The Guns of Navarone


2h 37m 1961
The Guns of Navarone

Brief Synopsis

A team of Allied saboteurs fight their way behind enemy lines to destroy a pair of Nazi guns.

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
War
Adaptation
Adventure
Drama
Release Date
Jul 1, 1961
Premiere Information
New York opening: 22 Jun 1961
Production Company
Open Road Films, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Rhodes, Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean (London, 1957).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 37m
Sound
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints), Mono (35 mm prints)
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

In 1943, an Allied force becomes trapped on the island of Kheros in the Aegean Sea. The only possible way to evacuate the men is through a small channel dominated by two huge German guns buried deep in the solid rocks of Navarone. Because the guns are impregnable against air or sea attack, a sabotage team of six is sent to Navarone in a desperate attempt to destroy the massive weapons. Security officer Major Franklin leads the commandos, who include: Captain Mallory, a world-famous mountaineer; Corporal Miller, an explosives expert; Col. Andrea Stavros, a Greek resistance fighter; Pvt. Spyros Pappadimos, a New York--educated delinquent who was born on Navarone; and C. P. O. Brown, a veteran knife fighter. After sinking a German patrol boat, the little group loses its own vessel in a violent storm.

The men reach shore with their gear, however, and succeed in scaling a sheer cliff face, the only unguarded approach to Navarone. In the ascent Franklin breaks his leg, and Mallory assumes command. The saboteurs then make contact with two resistance fighters (Spyros' sister, Maria, and a former schoolteacher, Anna, who has been shocked into dumbness by Nazi torture). Despite the aid of the two women, the commandos are captured by the Germans. Andrea tricks the Nazi guards, and the saboteurs escape in their captors' uniforms. As they approach the guns, they learn that Anna is a traitor, feigning muteness while supplying the Germans with the group's positions. Realizing she must be killed, Mallory draws his pistol, but it is Maria who fires the fatal bullet.

Mallory and Miller then sneak into the fortress and set their explosives, while the others divert the attention of the Germans. Brown and Spyros are killed in the fighting, but the remainder of the group escape to the sea. At midnight British destroyers move into the channel and head for Kheros. As the giant weapons swing into action, a tremendous explosion shatters the entire cliff and the guns of Navarone crash into the sea.

Crew

Leon Becker

Associate Producer

Monty Berman

Costumes

Lt. Gen. Fritz Beyerlein

Technical Advisor

Harold Buck

Production Manager

Robert Cartwright

Draughtsman

Denys Coop

Camera Operator

John Cox

Sound Recording

Jack W. Davies

Boom Operator

Pamela Davies

Cont

Geoffrey Drake

Art Director-prod Designer

Cecil F. Ford

Associate Producer

Carl Foreman

Producer

Maurice Fowler

Set Dresser

George Frost

Makeup chief

Geoffrey Glover

1st Assistant 2d unit

Vivian C. Greenham

Sound Editing

Oswald Hafenrichter

Associate Editor

Lt. Gen. P. J. Hands

Technical Advisor

Highroad Productions

Presented By

Lt. Col. P. F. Kertemelidis

Technical Advisor

Maj. W. D. Langham

Technical Advisor

Maj. P. M. Lazaridis

Technical Advisor

Olga Lehmann

Wardrobe Designer

Albert Lott

Camera grip

Dudley Lovell

Camera op 2d unit

Ronnie Maasz

Camera Assistant

Roy Millichip

Assistant Director

Douglas Milsone

2d Assistant 2d unit

G. J. Moodey

Carpenter

Joan Morduch

1st Assistant Editor

Oswald Morris

Director of Photography

Bernard Murrell

Props

Golda Offenheim

Prod Secretary

Alan Osbiston

Film Editor

Raymond Poulton

Associate Editor

Michael Rutter

2d Camera Assistant

Wally Schneiderman

Makeup Artist

Sinfonia Of London

Music perf by

Joan Smallwood

Hairdresser

John Victor Smith

Associate Editor

George Stephenson

Sound Recording

Jack Sullivan

Chief Electrician

Cmdr. John Theologitis

Technical Advisor

Dimitri Tiomkin

Music comp & Conductor

Brig. Gen. D. S. T. Turnbull

Technical Advisor

Lee Turner

2d unit cont

Jimmy Turrell

1st Assistant 2d unit

Wally Veevers

Special Effects

Bill Warrington

Special Effects

Ernie Webb

Sound Camera op

John Wilcox

Director of Photographer 2d unit

Frank Willson

Assistant art Director

Peter Yates

Assistant Director

Photo Collections

The Guns of Navarone - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Fox's The Guns of Navarone (1961), starring Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Anthony Quinn. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Guns of Navarone, The (1961) -- (Movie Clip) I Am No Spy! The big scene for native Greek Stavros (Anthony Quinn), scheming to help partner Mallory (Gregory Peck) and the rest of the undercover Allied commando team escape from Nazi occupiers (Walter Gotell, George Mikell) in The Guns of Navarone, 1961.
Guns of Navarone, The (1961) -- (Movie Clip) These Are Fine People Mallory (Gregory Peck) leads his incognito Allied commandos into a Nazi-occupied Greek town, Pappadimos (James Darren) joining in wedding festivities, before trouble arises, in The Guns of Navarone, 1961.
Guns of Navarone, The (1961) -- (Movie Clip) Suppose They Use The Old-Fashioned Methods? Famous tirade from David Niven as Brit Miller, expressing disgust toward Mallory (Gregory Peck) when he learns of his plan to exploit the interrogation of a captured colleague in the WWII commando thriller The Guns of Navarone, 1961.
Guns of Navarone, The (1961) -- (Movie Clip) Lower Your Sails On their way through the Aegean on their undercover commando mission, posing as local fishermen, Mallory (Gregory Peck) and crew (Anthony Quinn, David Niven, Anthony Quayle, Stanley Baker, James Darren) are waylaid by a Nazi gunboat in The Guns of Navarone, 1961.
Guns of Navarone, The (1961) -- (Movie Clip) It Had To Be Tried After much prologue, we meet Jensen, Mallory and Franklin (James Robertson Justice, Gregory Peck and Anthony Quayle), who hear profane testimony from Australian Banrsby (Richard Harris) as they confront the problem of the guns on the Aegean island, early in The Guns of Navarone, 1961.

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

MPAA Rating
Genre
War
Adaptation
Adventure
Drama
Release Date
Jul 1, 1961
Premiere Information
New York opening: 22 Jun 1961
Production Company
Open Road Films, Ltd.
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Rhodes, Dodecanese Islands, Greece
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean (London, 1957).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 37m
Sound
70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints), Mono (35 mm prints)
Color
Color (Eastmancolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Award Wins

Best Special Effects

1962

Award Nominations

Best Director

1961
J Lee Thompson

Best Editing

1961
Alan Osbiston

Best Picture

1961

Best Score

1961

Best Sound

1961

Best Writing, Screenplay

1962

Articles

The Essentials - The Guns of Navarone


SYNOPSIS

To save British ships under siege in the Aegean Sea during World War II, a group of six specialists penetrate enemy lines to take out a fortress whose gigantic guns stand guard over the only escape route. When the team's commander is injured while landing during a storm at sea, mountain-climbing expert Capt. Mallory takes over, forcing him to work closely with a resistance fighter who once lost his family as a result of Mallory's actions. The team must overcome personal differences, harsh weather and a traitor in their midst, to take out the mighty guns of Navarone and help turn the course of the war in the Allies' favor.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Producer: Carl Foreman
Screenplay: Carl Foreman
Based on the novel The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean
Cinematography: Oswald Morris
Editing: Alan Osbiston
Art Direction: Geoffrey Drake
Music: Dimitri Tiomkin
Cast: Gregory Peck (Capt. Keith Mallory), David Niven (Cpl. Miller), Anthony Quinn (Col. Andrea Stavros), Stanley Baker (Pvt. "Butcher" Brown), Anthony Quayle (Maj. Roy Franklin), Irene Papas (Maria Pappadimos), Gia Scala (Anna), James Darren (Pvt. Spyros Pappadimos), James Robertson Justice (Commodore Jensen), Richard Harris (Squadron Leader Howard Barnsby), Bryan Forbes (Cohn)
C-157m.

Why THE GUNS OF NAVARONE is Essential

The Guns of Navarone was among the first of the "global productions" that started in the '60s and continue to this day. With a cast assembled from a variety of nations (the U.S., England, Mexico, Greece, Ireland and Wales), the film was designed to have the widest possible appeal at the international box office.

The picture was the first of Alistair MacLean's best-selling adventure novels brought to the screen. Its success inspired such later hits as Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare (both 1968). Starting in 1971, many of his adaptations actually featured his name in their titles, including The Guns of Navarone's 1978 sequel, billed in some areas as Alistair MacLean's Force 10 from Navarone.

The Guns of Navarone built on the variation in the action genre pioneered by The Magnificent Seven (1960), focusing on a team of specialists each of whom brings his or her personal skill to a dangerous mission. By transposing the plot to the military, it paved the way for such later hits as The Dirty Dozen (1967), Tobruk (1967) and The Green Berets (1968).

The Guns of Navarone was Gregory Peck's most successful film at the box office until The Omen in 1976.

Peck and director J. Lee Thompson would re-team for three other films, including the psychological thriller Cape Fear (1962).

by Frank Miller
The Essentials - The Guns Of Navarone

The Essentials - The Guns of Navarone

SYNOPSIS To save British ships under siege in the Aegean Sea during World War II, a group of six specialists penetrate enemy lines to take out a fortress whose gigantic guns stand guard over the only escape route. When the team's commander is injured while landing during a storm at sea, mountain-climbing expert Capt. Mallory takes over, forcing him to work closely with a resistance fighter who once lost his family as a result of Mallory's actions. The team must overcome personal differences, harsh weather and a traitor in their midst, to take out the mighty guns of Navarone and help turn the course of the war in the Allies' favor. Director: J. Lee Thompson Producer: Carl Foreman Screenplay: Carl Foreman Based on the novel The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean Cinematography: Oswald Morris Editing: Alan Osbiston Art Direction: Geoffrey Drake Music: Dimitri Tiomkin Cast: Gregory Peck (Capt. Keith Mallory), David Niven (Cpl. Miller), Anthony Quinn (Col. Andrea Stavros), Stanley Baker (Pvt. "Butcher" Brown), Anthony Quayle (Maj. Roy Franklin), Irene Papas (Maria Pappadimos), Gia Scala (Anna), James Darren (Pvt. Spyros Pappadimos), James Robertson Justice (Commodore Jensen), Richard Harris (Squadron Leader Howard Barnsby), Bryan Forbes (Cohn) C-157m. Why THE GUNS OF NAVARONE is Essential The Guns of Navarone was among the first of the "global productions" that started in the '60s and continue to this day. With a cast assembled from a variety of nations (the U.S., England, Mexico, Greece, Ireland and Wales), the film was designed to have the widest possible appeal at the international box office. The picture was the first of Alistair MacLean's best-selling adventure novels brought to the screen. Its success inspired such later hits as Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare (both 1968). Starting in 1971, many of his adaptations actually featured his name in their titles, including The Guns of Navarone's 1978 sequel, billed in some areas as Alistair MacLean's Force 10 from Navarone. The Guns of Navarone built on the variation in the action genre pioneered by The Magnificent Seven (1960), focusing on a team of specialists each of whom brings his or her personal skill to a dangerous mission. By transposing the plot to the military, it paved the way for such later hits as The Dirty Dozen (1967), Tobruk (1967) and The Green Berets (1968). The Guns of Navarone was Gregory Peck's most successful film at the box office until The Omen in 1976. Peck and director J. Lee Thompson would re-team for three other films, including the psychological thriller Cape Fear (1962). by Frank Miller

Pop Culture 101 - The Guns of Navarone


In 1964, the Skatalites and Al Caiola recorded an instrumental version of The Guns of Navarone's main title and released it as "The Guns of Navarone." The melody has been picked up by groups as diverse as the reggae band The Upsetters and the Finnish ska group Jazzbaners.

In 1967 producer Carl Foreman announced plans to film Alistair MacLean's sequel, Force 10 from Navarone, but it was not made until 1978. By that point, Foreman had stepped down as producer, though he was still credited for creating the initial story adaptation. The film focused on a mission sending the survivors from the first film to destroy an enemy bridge in Yugoslavia. Robert Shaw took over Gregory Peck's role, with Edward Fox standing in for David Niven and Harrison Ford for Richard Harris. The film was not as successful as its predecessor.

In My Science Project (1985), a character says "I feel like Gregory Peck in The Guns of Navarone."

The 1987 video game Metal Gear features a mission inspired by The Guns of Navarone.

In 1993, a restored print of The Guns of Navarone premiered as the opening night attraction at the UCLA Festival of Preservation. Under the guidance of UCLA's Bob Gitts, technicians spent two years restoring the film's print and soundtrack to their original condition.

In 1997, BBC Radio 2 presented a two-hour adaptation of MacLean's novel starring Toby Stephens as Mallory and David Rintoul as Andrea.

One of the missions in the 2005 video game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is called "The Guns of Leone."

by Frank Miller

Pop Culture 101 - The Guns of Navarone

In 1964, the Skatalites and Al Caiola recorded an instrumental version of The Guns of Navarone's main title and released it as "The Guns of Navarone." The melody has been picked up by groups as diverse as the reggae band The Upsetters and the Finnish ska group Jazzbaners. In 1967 producer Carl Foreman announced plans to film Alistair MacLean's sequel, Force 10 from Navarone, but it was not made until 1978. By that point, Foreman had stepped down as producer, though he was still credited for creating the initial story adaptation. The film focused on a mission sending the survivors from the first film to destroy an enemy bridge in Yugoslavia. Robert Shaw took over Gregory Peck's role, with Edward Fox standing in for David Niven and Harrison Ford for Richard Harris. The film was not as successful as its predecessor. In My Science Project (1985), a character says "I feel like Gregory Peck in The Guns of Navarone." The 1987 video game Metal Gear features a mission inspired by The Guns of Navarone. In 1993, a restored print of The Guns of Navarone premiered as the opening night attraction at the UCLA Festival of Preservation. Under the guidance of UCLA's Bob Gitts, technicians spent two years restoring the film's print and soundtrack to their original condition. In 1997, BBC Radio 2 presented a two-hour adaptation of MacLean's novel starring Toby Stephens as Mallory and David Rintoul as Andrea. One of the missions in the 2005 video game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is called "The Guns of Leone." by Frank Miller

Trivia - The Guns of Navarone - Trivia & Fun Facts About THE GUNS OF NAVARONE


Anthony Quayle was an apt choice for the cast of The Guns of Navarone as he had helped organize guerilla fighters in Albania during World War II.

Because of his ability to get the international cast, which featured several alpha males, to work together peaceably, director J. Lee Thompson won the nickname "Mighty Mouse" on the set.

Anthony Quinn brought several portable chess sets to the film's location, and chess not only became the main off-screen pastime, but served to defuse any rivalries among the film's stars.

Peck saw The Guns of Navarone as a mixture of a love story and a Keystone Kops caper. He informed producer-writer Carl Foreman of his interpretation of the film's subtext: "David Niven really loves Tony Quayle and Gregory Peck loves Anthony Quinn. Tony Quayle breaks his leg and is sent off to the hospital. Tony Quinn falls in love with Irene Pappas, and David Niven and Peck catch each other on the rebound and live happily ever after." Foreman responded, "Greg, you clever rascal, you've caught me out."

Peck thought the film bordered on parody by suggesting that five men defeated the entire German Army. In his opinion, the only key to making it work was for the actors to play their roles with complete conviction.

During studio work at Shepperton Studios in England, Peck and his wife's rented house was robbed one night while they were at the theatre. Police suspected an inside job and discovered the star's driver, Mike, had a criminal record. Despite their suspicions, Peck refused to fire Mike and, when filming was completed, gifted him and some others who had worked closely with him with gold watches from Cartier's. Shortly after returning to Hollywood, Peck received a call from the famed jewelers asking if he had authorized Mike to pick up another dozen watches as gifts for various crewmembers. Mike then rented a hotel suite in Peck's name, claiming the actor needed it for post-production work but actually staying in it himself. At that point, the police stepped in and put Mike back in jail.

Peck was so impressed with Thompson's work that before filming was even completed he offered him the chance to direct his next film, Cape Fear (1962), which he was producing through his own company.

Quinn insisted on wearing a red undershirt beneath his costume even though it was rarely seen in costume tests. When the costume got wet, however, as happened often, the undershirt stood out strongly. Peck would later say Quinn did it to steal focus.

Quinn enjoyed the location work so much he bought property on the island of Rhodes. In recognition, the government renamed an inlet "Anthony Quinn Bay."

Niven's character is a member of the Light Infantry, the same regiment in which the actor had served in World War II.

Because of the stars' advanced ages, the British press dubbed The Guns of Navarone "Elderly Gang Goes Off to War."

Watch closely during the early scene at the airfield, and you'll see a 1960s pick-up truck to the right, even though the film is set in 1943.

The German soldiers use metal detectors to search for bombs in the gun positions, even when searching around metal railroad tracks.

The film's opening incorrectly attributes the sinking of the HMS Barham to the eponymous guns, but the Barham was sunk by a u-boat (not to mention the fact that the guns are totally fictional creations).

Future Oscar®-winner John Schlesinger, then a director of television documentaries, was hired by Foreman to shoot a promotional film on the making of The Guns of Navarone. After months of troubled location shooting, including run-ins with the film's first director, Alexander Mackendrick, Schlesinger had a large amount of what he considered useless film. Eventually, Foreman had it cut into short promotion films which were used to sell the picture, and the U.S. Coast Guard used footage of Peck and his wife touring one of their ships for a 12-minute promotional short shown on U.S. television.

With a $13 million box-office take domestically, on a then-large investment of $6 million, The Guns of Navarone was the top-grossing film of 1961.

by Frank Miller

Memorable Quotes From THE GUNS OF NAVARONE

"Greece and the islands of the Aegean Sea have given birth to many myths and legends of war and adventure. And these once-proud stones, these ruined and shattered temples bear witness to the civilization that flourished and then died here and to the demigods and heroes who inspired those legends on this sea and these islands. But, though the stage is the same, ours is a legend of our own times, and its heroes are not demigods, but ordinary people. In 1943, so the story goes, 2,000 British soldiers lay marooned on the tiny island of Kheros, exhausted and helpless. They had exactly one week to live, for in Berlin the Axis high command had determined on a show of strength in the Aegean Sea to bully neutral Turkey into coming into the war on their side. The scene of that demonstration was to be Kheros, itself of no military value, but only a few miles off the coast of Turkey. The cream of the German war machine, rested and ready, was to spearhead the attack, and the men on Kheros were doomed unless they could be evacuated before the blitz. But the only passage to and from Kheros was guarded and blocked by two great, newly designed, radar-controlled guns on the nearby island of Navarone. Guns too powerful and accurate for any allied ship then in the Aegean to challenge. Allied intelligence learned of the projected blitz only one week before the appointed date. What took place in the next six days became the legend of Navarone." -- Prologue, spoken by James Robertson Justice.

"...we'd love to go back! Wouldn't we boys? Just as soon as we can! BUT -- we've got one condition. We want the joker who thought this one up to come with us. And when we get there, we're gonna shove him out at ten thousand feet -- without a parachute." -- Richard Harris, as Squadron Leader Howard Barnsby, on the first attempt to take out the German fort on Navarone.

"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." -- Harris, as Squadron Leader Howard Barnsby, explaining the mission.

"Captain, I'm concerned about this vessel. It's taking on water."
"Why does that concern you?"
"I can't swim." -- David Niven, as Cpl. Miller, and Gregory Peck, as Capt. Keith Mallory.

"Why me?"
"Well, you speak German like a German, Greek like a Greek and before the war you were the greatest mountain climber in the world." -- Peck, as Capt. Keith Mallory, questioning why Anthony Quayle, as the injured Maj. Roy Franklin, has chosen him to take charge of the mission.

"There is of course a third choice. One bullet now. Better for him, better for us. You take that man along, you endanger us all."
"Why don't we just drop him off the cliff and save a bullet?"
"And why don't you shut up? Yes, there's a third choice. We'll make it if necessary, when it's necessary, and not before." -- Anthony Quinn as Col. Andrea Stavros, David Niven, as Cpl. Miller and Peck as Mallory, debating what to do with Quayle, as Maj. Roy Franklin.

"The only way to win a war is to be as nasty as the enemy." – Peck as Mallory.

"There's always a way to blow up explosives. The trick is not to be around when they go off." -- Niven, as Corporal Miller.

"You may find me facetious from time to time, but if I didn't make some rather bad jokes I'd go out of my mind." -- Niven, as Miller.

"If we're going to get this job done she has got to be killed! And we all know how keen you are about getting the job done! Now I can't speak for the others but I've never killed a woman, traitor or not, and I'm finicky! So why don't you do it? Let us off for once! Go on, be a pal, be a father to your men! Climb down off that cross of yours, close your eyes, think of England, and pull the trigger! What do you say, sir?" -- Niven, to Peck, on the need to kill Nazi informant Gia Scala, as Anna.

"You think I wanted this, any of this, you're out of your mind, I was trapped like you, just like anyone who put on the uniform!" -- Peck.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't think we could do it."
"To tell you the truth, neither did I." -- Niven and Peck, delivering the film's last lines.

"Six men come to save two thousand men
Two thousand men, the brave and the bold
For whom the bells have tolled.
Six men come to scale the hills above
Here where the gods were,
Think what the odds were - six men." -- Mitch Miller's Chorus, singing the title song over the final credits.

SOURCES:
Michael Freedland, Gregory Peck

Trivia - The Guns of Navarone - Trivia & Fun Facts About THE GUNS OF NAVARONE

Anthony Quayle was an apt choice for the cast of The Guns of Navarone as he had helped organize guerilla fighters in Albania during World War II. Because of his ability to get the international cast, which featured several alpha males, to work together peaceably, director J. Lee Thompson won the nickname "Mighty Mouse" on the set. Anthony Quinn brought several portable chess sets to the film's location, and chess not only became the main off-screen pastime, but served to defuse any rivalries among the film's stars. Peck saw The Guns of Navarone as a mixture of a love story and a Keystone Kops caper. He informed producer-writer Carl Foreman of his interpretation of the film's subtext: "David Niven really loves Tony Quayle and Gregory Peck loves Anthony Quinn. Tony Quayle breaks his leg and is sent off to the hospital. Tony Quinn falls in love with Irene Pappas, and David Niven and Peck catch each other on the rebound and live happily ever after." Foreman responded, "Greg, you clever rascal, you've caught me out." Peck thought the film bordered on parody by suggesting that five men defeated the entire German Army. In his opinion, the only key to making it work was for the actors to play their roles with complete conviction. During studio work at Shepperton Studios in England, Peck and his wife's rented house was robbed one night while they were at the theatre. Police suspected an inside job and discovered the star's driver, Mike, had a criminal record. Despite their suspicions, Peck refused to fire Mike and, when filming was completed, gifted him and some others who had worked closely with him with gold watches from Cartier's. Shortly after returning to Hollywood, Peck received a call from the famed jewelers asking if he had authorized Mike to pick up another dozen watches as gifts for various crewmembers. Mike then rented a hotel suite in Peck's name, claiming the actor needed it for post-production work but actually staying in it himself. At that point, the police stepped in and put Mike back in jail. Peck was so impressed with Thompson's work that before filming was even completed he offered him the chance to direct his next film, Cape Fear (1962), which he was producing through his own company. Quinn insisted on wearing a red undershirt beneath his costume even though it was rarely seen in costume tests. When the costume got wet, however, as happened often, the undershirt stood out strongly. Peck would later say Quinn did it to steal focus. Quinn enjoyed the location work so much he bought property on the island of Rhodes. In recognition, the government renamed an inlet "Anthony Quinn Bay." Niven's character is a member of the Light Infantry, the same regiment in which the actor had served in World War II. Because of the stars' advanced ages, the British press dubbed The Guns of Navarone "Elderly Gang Goes Off to War." Watch closely during the early scene at the airfield, and you'll see a 1960s pick-up truck to the right, even though the film is set in 1943. The German soldiers use metal detectors to search for bombs in the gun positions, even when searching around metal railroad tracks. The film's opening incorrectly attributes the sinking of the HMS Barham to the eponymous guns, but the Barham was sunk by a u-boat (not to mention the fact that the guns are totally fictional creations). Future Oscar®-winner John Schlesinger, then a director of television documentaries, was hired by Foreman to shoot a promotional film on the making of The Guns of Navarone. After months of troubled location shooting, including run-ins with the film's first director, Alexander Mackendrick, Schlesinger had a large amount of what he considered useless film. Eventually, Foreman had it cut into short promotion films which were used to sell the picture, and the U.S. Coast Guard used footage of Peck and his wife touring one of their ships for a 12-minute promotional short shown on U.S. television. With a $13 million box-office take domestically, on a then-large investment of $6 million, The Guns of Navarone was the top-grossing film of 1961. by Frank Miller Memorable Quotes From THE GUNS OF NAVARONE "Greece and the islands of the Aegean Sea have given birth to many myths and legends of war and adventure. And these once-proud stones, these ruined and shattered temples bear witness to the civilization that flourished and then died here and to the demigods and heroes who inspired those legends on this sea and these islands. But, though the stage is the same, ours is a legend of our own times, and its heroes are not demigods, but ordinary people. In 1943, so the story goes, 2,000 British soldiers lay marooned on the tiny island of Kheros, exhausted and helpless. They had exactly one week to live, for in Berlin the Axis high command had determined on a show of strength in the Aegean Sea to bully neutral Turkey into coming into the war on their side. The scene of that demonstration was to be Kheros, itself of no military value, but only a few miles off the coast of Turkey. The cream of the German war machine, rested and ready, was to spearhead the attack, and the men on Kheros were doomed unless they could be evacuated before the blitz. But the only passage to and from Kheros was guarded and blocked by two great, newly designed, radar-controlled guns on the nearby island of Navarone. Guns too powerful and accurate for any allied ship then in the Aegean to challenge. Allied intelligence learned of the projected blitz only one week before the appointed date. What took place in the next six days became the legend of Navarone." -- Prologue, spoken by James Robertson Justice. "...we'd love to go back! Wouldn't we boys? Just as soon as we can! BUT -- we've got one condition. We want the joker who thought this one up to come with us. And when we get there, we're gonna shove him out at ten thousand feet -- without a parachute." -- Richard Harris, as Squadron Leader Howard Barnsby, on the first attempt to take out the German fort on Navarone. "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." -- Harris, as Squadron Leader Howard Barnsby, explaining the mission. "Captain, I'm concerned about this vessel. It's taking on water." "Why does that concern you?" "I can't swim." -- David Niven, as Cpl. Miller, and Gregory Peck, as Capt. Keith Mallory. "Why me?" "Well, you speak German like a German, Greek like a Greek and before the war you were the greatest mountain climber in the world." -- Peck, as Capt. Keith Mallory, questioning why Anthony Quayle, as the injured Maj. Roy Franklin, has chosen him to take charge of the mission. "There is of course a third choice. One bullet now. Better for him, better for us. You take that man along, you endanger us all." "Why don't we just drop him off the cliff and save a bullet?" "And why don't you shut up? Yes, there's a third choice. We'll make it if necessary, when it's necessary, and not before." -- Anthony Quinn as Col. Andrea Stavros, David Niven, as Cpl. Miller and Peck as Mallory, debating what to do with Quayle, as Maj. Roy Franklin. "The only way to win a war is to be as nasty as the enemy." – Peck as Mallory. "There's always a way to blow up explosives. The trick is not to be around when they go off." -- Niven, as Corporal Miller. "You may find me facetious from time to time, but if I didn't make some rather bad jokes I'd go out of my mind." -- Niven, as Miller. "If we're going to get this job done she has got to be killed! And we all know how keen you are about getting the job done! Now I can't speak for the others but I've never killed a woman, traitor or not, and I'm finicky! So why don't you do it? Let us off for once! Go on, be a pal, be a father to your men! Climb down off that cross of yours, close your eyes, think of England, and pull the trigger! What do you say, sir?" -- Niven, to Peck, on the need to kill Nazi informant Gia Scala, as Anna. "You think I wanted this, any of this, you're out of your mind, I was trapped like you, just like anyone who put on the uniform!" -- Peck. "To tell you the truth, I didn't think we could do it." "To tell you the truth, neither did I." -- Niven and Peck, delivering the film's last lines. "Six men come to save two thousand men Two thousand men, the brave and the bold For whom the bells have tolled. Six men come to scale the hills above Here where the gods were, Think what the odds were - six men." -- Mitch Miller's Chorus, singing the title song over the final credits. SOURCES: Michael Freedland, Gregory Peck

The Big Idea - The Guns of Navarone


Scottish naval veteran Alistair MacLean drew on his knowledge of maritime warfare to write a series of short stories and novels that launched his career. For his second novel, The Guns of Navarone (1957), he drew on memories of the Aegean campaign in World War II to create a fact-based story of an attempt to blow-up a German fortress on the fictional island of Navarone.

After producing films with Stanley Kramer and writing the classic Western High Noon (1952), Carl Foreman fell victim to the blacklist for refusing to name names before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Unable to work in the U.S., he relocated to England, where he worked using pseudonyms and covers (his Oscar®-winning script for 1957's The Bridge on the River Kwai, co-written by fellow blacklistee Michael Wilson, was credited to the novel's author, Pierre Boulle).

In 1958, Foreman set up his own production company, Open Road Films, and started making films under his own name. In search of a vehicle that would reestablish his career, he bought the rights to Alistair MacLean's novel in 1958. From the start he planned to use international stars as the novel's six main characters.

Among the actors Foreman considered for the film were Cary Grant, Marlon Brando, William Holden, Gary Cooper, Rock Hudson, Alec Guinness, James Mason, Dean Martin, Trevor Howard, Jack Hawkins and Hugh O'Brian.

Foreman decided that Cary Grant, who was 50 at the time, was too old to play Capt. Mallory. Gregory Peck was only 44.

William Holden, who had worked with Foreman on The Key (1958), demanded $750,000 and ten percent of the gross to play Mallory. The producer turned him down, then wound up paying Peck the same amount.

After settling on David Niven for the role of the munitions expert, Foreman had to replace him with Kenneth More because of delays on Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1959). When More was held up on another film, Niven won his role back.

Although at the time Stanley Baker was one of England's top film actors, he accepted the relatively small role of Private "Butcher" Brown because he was impressed with the anti-war message Foreman had worked into the script.

James Darren's manager campaigned for a role for him in The Guns of Navarone hoping it would help him graduate from teen idol roles like the one he played in Gidget (1959).

To increase the film's box office appeal, Foreman wrote two female resistance fighters into the script.

To score the film, Foreman picked Dimitri Tiomkin, the Russian-born composer who had won an Oscar® for the producer-writer's earlier High Noon. The producer paid him $50,000, the highest amount ever paid for a film composer to that time.

Foreman hired Alexander Mackendrick to direct. The American-born director had made his mark directing such classic British comedies as The Man in the White Suit (1951) and The Ladykillers (1955), both starring Alec Guinness. He and Foreman had an argument a week before filming started, leading to his firing before any film had been exposed.

With Peck's approval, Foreman finally hired up-and-coming British director J. Lee Thompson. Among his qualifications was the fact that Thompson had served in World War II with the RAF. He arrived on location three days before shooting was to begin.

by Frank Miller

The Big Idea - The Guns of Navarone

Scottish naval veteran Alistair MacLean drew on his knowledge of maritime warfare to write a series of short stories and novels that launched his career. For his second novel, The Guns of Navarone (1957), he drew on memories of the Aegean campaign in World War II to create a fact-based story of an attempt to blow-up a German fortress on the fictional island of Navarone. After producing films with Stanley Kramer and writing the classic Western High Noon (1952), Carl Foreman fell victim to the blacklist for refusing to name names before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Unable to work in the U.S., he relocated to England, where he worked using pseudonyms and covers (his Oscar®-winning script for 1957's The Bridge on the River Kwai, co-written by fellow blacklistee Michael Wilson, was credited to the novel's author, Pierre Boulle). In 1958, Foreman set up his own production company, Open Road Films, and started making films under his own name. In search of a vehicle that would reestablish his career, he bought the rights to Alistair MacLean's novel in 1958. From the start he planned to use international stars as the novel's six main characters. Among the actors Foreman considered for the film were Cary Grant, Marlon Brando, William Holden, Gary Cooper, Rock Hudson, Alec Guinness, James Mason, Dean Martin, Trevor Howard, Jack Hawkins and Hugh O'Brian. Foreman decided that Cary Grant, who was 50 at the time, was too old to play Capt. Mallory. Gregory Peck was only 44. William Holden, who had worked with Foreman on The Key (1958), demanded $750,000 and ten percent of the gross to play Mallory. The producer turned him down, then wound up paying Peck the same amount. After settling on David Niven for the role of the munitions expert, Foreman had to replace him with Kenneth More because of delays on Please Don't Eat the Daisies (1959). When More was held up on another film, Niven won his role back. Although at the time Stanley Baker was one of England's top film actors, he accepted the relatively small role of Private "Butcher" Brown because he was impressed with the anti-war message Foreman had worked into the script. James Darren's manager campaigned for a role for him in The Guns of Navarone hoping it would help him graduate from teen idol roles like the one he played in Gidget (1959). To increase the film's box office appeal, Foreman wrote two female resistance fighters into the script. To score the film, Foreman picked Dimitri Tiomkin, the Russian-born composer who had won an Oscar® for the producer-writer's earlier High Noon. The producer paid him $50,000, the highest amount ever paid for a film composer to that time. Foreman hired Alexander Mackendrick to direct. The American-born director had made his mark directing such classic British comedies as The Man in the White Suit (1951) and The Ladykillers (1955), both starring Alec Guinness. He and Foreman had an argument a week before filming started, leading to his firing before any film had been exposed. With Peck's approval, Foreman finally hired up-and-coming British director J. Lee Thompson. Among his qualifications was the fact that Thompson had served in World War II with the RAF. He arrived on location three days before shooting was to begin. by Frank Miller

Behind the Camera - The Guns of Navarone


The Guns of Navarone featured location shooting on the island of Rhodes and studio work at Shepperton Studios in England.

The film's initial $2 million budget rose quickly thanks to the rigors of location shooting, including filming in areas that were only accessible by donkey and the need to hire 1,000 Greek soldiers to play the German army.

For the scenes set on the Aegean, the company rented a 55-foot boat, the Maria, from local fishermen.

For shots of the British Navy sailing the Aegean, the production rented battleships from the Greek Navy, even though all of their ships at the time were surplus U.S. ships.

Throughout shooting, Peck suggested re-writes to Foreman that would deepen Peck's character. Most of his ideas made it into The Guns of Navarone.

During shooting, 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.

The last sequence shot of The Guns of Navarone was the actual setting of the bombs by Gregory Peck and David Niven. With three days left to shoot, Niven was felled by an infection from a split lip sustained shooting in the studio tank. As doctors tried to identify the infection so they could treat it effectively, the production ground to a halt for a month. Finally, Niven defied his doctors' orders and returned to the set to finish the film before he had fully recovered. The relapse that resulted put him in the hospital for seven weeks.

To create a title song for the film, Paul Francis Webster created lyrics for Dimitri Tiomkin's title music. The song, which sums up the film's action, is performed over the final credits by Mitch Miller's Chorus.

The Guns of Navarone opened June 12, 1961 in two New York theatres, the Criterion and the Murray Hill, and quickly became a box-office hit.

For British prints, Richard Harris' use of the word "bloody" was replaced with "ruddy."

Columbia Pictures sold The Guns of Navarone with the tag line "An impregnable fortress...An invincible army...and the unstoppable commando team."

by Frank Miller

Behind the Camera - The Guns of Navarone

The Guns of Navarone featured location shooting on the island of Rhodes and studio work at Shepperton Studios in England. The film's initial $2 million budget rose quickly thanks to the rigors of location shooting, including filming in areas that were only accessible by donkey and the need to hire 1,000 Greek soldiers to play the German army. For the scenes set on the Aegean, the company rented a 55-foot boat, the Maria, from local fishermen. For shots of the British Navy sailing the Aegean, the production rented battleships from the Greek Navy, even though all of their ships at the time were surplus U.S. ships. Throughout shooting, Peck suggested re-writes to Foreman that would deepen Peck's character. Most of his ideas made it into The Guns of Navarone. During shooting, 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. The last sequence shot of The Guns of Navarone was the actual setting of the bombs by Gregory Peck and David Niven. With three days left to shoot, Niven was felled by an infection from a split lip sustained shooting in the studio tank. As doctors tried to identify the infection so they could treat it effectively, the production ground to a halt for a month. Finally, Niven defied his doctors' orders and returned to the set to finish the film before he had fully recovered. The relapse that resulted put him in the hospital for seven weeks. To create a title song for the film, Paul Francis Webster created lyrics for Dimitri Tiomkin's title music. The song, which sums up the film's action, is performed over the final credits by Mitch Miller's Chorus. The Guns of Navarone opened June 12, 1961 in two New York theatres, the Criterion and the Murray Hill, and quickly became a box-office hit. For British prints, Richard Harris' use of the word "bloody" was replaced with "ruddy." Columbia Pictures sold The Guns of Navarone with the tag line "An impregnable fortress...An invincible army...and the unstoppable commando team." by Frank Miller

The Guns of Navarone


Shortly after completing On the Beach (1959) for director Stanley Kramer, Gregory Peck joined forces with Kramer's former partner, Carl Foreman, for a rousing adventure tale based on Alistair MacLean's best-selling novel, The Guns of Navarone (1961). The story - a sabotage team of six are sent to the Aegean island of Navarone to destroy a Nazi military installation - was transformed into an unprecedented $6 million dollar production and filmed on location on the Island of Rhodes and at the Shepperton Studios in London. It ranked at number three for the year at the box office and would be Gregory Peck's most financially rewarding film (He received a percentage of the gross) until The Omen in 1976. More importantly, it garnered seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture and would effectively revive the career of screenwriter Carl Foreman who was also serving as executive producer on The Guns of Navarone.

Foreman was blacklisted from Hollywood after testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951 and had been living in self-imposed exile in England for years, working on scripts anonymously. By 1958, however, he resurfaced publicly as writer and executive producer on The Key. The Guns of Navarone marked his first foray into a new genre - the international blockbuster - and started a trend that would endure for years (Subsequent examples include The Longest Day (1962), The Secret Invasion (1964), and Tobruk,1967). The key to the success of The Guns of Navarone was the casting and Foreman was a master at it, assembling the ultimate movie commando team after some false starts. The first A-list teamed up Hugh O'Brian, Trevor Howard, Alec Guinness, Marlon Brando, and Cary Grant. A second list of possibilities included William Holden, Jack Hawkins, and Gary Cooper. The final lineup, however, couldn't be bettered and showcased Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, David Niven, Anthony Quayle, Stanley Baker, and James Darren.

As expected, there were problems to be overcome during production. Peck felt that the story was basically preposterous and required a major suspension of disbelief on the part of the audience. In Gregory Peck by Freedland, the actor said "Those commandos were performing miracles. Five or six commandos outwitting a whole German regiment, getting right into the middle of them, stealing their uniforms and masquerading as Nazis. Well, to do that, you have to do with the Nazis what Mack Sennett did with the Keystone Cops. There were 550 chances for them to kill us before we even set foot on the island, but we had to do it with total conviction, even though we were aware that it was flirting with parody."

Alexander MacKendrick, the first director on The Guns of Navarone, was fired and so was a second one before Foreman settled on J. Lee Thompson, a former pilot in the Royal Air Force who was quickly establishing himself as a top action director (Flame Over India,1959). Thompson's directing style was completely unorthodox. According to Anthony Quinn in his autobiography, One Man Tango, Thompson was "one of the few men I have known who was not afraid of change. He never did the same thing twice...He was a tiny man who carried a large sketchpad, and refused to read a script. I had never heard of anything like it. His direction consisted of one arbitrary decision after another: Gregory Peck would smoke a pipe; I would grab a knife and look menacing; David Niven would tinker with the dynamite....Thompson had a tossed-off piece of business for each of us. He never read a scene until he had to shoot it, and approached each shot on a whim. And yet the cumulative effect was astonishing. Lee Thompson made a marvelous picture, but how?"

It's true the odds were against him. There was rivalry between some of the actors. Anthony Quayle thought Anthony Quinn was difficult to work with and Niven was afraid he would be upstaged by other cast members, particularly Gregory Peck. But Thompson's unflappable temperament unified the ensemble cast and smoothed over other dilemmas like the hiring of a thousand Greek soldiers to play German troops or filming in a location that was only accessible by donkeys. Toward the end of production, Niven was almost drowned in a huge water tank while Thompson simulated a storm at sea. To add insult to injury, the actor also cut his lip on the water tank and developed septicemia which forced him into a month-long hospital stay.

Miraculously, The Guns of Navarone was completed without a fatality and at the 1961 Oscar ceremony the film scored a well deserved Oscar for its special effects which are particularly impressive in the final scenes when the big guns are destroyed. The film would belatedly inspire a sequel, Force 10 From Navarone (1978), with Robert Shaw and Harrison Ford, but it couldn't compare to the original in terms of sheer excitement.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Producer: Cecil F. Ford
Producer/Screenwriter: Carl Foreman
Cinematographer: Oswald Morris
Composer: Dimitri Tiomkin
Editor: Alan Osbiston
Production Designer: Geoffrey Drake
Songwriter: Alfred Perry, Paul Francis Webster
Costume Designer: Monty Berman, Olga Lehmann
Cast: Gregory Peck (Capt. Keith Mallory), David Niven (Corporal Miller), Anthony Quinn (Col. Andrea Stavrov), Stanley Baker (CPO Butcher Brown), Anthony Quayle (Maj. Roy Franklin), Richard Harris (Squadron Leader Barnsby), Irene Papas (Maria Pappadimos), James Darrin (Private Spyros Pappadimos), Gia Scala (Anna), James Robertson Justice (Commodore James Jensen)
C-157m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

by Jeff Stafford

The Guns of Navarone

Shortly after completing On the Beach (1959) for director Stanley Kramer, Gregory Peck joined forces with Kramer's former partner, Carl Foreman, for a rousing adventure tale based on Alistair MacLean's best-selling novel, The Guns of Navarone (1961). The story - a sabotage team of six are sent to the Aegean island of Navarone to destroy a Nazi military installation - was transformed into an unprecedented $6 million dollar production and filmed on location on the Island of Rhodes and at the Shepperton Studios in London. It ranked at number three for the year at the box office and would be Gregory Peck's most financially rewarding film (He received a percentage of the gross) until The Omen in 1976. More importantly, it garnered seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture and would effectively revive the career of screenwriter Carl Foreman who was also serving as executive producer on The Guns of Navarone. Foreman was blacklisted from Hollywood after testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1951 and had been living in self-imposed exile in England for years, working on scripts anonymously. By 1958, however, he resurfaced publicly as writer and executive producer on The Key. The Guns of Navarone marked his first foray into a new genre - the international blockbuster - and started a trend that would endure for years (Subsequent examples include The Longest Day (1962), The Secret Invasion (1964), and Tobruk,1967). The key to the success of The Guns of Navarone was the casting and Foreman was a master at it, assembling the ultimate movie commando team after some false starts. The first A-list teamed up Hugh O'Brian, Trevor Howard, Alec Guinness, Marlon Brando, and Cary Grant. A second list of possibilities included William Holden, Jack Hawkins, and Gary Cooper. The final lineup, however, couldn't be bettered and showcased Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, David Niven, Anthony Quayle, Stanley Baker, and James Darren. As expected, there were problems to be overcome during production. Peck felt that the story was basically preposterous and required a major suspension of disbelief on the part of the audience. In Gregory Peck by Freedland, the actor said "Those commandos were performing miracles. Five or six commandos outwitting a whole German regiment, getting right into the middle of them, stealing their uniforms and masquerading as Nazis. Well, to do that, you have to do with the Nazis what Mack Sennett did with the Keystone Cops. There were 550 chances for them to kill us before we even set foot on the island, but we had to do it with total conviction, even though we were aware that it was flirting with parody." Alexander MacKendrick, the first director on The Guns of Navarone, was fired and so was a second one before Foreman settled on J. Lee Thompson, a former pilot in the Royal Air Force who was quickly establishing himself as a top action director (Flame Over India,1959). Thompson's directing style was completely unorthodox. According to Anthony Quinn in his autobiography, One Man Tango, Thompson was "one of the few men I have known who was not afraid of change. He never did the same thing twice...He was a tiny man who carried a large sketchpad, and refused to read a script. I had never heard of anything like it. His direction consisted of one arbitrary decision after another: Gregory Peck would smoke a pipe; I would grab a knife and look menacing; David Niven would tinker with the dynamite....Thompson had a tossed-off piece of business for each of us. He never read a scene until he had to shoot it, and approached each shot on a whim. And yet the cumulative effect was astonishing. Lee Thompson made a marvelous picture, but how?" It's true the odds were against him. There was rivalry between some of the actors. Anthony Quayle thought Anthony Quinn was difficult to work with and Niven was afraid he would be upstaged by other cast members, particularly Gregory Peck. But Thompson's unflappable temperament unified the ensemble cast and smoothed over other dilemmas like the hiring of a thousand Greek soldiers to play German troops or filming in a location that was only accessible by donkeys. Toward the end of production, Niven was almost drowned in a huge water tank while Thompson simulated a storm at sea. To add insult to injury, the actor also cut his lip on the water tank and developed septicemia which forced him into a month-long hospital stay. Miraculously, The Guns of Navarone was completed without a fatality and at the 1961 Oscar ceremony the film scored a well deserved Oscar for its special effects which are particularly impressive in the final scenes when the big guns are destroyed. The film would belatedly inspire a sequel, Force 10 From Navarone (1978), with Robert Shaw and Harrison Ford, but it couldn't compare to the original in terms of sheer excitement. Director: J. Lee Thompson Producer: Cecil F. Ford Producer/Screenwriter: Carl Foreman Cinematographer: Oswald Morris Composer: Dimitri Tiomkin Editor: Alan Osbiston Production Designer: Geoffrey Drake Songwriter: Alfred Perry, Paul Francis Webster Costume Designer: Monty Berman, Olga Lehmann Cast: Gregory Peck (Capt. Keith Mallory), David Niven (Corporal Miller), Anthony Quinn (Col. Andrea Stavrov), Stanley Baker (CPO Butcher Brown), Anthony Quayle (Maj. Roy Franklin), Richard Harris (Squadron Leader Barnsby), Irene Papas (Maria Pappadimos), James Darrin (Private Spyros Pappadimos), Gia Scala (Anna), James Robertson Justice (Commodore James Jensen) C-157m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning. by Jeff Stafford

James Darren and Dick Dinman salute The Guns of Navarone Blu-ray Edition.


JAMES DARREN AND DICK DINMAN SALUTE "THE GUNS OF NAVARONE" (Part One): Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just released THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, one of the greatest WW2 adventure epics of all time, in a spectacular new Blu-ray edition and NAVARONE star and acclaimed actor, singer, teen idol and director James Darren regales producer/host Dick Dinman as he recalls his experiences working with Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn as well as details about his lasting friendship with Frank Sinatra and many other silver screen giants.

JAMES DARREN AND DICK DINMAN SALUTE "THE GUNS OF NAVARONE" (Part Two): The multi-talented James Darren returns to share more stories with producer/host Dick Dinman about his life and times as a Hollywood star, teen idol, singer and director on the occasion of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's release of a pristine Blu-ray edition of THE GUNS OF NAVARONE which stands taller than ever as one of the greatest WW2 blockbuster adventures in cinema history.

The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only weekly half hour show (broadcast every Friday 1:00-1:30 P.M. EST on WMPGFM) devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to the online archive.

James Darren and Dick Dinman salute The Guns of Navarone Blu-ray Edition.

JAMES DARREN AND DICK DINMAN SALUTE "THE GUNS OF NAVARONE" (Part One): Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has just released THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, one of the greatest WW2 adventure epics of all time, in a spectacular new Blu-ray edition and NAVARONE star and acclaimed actor, singer, teen idol and director James Darren regales producer/host Dick Dinman as he recalls his experiences working with Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn as well as details about his lasting friendship with Frank Sinatra and many other silver screen giants. JAMES DARREN AND DICK DINMAN SALUTE "THE GUNS OF NAVARONE" (Part Two): The multi-talented James Darren returns to share more stories with producer/host Dick Dinman about his life and times as a Hollywood star, teen idol, singer and director on the occasion of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's release of a pristine Blu-ray edition of THE GUNS OF NAVARONE which stands taller than ever as one of the greatest WW2 blockbuster adventures in cinema history. The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only weekly half hour show (broadcast every Friday 1:00-1:30 P.M. EST on WMPGFM) devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to the online archive.

Critics' Corner - The Guns of Navarone


AWARDS & HONORS

In its annual poll of critics and other industry reporters, Film Daily named The Guns of Navarone the best picture of the year.

Motion Picture Exhibitor Magazine gave the film its Golden Laurel for Top Drama and voted Gregory Peck third place for Top Male Dramatic Performance.

The Hollywood Foreign Press voted The Guns of Navarone Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Score (Dimitri Tiomkin).

The Guns of Navarone was nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Association (BAFTA) Award for Best British Screenplay.

J. Lee Thompson was nominated for the Directors Guild Award.

The Guns of Navarone received seven Oscar® nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Score and Best Sound. It won for Best Visual Effects.

Dimitri Tiomkin's soundtrack album was nominated for a Grammy.

The Critics' Corner: THE GUNS OF NAVARONE (1961)

"Guns is the sort of spectacular drama that can ignore any TV competition and, even with its flaws, should have patrons firmly riveted throughout its lengthy narrative. With a bunch of weighty stars, terrific special effects, several socko situations plus good camerawork and other technical okays, [producer Carl] Foreman and director J. Lee Thompson have sired a winner."
- Rich, Variety

"This big, robust action drama...is one of those muscle-loaded pictures in the thundering tradition of [Cecil B.] DeMille, which means more emphasis is placed on melodrama than on character or credibility....However, for anyone given to letting himself be entertained by scenes of explosive action and individual heroic displays, there should be entertainment in this picture, for there is plenty of that."
- Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

"Peck may seem at times a trifle wooden and his German accent too obviously American...but his not too introspective, somewhat baffled manner is manly and fitted to the role he plays."
- Paul V. Peckley, The New York Herald Tribune

"...the most enjoyable consignment of baloney in months..." -- Time Magazine.

"...one of those great big bow-wow, or maybe I should say bang-bang, movies that are no less thrilling because they are so preposterous....Let me confess that I was held more or less spellbound all the way through this many-colored rubbish...."
- The New Yorker

"The Guns of Navarone doesn't hesitate to proclaim its fake mythic status, beginning with James Robertson Justice's plumy narration...The direction of a complicated film is certainly efficient, and the grand adventure, however improbable, continues to hold up. Yet possibly because the producer was disinclined to waste expensive location footage, the action slows at times to a crawl, like an unedited documentary. Many scenes have no tempo at all. Foreman, who wrote the script, added many thumb-suckers about war, but in the nuttiest scene, he throws the bathwater out with the baby, as Gregory Peck, in perhaps the worst line-reading of his nobly uneven career, lectures David Niven on his responsibility to the team. Niven's response is priceless: You can't tell if his character is chagrined or if Niven himself is wondering what the heck got into Greg. Either way, this is the kind of antiwar film that could double as a recruiting tool. Navarone is a librative theme park, each episode another ride."
- Gary Giddens, New York Sun

"Ambitiously produced Boy's Own Paper heroics, with lots of noise and self-sacrifice; intermittently exciting but bogged down by philosophical chat."
- Halliwell's Film & Video Guide

"Behind the derring-do and the often clunky mechanics of the plot lies solid craftsmanship. Journeyman director J. Lee Thompson, who has made some genuinely atrocious films, handles the story with a finer touch than he normally displays...Credit for the film's perennial popularity should be shared by production designer Geoffrey Drake, who gives the production a realistic, lived-in look that's associated more with "serious" black-and-white World War II films than with escapism."
- Mike Mayo, Videohound's War Movies

"Producer Carl Foreman specialised in downbeat movies questioning the nature of wartime heroism. But the on-going debates about the morality of warfare that are scattered through this Alistair MacLean adaptation only serve to drag out the action climaxes, in which our WWII heroes take out two big gun-posts on a Turkish cliff. Lots of studio rock-climbing, and everybody gets very wet."
- Tony Rayns, TimeOut Movie Guide

"The way producer-writer Carl Foreman (High Noon, 1952) fleshes out the characters from Alistair MacLean's 1957 page-turner, the movie is about weighing ends and means, testing personal and national loyalties, and measuring one's capacity for sacrifice. That's why, when director J. Lee Thompson detonates the action set pieces, they're not just thrilling -- they're cathartic."
- Michael Sragow, Salon

"Gregory Peck, as Mallory, gives a wonderfully unperturbed performance, outdone only by the versatile coldness and comedy of Anthony Quinn. David Niven is the subservient but stylish chemist Miller, rounding out a film that ranks among the best war movies-for mayhem, fighting and a simple, sanctimonious story about heroism when it's war at all costs."
- Arthur Ryel-Lindsay, Slant Magazine

"The Guns of Navarone, a World War II military exercise of the those-poor-devils-haven't-got-a-chance school, is the most enjoyable consignment of baloney in months."
- Time magazine

Compiled by Frank Miller

Critics' Corner - The Guns of Navarone

AWARDS & HONORS In its annual poll of critics and other industry reporters, Film Daily named The Guns of Navarone the best picture of the year. Motion Picture Exhibitor Magazine gave the film its Golden Laurel for Top Drama and voted Gregory Peck third place for Top Male Dramatic Performance. The Hollywood Foreign Press voted The Guns of Navarone Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Score (Dimitri Tiomkin). The Guns of Navarone was nominated for a British Academy of Film and Television Association (BAFTA) Award for Best British Screenplay. J. Lee Thompson was nominated for the Directors Guild Award. The Guns of Navarone received seven Oscar® nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Score and Best Sound. It won for Best Visual Effects. Dimitri Tiomkin's soundtrack album was nominated for a Grammy. The Critics' Corner: THE GUNS OF NAVARONE (1961) "Guns is the sort of spectacular drama that can ignore any TV competition and, even with its flaws, should have patrons firmly riveted throughout its lengthy narrative. With a bunch of weighty stars, terrific special effects, several socko situations plus good camerawork and other technical okays, [producer Carl] Foreman and director J. Lee Thompson have sired a winner." - Rich, Variety "This big, robust action drama...is one of those muscle-loaded pictures in the thundering tradition of [Cecil B.] DeMille, which means more emphasis is placed on melodrama than on character or credibility....However, for anyone given to letting himself be entertained by scenes of explosive action and individual heroic displays, there should be entertainment in this picture, for there is plenty of that." - Bosley Crowther, The New York Times "Peck may seem at times a trifle wooden and his German accent too obviously American...but his not too introspective, somewhat baffled manner is manly and fitted to the role he plays." - Paul V. Peckley, The New York Herald Tribune "...the most enjoyable consignment of baloney in months..." -- Time Magazine. "...one of those great big bow-wow, or maybe I should say bang-bang, movies that are no less thrilling because they are so preposterous....Let me confess that I was held more or less spellbound all the way through this many-colored rubbish...." - The New Yorker "The Guns of Navarone doesn't hesitate to proclaim its fake mythic status, beginning with James Robertson Justice's plumy narration...The direction of a complicated film is certainly efficient, and the grand adventure, however improbable, continues to hold up. Yet possibly because the producer was disinclined to waste expensive location footage, the action slows at times to a crawl, like an unedited documentary. Many scenes have no tempo at all. Foreman, who wrote the script, added many thumb-suckers about war, but in the nuttiest scene, he throws the bathwater out with the baby, as Gregory Peck, in perhaps the worst line-reading of his nobly uneven career, lectures David Niven on his responsibility to the team. Niven's response is priceless: You can't tell if his character is chagrined or if Niven himself is wondering what the heck got into Greg. Either way, this is the kind of antiwar film that could double as a recruiting tool. Navarone is a librative theme park, each episode another ride." - Gary Giddens, New York Sun "Ambitiously produced Boy's Own Paper heroics, with lots of noise and self-sacrifice; intermittently exciting but bogged down by philosophical chat." - Halliwell's Film & Video Guide "Behind the derring-do and the often clunky mechanics of the plot lies solid craftsmanship. Journeyman director J. Lee Thompson, who has made some genuinely atrocious films, handles the story with a finer touch than he normally displays...Credit for the film's perennial popularity should be shared by production designer Geoffrey Drake, who gives the production a realistic, lived-in look that's associated more with "serious" black-and-white World War II films than with escapism." - Mike Mayo, Videohound's War Movies "Producer Carl Foreman specialised in downbeat movies questioning the nature of wartime heroism. But the on-going debates about the morality of warfare that are scattered through this Alistair MacLean adaptation only serve to drag out the action climaxes, in which our WWII heroes take out two big gun-posts on a Turkish cliff. Lots of studio rock-climbing, and everybody gets very wet." - Tony Rayns, TimeOut Movie Guide "The way producer-writer Carl Foreman (High Noon, 1952) fleshes out the characters from Alistair MacLean's 1957 page-turner, the movie is about weighing ends and means, testing personal and national loyalties, and measuring one's capacity for sacrifice. That's why, when director J. Lee Thompson detonates the action set pieces, they're not just thrilling -- they're cathartic." - Michael Sragow, Salon "Gregory Peck, as Mallory, gives a wonderfully unperturbed performance, outdone only by the versatile coldness and comedy of Anthony Quinn. David Niven is the subservient but stylish chemist Miller, rounding out a film that ranks among the best war movies-for mayhem, fighting and a simple, sanctimonious story about heroism when it's war at all costs." - Arthur Ryel-Lindsay, Slant Magazine "The Guns of Navarone, a World War II military exercise of the those-poor-devils-haven't-got-a-chance school, is the most enjoyable consignment of baloney in months." - Time magazine Compiled by Frank Miller

The Guns of Navarone - THE GUNS OF NAVARONE - The All-Star 1961 Oscar-Nominated World War II Espionage Thriller on DVD


Perhaps the granddaddy of the modern action spectacle, Carl Foreman's The Guns of Navarone broke with movie tradition by letting go of World War 2 as a sacred topic and presenting its thrills as escapism, pure and simple. The film pays lip service to the notion that War is Hell while constructing a giant fun-house attraction filled with explosions, hairbreadth escapes and the notion that a few superhero fighters can single-handedly turn the tide of history. For perhaps the first time, enemy soldiers are presented as bowling pins to be knocked over by our bulletproof chosen few; ugly reality is never allowed to seriously impinge on the fun. Big, slick and assembled with masterful style, The Guns of Navarone led the way for violent action dramas to become increasingly more cynical and self-righteous; a necessary step on the way to the James Bond sixties.

Columbia/Sony's 2-Disc Collector's edition adds a number of new extras to a title that has already seen release as a Special Edition and a SuperBit offering. More evaluation of the disc follows below.

Synopsis: Spymaster Jensen (James Robertson Justice) assembles a crack commando team under Major Roy Franklin (Anthony Quayle) to destroy two giant cannon guarding the approach to the Turkish coast, where the British Navy needs to rescue thousands of trapped Allied troops. Mountain-climbing expert Captain Keith Mallory (Gregory Peck) must fight alongside his sworn personal enemy, the Greek Colonel Andrea Stavros (Anthony Quinn) and the sarcastic explosives expert Corporal Miller (David Niven). Killers "Butcher" Brown (Stanley Baker) and young Spyros Pappadimos (James Darren) complete the team. Narrowly reaching the German-held target island, the team scales the Navarone cliffs before their luck takes a turn for the worse. Major Franklin is badly injured in a fall, and they're told over the radio that their sabotage mission has been moved up an entire day. Resistance agents Maria Pappadimos (Irene Papas) and the mute Anna (Gia Scala) provide assistance, but the German defenders seem able to anticipate their every move.

Liberal producer Carl Foreman was one of the writers of The Bridge on the River Kwai, David Lean's adventure tale that remains rooted in the hard facts of war: prisoners die in terrible camps, good soldiers become traitors and commanders are forced to shoot at their own men. Foreman liberally sprinkles heavy messages and moral dilemmas atop novelist Alistair MacLean's action-oriented commando tale, but the movie refuses to be serious. Our intrepid band of fighters proves to have more lives than a barrel of cats as, like the Greek heroes that once fought in the Aegean of old, it accomplishes one 'impossible' feat after another. Being overtaken by a heavily armed German patrol boat doesn't stop them. They survive a horrendous shipwreck yet save their equipment and then climb a slick vertical cliff in the middle of a typhoon.

For perhaps the first time in a post-war movie about World War 2, an amused tone -- the beginnings of a tongue-in-cheek attitude -- insures a positive outcome for our big star protagonists. Excellent special effects and much-improved stunt work dazzle the audience so that nobody questions how six men on a boat can out-draw a dozen Germans with their guns already pointed at them. Sentries are easily eliminated by the simplest of tricks. Our heroes display strength and stamina equal to a fantasy figure like Indiana Jones. Miraculous escapes become the norm; the Germans might as well put their bombs and strafing aircraft away because they never hit anything.

The film's faith in itself is best demonstrated when some of our heroes are trapped in a house surrounded by Nazis. We only see them begin to climb onto the roof; there's no need to show exactly how they escape. After Anthony Quinn has his big scene pretending to be a coward so as to turn the tables on their captors, we don't ask why the Germans guard eight very dangerous people with only two armed soldiers. But we do expect Gregory Peck to turn to the camera like Tex Avery's Screwy Squirrel and say, "We do this to them all through the picture!"

The wild thing is that all of these shenanigans prove that The Guns of Navarone has stumbled onto a win-win adventure move formula. Before we can laugh at the outrageousness of it all, the dapper David Niven follows up with his own snappy jokes. The movie is schizophrenic. When knives and bullets fly we're encouraged to sit back and enjoy the mayhem and destruction. But we're also pulled us into a serious mode for other scenes, like those involving the painfully injured Anthony Quayle character. Sheer class moviemaking does the trick, with the exotic Rhodes locations and Dimitri Tiomkin's superlative music putting us in the mood for high adventure.

Although the film is still fast-paced, its desperate commandos take regular breaks for Carl Foreman's rather facile dramatic scenes about moral issues in wartime. Gregory Peck grinds his jaw mulling over tough life and death decisions for his injured team leader, with David Niven whining and whimpering with lame accusations of callousness: "Do you realize what you've done? You've used up an important human being!" When Niven's character complains that Peck is putting the mission ahead of the personal safety and comfort of his teammates, we're tempted to stammer out, "Well, Duh!" The idea that commandos on a desperate, all-important suicide mission should suddenly debate the finer points of combat etiquette is ludicrous, but the actors give it their all. Poor Gregory Peck must escalate his righteous fury to the point of waving a gun at Niven while shaking like a teakettle.

The drama may be half-baked but The Guns of Navarone nevertheless stays ahead of its audience. The skirmishes, escapes and ten-cent intrigues are shared by the team's local allies, a stoic pair of female partisans. Like Ingrid Bergman in For Whom the Bell Tolls, Gia Scala's Anna has cropped hair and a hurt-sparrow look that turns out to be a ruse. After avoiding typical 'glamorous resistance girl' clichés, Carl Foreman cleverly injects a censor-proof sex scene into the proceedings. The commandos 'rape' Anna by tearing her dress and exposing her naked back. They then throw her to the ground, where she must clutch at her garments for hot-cha publicity poses --- but as the scene has no sexual component and an excuse for the near-nudity, Forman can get away with it!

Carl Foreman's anti-war ideas put the damper on some aspects of the movie. Stanley Baker's "Butcher of Barcelona" tough guy Brown is given a completely inconsistent character. Like the young commando Joyce in Foreman's Bridge on the River Kwai, Brown balks in tense situations and doesn't use his knife, leading Gregory Peck's Mallory to distrust his usefulness to the mission. James Darren's young Greek is more or less ignored in the rush to give all the meaty scenes to the three main stars; Forman saddles him with a ridiculous scene where he engages in a machine-gun duel with a German officer, standing up in plain sight of one another and just blasting away. This must have been Foreman's idea of a good image for the futility of war, for he repeated it in the dud conclusion of his later The Victors. * (See Footnote #1). The Guns of Navarone shows its winning hand with a show-stopping finale, when the commandos finally penetrate umpteen levels of non-existent Nazi security and lock themselves in with the two giant guns *(see Footnote #2). On a big screen, the set is as huge and intimidating as something from an old Cecil B. De Mille movie. Our heroes are trapped while the Germans blowtorch their way in, and the whole British Navy is expected at any moment. Navarone's immediate legacy can be seen in the best of the James Bond films, where 007 similarly squirrels his way into outrageously grandiose vaults and fortresses (Dr. No, Goldfinger, You Only Live Twice), blows up the whole schmeer and engineers a deft escape. Foreman balances his formidable set and real battleships with disarming comedy touches, like a decoy stink bomb hidden in a dead rat. Interestingly, later Alistair MacLean spectaculars, especially Where Eagles Dare, would treat WW2 as James Bond vs. the Nazis, with laconic heroes performing stunts too far-fetched for a Republic serial. *(See Footnote #3).

Although some of its effects no longer hold up, The Guns of Navarone remains a solid entertainment for those who still enjoy thrillers with a measured pace. Like many major hits of the past, it may be the kind of movie that will only be appreciated by those who saw it new, when it was the biggest and most exciting adventure tale yet offered on the screen.

Sony / Columbia's The Guns of Navarone is already in the collections of many DVD fans, which prompts us to ask why another disc is needed. The many extras of the previous special edition are all here, including a good 1998 documentary that uses interviews with several of stars that have since passed away. The additions are a new commentary to join the sparse original by director J. Lee Thompson, also now gone. Stephen J. Rubin's more entertaining track balances a discussion of the film's production (he interviewed its makers back in the 1970s) with his own subjective memories of seeing it in grade school.

Several new interview docus and featurettes are included. Forging the Guns of Navarone brings back assistant director Peter Yates (who went on to his own impressive directing career) and Carl Foreman's widow to tell the tale of the filming, backed by new photos and research. An Ironic Epic of Heroism features Sir Christopher Frayling's analytical take on Foreman's aims and the cultural-historical underpinnings of the film, including what at first seems an unlikely gay interpretation of the relationships between the main characters. Jon Burlingame assesses Dimitri Tiomkin's masterful score in detail. The UCLA Film Archives' Robert Gitt explains his restoration efforts from the middle 1990s. The opening prologue music is isolated for the first time in an extra, and the original Intermission is reconstructed for another.

The transfer is listed as a down-conversion from a High Definition master, which may lead viewers to expect a better image than has been seen on earlier discs. Although a bit brighter, cleaner and spiffed up with digital enhancement, it is really no improvement on either the Special Edition or the SuperBit release. This is due to The Guns of Navarone's woeful preservation history, and not the fault of present-day restorers.

The original 1961 road show release used beautiful Technicolor prints made in London, which gave the film an eye-popping clarity and disguised all of the rough edges in the sets and special effects. When it came time to turn out mass runs of prints for the general release, Columbia shipped the original negative to a bargain-rate lab in New York, where it was reconfigured for normal Eastmancolor printing. This meant re-cutting the negative to insert standard opticals to approximate the Technicolor process's smooth dissolves, etc. No preservation separations were made and the negative wasn't properly protected. General release prints looked okay but not terrific; this reviewer remembers the difference, even as a small child. Soon poor dupe sections were patched in to replace damaged pieces of the negative. Eventually two entire reels would have to be replaced in this way, after that New York lab accidentally destroyed the originals through handling errors. Columbia also discarded the film's original sound elements and stereo tracks. When it came time for Bob Gitt to 'rescue' the movie, there was only so much he could do, as the bad contrast, color and other image flaws were permanently built-in to the only existing elements. A collector's magnetic print was used to 'rescue' the original four channel stereo mix.

In other words, the old Columbia studio effectively demolished one of its biggest and most prestigious successes. Colors are never very good in The Guns of Navarone, with purple-ish and pinkish faces and monochromatic blues washing most night exteriors. It's truly a shame, as the film was once a very attractive spectacle. It still plays well, especially on a small screen, but it's no beauty.

Sony's packaging touts a now very long list of extras and enhances the graphics with random images of cannons and soldiers.

Footnotes:

1. If the Columbia film Navarone borrows from the Columbia film Bridge on the River Kwai, the second half of Columbia's later Major Dundee cribs wholesale from both of the earlier pictures. Dundee's original screen treatment stops cold not long after the troop enters Mexico, with a note from the writer saying that he simply ran out of time. He then outlines an unlikely series of major battles and reversals that became the basis for the film's pocketbook novelization. The second half of the finished Dundee copies several major motifs from Navarone, the most important one being Tyreen's oath to kill Amos Dundee, taken right from Stavros' oath to kill Mallory. Dundee's troop enjoys a party in a village that is later destroyed by an enemy reprisal, which happens in Navarone as well. Mallory is 'comforted' by the mysterious Anna when he doubts his leadership judgment, as happens in Dundee with Senta Berger. The killing of O.W. Hadley, with Captain Tyreen surprising all by shooting his personal friend, is an almost exact copy of Navarone's killing of Anna, with the 'surprise' shooter in both instances revealed at the last moment. That situation is of course also repeated in Lawrence of Arabia, with Lawrence executing a dear friend to avoid 'splitting his command.' Dundee's final shooting script seems to have been dashed together by writers happy to lift a bunch of plot twists from earlier successes, collect their pay, and go home.

2 .Let's not even begin to ask why these fixed guns are supposed to be so strategically crucial. Can the British Navy not go around the island of Navarone and avoid them? It's a little like expending energy sufficient to build the pyramids to place a pair of cannon atop Mt. Rushmore. Now the only problem is to get Sitting Bull to attack there instead of at the Little Big Horn.

3. Actually, the MacLean-like Operation Crossbow had problems with the 007 formula: at one point in the story, a subplot about an uprising among the slave workers in the Nazis' underground missile factory was dropped, probably for time but possibly because it was too remindful of unpleasant WW2 realities. In the finished film George Peppard's character suddenly wears a band-aid on his face, for no reason. Handsome sabotage agents are 'fun', but evoking the memory of millions of helpless Nazi victims is not.

For more information about The Guns of Navarone, visit Sony Pictures. To order The Guns of Navarone, go to TCM Shopping.

by Glenn Erickson

The Guns of Navarone - THE GUNS OF NAVARONE - The All-Star 1961 Oscar-Nominated World War II Espionage Thriller on DVD

Perhaps the granddaddy of the modern action spectacle, Carl Foreman's The Guns of Navarone broke with movie tradition by letting go of World War 2 as a sacred topic and presenting its thrills as escapism, pure and simple. The film pays lip service to the notion that War is Hell while constructing a giant fun-house attraction filled with explosions, hairbreadth escapes and the notion that a few superhero fighters can single-handedly turn the tide of history. For perhaps the first time, enemy soldiers are presented as bowling pins to be knocked over by our bulletproof chosen few; ugly reality is never allowed to seriously impinge on the fun. Big, slick and assembled with masterful style, The Guns of Navarone led the way for violent action dramas to become increasingly more cynical and self-righteous; a necessary step on the way to the James Bond sixties. Columbia/Sony's 2-Disc Collector's edition adds a number of new extras to a title that has already seen release as a Special Edition and a SuperBit offering. More evaluation of the disc follows below. Synopsis: Spymaster Jensen (James Robertson Justice) assembles a crack commando team under Major Roy Franklin (Anthony Quayle) to destroy two giant cannon guarding the approach to the Turkish coast, where the British Navy needs to rescue thousands of trapped Allied troops. Mountain-climbing expert Captain Keith Mallory (Gregory Peck) must fight alongside his sworn personal enemy, the Greek Colonel Andrea Stavros (Anthony Quinn) and the sarcastic explosives expert Corporal Miller (David Niven). Killers "Butcher" Brown (Stanley Baker) and young Spyros Pappadimos (James Darren) complete the team. Narrowly reaching the German-held target island, the team scales the Navarone cliffs before their luck takes a turn for the worse. Major Franklin is badly injured in a fall, and they're told over the radio that their sabotage mission has been moved up an entire day. Resistance agents Maria Pappadimos (Irene Papas) and the mute Anna (Gia Scala) provide assistance, but the German defenders seem able to anticipate their every move. Liberal producer Carl Foreman was one of the writers of The Bridge on the River Kwai, David Lean's adventure tale that remains rooted in the hard facts of war: prisoners die in terrible camps, good soldiers become traitors and commanders are forced to shoot at their own men. Foreman liberally sprinkles heavy messages and moral dilemmas atop novelist Alistair MacLean's action-oriented commando tale, but the movie refuses to be serious. Our intrepid band of fighters proves to have more lives than a barrel of cats as, like the Greek heroes that once fought in the Aegean of old, it accomplishes one 'impossible' feat after another. Being overtaken by a heavily armed German patrol boat doesn't stop them. They survive a horrendous shipwreck yet save their equipment and then climb a slick vertical cliff in the middle of a typhoon. For perhaps the first time in a post-war movie about World War 2, an amused tone -- the beginnings of a tongue-in-cheek attitude -- insures a positive outcome for our big star protagonists. Excellent special effects and much-improved stunt work dazzle the audience so that nobody questions how six men on a boat can out-draw a dozen Germans with their guns already pointed at them. Sentries are easily eliminated by the simplest of tricks. Our heroes display strength and stamina equal to a fantasy figure like Indiana Jones. Miraculous escapes become the norm; the Germans might as well put their bombs and strafing aircraft away because they never hit anything. The film's faith in itself is best demonstrated when some of our heroes are trapped in a house surrounded by Nazis. We only see them begin to climb onto the roof; there's no need to show exactly how they escape. After Anthony Quinn has his big scene pretending to be a coward so as to turn the tables on their captors, we don't ask why the Germans guard eight very dangerous people with only two armed soldiers. But we do expect Gregory Peck to turn to the camera like Tex Avery's Screwy Squirrel and say, "We do this to them all through the picture!" The wild thing is that all of these shenanigans prove that The Guns of Navarone has stumbled onto a win-win adventure move formula. Before we can laugh at the outrageousness of it all, the dapper David Niven follows up with his own snappy jokes. The movie is schizophrenic. When knives and bullets fly we're encouraged to sit back and enjoy the mayhem and destruction. But we're also pulled us into a serious mode for other scenes, like those involving the painfully injured Anthony Quayle character. Sheer class moviemaking does the trick, with the exotic Rhodes locations and Dimitri Tiomkin's superlative music putting us in the mood for high adventure. Although the film is still fast-paced, its desperate commandos take regular breaks for Carl Foreman's rather facile dramatic scenes about moral issues in wartime. Gregory Peck grinds his jaw mulling over tough life and death decisions for his injured team leader, with David Niven whining and whimpering with lame accusations of callousness: "Do you realize what you've done? You've used up an important human being!" When Niven's character complains that Peck is putting the mission ahead of the personal safety and comfort of his teammates, we're tempted to stammer out, "Well, Duh!" The idea that commandos on a desperate, all-important suicide mission should suddenly debate the finer points of combat etiquette is ludicrous, but the actors give it their all. Poor Gregory Peck must escalate his righteous fury to the point of waving a gun at Niven while shaking like a teakettle. The drama may be half-baked but The Guns of Navarone nevertheless stays ahead of its audience. The skirmishes, escapes and ten-cent intrigues are shared by the team's local allies, a stoic pair of female partisans. Like Ingrid Bergman in For Whom the Bell Tolls, Gia Scala's Anna has cropped hair and a hurt-sparrow look that turns out to be a ruse. After avoiding typical 'glamorous resistance girl' clichés, Carl Foreman cleverly injects a censor-proof sex scene into the proceedings. The commandos 'rape' Anna by tearing her dress and exposing her naked back. They then throw her to the ground, where she must clutch at her garments for hot-cha publicity poses --- but as the scene has no sexual component and an excuse for the near-nudity, Forman can get away with it! Carl Foreman's anti-war ideas put the damper on some aspects of the movie. Stanley Baker's "Butcher of Barcelona" tough guy Brown is given a completely inconsistent character. Like the young commando Joyce in Foreman's Bridge on the River Kwai, Brown balks in tense situations and doesn't use his knife, leading Gregory Peck's Mallory to distrust his usefulness to the mission. James Darren's young Greek is more or less ignored in the rush to give all the meaty scenes to the three main stars; Forman saddles him with a ridiculous scene where he engages in a machine-gun duel with a German officer, standing up in plain sight of one another and just blasting away. This must have been Foreman's idea of a good image for the futility of war, for he repeated it in the dud conclusion of his later The Victors. * (See Footnote #1).

TCM Remembers - J. Lee Thompson


TCM REMEMBERS J. LEE THOMPSON, 1914 - 2002

Oscar-nominated director J. Lee Thompson died August 30th at the age of 88. Though he worked in several genres, Thompson was best-known for his action films. Thompson was born in Bristol England on August 1, 1914. After graduating from college he became a playwright and it was the appearance of one of his plays on London's famous West End that got him noticed by the British film studio, Elstree. His first filmed script was The Pride of Folly in 1937 and others appeared sporadically until his career was side-tracked during the war when Thompson served in the RAF as a B-29 tail gunner. (He also reportedly worked as a dialogue coach on Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn, 1939.) Thompson's directorial debut came in 1950 when he adapted his own play Double Error to the screen as Murder Without Crime. Throughout the decade he directed a variety of dramas and comedies until hitting it big in 1958 with Ice Cold in Alex (released in the US minus 50 minutes under the title Desert Attack). It was nominated for three BAFTAs and was enough of a commercial success that Thompson landed the film that made his career: The Guns of Navarone (1961). This enormous international hit snagged Thompson an Oscar nomination for Best Director. He immediately followed that with the original Cape Fear (1962) and his reputation was set. Though Thompson remained active almost three more decades he didn't reach that level again. He worked on Westerns (Mackenna's Gold, 1969), horror films (Eye of the Devil, 1967), literary adaptations (Huckleberry Finn, 1974) and others. During this time, Thompson directed two Planet of the Apes sequels but was kept most busy working with Charles Bronson, for whom he directed nine films. Thompson's last film was in 1989.

KATRIN CARTLIDGE, 1961 - 2002

The news of actress Katrin Cartlidge's death at the age of 41 has come as a shock. It's not just the age but the thought that even though Cartlidge was already a major actress--despite a slender filmography--she held out the promise of even greater work, a promise that so few artists of any type can make. "Fearless" is perhaps the word most often used to describe Cartlidge but emotions are never enough for an actor; much more is required. Director Mike Leigh said she had "the objective eye of an artist" while remarking on her "her deep-seated suspicion of all forms of woolly thinking and received ideas."

Cartlidge was born in London on May 15, 1961. Her first acting work was on the stage, in tiny independent theatres before she was selected by Peter Gill for the National Theatre. Cartlidge also worked as a dresser at the Royal Court where she later made one of her final stage appearances. She began appearing in the popular British TV series Brookside before making her first film in 1985, Sacred Hearts. A small role in the Robbie Coltrane-Rik Mayall vehicle Eat the Rich (1987) followed before Cartlidge had her first leading role in Mike Leigh's scathing Naked (1993).

Cartlidge never took a safe approach in her films. She told The Guardian that "I try to work with film-makers who I feel will produce something original, revealing and provoking. If something provokes a reaction, it's well worth doing." You can see this in her choice of projects. Before the Rain (1994) dramatized violence in Macedonia in the wake of the Yugoslavian break-up and made Cartlidge something of a star in the area. She appeared in Lars Von Trier's controversial look at redemption, Breaking the Waves (1996), Leigh's sharply detailed story of aging friends Career Girls (1997), as one of Jack the Ripper's victims in From Hell (2001), as a call girl trying to leave the business in Clair Dolan (1998) and in the Oscar-winning film about Bosnia-Herzegovina, No Man's Land (2001). Her last work included a BBC adaptation of Crime and Punishment (2002), playing Salvador Dali's wife Gala in the BBC comedy-drama Surrealissimo (2002) and an appearance in Rosanna Arquette's directorial debut, Searching for Debra Winger (also 2002), a documentary about women in the film industry.

Cartlidge died September 7th from septicaemia brought on by pneumonia.

TCM REMEMBERS LEO MCKERN, 1920-2002

The recent death of Leo McKern, 82, marked the passing of one of Britain's finest and most respected character actors. He was suffering from ill health in recent years and was moved to a nursing home a few weeks before his death on July 23 2002 in Bath, England. An actor of commanding presence with a deep-throated voice, the portly, bulbous-nosed McKern had a long, distinguished career spanning more than half a century, earning numerous plaudits along the way in all major mediums: theatre, film and television.

Born Reginald McKern on March 16, 1920 in Sydney, Australia; he served with the Australian Army during World War II and worked in regional theatre in his native Sydney before immigrating to England in 1946. It was a slow start, but after a three-year apprenticeship of painting scenery, stage-managing and acting, McKern eventually joined the celebrated Old Vic theatrical company in 1949 and proved one of the more versatile actors in the troupe tackling diverse roles in comedy, the classics and serious contemporary parts.

His film debut came in Murder in the Cathedral (1952) but it took a few years before he made his mark in cinema. Some of his best film work included roles as Peter Sellers' comic henchman in the classic satire The Mouse That Roared (1959); a bungling train robber in the charming Disney film The Horse Without a Head (1963); a nefarious professor who kills off his colleagues for amusement in the brilliant black comedy A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964); Clang, a cartoonish villain in the Beatles' pop film Help! (1965); Cromwell, the persecutor of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons (1966) and as Thomas Ryan in the David Lean drama, Ryan's Daughter (1970).

Yet despite all the accolades McKern earned in theatre and films, it was television where he foundinternational fame as the wily, irascible barrister Horace P. Rumpole in John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey in 1975. Infusing the character with beguiling skill and energy, McKern made the acerbic, wine swilling, Tennyson-quoting Rumpole a much loved figure that was adored by critics, audiences and even its creator Mortimer. Perhaps Mortimer offered the most fitting tribute when he once referred to McKern - "His acting exists where I always hope my writing will be: about two feet above the ground, a little larger than life, but always taking off from reality." Enough said.

By Michael T. Toole

TCM Remembers - J. Lee Thompson

TCM REMEMBERS J. LEE THOMPSON, 1914 - 2002 Oscar-nominated director J. Lee Thompson died August 30th at the age of 88. Though he worked in several genres, Thompson was best-known for his action films. Thompson was born in Bristol England on August 1, 1914. After graduating from college he became a playwright and it was the appearance of one of his plays on London's famous West End that got him noticed by the British film studio, Elstree. His first filmed script was The Pride of Folly in 1937 and others appeared sporadically until his career was side-tracked during the war when Thompson served in the RAF as a B-29 tail gunner. (He also reportedly worked as a dialogue coach on Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn, 1939.) Thompson's directorial debut came in 1950 when he adapted his own play Double Error to the screen as Murder Without Crime. Throughout the decade he directed a variety of dramas and comedies until hitting it big in 1958 with Ice Cold in Alex (released in the US minus 50 minutes under the title Desert Attack). It was nominated for three BAFTAs and was enough of a commercial success that Thompson landed the film that made his career: The Guns of Navarone (1961). This enormous international hit snagged Thompson an Oscar nomination for Best Director. He immediately followed that with the original Cape Fear (1962) and his reputation was set. Though Thompson remained active almost three more decades he didn't reach that level again. He worked on Westerns (Mackenna's Gold, 1969), horror films (Eye of the Devil, 1967), literary adaptations (Huckleberry Finn, 1974) and others. During this time, Thompson directed two Planet of the Apes sequels but was kept most busy working with Charles Bronson, for whom he directed nine films. Thompson's last film was in 1989. KATRIN CARTLIDGE, 1961 - 2002 The news of actress Katrin Cartlidge's death at the age of 41 has come as a shock. It's not just the age but the thought that even though Cartlidge was already a major actress--despite a slender filmography--she held out the promise of even greater work, a promise that so few artists of any type can make. "Fearless" is perhaps the word most often used to describe Cartlidge but emotions are never enough for an actor; much more is required. Director Mike Leigh said she had "the objective eye of an artist" while remarking on her "her deep-seated suspicion of all forms of woolly thinking and received ideas." Cartlidge was born in London on May 15, 1961. Her first acting work was on the stage, in tiny independent theatres before she was selected by Peter Gill for the National Theatre. Cartlidge also worked as a dresser at the Royal Court where she later made one of her final stage appearances. She began appearing in the popular British TV series Brookside before making her first film in 1985, Sacred Hearts. A small role in the Robbie Coltrane-Rik Mayall vehicle Eat the Rich (1987) followed before Cartlidge had her first leading role in Mike Leigh's scathing Naked (1993). Cartlidge never took a safe approach in her films. She told The Guardian that "I try to work with film-makers who I feel will produce something original, revealing and provoking. If something provokes a reaction, it's well worth doing." You can see this in her choice of projects. Before the Rain (1994) dramatized violence in Macedonia in the wake of the Yugoslavian break-up and made Cartlidge something of a star in the area. She appeared in Lars Von Trier's controversial look at redemption, Breaking the Waves (1996), Leigh's sharply detailed story of aging friends Career Girls (1997), as one of Jack the Ripper's victims in From Hell (2001), as a call girl trying to leave the business in Clair Dolan (1998) and in the Oscar-winning film about Bosnia-Herzegovina, No Man's Land (2001). Her last work included a BBC adaptation of Crime and Punishment (2002), playing Salvador Dali's wife Gala in the BBC comedy-drama Surrealissimo (2002) and an appearance in Rosanna Arquette's directorial debut, Searching for Debra Winger (also 2002), a documentary about women in the film industry. Cartlidge died September 7th from septicaemia brought on by pneumonia. TCM REMEMBERS LEO MCKERN, 1920-2002 The recent death of Leo McKern, 82, marked the passing of one of Britain's finest and most respected character actors. He was suffering from ill health in recent years and was moved to a nursing home a few weeks before his death on July 23 2002 in Bath, England. An actor of commanding presence with a deep-throated voice, the portly, bulbous-nosed McKern had a long, distinguished career spanning more than half a century, earning numerous plaudits along the way in all major mediums: theatre, film and television. Born Reginald McKern on March 16, 1920 in Sydney, Australia; he served with the Australian Army during World War II and worked in regional theatre in his native Sydney before immigrating to England in 1946. It was a slow start, but after a three-year apprenticeship of painting scenery, stage-managing and acting, McKern eventually joined the celebrated Old Vic theatrical company in 1949 and proved one of the more versatile actors in the troupe tackling diverse roles in comedy, the classics and serious contemporary parts. His film debut came in Murder in the Cathedral (1952) but it took a few years before he made his mark in cinema. Some of his best film work included roles as Peter Sellers' comic henchman in the classic satire The Mouse That Roared (1959); a bungling train robber in the charming Disney film The Horse Without a Head (1963); a nefarious professor who kills off his colleagues for amusement in the brilliant black comedy A Jolly Bad Fellow (1964); Clang, a cartoonish villain in the Beatles' pop film Help! (1965); Cromwell, the persecutor of Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons (1966) and as Thomas Ryan in the David Lean drama, Ryan's Daughter (1970). Yet despite all the accolades McKern earned in theatre and films, it was television where he foundinternational fame as the wily, irascible barrister Horace P. Rumpole in John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey in 1975. Infusing the character with beguiling skill and energy, McKern made the acerbic, wine swilling, Tennyson-quoting Rumpole a much loved figure that was adored by critics, audiences and even its creator Mortimer. Perhaps Mortimer offered the most fitting tribute when he once referred to McKern - "His acting exists where I always hope my writing will be: about two feet above the ground, a little larger than life, but always taking off from reality." Enough said. By Michael T. Toole

Richard Harris, 1930-2002 - TCM Remembers Richard Harris


Two-time Best Actor nominee Richard Harris, who was also famous for his feisty, off-screen exploits, was once characterized along with Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole as one of Britain's most charismatic and unpredictable leading men during the heyday of their popularity in the '60s and '70s. He died at the University College of London Hospital on Friday, Oct. 25. He had been suffering from Hodgkin's disease, a form of lymphatic cancer, and was 72 years old.

Harris was born October 1, 1930, in Limerick, Ireland, one of nine children born to farmer Ivan Harris and his wife, Mildred Harty. He was a noted rugby player as a youth, but shortly after his move to London in the mid-50s, Harris studied classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After a few years of stage experience, he made his screen debut in Alive and Kicking (1958) and quickly developed a reputation as a talented young actor. His film career became increasingly impressive with such strong supporting turns in Shake Hands with the Devil (1959), The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962).

Yet it wasn't until 1963 that Harris became an unlikely star after thrilling movie viewers and critics with his electrifying performance in This Sporting Life. His portrayal of a bitter young coal miner who becomes a professional rugby star marked the arrival of a major international talent and won him the Best Actor award at Cannes and an Oscar nomination.

Strangely enough, Harris' next projects were multimillion dollar epics and he went largely unnoticed amid the all-star casts; he had a small role as Cain in John Huston's production of The Bible (1966) and in Hawaii (1966) he played a sea captain who falls in love with a married woman (Julie Andrews). He also tried his hand at a mod spy comedy opposite Doris Day - Caprice (1967). A much better role for him was playing King Arthur in the film version of the Broadway hit Camelot (1967). The movie was not well received critically, but Harris' singing skills proved to be a surprise; not only did he win a Golden Globe for his performance, but the film's soundtrack album proved to be a bigger commercial hit than the film itself. Even more surprising was his unexpected success the following year with the pop hit "MacArthur Park" - that kitsch cornerstone of lounge karaoke. The song just missed topping the Billboard singles chart in the "Summer of 1968;" It was topped by Herb Albert's "This Guy's In Love with You."

The '70s proved to be a mixed bag for Harris. He scored a huge commercial hit with his best-known film of that decade, A Man Called Horse (1970). It became a cult Western and featured him as an English aristocrat captured, tortured and eventually adopted by Sioux Indians. He also showed some promise behind the camera, co-writing the screenplay for the psychological thriller The Lady in the Car With Glasses and a Gun (1970) and directing (as well as starring) in The Hero (1972), a drama about an aging soccer star. But the quality of films in which Harris appeared declined as the decade progressed: Orca (1977) - a terrible Jaws rip-off, The Wild Geese(1978), and worst of all, Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), in which he had a thankless role as Bo Derek's explorer father.

Based on those films and his general inactivity in the '80s, Harris' comeback performance in The Field (1990) was a wonderful surprise. In that film he played a man who has nurtured a field into a prized piece of real estate only to lose his sanity as the property is taken from him; the role earned him a deserved Oscar nomination and showed that he was still a vital screen presence. Harris took full advantage of this new spurt in his career by committing himself to many fine character roles: the cool, refined gunslinger in Unforgiven(1992), his intense portrayal of a father mourning the death of his son in Cry the Beloved Country (1995), the resident villain of Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997), and as the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in the epic Gladiator (2000).

Yet Harris will probably be best remembered by current audiences for his portrayal of Dumbledore, the benevolent and wily head of Hogwarts School in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) which will be released nationwide in just three weeks. Harris is survived by his three sons, Jared, Jamie (both actors) and the director Damian Harris.

by Michael T. Toole

Richard Harris, 1930-2002 - TCM Remembers Richard Harris

Two-time Best Actor nominee Richard Harris, who was also famous for his feisty, off-screen exploits, was once characterized along with Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole as one of Britain's most charismatic and unpredictable leading men during the heyday of their popularity in the '60s and '70s. He died at the University College of London Hospital on Friday, Oct. 25. He had been suffering from Hodgkin's disease, a form of lymphatic cancer, and was 72 years old. Harris was born October 1, 1930, in Limerick, Ireland, one of nine children born to farmer Ivan Harris and his wife, Mildred Harty. He was a noted rugby player as a youth, but shortly after his move to London in the mid-50s, Harris studied classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After a few years of stage experience, he made his screen debut in Alive and Kicking (1958) and quickly developed a reputation as a talented young actor. His film career became increasingly impressive with such strong supporting turns in Shake Hands with the Devil (1959), The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962). Yet it wasn't until 1963 that Harris became an unlikely star after thrilling movie viewers and critics with his electrifying performance in This Sporting Life. His portrayal of a bitter young coal miner who becomes a professional rugby star marked the arrival of a major international talent and won him the Best Actor award at Cannes and an Oscar nomination. Strangely enough, Harris' next projects were multimillion dollar epics and he went largely unnoticed amid the all-star casts; he had a small role as Cain in John Huston's production of The Bible (1966) and in Hawaii (1966) he played a sea captain who falls in love with a married woman (Julie Andrews). He also tried his hand at a mod spy comedy opposite Doris Day - Caprice (1967). A much better role for him was playing King Arthur in the film version of the Broadway hit Camelot (1967). The movie was not well received critically, but Harris' singing skills proved to be a surprise; not only did he win a Golden Globe for his performance, but the film's soundtrack album proved to be a bigger commercial hit than the film itself. Even more surprising was his unexpected success the following year with the pop hit "MacArthur Park" - that kitsch cornerstone of lounge karaoke. The song just missed topping the Billboard singles chart in the "Summer of 1968;" It was topped by Herb Albert's "This Guy's In Love with You." The '70s proved to be a mixed bag for Harris. He scored a huge commercial hit with his best-known film of that decade, A Man Called Horse (1970). It became a cult Western and featured him as an English aristocrat captured, tortured and eventually adopted by Sioux Indians. He also showed some promise behind the camera, co-writing the screenplay for the psychological thriller The Lady in the Car With Glasses and a Gun (1970) and directing (as well as starring) in The Hero (1972), a drama about an aging soccer star. But the quality of films in which Harris appeared declined as the decade progressed: Orca (1977) - a terrible Jaws rip-off, The Wild Geese(1978), and worst of all, Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), in which he had a thankless role as Bo Derek's explorer father. Based on those films and his general inactivity in the '80s, Harris' comeback performance in The Field (1990) was a wonderful surprise. In that film he played a man who has nurtured a field into a prized piece of real estate only to lose his sanity as the property is taken from him; the role earned him a deserved Oscar nomination and showed that he was still a vital screen presence. Harris took full advantage of this new spurt in his career by committing himself to many fine character roles: the cool, refined gunslinger in Unforgiven(1992), his intense portrayal of a father mourning the death of his son in Cry the Beloved Country (1995), the resident villain of Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997), and as the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in the epic Gladiator (2000). Yet Harris will probably be best remembered by current audiences for his portrayal of Dumbledore, the benevolent and wily head of Hogwarts School in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) which will be released nationwide in just three weeks. Harris is survived by his three sons, Jared, Jamie (both actors) and the director Damian Harris. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Someone's got to take the responsibility if the job's going to get done. Do you think that's easy?
- Mallory
Captain, I'm concerned about this vessel. It's taking on water.
- Corporal Miller
Why does that concern you?
- Mallory
I can't swim.
- Corporal Miller
Are you sure it will work?
- Mallory
There's no guarantee, but the theory's perfectly feasible.
- Corporal Miller
No, I'm stupid sometimes. Even when I was a kid, I always took it for granted people wanted to play the games I like, and I'd be furious when they didn't.
- Major Franklin
Well, now they have to, so why worry?
- Capt. Keith Mallory
Sir, I've inspected this boat, and I think you ought to know that I can't swim.
- Corporal Miller

Trivia

Anthony Quayle spent part of WWII in Albania organizing guerilla forces.

'Holden, William' asked for $750,000 plus 10% of the gross to play Mallory. He was turned down and Gregory Peck was cast.

One of the Rhodian locations used in the film has been renamed "Anthony Quinn Bay" after the actor was reported to have bought property nearby.

The plot went through so many twists that Gregory Peck finally submitted his own version to Foreman: "'Niven, David' really loves Tony Quayle and Gregory Peck loves Anthony Quinn. Tony Quayle breaks a leg and is sent off to hospital. Tony Quinn falls in love with Irene Papas, and David Niven and Peck catch each other on the rebound and live happily ever after."

Original director was Alexander Mackendrick. Fired by Carl Foreman due to creative differences.

David Niven wears a Rifle Brigade cap badge on his beret, this was the regiment he was commissioned into in WW2

Notes

The film was shot on location on the island of Rhodes. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, James Mason was originally to co-star in the film with Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer July 1961

Formerly distributed by RCA/Columbia Picture Home Video.

Released in USA on video.

Alexander Mackendrick hurt his back and left the project after only two weeks filming.

CinemaScope

Released in USA on laserdisc June 15, 1994.

Released in United States Summer July 1961