Guns of Navarone [1961]

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 Stills from The Guns of Navarone(click for larger image) Beyond The Guns of Navarone at Amazon.com More Military & War Films More Gregory Peck Films More Classic Films

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