The Guns of Navarone – 1961 – English
War film directed in 1961 by J. Lee Thompson, and starring Gregory Peck, David Niven, Richard Harris, Anthony Quinn, Stanley Baker, Anthony Quayle, James Darren, Gia Scala, Irene Papas, James Robertson Justice…
Synopsis: 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?
Review: Being a big Gregory Peck fan, I was expecting great things from The Guns of Navarone, and in one of those rare instances, I was not disappointed. Mr. Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn… are in top form, each of them bringing their respective characters to life and the story likewise.
The action scenes are impressive even by today’s standards but in my opinion they are only a secondary pleasure. The main pleasure is watching the divergent and forceful personalities cooperate, conflict, confound and finally triumph. Suspense is maintained throughout. I also liked the way complex moral issues were addressed. Another bonus is the portrayal of the Germans. Here they are not all depicted as impersonal inhuman cruel monsters. The full mosaic of human personalities is shown on their side too. But don’t get me wrong, they are still a formidable enemy who keep the outcome in doubt. Strongly recommended