Director: †††††††††††††††††† J. Lee Thompson
Producer: ††††††††††††††††† Carl Foreman
Script: ††††††††††††††††††††† Carl Foreman
From the novel by Alistair MacLean
Cinematography: ††††††† Oswald Morris
Editing: ††††††††††††††††††† Alan Osbiston
Original Music: †††††††††† Dimitri Tiomkin
The Guns of Navarone is a star-studded movie based on the Alistair MacLean novel of the same name. The movie features Gregory Peck as the leader of the special forces team, David Niven as an explosives expert who shuns responsibility and detests officers, Anthony Quinn as Peck's one-time partner who has vowed to do Peck in once the war is over. The list goes on Anthony Quayle as the affable British officer in charge of the and Stanley Baker Ė the killer with a conscience.† It tells the story of a team of expert saboteurs who must destroy two radar controlled guns on the Mediterranean island of Navarone. If they do not succeed in their mission, 2,000 Allied troops on the island of Kheros will be killed unless they can be picked up before a German invasion. This movie is full of adventure as the team climbs a 400 foot cliff, battles German patrols all over the island, disputes among themselves, and so much more. This movie never slows down from beginning to end as the team tries to make their way into the small island fortress containing the guns.
Dynamics among the team develop nicely as the show moves along, and there are a number of interesting plot developments involving lead and supporting characters. One of the major strengths of the movie include the unfolding of the relationship between Peck and Quinn, and unexpected plot twists characteristic of MacLean's work. J.Lee.Thomspon is on form giving the movie itís pace and action and certainly gets the best from a group of very high profile actors.
Peck is quiet and intellectual but tough - after a lot of grief from Miller about the morality of killing in war, he blows telling him to do his job (which is blowing up things). Quinn is brooding and bitter as Stavros he is also nearly superhuman as he fights Nazis. The action scenes are very good - the final massive explosions and destruction of "...those bloody guns..." is great stuff. I have loved watching Anthony Qualye on screen since seeing Ice Cold in Alex and here as ever he plays the focused British officer well. Hell he had the experience having been a British officer (Major) during the second world war operating behind enemy lines in Albania and Yugoslavia.
Watch for a brief cameo early in the film by Richard Harris as a pilot sent to try to blow the guns up; after an unsuccessful mission where some pilots and crews were lost - he gives the commander a straight answer to whether the guns can be destroyed from the air "...we haven't got a bomb big enough to blow up those bloody guns, and thatís the bloody truth sir!"
Seen by many as in the top ten of all time war movies it was especially ground breaking in the Special Effects department. It was nominated for 7 American Academy Award including Best Picture, Best Director, Best (Adapted) Screenplay. It won just best special effects.