The Guns of Navarone (1961) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Guns of Navarone (1961)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The guns of Navarone are huge Nazi cannons, installed on an Aegean island behind enemy lines. Anthony Quayle is the officer assigned by the British to lead a task force to put the guns out of commission. When Quayle is injured, the mission winds up in the relatively inexperienced hands of Gregory Peck. There's little love lost between Peck, explosives expert David Niven and Greek patriot Anthony Quinn, especially when it becomes known that there's a traitor in their midst. Resistance leader Irene Papas weeds out the traitor, but there's still those guns to take care of. Filmed on location in Rhodes and distinguished by Oscar-winning special effects, Guns of Navarone (based on Alistair MacLean's best-seller was a major box-office hit of 1961; less successful was the pared-down 1977 sequel, Force Ten From Navarone.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Alistair MacLean, Carl Foreman
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 23, 2000
Columbia Pictures


Gregory Peck
as Capt. Mallory
David Niven
as Cpl. Miller
Anthony Quinn
as Col. Stavros
Stanley Baker
as CPO Brown
Anthony Quayle
as Maj. Franklin
James Darren
as Pvt. Pappadimos
Tutte Lemkow
as Nikolai
Albert Lieven
as Commandant
Norman Wooland
as Group Captain
Nicholas Papakonstan...
as Patrol Boat Captain
Christopher Rhodes
as German Gunnery Offic...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Guns of Navarone

Critic Reviews for The Guns of Navarone

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Beautifully paced, this 156-minute classic allows enough time for character development, plot complications (including the requisite double-cross by a member of the outfit) and several exciting set-pieces.

Full Review… | August 21, 2012
Creative Loafing

The movie holds up pretty well as a rousing action picture, and also throws in a couple of comments about the contradictions of war.

Full Review… | October 27, 2011

One of the best WWII action-adventures, with an all-star cast headed by Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, and David Niven, this Oscar-winner (in special effects) is stirringly directed by the vastly underestimated J. Lee Thompson

Full Review… | June 16, 2007

David Niven is the subservient but stylish chemist Miller, rounding out a film that ranks among the best war movies.

Full Review… | May 7, 2007
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Guns of Navarone


A group of soldiers must blow up a bank of guns in order to get a strategic advantage in WWII.
This film starts out as a basic "guys on a mission" movie, a propagandistic glory epic typical of post-WWII cinema. Toward the beginning, the indomitable Gregory Peck might as well be the swaggering John Wayne, and David Niven could be the wise-cracking Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou. But as the plot thickens and we get to know the characters, the film grows a soul. The efficacy of violence and the cold-heartedness of Mallory become relevant social themes in lieu of performative bad-assery. Miller (Niven's character) serves as the film's conscience, and no one can have a more articulate conscience than the voice and wit of David Niven. It takes a while, but questioning these characters' ethics serves to deepen the film's effectiveness.
Overall, "guys on a mission" films can be trite and uninteresting, but this one rises above its genre by the end.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


A classic action-adventure that even it's time, can still deliver the goods. Two and half hours of pure excitement and intelligence. One of the greatest action-adventure films ever made. A masterpiece. An exciting, riveting and action-packed thrill-ride. A smart, well-crafted and suspenseful piece of film-making that works extremely well. A tremendously entertaining and vastly epic movie. A trio of brilliant performances from Anthony Quinn, Gregory Peck and David Niven. They are a charming pair of heroes who all have the goods to take down the bad guys and save the day. These particular brand of films still work and have energy and skill to blow away other films of today who have tried to accomplish what this one has.

Al S

Super Reviewer

An exciting action film about WWII. David Niven is a little absurd, and the romance story was not executed as well as it could have been. Nevertheless, its a favorite war film of mine.

Christian C

Super Reviewer

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