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1943. With the battle of Stalingrad turning the war against them, the Germans are attempting to bully neutral Turkey into joining the Axis; to this end they have trapped 2,000 British soldiers on Kiros, an island in the Aegean, with only one sea route for evacuation, a sea route commanded by two gigantic German antiship batteries deployed in a massive cliffside bunker on the island of Navarone. Immune to air attack and too much for Allied battleships to suppress, the British muster Keith Mallory, a commando officer who has been working on occupied Crete for nearly two years and who is an expert mountaineer, to ferry a team of British commandos to the only area of Navarone that is not monitored by the Germans, a 400-foot cliff. Greek resistance is to meet the team inland and guide them around German patrols to the area of the German guns. However, the commanding officer of the British team suffers grave injury in the climb and Mallory must take control of the mission, despite clashes with explosives expert John Anthony Miller, who upon the arrival of the night of the raid finds his equipment has been sabotaged, thus exposing a traitor in the team's ranks.
Two powerful German guns control the seas past the Greek island of Navarone making the evacuation of endangered British troops on a neighboring island impossible. Air attack is useless so a team of six Allied and Greek soldiers is put ashore to meet up with partisans to try and dynamite the guns. The mission is perilous enough anyway but are the Germans on the island getting further help too?.
Wow - I used to think &quot;Guns Of Navarone&quot; was a try-hard, almost-there type of near-classic war film that had muffled sound, used a bad coloring process, was poorly lit, was limited by budget and the technology of the time. Boy, was I WRONG - I had seen this film several times, all on conventional/cable TV, VHS and even Laserdisc prior to the recent UCLA restoration now out on DVD. I never completely engaged in the reality/experience of this movie. It was as if I was listening to Beethoven&#39;s Ninth on an AM clock radio in an adjacent room. The newly-restored DVD in its original widescreen format showcased on a big screen TV in surround sound is the ONLY way to fully take in this piece of art, unless you perchance get lucky enough to see it in a cine complex.<br/><br/>Unless you have viewed this film 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&#39;m concerned. So many people here have commented on this film &quot;lacking action&quot; and being a &quot;bore&quot; - I could not disagree more. Although I have not read the book (something I rarely do anymore due to an unfortunate accident years ago), this movie resembled a well-written novel. It was FULL of REAL character development, bringing you mixed emotions - at times you love, feel for, loathe or despise them - even the German army officer, during the interrogation/capture scene (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 best written adventure material ever brought to film. The action in this film was aplenty - maybe not a Schwarzeneger thrillride, but that would have made it completely unbelievable. The character development, internal conflict and subplots more than adequately fill the non-action lulls, if you want to call them that. One reviewer here commented on a shipwreck scene of 15 minutes that seemed like forever - the entire realistic shipwreck sequence was barely five minutes long, FYI. Without going into too much &quot;spoiling&quot; detail, there was constant suspense while the Germans were nipping at their heels all film long. It contained espionage, several hand-to-hand combat sequences, several shootings, knifings, cars/trucks being blown up, carjackings, explosions, dive bombings, mortar bombardments, strafings, assassinations, etc. With six men and two women against several dozen Germans, you can&#39;t justifiably get much more action packed into a script unless you would unnecessarily/unrealistically insert more just to intensify the film. The film did not really need intensifying as the plot was strong enough on its own merits - as were all the characters and the subplots surrounding them.<br/><br/>The editing is top-notch. This film is lovingly woven into a tapestry with nice artistic dissolves/fades/graphics transitioning scenes (chapters) and furthering character development and story lines - the accompanying music only enhances those transitions like adding melted butter and/or salt to cooked vegetables enhancing their flavor. To me, this film is very warm and comfortable when it needs to be, but also cold and abrasive at times to make its social commentary. Carl Foreman scripted another great masterpiece with his usual pro/anti-war statements wrapped neatly in an entertaining adventure that makes one think. The end retrospective sequence with the Dimitri Tiomkin score is indelibly touching and unforgettable - a rather unorthodox approach for a &quot;war movie.&quot;<br/><br/>The sweeping landscape photography and several cultural touches truly captured the beauty and flavor of Greece and its proud people. Ironically, when at Blockbuster, I coincidentally chose this film 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 people of Greece still hold this film in high esteem and were/are very proud of the way their nation was portrayed - they should be. Unlike many other movies 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 recent film classic viewings… The Magnificent Seven and Bullitt. When I told him many here at IMDb said this film was boring and over-rated, he commented &quot;are they nuts?&quot; This coming from a kid who loves James Bond, Superman, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, Star Trek, Power Rangers, Lost In Space and Jonny Quest as well as Classic Rock, film scores, Legos, Hot Wheels, plastic model kits, gymnastics and PS2. Guess there is hope for the future generation after all.<br/><br/>Some of the very best action/adventure films ever made have very little &quot;constant action,&quot; FYI. I recently overheard a teen boy in a video store who said &quot;Raiders was a slow, boring film&quot; - of all things. No wonder the cumulative votes of classic films on IMDb do not entirely mirror or reflect what critics have historically said when they initially rated and/or reviewed them. I try to overlook the current technological advancements of today when compared with films 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 other film of its era was, either. Those factors aside, this film is EXTREMELY under-rated - this film is a stand-alone classic of its genre and amongst other all-time great films… a genuine piece of art.<br/><br/>Ranking just under the ten-star rated Bridge On The River Kwai, Guns Of Navarone is an instant-classic and will always be so (on a LARGE SCREEN in its original widescreen format); due to its solid foundation of high production values, endearing score, good writing, strong plot/character development, the fine actors to play those characters and loving direction. Kudos to all who worked on this film. (9.5/10)
A superb war film with all the usual ingredients that you would expect from a film based on Alistair Maclean&#39;s novel.<br/><br/>A crack anglo-American/Greek team are sent on a seemingly impossible mission to infiltrate and destroy huge German guns off the island of Navarone before 6 navy destroyers (that are due to pick up over 200 British Soldiers from nearby islands) are used for target practice.<br/><br/>Led by top mountain climber &amp; Captain, Gregory Peck, his cohorts includes David Niven as an explosives expert; the late Anthony Quinn as Colonel Stavros of a Greek infintary division and knows the islands well; Stanley Baker as the mechanic and knife expert. And finally Anthony Quayle, the instigator of the entire mission.<br/><br/>A tremendous cast, therefore, along with able support, make this film an adventure as gripping &amp; exciting as you&#39;ll ever find. It&#39;s not mindless violence in the Rambo mode though; there are lots of soul-searching, betrayals &amp; self-doubts along with ultimate sacrifices too, which only helps to flesh out the film with believable and likeable characters.<br/><br/>Its quite a long film at 150 odd minutes, but it doesn&#39;t feel like it. There is too much going on to make you drift for a second. It may look a little dated as it celebrates its 40th birthday this year, but again, don&#39;t let that put you off. For me this is far superior to a lot of modern day war films, with little or no political correctness or over indulgent flagwaving detracts from a fine film.<br/><br/>My favourite character would have to be Niven&#39;s Corporal Miller. A happy-go-lucky soldier who refuses to become an officer because he likes what he does and wants to keep it that way; yet he has that typical English charismatic charm that makes Niven the perfect choice.<br/><br/>Peck is also good, although he does seem just a little too stiff and 2 dimensional at times as if he doesn&#39;t know what to do in order to expand in his character and therefore plays it safe and just goes through the motions.<br/><br/>Quinn &amp; Quayle are always good value and Navarone is no exception. Quinn especially adds a certain Greek charm &amp; emotion to the film that again makes the movie far more accessable and entertaining.<br/><br/>Recommended, especially in Widescreen or DVD<br/><br/>****/*****

Chicago American, Tuesday, June 17, 1958:<br/><br/>LOUELLA O. PARSONS<br/><br/>Carl Foreman&#39;s visit to Hollywood lengthened to almost a week instead of two days as he had planned. That&#39;s because he has been negotiating with Cary Grant about playing the lead in h is next picture, &quot;Guns of Navarone.&quot;<br/><br/>Carl brought both the book and script to Cary to read, and hopes to get the valuable Grant name on a deal before he joins his wife, who is vacationing in Italy.<br/><br/>__________________________ Chicago Sun-Times, Thursday, June 15, 1961, p. 52, c. 1:<br/><br/>KUP&#39;S COLUMN<br/><br/>The Massive Power Failure that blacked out new York the other day almost caused producer Carl Forman and three top Manhattan movie critics, to black out, too. Foreman was screening his movie, &quot;Guns of Navarone,&quot; for the critics. In one of the last scenes of the film, a German officer gives the command to a battery of cannon to fire at the approaching six destroyers in the Navarone channel. The officer gave the command, the cannons boomed–and, presto, everything went black!<br/><br/>_____________________________
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