A team of allied saboteurs are assigned an impossible mission: infiltrate an impregnable Nazi-held island and destroy the two enormous long-range field guns that prevent the rescue of 2,000 trapped British soldiers.

Director:

J. Lee Thompson

Writers:

Alistair MacLean (novel) (as Alistair Maclean), Carl Foreman (written for the screen by)
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4,789 ( 132)
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

In 1943, the British Navy is not able to rescue 2,000 soldiers trapped in the Island of Kheros since two powerful German cannons on the top of the Navarone Island are sinking the Allied vessels. After a failed aerial attack, the Allied command decide to send a six-man team disguised as fishermen to Navarone to blow-up the guns. The squad is commanded by Maj. Roy Franklin and composed by Capt. Keith Mallory, who is an experienced mountain climber, and his former partner Col. Andrea Stavros; the explosive expert Cpl. John Anthony Miller; the engineer CPO 'Butcher' Brown; and the Greek assassin Spyros Pappadimos, who was born in Navarone. They sail during the night and after an encounter with a German patrol boat and a storm in the sea, they arrive to Navarone and Capt. Mallory needs to climb a cliff face during a heavy rainy night to proceed their mission. Will they succeed? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Throughout shooting, Gregory Peck suggested re-writes to Carl Foreman that would deepen his character. Most of his ideas made it into the movie. See more »

Goofs

The steering wheel on the second truck the saboteurs hijack and use throughout the remainder of the film, is on the right, indicating it is a British, not German, vehicle. But in the scene immediately following their taking the truck, as Maria, Mallory and Andrea watch the bombing of the nearby town from the truck's cab, the steering wheel is suddenly back on the left. 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 »

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 The Man Who Ruined the British Film Industry (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Ena Karavi Apo Te Chio
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Andreas Markides
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User Reviews

 
This has everything that I'm looking for in a classic war movie...
11 August 2005 | by philip_vandervekenSee all my reviews

Ever since I was a little boy, I've watched several classic war movies with my father. He was an absolute fan of this kind of movies and I guess I've inherited that passion from him, because since then I try to watch and buy as many (classic) war movies as I can find. So far I already have several of them in my private DVD collection, but until now, "The Guns of Navarone" wasn't a part of it. The main reason for that is because I hadn't seen it before and therefor didn't know what to expect of it. But now that it was finally shown on television, I was able to tape it and to watch it.

When in 1943 the Germans are attempting to bully neutral Turkey into joining the Axis, 2,000 British troops are trapped on the small and strategically unimportant Greek island Kiros. Something has to be done to save them and there is only one way to get there: by boat. But it's impossible to come near to the island because the only sea route is defended by two gigantic German anti-ship batteries, deployed in a massive cliff side bunker on the island of Navarone. An air attack has been attempted before and proved to be useless and the only option that is left is sending a team of six Greek and English mountaineers to meet up with partisans to try and dynamite the guns. The team does not only face the almost impossible task to conquer the difficult terrain, they also have to try to get past a German garrison and to make things worse, there also appears to be a traitor among them...

About one thing I'm already certain: I'll buy this movie on DVD as soon as I can find it. This is one of the better classic war movies that I've seen lately and I really had a good time watching it. Not only does it give a more realistic view on the war, the characters are also a lot more realistic. They aren't as invincible as you sometimes see in other classic war movies (think for instance of "Where Eagles Dare (1968)"), in which the Americans or other allies seem to carry some kind of magic shield around them that can't be penetrated by German bullets, while they can kill hundreds of the enemy with only one bullet. In this movie they have to deal with all kinds of difficulties like difficult terrain, a traitor,... and yes, even the good guys can get killed or wounded.

What I also liked was the fact that this movie was shot in Greece and therefor gave a realistic feeling to the setting, without feeling like a brochure for a romantic holiday (like Captain Corelli's Mandolin). I know, we all expect that and believe that it is normal when we see it, but I've already seen otherwise and it's something you didn't always get at the time. Think for instance of the movie "The Battle of the Bulge" (1965), which was supposed to be situated in the Belgian Ardennes, but which was shot with olive trees in the background and in a desert-like terrain. And trust me, I'm Belgian myself and I know the region all too well, so I know that there really isn't such a type of terrain to be found there.

Next to the good story and the correct decor, this movie also offers some fine acting from a great classical cast. With Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle,... you get some of the most famous actors at the time and they all did a very nice job in this movie. Add to this the fact that story was very good, that the action still looked nice, that everything was shot in the right country and that everybody spoke the correct language. Then you know that there is absolutely nothing more I could ask for in this movie. I give this movie a well deserved 7.5/10.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Greek | German | Latin

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)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Highroad Productions See more »
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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:

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

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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