its own merits - as were all the characters and the subplots surrounding them.The editing is top-notch. This movie is lovingly woven into a tapestry with great artistic dissolves/fades/graphics transitioning scenes (chapters) and furthering hero development and storyline lines - the accompanying melody only enhances those transitions like adding melted butter and/or salt to cooked vegetables enhancing their flavor. To me, this movie is very warm and comfortable when it needs to be, but also cold and abrasive at times to create its social commentary. Carl Foreman scripted other nice masterpiece with his usual pro/anti-war statements wrapped neatly in an entertaining journey that makes one think. The end retrospective sequence with the Dimitri Tiomkin score is indelibly touching and unforgettable - a rather unorthodox approach for a "war movie."The sweeping landscape photography and few cultural touches truly captured the beauty and flavor of Greece and its proud people. Ironically, when at Blockbuster, I coincidentally chose this movie to view with my son - on the Opening Day of the XXVIII Olympiad, being held of course in Athens, Greece. I read somewhere that the folks of Greece still keep this movie in high esteem and were/are very proud of the method their nation was portrayed - they could be. Unlike many another films made abroad, Guns Of Navarone affectionately honored its host country and its people. My 7 year-old film-making-wannabe son absolutely LOVED this movie, even better than his most newest movie classic viewings... The Superb Seven and Bullitt. When I said him many here at IMDb told this movie was boring and over-rated, he commented "are they nuts?" This coming from a child who loves James Bond, Superman, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Star Trek, Power Rangers, Lost In Zone and Jonny Quest as well as Classic Rock, movie scores, Legos, Hot Wheels, plastic model kits, gymnastics and PS2. Guess there is hope for the future generation after all.Some of the very greatest action/adventure movies ever made have very tiny "constant action," FYI. I recently overheard a teen man in a video shop who told "Raiders was a slow, boring film" - of all things. No wonder the cumulative votes of classic movies on IMDb do not entirely mirror or reflect what critics have historically told when they initially rated and/or reviewed them. I test to overlook the actual technological advancements of today when compared with movies of yesteryear in order to objectively critique a film. GUNS OF NAVARONE is no exception - made before traveling matte (blue screen) technology and CGI effects. Sure, the rear-screen projection photography and miniature work was not perfect, but no another movie of its era was, either. Those factors aside, this movie is EXTREMELY under-rated - this movie is a stand-alone classic of its category and amongst another all-time nice films... a genuine piece of art.Ranking just under the ten-star rated Bridge On The River Kwai, Guns Of Navarone is an instant-classic and will everytime be so (on a LARGE SCREEN in its original widescreen format); due to its solid foundation of high production values, endearing score, nice writing, powerful plot/character development, the fine actors to enjoy those characters and loving direction. Kudos to all who worked on this film. (9.5/10)


Being a large Gregory Peck fan, I was expecting nice things from The Guns of Navarone, and in one of those rare instances, I was not disappointed. Mr. Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn et al. are in top form, every of them bringing their respective characters to life and the storyline likewise. The action scenes are impressive even by today's standards but in my opinion they are only a secondary pleasure. The main pleasure is watching the divergent and forceful personalities cooperate, conflict, confound and finally triumph. Suspense is maintained throughout. I also liked the method complex moral problems were addressed. Other premium is the portrayal of the Germans. Here they are not all depicted as impersonal inhuman cruel monsters. The full mosaic of human personalities is shown on their side too. But don't receive me wrong, they are still a formidable opponent who hold the outcome in doubt. Strongly recommended, 8/10.



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