Tahseen Nakavi | Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India | 01/24/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1961. First Rate Production. This film gets AAAAA rating for its great direction, great performances and great music. I consider Alistair Maclean's 'Where Eagles Dare' as his best work followed by "The Guns of Navarone' as a close second. Thanks to Adolf Hitler for providing all the drama as both are with the backdrop of Nazi bashing during the prime of the second world war.
Columbia purchased the screen rights to this work in 1957. It cost $16 million to make this picture. They got Carl Foreman to produce and write this project as he had done 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' earlier. Foreman had Cary Grant and Alec Guinness in mind for the roles of Captain Mallory and Corporal Miller. They were not available. He eventually signed Gregory Peck and David Niven. They were soon joined by Anthony Quinn as Andrea Stavros, Stanley Baker as Brown "The Butcher of Barcelona', Anthony Quayle as Major Roy Franklin and James Darren as Spyro Pappadimous. The female characters were added with Maclean's permission (not originally in the plot) in Irene Papas as Maria and Gia Scala as Anna. Much of the filming was done in the Aegean Sea.
J. Lee Thompson, an English filmmaker, was signed to direct this epic adventure. Thompson is noted for his brisk storytelling. Shooting began in April 1960 on Rhodes in the Dodecanese island area of the Aegean Sea. Interiors were shot in London's Shepperton Studios. Attention to detail earned the film an Academy Award for Special Effects. I am surprised the jury could not find anything else worth rewarding. It was a sacrilege done by them. At the Globe Awards, it won the Best Picture and Best Music. Dimitri Tiomkin has written a magnificent score and songs for the film.
It was the top grossing picture of 1961. It has taken its place among the all time classic action and suspense films. Everyone acted brilliantly. Special mention for David Niven who stands out.
Six people save the lives of fourteen hundred on Kheros island in Greece by destroying the Guns of Navarone wielded by the Germans."
Good but overlong semi-epic; great dvd package
K. Swanson | Austin, TX United States | 06/02/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
The magnificent Greek island locales make this film, no question. But its 156 minutes felt far too long, and there were 30 minutes that could easily have been trimmed: lingering portrait shots, long panoramic views, etc. Those might have worked in the cinemas in 1961, but sure seemed indulgent last night. And I've rarely seen Niven overact this much; he even sucked the normally unflappable Peck into it towards the end.
Yet Peck and above all Quinn make this movie in general, along with the land and sea scapes. Quinn's performance has the resonance and intensity lacking from Niven here, and rather shows up most of the cast with his much deeper skill set. Now that's what acting should be.
GFN is certainly meant to be an epic, but I just couldn't buy it after a while. This could be a perfect two-hour movie. Instead it goes on and on at points, and what could and should be suspense fades away after a while and I just wanted them to get on with blowing everything up.
I bet I would have loved this on a hot summer day in a big old movie palace, but sitting at home it all felt too self-indulgent. The script has its moments, but 50 years on it seems rather cliched at times, and of course Maclean was not exactly John LeCarre. He went for the simple emotional response, as does this movie. Which is what it evoked from me. I really enjoyed its leisurely pace for about 90 minutes, then just started wanting it to all be done.
Still, Quinn is exceptional and worth seeing this for, and most of the cast is at least decent. But Niven's hamminess and the length of it all made me realize that I was watching this not only for the first time in 30 years, but probably for the last time."
The Guns Of Navarone (Special Edition)
Liew King Kok | Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA | 02/05/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No complaints. Thumbs up for a very good effort by Amazon's staff to despatch the item within a very short time."