A British multinational seeks to overthrow a vicious dictator in central Africa. It hires a band of (largely aged) mercenaries in London and sends them in to save the virtuous but ... See full summary »
Andrew V. McLaglen
Set during the grand, sweeping Napoleonic age, an officer in the French army insults another officer and sets off a life-long enmity. The two officers, D'Hubert and Feraud, cross swords ... See full summary »
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?. Written by
Jeremy Perkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Stanley Baker's character, Pvt. Brown is referred to as "The Butcher of Barcelona" by Capt Mallory, as a reference to his service with the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. In the 1930s, Carl Foreman, the producer and screenwriter of the film, had been a member of the Communist Party, many of whose members fought for the Republic during the Civil War. Foreman was blacklisted during the early 1950s and moved to England, where he continued to work in the film industry. During the period of the blacklist, left-wing supporters of the Spanish Republic often were denounced for being "premature anti-fascists" for having fought against Franco, Hitler and Mussolini before the U.S. went to war against the Axis two years after the collapse of the Spanish Republic. See more »
A grenade is thrown from the fishing boat into the Nazi patrol boat while they are right next to each other. In the next shot, when the patrol boat blows up, it is shown from a greater distance, and the fishing boat is nowhere in evidence. See more »
Greece and the islands of the Aegean Sea have given birth to many myths and legends of war and adventure. And these once-proud stones, these ruined and shattered temples bear witness to the civilization that flourished and then died here and to the demigods and heroes who inspired those legends on this sea and these islands. But, though the stage is the same, ours is a legend of our own times, and its heroes are not demigods, but ordinary people. In 1943, so the story goes, 2000 ...
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For any boy growing up when I did, back in the late 1970s, it was well understood that "Guns of Navarone" was the sine qua non of adventure films, a movie you called friends about when you saw it listed in next week's TV Guide. It's hard to believe so much time has gone by, both since my boyhood and since the film was made, but "Navarone" still holds up very well, a character-driven film alive with nuance and subtlety. It moves at an assured clip, not rushed or forced, making the viewer follow its story through every agonizing twist and turn.
What makes the film especially good is the crisp dialogue, lines that point up the moral and philosophical argument at the heart of the film and which resonate today as much as then:
Mallory: The only way to win a war is to be just as nasty as the enemy. The one thing that worries me is we're liable to wake up one morning, and find we're even nastier than they are.
Franklin: I can't say that worries me!
Mallory: Well, you're lucky.
Good performances abound, but the best by far is David Niven's Cpl. Miller, a complex character whose smooth front and witty banter conceals much of the conflict of the film. It's he who tangles most often with Gregory Peck's Mallory, and has at least three scenes in the film that are top-rate. We may like Miller because he keeps things humming and provides welcome comic relief, but he's no less the center of the film than Peck or Anthony Quinn, the two well-cast leads whose relationship is enriched, at least from our remove, by the unique vow Stavros has made to Mallory about the unsettled business between them.
The plot is a thing of beauty, moving with all the synchronicity and clever precision of a diabolical cuckoo clock. The special effects have suffered more than a bit from the march of time (though one should remember that was the only part of the film that won an Oscar in 1962). Some process shots are cringe-inducing now. But the pace is still gripping and the payoff spectacular. Here's the film that was the template to every popcorn actioner that came after, its imprint recognizable on everything from the James Bond movies to "Star Wars" to Indiana Jones. That's impressive, but more so is that "Guns" remains as entertaining as any one of them, and more thrilling than most.
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