The story in this movie deals with the perseverance of Spaniards to take back their country from the French who have conquered Spain under Napoleon as he marched over Europe. A huge cannon, perhaps the largest in the world at that time, is discarded by the army as they retreat from the French invaders. A "ragtag" group of Spanish loyalists find "The Gun" and begin to restore it so they may tow it across Spain to the French stronghold in Avila and use it to open the giant walls for an invasion. Luckily Britain has sent someone to retrieve the cannon for England so they can have it to fight the French also AND to make sure that the French don't get the gun! A shoemaker and his voluptuous girl friend are the leaders of the peasants trying to get the gun to Avila. The Brit can't get help to get the giant gun back to his ship without the peasants and the shoemaker won't help him unless they all go blast Avila open first. The Brit has the knowledge needed to fire the weapon and the ...Written by
This was one of two films Sophia Loren and Cary Grant starred in together. Grant was totally in love with her and the two had an affair. However, Grant was in love with her to the point of obsession. This frightened her and sent her straight into the arms of Carlo Ponti. See more »
When the Spanish army is retreating at the beginning, nearly every close-up showing a musket reveals that none of them have triggers, clearly indicating that they are solid wooden mock-ups. See more »
How these Spanish love their moment of truth - to drench the ground with their blood - to die. Why?
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The British Grenadiers
Heard as a theme See more »
The Big Gun...or, Accents in Europe's Southwest
It's 1810 and the Spanish are retreating from Napoleon's French army battered and beaten; they ditch a mammoth, cumbersome cannon over a cliff, but an English Captain, also against Napoleon, helps resurrect it to defeat the French battalions. Stanley Kramer directed this failed epic visualization of C.S. Forester's book "The Gun", complete with miscast stars and a one-sided view of history (it's no doubt the French weren't crazy about this picture--it makes them look like heartless monsters picking on defenseless saints). Cary Grant's Brit is the subject of some levity (which is welcomed), but Frank Sinatra's Spanish fighter is taken very seriously (which was a mistake). Heavily pancaked and talking like an educated bandito, Sinatra looks and sounds ridiculous (one has to wonder: did Kramer pick Sinatra for this role or was the actor foisted upon him by United Artists?). Sophia Loren, as a Spanish girl who falls for both men, doesn't attempt an accent, but her Flamenco is as unreal as her red-tinted hair; she smiles a bit in the beginning but is otherwise quite dour, and Grant doesn't even seem to notice her until the script calls for him to fall in love. Some of the landscapes are attractive, the castles and churches are impressively photographed by the great Franz Planer, but the studio-bound melodrama and the outdoor battle scenes are an erratic mix, both visually and emotionally. For those who stick with it, the finale is surprisingly sensitive. ** from ****
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