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The Guns of Navarone (1961)

TV-PG | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 22 June 1961 (USA)
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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:

Still! The Greatest High Adventure Ever Filmed! [re-issue] 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:

22 June 1961 (USA) 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

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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

Andreas' revolver that he points at Mallory from behind the newspaper is an Enfield No 2 Mk I* (identifiable as the "*" modification by the lack of the hammer spur). It fired the anemic .380/200 service round, and is widely considered to be one of the worst service sidearms ever foisted on an unwilling army. See more »

Goofs

When the saboteurs push the captured German truck off the mountain road, a pyrotechnic triggering cable attached to the rear of the truck can be seen dragging across the road surface. 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 ...
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Roseanne: Saturday (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

The Guns of Navarone
(uncredited)
Music by Dimitri Tiomkin
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
(theme)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"We Have Three Choices" In Classic WWII Drama
27 November 2002 | by Michael DalySee all my reviews

"The way I see it we have three choices - take him with us, leave him here, or kill him."

This simplistically summarizes the moral dilemmas at the heart of Alistar MacLean's classic novel and the superb Carl Forman film from which followed. The Guns Of Navarone at first looks like a basic mission - in 1943 a key channel in the Aegean Sea is commanded by two gigantic German siege batteries on the island of Navarone; these guns prevent the reinforcement of a British island garrison nearby, and if the garrison falls, it will persuade Turkey to join the Axis powers, an outcome Berlin is counting on as the war in Russia has turned against it with the defeat at Stalingrad.

The guns cannot be bombed by air, despite heroic efforts by the RAF, and so is brought in a key Allied operative who has been working in occupied Crete since its fall to the Germans in 1941. Captain Keith Mallory not only can speak the languages of the area with superb fluence, he is "Keith Mallory, the Human Fly," the best mountaineer in the world. He feels he cannot climb the 400 foot precipice atop which the German batteries sit, but he likes nothing better than "a well-organized setup" upon seeing that he has no choice.

With the help of his closest combat comrade Stavro (Anthony Quinn), Mallory is assigned with Major Roy Franklin to ferry British commandos - one of the a wise-cracking explosives expert, Corporal John Anthony Miller (David Niven)- on the perilous journey to the back door of Navarone. But the infiltration is fraught with danger, and when Franklin is badly injured, the real crest of the story unfolds, the moral dilemmas of the team as they must complete the mission while deciding how to handle an injury they cannot treat.

And as if that were not enough, one of the Greek resistance operatives helping the team turns out to be a traitor after Miller finds his explosive equipment has been tampered with. It leads to yet another of the several arguments that ensue through the film between Miller, the soldier who does not want the responsibilities involved, and Mallory, who is determined to finish the job. While one of the arguments doesn't make much sense - Miller is horrified when Mallory admits lying to Roy Franklin so that upon eventual capture Franklin will give away inaccurate information; this is by far the most humane solution to the intolerable dilemma the team has faced - overall the clash between Mallory and Miller adds enormously to the film's tension, thanks in no small part to the excellent performances of Gregory Peck and David Niven.

The sets and props of the film are superb, and overcome the comparative cheesiness of some of the special effects.


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