The Guns of Navarone (Blu-ray) ~ David Niven Cover Art

The Guns of Navarone (Blu-ray)

David Niven, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle, Stanley Baker


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Review

This rousing, explosive 1961 WWII adventure, based on Alistair MacLean''s thrilling novel, turns the war thriller into a deadly caper film. Gregory Peck heads a star-studded cast charged with a near impossible mission: destroy a pair of German guns nestled in a protective cave on the strategic Mediterranean island of Navarone, from where they can control a vital sea passage. As world famous mountain climber turned British army Captain Mallory, Peck leads a guerrilla force composed of the humanistic explosives expert, Miller (David Niven), the ruthless Greek patriot with a grudge, Stavros (Anthony Quinn), veteran special forces soldier Brown (Stanley Baker), and the cool, quiet young marksman Pappadimos (James Darren). This disparate collection of classic types must overcome internal conflicts, enemy attacks, betrayal, and capture to complete their mission. Director J. Lee Thompson sets a driving pace for this exciting (if familiar) military operation, a succession of close calls, pitched battles, and last-minute escapes as our heroes infiltrate the garrisoned town with the help of resistance leader Maria (Irene Papas) and plot their entry into the heavily guarded mountain fort. Carl Foreman''s screenplay embraces MacLean''s role call of clich├ęs and delivers them with style, creating one of the liveliest mixes of espionage, combat, and good old-fashioned military derring-do put on film. In 1978, the sequel Force 10 from Navarone was released, but MacLean fans will prefer to check out the action-packed thriller Where Eagles Dare. --Sean Axmaker

Release Note

Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn and David Niven are Allied saboteurs 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. Blacklisted screenwriter Carl Foreman (High Noon,The Bridge on the River Kwai) was determined to re-establish both his name and credibility after spending most of the 50''s working in anonymity. To accomplish this, he decided to bring Alistair MacLean''s best-selling novel, The Guns of Navarone, to the screen. Supported by an all-star cast and produced on a grand scale, the film was an enormous success, receiving seven 1961 Academy Award(r) nominations (including Best Picture) and winning for Best Special Effects. Although Foreman achieved his goal, it was MacLean who would wind up the true beneficiary; his novels became the source for many high adventure screen epics, including Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare. However, it is The Guns of Navarone that remains not only the best of the MacLean adaptations, but one of the greatest action/adventure spectacles ever produced.


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