The Guns of Navarone (1961) – Encore Review


“First, you’ve got that bloody old fortress on top of that bloody cliff. Then you’ve got the bloody cliff overhang. You can’t even see the bloody cave, let alone the bloody guns. And anyway, we haven’t got a bloody bomb big enough to smash that bloody rock. And that’s the bloody truth, sir. ” – Squadron Leader Howard Barnsby RAAF

Number of Times Seen – Twice (26 Aug 2013 and 26 Aug 2019)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – A group of six men are sent on a mission to destroy two German guns which are preventing the Allied ships from sending reinforcements into the area.

My Take on it – This is a film that I saw exactly 6 years ago (to the day) for the very first time and chose to rewatch it on this date purely by chance.

This is such a great action/thriller that is able to keep the level of suspense quite high throughout it’s near 3 hour run time.

The biggest problem that many people have with this film is regarding the ages of the very talented cast who all seem a bit too old for this kind of mission.

Nevertheless, they all manage to give us a great story that plays out really well from start to finish.

Gregory Peck, David Niven, Stanley Baker, Anthony Quayle, and Anthony Quinn are all superb here.

The plot s filled with lots of intriguing twists and turns along the way that help keep things so enjoyable because you never now what will happen next.

Some of these surprises come across as being quite shocking, but help make things so interesting the whole way through due to the non predictability of it all.

This story is completely fictitious yet it fits within the constraints of a great World War II film and feels so plausible the entire time that it’s easy to believe that such a mission could have conceivably happened.

This movie was nominated for Seven awards at the Oscars that year including Best Picture and Best Director yet only managed to win one for Best Special Effects.

It was deserving of the Best Picture nomination but this was a very competitive year and this was the third best film at best among the 5 nominees.

Bottom Line – Great action movie that works quite well despite the fact that the actors (who are all superbly talented) all seem a bit too old for their roles. The story is presented really well and they are able to keep the story thrilling throughout by the use of many intriguing twists and turns along the way. Some of the surprises are quite shocking, and they help keep things fascinating from start to finish.  Even though this is completely a fictitious story, they find a way to make it feel so plausible within the constraints of World War II.  Very understandable how this film could be nominated for Best Picture despite the fact that there were a few other nominees that were so much more impactful. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – During shooting, Gregory Peck and David Niven became close friends, bonding initially over Peck’s ability to consume vast quantities of brandy, which the actors used to “stay warm” while filming in a cold studio tank, without muffing a line. Their families visited each other frequently in later years, and Peck would deliver the eulogy at Niven’s funeral. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (upgrade from original review)

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3 thoughts on “The Guns of Navarone (1961) – Encore Review

  1. One of the great WWII adventure films of all time. Not sure where you got the idea that audiences thought the actors were too old for their roles. Niven was terrific. Quinn steals every scene he’s in. Peck anchored the group – along with the younger actors – James Darren and Stanley Baker. Some wonderful intrigue on who the traitor was within the group. And Niven’s adept throwaway of certain lines (after changing into the Nazi uniforms, “Frightful taste in undies. Heil everybody” was classic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The World War II Blogathon – The Sea Wolves (1980) | MovieRob

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