Thursday, July 10, 2014

War Movie Wednesday - The Guns of Navarone

This week War Movie Wednesday rolls out one of the "Big Guns" of war movie classics, The Guns of Navarone.  Directed by J. Lee Thompson and staring Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn, along with Stanley Baker and Anthony Quayle.  Truly one of the greats, it was nominated for 7 Academy Awards including Best Picture, winning Best Effects, Special Effects. 

"Our Heroes", well maybe not that one on the right...

The movie pits a small Allied Commando team against the Germans of occupied Greece and the seemingly impregnable mountain fortress that houses the massive "Guns of Navarone."  These radar directed monsters control a key pass in the Aegean Sea that threatens destruction to any Allied ship that dares sail within range.

Meanwhile 2,000 British troops are stranded on the island of Keros with the Germans moving in for the kill.  The Good Guys must take out the "Big Guns" so that the Royal Navy has a chance to rescue the poor Tommies before it's too late, and also help prevent Turkey from being bullied into joining the Axis Powers.

The REAL stars of the show!

Commando raids make some of the best and most tense war movies.  They're also a great way to showcase a small collection of actors against an the epic backdrop like that of fictional island of Navarone.  The cast doesn't disappoint either with Peck doing his usual solid job, Quinn bringing his flare and emotion, and any war flick the includes Niven is almost guaranteed to be a good one.  Stanley Baker and Anthony Quayle could of both handled the lead themselves and add another level of quality to the group.

The most intense game of "Knock, knock.  Who's there?" of WWII.

The Guns of Navarone is a true epic that still manages to maintain an intimate feel to the plot.  The individual characters, tensions, and twists are not lost in a barrage of special effects and larger than life sets.  We are able to follow along with our heroes to the bitter end, sharing in their daring adventures, while also being aware of the thoughtful anti-war message woven into the story.  Whether you've seen it before or not, I hope you enjoy this movie as much as I have.

The Guns of Navarone (1961)

A few final thoughts...

I don't remember when I finally got to see The Guns of Navarone for the first time (probably a rental), but long before that I owned the playset (I still do actually, stored somewhere in the garage...).  Countless hours were spent setting up huge battle scenes down in the basement.  For years, I had to go on pure imagination as the TV listings were always far beyond my bedtime. 

The movie eluded me for years, and the closest I ever came as a kid was while I was in the hospital.  The movie was scheduled for 11:00 pm, and my Dad had gotten special permission (small town) to stay past visiting hours to stay up and watch it with me.  The great mystery behind the Guns of Navarone was about to be revealed, and I can still remember the anticipation and the excitement of spending some special time with my Dad.  Alas, my little eyelids failed me, and I fell fast asleep before the movie started. 

Still, every time I watch The Guns of Navarone, a little bit of that childood emotion reawakens.  :-)

Literally, hours of fun!

Bonus Links:

The Guns of Navarone Trailer

The Guns of Navarone Theme

The Guns Of Navarone Soundtrack Suite

The Guns of Navarone Theme Song

Up in the air Juinor Birdman!  Up in the air...

NOTE:  War Movie Wednesday is an opportunity for me to feature a few of my favorite war/war related movies on the blog.  Maybe not technically the "best" war movies or even "great" movies, but films I've enjoyed for one reason or another.  Interesting and entertaining enough to watch during hobby time at least.  Something that can be found for free on YouTube and played on your computer or similar gadget sitting by your hobby area.  Unfortunately these posts are also limited in choice and quality by what I can find on YouTube, which also includes putting up with subtitles from time to time.



  1. Sorry to get this out a little late this week. Spent yesterday helping my parents with their flooded basement. :-(

    Anyway, enjoy the movie and sorry again for the subtitles. :-/

  2. This really is one of the classics! It has survived quite admirably over the time and still doesn't look too corny. I've watched this far too many times, but heck it was everything that a Commando reading little kid could want from a war movie

    1. Looking forward to watching it again this weekend! :-)

  3. Absolute classic Dit this one - love it!

  4. Another classic ... and one I played along to with my airfix toy soldiers and the coastal gun battery set they did... as you say... hours of fun...

  5. Yeah, it doesn't get much better than playing with a "mountain with guns!!" :-)

  6. Great movie indeed! And the sequel isn't bad to!



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