In 1943, the Axis powers plan an assault on the island of Keros - where 2,000 British soldiers are marooned - to bully neutral Turkey into joining them with a display of their military strength. Rescue by the Royal Navy is prevented by two massive radar-directed superguns on the nearby island of Navarone. When aerial bombing efforts fail, Allied Intelligence gathers a team of commandos to infiltrate Navarone and destroy the guns. Led by Major Roy Franklin (Anthony Quayle), the team is composed of Captain Keith Mallory (Gregory Peck), a renowned spy and mountaineer; Colonel Andrea Stavrou (Anthony Quinn) from the defeated Greek army; Franklin's best friend Corporal Miller (David Niven), an explosives expert and former chemistry teacher; Greco-American Spyros Pappadimos (James Darren), a native of Navarone; and "Butcher" Brown (Stanley Baker), an engineer and expert knife fighter. Disguised as Greek fishermen on a decrepit boat, they sail across the Aegean Sea. During the voyage Mallory confides to Franklin that Stavrou had sworn to kill him after the war, because Mallory was inadvertently responsible for the deaths of Stavrou's wife and children. The team shipwreck on the Greek coast during a storm; Mallory leads the climb up the cliff, but Franklin badly injures his leg; the injury later becomes infected with gangrene. While taking shelter in the mountains, Mallory stops Franklin from committing suicide and then lies to him: that their mission has been cancelled and that a major naval attack will be mounted on the Navarone coast, away from the gun emplacements. They rendezvous with local resistance fighters: Spyros' sister Maria (Irene Papas) and her friend Anna (Gia Scala), who was once captured and tortured by the Germans before escaping - the trauma rendering her mute. The mission is continually dogged by German soldiers, and the group is eventually captured in the town of Mandrakos while trying to find a doctor for Franklin. Stavrou pretends to grovel as they're being interrogated, which distracts the Germans enough for the group to overpower their captors. They escape in German uniform but leave Franklin behind to receive medical attention. In due course, Franklin is injected with scopolamine and gives up Mallory's disinformation, as Mallory had hoped: the fort is emptied in preparation for the supposed attack. Upon infiltrating Navarone, however, Miller discovers most of his explosives have been sabotaged and deduces that Anna is the culprit; she is forced to confess that she is not mute after all, and that the Germans recruited her as an informer in exchange for her release. Mallory reluctantly prepares to execute Anna as punishment, but Maria shoots her instead. The team splits up: Mallory and Miller go for the guns, Stavrou and Spyros create distractions in town, while Maria and Brown steal a boat for their escape. Will Mallory and Miller manage to destroy the guns with the germans on their tail?
"Guns Of Navarone" is a classic World War II ensemble movie based on Alistair MacLean's 1957 novel "The Guns of Navarone", which was inspired by the Battle of Leros during the Dodecanese Campaign of World War II. It was nominated for several Oscars and part of a cycle of big-budget World War II adventures that included "The Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957), "The Longest Day" (1962) and "The Great Escape" (1963). Compared to the other mentioned movies, I must confess that I think that "Guns Of Navarone" is quite "boring" and never really sparks despite very strong performances from all involved. Personally I think that Richard Harris 5 minute dialogue in the beginning of the film is one of the best parts of the movie. Yes, we have lavish sets, beautiful environments, solid dialogue, strong performances as said, good character development, internal conflicts, subplots, suspense at times and the germans actually speak german. But, I couldn´t help wonder why you spend so much time on the shipwreck scene the team almost don´t survive from and the same goes for the climbing of the cliff as this is not made in a very suspenseful way in my opinion. I felt that the movie dragged and the production failed to keep my full attention at least. It just didn´t tickle my fancy as much as other World War II movies from the same era.