The Guns of Navarone

release year: 1961
genre: WWII action
viewing setting: home DVD, 7/30/04

synopsis: During World War 2, a whole bunch of Allied soldiers are trapped in enemy territory, and a rescue operation is prevented by a German fortress with two gigantic guns that can sink anything. So, a small team of commandos is sent to destroy the guns and clear the way for a rescue.

impressions: This is old-time (1960s) war movie making at its best...a throwback to a generation that will soon be passed by. Movies from this era don't rely on excessive violence or gore or one-liners. The cliches of current films are not present. When someone gets shot, they die. A single knife-stab or -throw is enough to neutralize an enemy soldier for good. Ah, for the old days. Now, about this's got a lot of action and runs for almost three hours. We get mountain climbing, car chases, firefights, knife-throwing, local resistance rebels, disguise, explosives, treachery, and so much more. This is old-time war movie action in its prime.

something this movie has that no other movie has: Twin cannons that can sink anything, even a battleship.

acting: Gregory Peck is the American officer who takes charge of the mission and has to make the hard decisions. Anthony Quayle is the British officer who only gets to be in charge for a short time. David Niven is the explosives expert who isn't really a tough guy like the rest. Anthony Quinn is the Greek rebel who is both distant and personable. There are others, but these are the main roles.

final word: Good old-style war movie; a bit long.

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