Coming to 4K Ultra HD, Bluray, Digital and in Steelbook from director J. Lee Thompson and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the story of THE GUNS OF NAVARONE.
Kheros is an island and in 1943 over 2,000 British soldiers are unable to leave. What is called the Axis powers plan to assault the island and even when the Royal Navy tries to intervene, they are fired upon from Navarone Island. The only way to stop the shelling is by sending in a unit that can destroy the guns.
Major Roy Franklin (Anthony Quayle), along with Cpt. Keith Mallory (Gregory Peck), Col. Andrea Stavros (Anthony Quinn), Corporal Miller (David Niven), Spyros Pappadimos (James Darren) and “The Butcher” Brown (Stanley Baker) make up the group that will sail across the Aegean disguised as Greek fisherman and steal a German boat. Now that they are on high alert, Franklin is injured and the group is eventually captured by Muesel (Walter Gotell) and the interrogations begins.
This isn’t a team that is going to be stopped easily as they get German uniforms and make their way to their destination, Navarone. What they find there is treachery, lies and more difficulty than they could imagine to finish the mission, yet, that is what they plan to do and no one or nothing will stop with their own plans.
Peck as Mallory was/is a large presence on the screen in the film. He has the presence and the voice that is captivating and would make any soldier snap-to! Along with Peck is Quinn as Stavros who has a secret of his own but it does not stop him from going forward with the mission. Darren as Pappadimos was, at the time, a heart throb for many yet he fits into the cast extremely well.
Shout out to Richard Harris as he has been an actor I would recognize a mile away when growing up. I followed every film he was in and, as I got older, was thrilled beyond belief when he took his turn as the headmaster of Hogwarts and, quite honestly, was the reason I saw the film in the first place. As Barnsby, he is equal to the task as his American counterpart actors in telling this story.
Other cast include Irene Papas as Maria, Percy Herbert as Grogan, George Mikell as Sessler, Gia Scala as Anna, James Justice as Jensen, Albert Lieven as Commandant, Tutte Lemkov as Nicolai, Bryan Forbes as Cohn, Allan Cuthbertson as Baker, Michael Trubshawe as Weaver and Richard Harris as Barnsby.
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Special Features include Main Title Progression Reel and Theatrical Trailer on 4K Ultra HD. On Bluray the Features include Commentaries with Director J. Lee Thompson & Film Historian Stephen J. Rubin, Three Documentaries.
Also included is Audio Commentary by Director J. Lee Thompson, Audio Commentary by Film Historian Stephen J. Rubin, The Resistance Dossier of NAVARONE: interactive Feature, Forging THE GUNS OF NAVARONE: Notes from the Set, An Ironic Epic of Heroism, Memories of Navarone, Epic Restoration, A Heroic Score, Gret Guns, No Visitors, Honeymoon on Rhodes, Two Girls on the Town, Narration-Free Prologue and Message from Carl Foreman.
THE GUNS OF NAVARONE hit theatres in 1961 and is based on the novel by Alistair MacLean also called The Guns of Navarone. Premiering at London’s West End Odeon Leicester Square, it went on to be one of the top grossing films of 1961. It went on to win the Academy Award for Best Special Effects, two Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Original Score – Motion Picture, and a Laurel Award for Top Drama. It also came in at #89 in the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Thrills.
Coming in at two hours and thirty-eight minutes, it is a story fraught with intrigue, war, missions, dedication, locations, and the enemy trying to conquer the world. The cinematography is amazing for its age yet holds up to the test of time. Watching it once again reminds me of spending time with the family watching a good Friday night film at home with popcorn cheering on the hero.
In the end – it is the greatest adventure ever films!