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OTHER ITA SITES:
The Guns of Navarone
The guns of Navarone was a 1961 movie about a British commando team that is sent on an almost impossible mission of destroying a massive German gun emplacement after crossing occupied Greek territory. This film was directed by J. Lee Thompson and had some of the biggest stares of the day in it. This movie was based on a well known 1957 novel about World War Two by Scottish writer Ail-stair MacLean.The sweeping landscape photography and several cultural touches truly captured the beauty and flavor of Greece and its proud people. Even today, the people of Greece, hold this film in high praise.
It starred Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn. The plot tells of an Allied commando team sent to destroy a seemingly impregnable German fortress that threatens Allied naval ships in the Aegean Sea, and prevents 2,000 isolated British troops from being rescued.
The film opens with an aerial view of the Greek Islands, and a narrator setting the scene The year is 1943, and 2000 British soldiers are holed up on the island of Kheros in the Aegean near Turkey. Rescue by the Royal Navy is impossible because of massive guns on the nearby island of Navarone. Time is short, because the Germans are expected to launch an assault on the British forces, to draw Turkey into the war on the Axis' side. Using air strikes in trying to dislodge these guns prove fruitless, so a team of commandos has been assembled to try and go in and destroy these monster emplacements. Lead by Major Roy Franklin (Anthony Quayle), they are Capt. Keith Mallory (Gregory Peck), Andrea Stavros (Anthony Quinn), a Colonel in the defeated Greek army, Corporal Miller (David Niven), an explosives expert, Greek-American street tough Spyros Pappadimos (James Darren) and "Butcher" Brown (Stanley Baker), an engineer and expert knife fighter.
They sail across the Aegean Sea disguised as Greek fisherman. After blowing up a German patrol boat Malloy confides in Miller that Stavros blames Miller for the death of his wife and children and intends to kill him after the war. After the ship that they are on capsizes during a violent storm Franklin is badly injured and later the injuries lead to gangrene after they had to climb a steep cliff. One of the central points of this film is to carry Franklin to safety despite the apparent problem that Franklin's injuries will slow them down. Malloy lies to Franklin about the mission. Soon afterwords they are attacked by German soldiers and Andrea is left behind with his snippier rifleto help in their escape. They then end up meeting with the local resistance fighters, Spyros's sister Mania [Irene Papas] and her friend Anna [Gia Scala].
But throughout the next couple of days their mission is always delayed by the onslaught of German soldiers who always seem to know where they are at. They are finally captured and escape, but it was necessary to leave Franklin behind so that he could get medical attention. They then discover that their explosives, that they had saved from the ship wreak, had been sabotaged. Miller figures out that Anna is the saboteur and Marie shoots her as a price that she has to pay for being disloyal. It's a touching scene that almost leaves you feeling sorry for Anna because of the reason that she betrayed them.
The final scenes have the team spilitting up to achieve their objective. All of them escape to a waiting boat except for Pappadimos and Brown who had given their lives creating a distraction.The guns and fortifications are destroyed in a spectacular explosion.Stavros, who has fallen in love with Maria, decides to return to Navarone with her and shakes hands with Mallory, seemingly having given up his plan to kill him.
The fans of Gregory Peck were not disappointed when this film was released. There is plenty of action and the ways that the characters, as diverse as they were, seemed to fit together made this one of the most enjoyable war films that were ever produced. Even most of the Germans portrayed were more realistic of everyday human being instead of the usual sub human beast that are often seen in other movies.
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