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One of the better WWII movies made and prob fav Gregory Peck film. A film that isn't excessively violent, but gets the message across about how disturbing war is ethically and morally. Interesting to see them pull off this heist with worthwhile action scenes, including a very gripping opening boat scene. The script is smart, the acting well done, and the pacing just right.
Similar to a later adaptation of an Alistair MacLean work, "Where Eagles Dare" (which MacLean simultaneously wrote the screenplay for), "The Guns Of Navarone" starts out like your typical "secret WWII operation" movie. There's the crack team of operatives, the indomitable task and the eventual complications that are wont to arise. Though, in a manner similar to that 1968 film starring Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton, "Navarone's" greatest successes lie within its execution as a production. This is a full-scale, sprawling, Hollywood-primed epic, filled with exotic locations, big personalities and even larger set pieces. It's not all that deep — though, when it tries to be, it's surprisingly welcomed, ultimately leaving me wishing for more — but if "Point A," "Point B" and a slew of Nazis in between are all you need to get you through a two-and-a-half hour runtime, you've come to the right place.
Forgettable but passable epic.
While the astronomical number of movies that take place in and around World War II has started to bore me, I’m always a sucker for a heist movie. The Guns of Navarone might not be a movie about stealing something, but it has all the other hallmarks of a good heist film. We follow a small team of people, all with their own special skills, going on a mission together to secretly infiltrate a well-guarded facility. The cool thing is that (unlike a typical caper movie like Ocean’s 11) the stakes are much higher here, so the drama is cranked up as well. I love how this takes a massive event like the war and makes it small and personal. We don’t spend all the time watching massive armies firing on one another, but instead we see elite specialists trying to complete a covert mission. We get to know these men better, and that makes us care more if they will live or die. I was ready for the ride, and I thought they did a great job of keeping the tension high through most of the film. You can guess how the story will end based solely on what you know of history, but there are still plenty of surprises along the way that keep you on the edge of your seat. The acting in The Guns of Navarone was solid. Gregory Peck can sometimes come off as a bit flat and emotionless, but it works for this kind of focused and intense character. David Niven might not strike me as the type who would be a demolitions expert, but I didn’t mind since he brought more emotion to the film. There were a few actors in the supporting cast that didn’t do as much for me, though. Stanley Baker didn’t add much with his character, and James Darren never made any impression on me at all. It wasn’t a huge problem with the film, but when you have a plot about assembling a team, you kind of want all the team members to be essential and interesting. My only other complaint with the film was a general confusion over where they were at any given point and how close they were to accomplishing their goal. It didn’t ruin the plot in any way, but it would have been better to take a bit more time in the opening to spell out the step-by-step plans so we know how it’s going at any given point. Otherwise, The Guns of Navarone was a great film that delivered a lot of entertainment when it could have been a bland retread of things I’ve seen before.
J. Lee Thompson, who directed such esteemed films as Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987) and Ice Cold in Alex (1958), received a Best Director nomination for his workmanlike efforts on this action thriller for older male audiences. Predictably a film like this appealed to the voting body of the Academy who are largely older American men and it earned a Best Picture nomination in an infamously weak lineup that allowed for a dreadful musical like West Side Story (1961) to win. This is a passable piece of entertainment and for it's target audience it will likely serve as a thrilling experience but for a wider audience it is overlong and at times portentous.
During World War II a team of men taken from various Allied countries band together to bomb a fortress that would annihilate the Allied fleet attempting to attack the island of Kheros and free their soldiers. The men are led by the stoic American Keith Mallory, Gregory Peck, who has a past with Greek Andrea Stavrou, Anthony Quinn, who has vowed to kill him when the war ends due to his connection to the death of his family. Uptight Englishman Miller, David Niven, is a close friend of the team's ‘official' leader Roy Franklin, Anthony Quayle, but disapproves of the cutthroat methods employed by Mallory. When the men reach the island they encounter two women and one proves to be a German spy after having seduced Mallory and lied about her background to accomplice Maria, Irene Papas. The men overcome their differences as they sneak inside the fortress and successfully blow it up thereby murdering all of the Nazis inside and stopping them from defeating the Allied fleet. One of the men die but the others escape with their lives and Stavrou chooses not to murder his friend.
The film that this most reminded me of was a later hit, Deliverance (1972), which involved me in the actions that occurs a lot more than this film does. Both films feature scenes of men nearly drowning in choppy waters and men scaling a wall in horrific weather. In the first case Deliverance makes the struggle of the men more visceral for the audience as we feel as though we are seeing the water through the men's eyes and the disconcerting feeling of drowning in the water is represented as the camera is quite literally submerged in it. Here we see the waves crashing down from far away and while the men are stuck in the water they never seem all that impacted by it as we are not close enough to see their facial expressions and the waves never push them under but just seem to roll by them. The climbing scenes also lacked the intensity of those found in Deliverance as while Peck angrily rams picks into the side of the rock face he cannot match Jon Voight gripping for dear life in the blazing heat. It's deficiencies were revealed in these moments as I did not really feel that these men were in danger and I was not on the edge of my seat waiting to see if they survived or not.
Possibly the only genuine shock the film delivers is the killing of Nazi spy Anna, Gia Scala, who I assumed would be spared due to the fact that she was the love interest of the main character and an attractive woman. Her death at the hands of close friend Maria further served to make a statement and the scene in which her betrayal is discovered is probably what allowed voters to convince themselves that this was more than just your average action film. Sadly this is not true as most of the characters are underdeveloped, the showdown between Peck and Niven never quite built up enough and the inclusion of female characters felt totally unnecessary. The biggest problem with the film is it's length because a story that should have fit into two hours is spread out across three and a half hours and loses a lot of it's power.
If you want a film from the 1960s to watch with your father this should fit the bill but be warned that you will be sitting down for a long time.
The best thrilling and inspiring movie ever made! With the best movie score ever composed!
Good war classic . on par with Where Eagles Dare
A war classic that holds up nicely.
The Guns of Navarone takes you on an espionage mission during World War II to blow up Nazi guns. Its themes of ethics in wartime are still relevant and interesting. I found it a little long, but fairly well paced.
The practical effects of mini models, controlled explosions, rapid gunfire, and combat injuries look excellent to this day. The fact that they actually shot on location in Greece makes the scenery beautiful and realistic. The Guns of Navarone still looks great. I like the attention to detail in the time accurate costumes to be neat as well.
The star of the show is Gregory Peck, but David Niven and Anthony Quinn hold their own against an acting powerhouse. The Guns of Navarone is equally war drama as it is war action. Their discussions as to their war motives and plans are fascinating. This is true to heart acting in every moment.
I think any war film fan or history buff will appreciate and enjoy The Guns of Navarone. It's a pretty cool movie, honestly.
brilliant adventure story