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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:

An impregnable fortress... An invincible army... and the unstoppable commando team. 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

Producer Carl Foreman brokered a deal with the Greek Army, where he had twelve destroyers, and over one thousand infantrymen at his disposal. See more »

Goofs

When Anna regains consciousness at the ruins and sits up in fear, Maria grabs her and tells her, "They're friends - our friends." She then repeats the phrase "Our friends" in Greek, dubbed in on the soundtrack, while her lips clearly form the words "Our friends" in English. 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

To receive a 'U' certificate the original UK cinema version was overdubbed to remove all of Barnsby's uses of the word 'bloody' (the word was replaced with the less offensive 'ruddy'), and this same print appeared on early video releases. The film was restored in 1993 and all later widescreen releases feature the full unedited version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Magician (2005) 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

 
Every bit as good as you remembered...
5 August 2002 | by Bill SlocumSee all my reviews

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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