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‘The Guns of Navarone’ 4K UHD (Blu-ray review)

Sony

The Guns of Navarone is an incredible movie about camaraderie, courage, and determination.

It is also one of my father’s favorite films. He showed me this film when I was a kid. Definitely too young to understand all the themes and the subtexts, but what I saw was enough to make me love it and continue to do so.

It was the introduction to my foray into WWII films. It is also one of the films on both my wife’s and my list of comfort films. Our mutual love of WWII films was and is a part of the connective tissue that makes our relationship so special.

The Guns of Navarone is the story of a small band of Allied soldiers tasked with the destruction of two gigantic long-range guns on the island of Navarone. Should they fail, the fate of 2000 British soldiers will end in tragedy. It is as intriguing as it is engrossing.

Beautifully shot in Greece, I was initially struck by the opening shots of this beautiful country and the opening narration. It was one of the first films where I was aware of cinematography and storytelling.

The story is one that still holds up. One that is often imitated because of how well it works. The small band of fighters is brought together to go up against insurmountable odds to try and achieve the goal of taking down a juggernaut force and their powerful superweapon.

Just that description alone will conjure up a myriad of films for you, I am sure. There is a reason it works. At its source, it is the story of the underdog, and who doesn’t love to root for the underdog?

Gregory Peck is the coolest dude in the world, and in this film, he plays Capt. Mallory with all his usual suave coolness you come to expect. Where I wanted to be Peck I was more like David Niven’s Cpl. John Miller. He is the perfect foil to Peck. Sarcastic and fun in the beginning he makes Peck’s “straight man” even more charming. By the end though he has accepted his role and fate as a leader of men in a situation he does not 100% agree with and this is where he really shines. These two actors’ chemistry is at the heart of what makes this film work so well. They play off each other so well I wish they had worked together more often. They are the heart and soul of this film.

Along with the two main characters, the amazing supporting cast of character actors, including the incredible Anthony Quinn, elevates this film to legendary status. Their performances turn what otherwise would be another generic WWII film into the stand-out feature it has become. Also keep an eye out for a young Richard Harris as Squad Leader Barnaby.

Extras include commentaries, multiple featurettes, and trailers.

If you haven’t seen this gem of a film, I highly recommend you seek it out and watch it. If you have already seen it, then it may just be time to pop some popcorn and sit back and watch one of the best war adventure films of all time.

 

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