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The Guns of Navarone (1961)

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A British team is sent to cross occupied Greek territory and destroy the massive German gun emplacement that commands a key sea channel.

Director:

J. Lee Thompson

Writers:

Alistair MacLean (novel) (as Alistair Maclean), Carl Foreman (written for the screen by)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Capt. Keith Mallory
David Niven ... Cpl. John Anthony Miller
Anthony Quinn ... Col. Andrea Stavros
Stanley Baker ... CPO 'Butcher' Brown
Anthony Quayle ... Maj. Roy Franklin
James Darren ... Spyros Pappadimos
Irene Papas ... Maria Pappadimos
Gia Scala ... Anna
James Robertson Justice ... Jensen / Prologue Narrator
Richard Harris ... Squadron Leader Barnsby
Bryan Forbes ... Cohn
Allan Cuthbertson ... Maj. Baker
Michael Trubshawe ... Weaver
Percy Herbert ... Sgt. Grogan
George Mikell George Mikell ... Sessler
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Storyline

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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Greatest High Adventure Ever Filmed! See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure | Drama | War

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Greek | German

Release Date:

28 April 1961 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Carl Foreman's Production The Guns of Navarone See more »

Filming Locations:

Ile de Gorée, Dakar, Senegal See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$28,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System) (35 mm magnetic prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Japan theatrical release)| Mono (35 mm optical prints)| Dolby (Restored version)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original 1961 road show release, used Technicolor prints made in London, which gave the film eye-popping clarity, and disguised many of the imperfections of the sets and special effects. When it came time to turn out mass runs of prints for the general release, Columbia Pictures shipped the original negative to a bargain-rate lab in New York City, where it was reconfigured for normal Eastmancolor printing. This meant re-cutting the negative to insert standard opticals to approximate the Technicolor process' smooth dissolves, et cetera. No preservation separations were made, and the negative wasn't properly protected. Poor-quality dupe sections were soon patched in to replace damaged pieces of the negative. Eventually, two entire reels would have to be replaced in this way, after that New York City lab accidentally destroyed the originals through handling errors. Columbia Pictures also discarded the film's original sound elements and stereo tracks. A collector's magnetic print was used to recover the original four channel stereo mix. See more »

Goofs

When a German truck is driven to a spot where there is an ambush waiting, a grenade is thrown and the truck blows up. However, you can see the truck move slightly, where the film crew have moved the original truck, and then put in a dummy or mock-up truck which can be blown up. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Prologue Narrator: 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 ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: The first day 02.00 Hours An Allied Airfield somewhere in the Middle East See more »

Alternate Versions

Copies with different colour credits exists. The most common ones proclaiming "Eastmancolor by Pathé" while others says "Technicolor". See more »

Connections

Referenced in From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series: Matanzas (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Guns of Navarone
(uncredited)
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
(theme)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Most effective use of silence.
2 January 2006 | by AlyoshevnaSee all my reviews

I won't repeat what others have said. My short take: It's one of the best action films and one of the best ensemble films ever made.

What I noticed on first viewing was how quiet it is. Many scenes take place without dialog or score, merely background noises like wind, feet crunching gravel, and the like. Some of the tensest scenes are made more so by our hearing only what the characters would hear. For example, early on in the film, the lead characters undergo a storm at sea and approach a dangerous narrows, and until the scene's climax, all we hear are howling wind, driving rain, and slamming waves.

A musical score tells viewers how they are supposed to feel and often telegraphs shifts in plot or mood. As used in this film, the absence of music heightens the drama and makes the action more immediate. What score there is is thus more effective, earning its composer an Academy Award.


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