One of the best WW II epic films of the 1960s. Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn lead an Allied commando team to destroy an impregnable German fortress that threatens Allied naval ships in the Aegean Sea and prevent 2,000 isolated British troops from being rescued. Based largely on Alistair MacLean's great novel, it is as a mostly gripping adventure tale supported by stars who bring a different perspective to their roles. The film features some nice touches. First and foremost, I'm glad that the German troops all speak German to each other, rather than heavily accented English as in many WW II movies. You can understand what they are discussing even if you don't understand German, but even if you don't, you won't miss any important plot details. Scene settings are well constructed. The Guns of Navarone makes full use of the landscape as well some ancient ruins. They filmed in a city and it appears as if half the town's population were used as extras. The characters jump from one action sequence to another. Several scenes play out with no dialogue. The director was smart enough to let the character's actions speak for themselves. The action scenes are not just there for action sake, but for a specific reason in advancing the plot. The commandos clamber up and down Greek hills and through ruins, all of which look genuine enough. The raging storm that the commandos encounter while sailing the Aegean was well constructed.
Many action films that last over two and one half hours are way too long, however in tis one there are no superfluous scenes; each scene sweeps you into the next, with plenty of action amidst the drama that keeps the pace moving briskly along. For pure adventure, it's hard to top this one.