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The Guns of Navarone (Special Edition)
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This rousing, explosive 1961 WWII adventure, based on Alistair MacLean's thrilling novel, turns the war thriller into a deadly caper film. Gregory Peck heads a star-studded cast charged with a near impossible mission: destroy a pair of German guns nestled in a protective cave on the strategic Mediterranean island of Navarone, from where they can control a vital sea passage. As world famous mountain climber turned British army Captain Mallory, Peck leads a guerrilla force composed of the humanistic explosives expert, Miller (David Niven), the ruthless Greek patriot with a grudge, Stavros (Anthony Quinn), veteran special forces soldier Brown (Stanley Baker), and the cool, quiet young marksman Pappadimos (James Darren). This disparate collection of classic types must overcome internal conflicts, enemy attacks, betrayal, and capture to complete their mission. Director J. Lee Thompson sets a driving pace for this exciting (if familiar) military operation, a succession of close calls, pitched battles, and last-minute escapes as our heroes infiltrate the garrisoned town with the help of resistance leader Maria (Irene Papas) and plot their entry into the heavily guarded mountain fort. Carl Foreman's screenplay embraces MacLean's role call of clichés and delivers them with style, creating one of the liveliest mixes of espionage, combat, and good old-fashioned military derring-do put on film. In 1978, the sequel Force 10 from Navarone was released, but MacLean fans will prefer to check out the action-packed thriller Where Eagles Dare. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
This special-edition DVD gives the modern-day viewer a taste of what movies were like in 1961. Four curious featurettes are included, produced as publicity for the film. James Darren narrates a little ditty at his honeymoon in Malta during filming; Irene Papas narrates a giddy, old-fashioned look at "Two Girls on the Town." There's even a filmed bit with producer-writer Carl Foreman that showed once at the premiere. The 20-minute retrospective made in 1999 has the expected reminiscences from Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn. Director J. Lee Thompson's audio commentary is a bit frustrating; he's now in his 80s, and most of his recollections are slow in coming. A historian could have brought out the film's history (it was the most expensive movie ever made at time of release) and produced a more vital viewing. --Doug Thomas
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It is particularly engrossing to see the numerous interviews and featurettes with the cast that were produced both in 1960/61 and today. I found it fascinating to hear the perspectives of actors while they were working on the film contrasted with a forty-year retrospective. What I actually found more interesting was probably not even intended by the producers of the DVD. By watching interviews/newsreels then and now with the fabulously talented cast (Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, etc.), one can not only learn more about the conditions under which the film was produced, but also witness to some extent the evolution of hollywood culture. For lovers of behind-the-scenes special features, this DVD is a must-own.
However, I do agree with some of the other reveiwers complaints about the mediocre transfer to DVD. I did not think it was THAT big of an issue to hamper my enjoyment of the film, however--only enough for me to amend my review from 5 stars to four.
I watched this DVD a second time. The DVD has 2 audio tracks that contain different stereo mixes. This time I used audio track # 2 and found it to be much superior to # 1. I also made some adjustments to my TV settings to try to improve the color. I strongly recommend that when you watch this DVD that you lower the brightness level about 2 or 3 notches. You might also boost the color and contrast levels 1 or 2. This greatly improves the viewing pleasure and the color does not look quite as pale as the first time I watched it.
I also made a comment that the commentary track was slow moving. But I want to say that the person doing the commentary, the director J. Lee Thompson, is now 85 years old and he talks slow and because of this it can get kind of boring. But if you stick with it, there are some worthwhile comments.
Based on the adjustments listed above, I will now rate this DVD one star higher. There are still parts of the movie that exhibit a flickering picture but if your mind can overcome this problem, I think you will find this DVD to be quite enjoyable.
This movie is so superior that I would not want my earlier comments to steer people away from the DVD. If you have never seen this movie, you are in for a rip-roaring, high adventure, action packed, suspense classic. A great cast pulls out all stops. If you like The Dirty Dozen, Where Eagles Dare, Ice Station Zebra, you will go bananas when you see the Daddy of them all, The Guns of Navarone.
Most recent customer reviews
Great movie. Don't make them like this anymore. Good, quick delivery as well.Published 1 month ago by Allan A. Good
I placed this order for a friend of mine. Told me it came in great condition, I've never seen it so I wouldn't know. But he did say he enjoyed itPublished 1 month ago by Tommy K
THIS WAS FOR SOMEONE ELSE BUT I HAVE SEEN IT BEFORE. ANYTHING GREGORY PECK DID WAS GOOD.Published 3 months ago by warmhearted
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