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Friday, September 21, 2012

The Guns Of Navarone (1961)

In 1943, a small troop of specially trained military commandos are assigned the task of blowing up a German fortress on the island of Navarone, specifically the huge radar directed guns that will be used against the invading British naval forces. One of the best WWII action films ever made, this rousing adventure is one of those rare films where everything falls into place: the literate Oscar nominated script by Carl Foreman, the taut direction by J. Lee Thompson, the gorgeous Greek landscape lovingly shot by Oswald Morris (FIDDLER ON THE ROOF), the stirring score by Dimitri Tiomkin and fine performances right down the line. While the film can be viewed as an exciting WWII actioner, it's more complex and layered than other popular films in the genre like THE GREAT ESCAPE. Without proselytizing, the film examines the inconsistencies and contradictions of war. How man enacts great feats of bravery and courage amid the cruelty and damage of war. Based on the novel by Alistair MacLean. The impeccable cast includes Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Stanley Baker, Irene Papas, Anthony Quayle, Gia Scala, James Darren, Richard Harris, James Robertson Justice, Walter Gotell and Allan Cuthbertson. A sequel of sorts, FORCE 10 FROM NAVARONE was made 17 years later.

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