Action and adventure await six men on a dangerous mission to destroy the two powerful guns on German occupied Navarone. These guns control the fate of the seas and nearby Greek islands, including one full of trapped British troops. No one can get to or leave the island, not even by plane and more men are lost every day. The six men, hand picked with their own abilities, must sail into enemy waters, scale vertical cliffs and somehow sneak into the German base in order to complete their mission.
The action and special effects are the best things about this film. Not one ounce of water is spared when the little boat is caught in a fierce storm in the middle of the sea. It splashes everywhere and the boat rocks until we’re afraid it’ll just fall apart. And the explosions, ah! Every red blooded American loves a good explosion, and they’re so satisfying here.
Along with the action is an excellent feeling of suspense. Thompson knows how to make his audience anxious and how to pull the tension just slow enough so that the snap is a great release. And this isn’t done once, but at all different obstacles through the mission. Without such great action and thrilling suspense, this would just be another dull war movie with no adventure.
I have to poke fun at the sound effects. When the wind howls, it drones until it’s annoying. The splashing of waves can sound like a kid in a bathtub at one minute and then Shamoo landing the next. And the variety of sirens! At one point I was laughing as Germans were marching to their guns because I couldn’t get over the noise the siren was making. I know it was fifty years ago, but they weren’t all deaf were they?
If you’re not into musicals, The Guns of Navarone is the most fun you’ll have for ’61. It’s a high seas, cliff hanging, big ol’ explosion good time. Watch it if you’re into old action flicks. I would even suggest looking for more strange sound effects. Plus, there’s this hysterical line to tied up Nazis:
“Hmm, not very hygenic. Stark choice of undies, too. Heil, everybody!”