(Review originally written at 11 July 2006)

Sometimes I really miss adventurous WW II movies being made. Movies such as "Where Eagles Dare", "Kelly's Heroes" and "The Eagle Has Landed". They were always carefully made with lots of eye for entertainment and had a star-filled cast, with wonderful actors. This movie is right up there with the very best and most entertaining adventurous WW II movies. The sentence; 'they don't make them like this anymore', certainly applies here.

The movie has a wonderful adventurous and heroic story about a small group of Allied soldiers who are send on a mission to destroy two enormous guns at a small Greek island, in order to make the evacuation by sea of 2000 fellow Allied soldiers at a nearby island succeed. Of course lots of things go wrong and lots of action occurs. They get into some serious situations but often also manage to get out of it, thanks to some often unlikely but always entertaining occurrence. Yes, the story is certainly one of the biggest reasons why this movie is a very great and especially memorable one. The story is based on the novel by Alistair MacLean, who of course knew how to write an entertaining, adventurous WW II story.

But probably the main reason why this movie is regarded as being an absolute classic, is due to the cast. There are some impressive and much respected names out of the business present in this movie. Gregory Peck was one of the best actors who ever lived and further more the movie has Anthony Quinn and David Niven in the most significant roles. Every actor in the movie plays an interesting character. The story is mainly set around the small group of 6 Allied soldiers whose mission it is to destroy the guns of Navarone. Every character is deliciously stereotypical and has his very own specialty. The characters suit in perfectly with the adventurous and entertaining story. The actors that portray them make their characters even more enjoyable and great to watch. Gregory Peck is a great leading man and he has some great chemistry with especially Anthony Quinn. David Niven plays the sort of comic relief and his character has got some of the best lines of the movie.

It's sort of too bad that the movie had two prominent female characters in it. Nothing wrong with female emancipation in war movies but the characters need to serve a significant purpose. The movie could had easily done without the female characters and to be honest it makes the movie perhaps drag a little on at points, due to some needless slow sequences. Basically this movie is one of those typical ultimate man movies, in which female characters should have no part in. It just didn't feel fitting. No offense ladies, I still love you!

The movie is long but the pace is high, thanks to the nimble editing and lots of action filled sequences that are present in the movie. It makes "The Guns of Navarone" a delightful 158 minutes that provides almost non-stop entertainment and action.

The movie has some great looking settings and the action sequences are well directed and brought to the screen. It gives the movie a sort of an epic feeling overall. The unforgettable musical score by Dimitri Tiomkin also certainly does add to the movie its epic and adventurous feeling.

One of the earliest- and also best and most entertaining WW II movies.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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