THE GUNS OF NAVARONEInformation From IMDb
DIRECTED BY J. LEE THOMPSON/ ALEXANDER MACKENDRICK (uncredited)
COLUMBIA PICTURES CORPORATION
DIRECTED BY J. LEE THOMPSON/ ALEXANDER MACKENDRICK (uncredited)
COLUMBIA PICTURES CORPORATION
Two powerful German guns control the seas past the Greek island of Navarone making the evacuation of endangered British troops on a neighboring island impossible. Air attack is useless so a team of six Allied and Greek soldiers is put ashore to meet up with partisans to try and dynamite the guns. The mission is perilous enough anyway but are the Germans on the island getting further help too?.
Written by Jeremy Perkins
Gregory Peck ... Capt. Keith Mallory
David Niven ... Cpl. Miller
Anthony Quinn ... Col. Andrea Stavros
Stanley Baker ... Pvt. 'Butcher' Brown
Anthony Quayle ... Maj. Roy Franklin
James Darren ... Pvt. Spyros Pappadimos
Irene Papas ... Maria Pappadimos
Gia Scala ... Anna
James Robertson Justice ... Commodore Jensen / Prologue Narrator
Richard Harris ... Squadron Leader Howard Barnsby RAAF
Bryan Forbes ... Cohn
Allan Cuthbertson ... Maj. Baker
Michael Trubshawe ... Weaver
Percy Herbert ... Sgt. Grogan
George Mikell ... Sessler
Walter Gotell ... Muesel
Tutte Lemkow ... Nikolai, the laundry boy
Albert Lieven ... The Commandant
Norman Wooland ... Group Captain
Cleo Scouloudi ... Bride
Nicholas Papakonstantinou ... Patrol Boat Captain
Christopher Rhodes ... German Master Gunner
Victor Beaumont ... German officer in gun cave (uncredited)
Jack Cooper ... German Soldier on Patrol Boat (uncredited)
Carl Duering ... German radar operator (uncredited)
Wolf Frees ... Radio operator (uncredited)
Peter Grant ... British commando (uncredited)
Rosemary Nicols ... (uncredited)
Michael Sarne ... Extra (uncredited)
Bob Simmons ... German Soldier on Navarone (uncredited)
Alistair MacLean (novel) (as Alistair Maclean)
Carl Foreman (written by)
Leon Becker .... associate producer
Cecil F. Ford .... associate producer
Carl Foreman .... producer
* Anthony Quayle spent part of WWII in Albania organizing guerilla forces.
* William Holden asked for $750,000 plus 10% of the gross to play Mallory. He was turned down and Gregory Peck was cast.
* One of the Rhodian locations used in the film has been renamed "Anthony Quinn Bay" after the actor was reported to have bought property nearby.
* The plot went through so many twists that Gregory Peck finally submitted his own version to 'Carl Foreman' : "David Niven really loves Anthony Quayle and Gregory Peck loves Anthony Quinn. Tony Quayle breaks a leg and is sent off to hospital. Tony Quinn falls in love with Irene Papas, and Niven and Peck catch each other on the rebound and live happily ever after."
* The only time David Niven ever smoked cigarettes on screen.
* Original director was Alexander Mackendrick, but he was fired by 'Carl Foreman' due to "creative differences".
* David Niven wears a Light Infantry cap badge on his beret. This was the regiment he was commissioned into in WW2.
* David Niven replaced Kenneth More.
* Dean Martin and Alec Guinness were considered for David Niven's role.
* Despite the narrated prologue (see Memorable Quotes) setting the "historical background", this is a work of fiction. There was no such mission, because there never were any guns of Navarone.
* Rock Hudson was considered for Gregory Peck's role. Cary Grant was also briefly considered, but was rejected as being too old at 56.
* Gregory Peck often said he was disappointed that so many viewers had missed how anti-war the film was intended to be.
* "Yialo Yialo" ("Seashore, Seashore"), heard sung at a wedding celebration, is a Greek folk song about love and the sea. As with many provincial folk songs, verses are often improvised as it's sung. The first verse heard in the film (asking the sea not to wake the singer's beloved) is standard, while the second verse, sung by actor/singer James Darren, is ostensibly improvised. The verse asks the mountains to bow down so that he can see his dearest love, "Anoula", and far-away home, "Rahoula".
* Stanley Baker's character, Pvt. Brown is referred to as "The Butcher of Barcelona" by Capt Mallory, as a reference to his service with the Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. In the 1930s, Carl Foreman, the producer and screenwriter of the film, had been a member of the Communist Party, many of whose members fought for the Republic during the Civil War. Foreman was blacklisted during the early 1950s and moved to England, where he continued to work in the film industry. During the period of the blacklist, left-wing supporters of the Spanish Republic often were denounced for being "premature anti-fascists" for having fought against Franco, Hitler and Mussolini before the U.S. went to war against the Axis two years after the collapse of the Spanish Republic.
* Revealing mistakes: When Mallory and Miller are sitting in the truck below the guns, they use a small flashlight to illuminate the map. As they move the flashlight across the map, the circle of light stops but the flashlight continues to move for a moment after the circle of light stops moving; Mallory quickly moves it back. This shows the flashlight is not the light source on the map.
* Continuity: When Stavros rips open Anna's dress to look for the scars on her back, medal ribbons appear and disappear on his uniform between shots.
* Revealing mistakes: At the start of the film, we see a plane coming in for a crash-landing on an air strip. As the plane heads in, we see another plane, which looks like a bomber, defying gravity and quite clearly suspending itself in mid air. A few moments later, as the plane lands, a second bomber is seen clearly suspended in mid-air.
* Continuity: In the shot establishing the outdoor cafe, a waiter is seen serving two men at a table. This exact shot is used again later to establish that the action has returned here. Other shots a re-used as well.
* Crew or equipment visible: When the Germans finally cut through the big doors and rush down the tunnel, two large production lights are clearly visible in the background.
* Continuity: When Miller puts on his German uniform, the sleeves are too short. As the group leaves the German headquarters, his uniform fits perfectly.
* Revealing mistakes: When the saboteurs push the captured German truck off the mountain road, a retrieval cable attached to the rear of the truck can be seen dragging across the road surface.
* Factual errors: Oberleutnant Muesel calls SS officer Sessler by the rank of "Hauptmann". This is a German Army rank, equal to Captain, but was not used by the SS. The equivalent SS rank was "Hauptsturmführer," or "head storm leader". Sessler's collar insignia is that of an SS Hauptsturmführer.
* Revealing mistakes: On SS officer Sessler's uniform, shoulder boards, as well as the "German Eagle" emblem on upper left arm, are missing.
* Audio/visual unsynchronized: Aboard the motorboat, Maria makes a statement directly to Andrea, leaving him room to answer her. In the audio, he answers, "Yes." In the video, he nods, and his mouth stays shut, lips not moving.
* Anachronisms: In the opening sequence at the airfield, Mallory looks out toward smoke rising from a crashed plane. The film takes place in 1943, but on the right side of the shot a c.1960 pick-up truck is clearly visible.
* Continuity: The steering wheel on the second truck the saboteurs hijack and use throughout the remainder of the film, is on the right, indicating it is a British, not German, vehicle. But in the scene immediately following their taking the truck, as Maria, Mallory and Andrea watch the bombing of the nearby town from the truck's cab, the steering wheel is suddenly back on the left.
* Continuity: When James Darren has his final showdown with the German officer, there is a brief shot of the officer walking towards Darren prior to either firing. In this scene the officer's uniform already shows the bullet wounds which he has yet to receive.
* Factual errors: When the Germans are searching the gun positions for explosives, German soldiers are using mine detection equipment and 'sweeping' the tracks leading up to the guns. This is a useless activity since the detection equipment is a metal detector and would give off a signal due to the steel rails.
* Continuity: Toward the end of the film, when the big guns are firing at the British convoy, the two guns fire consecutively, not simultaneously. However, after the second firing, the camera cuts to the convoy, and we see two splashes in the water, one on each side of the ship.
* Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Anna regains consciousness at the ruins and sits up in fear, Maria grabs her and tells her, "They're friends - our friends." She then repeats the phrase "Our friends" in Greek, dubbed in on the soundtrack, while her lips clearly form the words "Our friends" in English.
* Revealing mistakes: When a German truck is driven to a spot where there is an ambush waiting, a grenade is thrown and the truck blows up. However, you can see the truck move slightly, where the film crew have moved the original truck, and then put in a dummy or mock-up truck which can be blown up.
* Continuity: When the Mallory team arrives by boat at the British Army post at 1600 hours on the first day, Mallory clearly has his briefcase handcuffed to his right armed as it had been at the Middle East airfield office. A few minutes later, while walking around on the dock, waiting for Major Baker to arrive, the briefcase is clearly no longer on his right arm, but then reappears again on his right arm just a few seconds later.
* Anachronisms: After the team has scaled the cliff the Germans respond to an alarm jumping on trucks and driving towards the mountain. When driving off the you can clearly see printed Dodge on the back latch of one truck. Germans did not drive Dodge trucks in the second world war.
* Revealing mistakes: After the boat sinks and the unit is stranded on the island, Mallory begins to climb the cliff face. As the camera pans to the top, we see stars in the night sky above, even though it is raining profusely.
* Factual errors: In the opening moments, the guns of Navarone are shown firing interspersed with footage of ships sinking. One of the ships shown exploding is the British battleship HMS Barham, which was not hit by coastal artillery but was sunk after being torpedoed by a German U-boat.
* Factual errors: Most of the light cargo/utility vehicles (including the one dropped off the cliff) are not German in origin. The majority of the vehicles appear to be Dodge T214 and T215 series vehicles, manufactured in the USA, and passed on to the Allies through the Lend-Lease act - but not the Germans.
* Factual errors: The 6x6 armored cars which appear repeatedly throughout the movie are not German SDKfZ series vehicles, but rather, American Ford M8 'Greyhound' armored cars, which were used by the Allies, but not the Germans. In addition, the tanks featured in the film appear to be American M24 Chaffee light tanks, which not only weren't in service in Germany, but did not enter production until 1944.
* Factual errors: On the "2nd day, 07.30 hours" there is a scene on the boat at harbor in which Col. Stavros' shadow is directly beneath him, not off to the side as it would be at 7:30 am.
* When Miller is slapping the grease on the pole, his hands are covered with a very thick layer of it, but when he puts the rat on the cannon supposedly a few minutes later, his hands are completely clean. There was not time to clean his hands so thoroughly.
*Franklin is tortured by the Germans and then injected with the truth drug scopolamine, giving up the false "information" regarding the objective of the operation. However, there was no need for the Germans to torture Franklin in the beginning since they already "knew" what the team's objective was. Supposedly the Kurdish laundry boy, Anna, or both had already had the opportunity to inform the Germans of the operation and its objective. That is why the German officers Poesel and Sessler interrogated them as to the whereabouts of the explosives only, not what the explosives were to be used for, when the team was captured in Mandrakos.
Associated British Elstree Studios, Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Iverson Ranch, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England, UK
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