AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
The Guns of Navarone
Director: J. Lee Thompson (Dir)
Release Date:   1 Jul 1961
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 22 Jun 1961
Duration (in mins):   157
Print this page
Display Movie Summary

Cast:   Gregory Peck (Mallory)  
    David Niven (Miller)  
    Anthony Quinn (Andrea)  
    Stanley Baker (Brown)  
    Anthony Quayle (Franklin)  
    Irene Papas (Maria)  
    Gia Scala (Anna)  
    James Darren (Pappadimos)  
    James Robertson-Justice (Jensen/Narrator)  
    Richard Harris (Barnsby)  
    Bryan Forbes (Cohn)  
    Allan Cuthbertson (Baker)  
    Michael Trubshawe (Weaver)  
    Percy Herbert (Grogan)  
    George Mikell (Sessler)  
    Walter Gotell (Muesel)  
    Tutte Lemkow (Nicholai)  
    Albert Lieven (Commandant)  
    Norman Wooland (Group captain)  
    Cleo Scouloudi (Bride)  
    Nicholas Papakonstantantinou (Patrol boat captain)  
    Christopher Rhodes (German gunnery officer)  

Summary: In 1943, an Allied force becomes trapped on the island of Kheros in the Aegean Sea. The only possible way to evacuate the men is through a small channel dominated by two huge German guns buried deep in the solid rocks of Navarone. Because the guns are impregnable against air or sea attack, a sabotage team of six is sent to Navarone in a desperate attempt to destroy the massive weapons. Security officer Major Franklin leads the commandos, who include: Captain Mallory, a world-famous mountaineer; Corporal Miller, an explosives expert; Col. Andrea Stavros, a Greek resistance fighter; Pvt. Spyros Pappadimos, a New York--educated delinquent who was born on Navarone; and C. P. O. Brown, a veteran knife fighter. After sinking a German patrol boat, the little group loses its own vessel in a violent storm. The men reach shore with their gear, however, and succeed in scaling a sheer cliff face, the only unguarded approach to Navarone. In the ascent Franklin breaks his leg, and Mallory assumes command. The saboteurs then make contact with two resistance fighters (Spyros' sister, Maria, and a former schoolteacher, Anna, who has been shocked into dumbness by Nazi torture). Despite the aid of the two women, the commandos are captured by the Germans. Andrea tricks the Nazi guards, and the saboteurs escape in their captors' uniforms. As they approach the guns, they learn that Anna is a traitor, feigning muteness while supplying the Germans with the group's positions. Realizing she must be killed, Mallory draws his pistol, but it is Maria who fires the fatal bullet. Mallory and Miller then sneak into the fortress and set their explosives, while the others divert the attention of the Germans. Brown and Spyros are killed in the fighting, but the remainder of the group escape to the sea. At midnight British destroyers move into the channel and head for Kheros. As the giant weapons swing into action, a tremendous explosion shatters the entire cliff and the guns of Navarone crash into the sea. 

Production Company: Open Road Films, Ltd.  
Distribution Company: Columbia Pictures  
Director: J. Lee Thompson (Dir)
  Peter Yates (Asst dir)
  Roy Millichip (Asst dir)
Producer: Highroad Productions (Pres)
  Carl Foreman (Prod)
  Cecil F. Ford (Assoc prod)
  Leon Becker (Assoc prod)
Photography: Oswald Morris (Dir of photog)
  Denys Coop (Cam op)
  Ronnie Maasz (Cam asst)
  Michael Rutter (2d cam asst)
  Albert Lott (Cam grip)
  John Wilcox (Dir of photog 2d unit)
  Dudley Lovell (Cam op 2d unit)
  Geoffrey Glover (1st asst 2d unit)
  Jimmy Turrell (1st asst 2d unit)
  Douglas Milsone (2d asst 2d unit)
Art Direction: Geoffrey Drake (Art dir-prod des)
  Frank Willson (Asst art dir)
Film Editor: Alan Osbiston (Film ed)
  Raymond Poulton (Assoc ed)
  John Victor Smith (Assoc ed)
  Oswald Hafenrichter (Assoc ed)
  Joan Morduch (1st asst ed)
Set Decoration: Maurice Fowler (Set dresser)
  Robert Cartwright (Draughtsman)
Costumes: Olga Lehmann (Ward des)
  Monty Berman (Cost)
Music: Dimitri Tiomkin (Mus comp & cond)
  Sinfonia of London (Mus perf by)
Sound: John Cox (Sd rec)
  George Stephenson (Sd rec)
  Vivian C. Greenham (Sd ed)
  Jack W. Davies (Boom op)
  Ernie Webb (Sd cam op)
Special Effects: Bill Warrington (Spec eff)
  Wally Veevers (Spec eff)
Make Up: George Frost (Makeup chief)
  Wally Schneiderman (Makeup artist)
  Joan Smallwood (Hairdresser)
Production Misc: Harold Buck (Prod mgr)
  Pamela Davies (Cont)
  Lee Turner (2d unit cont)
  Golda Offenheim (Prod secy)
  Lt. Gen. Fritz Beyerlein (Tech adv)
  Brig. Gen. D. S. T. Turnbull (Tech adv)
  Lt. Col. P. F. Kertemelidis (Tech adv)
  Lt. Gen. P. J. Hands (Tech adv)
  Cmdr. John Theologitis (Tech adv)
  Maj. P. M. Lazaridis (Tech adv)
  Maj. W. D. Langham (Tech adv)
  Jack Sullivan (Chief elec)
  G. J. Moodey (Carpenter)
  Bernard Murrell (Props)
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: Sung by Elga Andersen.
Source Text: Based on the novel Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean (London, 1957).
Authors: Alistair MacLean

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Open Road Films 1/7/1961 dd/mm/yyyy LP20445

Physical Properties: col: Eastman Color
  Widescreen/ratio: CinemaScope

Genre: Melodrama
Sub-Genre: World War II
Subjects (Major): Aegean Sea
  Military occupation
  World War II--Resistance movements
  World War II

Note: The film was shot on location on the island of Rhodes. According to a HR news item, James Mason was originally to co-star in the film with Gregory Peck and Anthony Quinn. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Hollywood Reporter   6 Nov 1959   p. 10.

Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
Advanced Search
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2017 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.