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15 top war movies: 'The Guns of Navarone', part 2

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"The Guns of Navarone" (1961)

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Without the onerous task of wooing any heroine, Peck really has the chance to fully show off his leadership skills in character and as an actor. His impressive command of the screen reflects on the supporting cast, which includes Niven as partly bitter comic relief and Quinn as moody, revengeful darkening for the group. Together with Quayle as the propagator of the mission, the entire cast is so credible that the united strength of their talents guarantees a memorable experience for the audience.

The Guns of Navarone has real action and teamwork, a true sense of heroism and the sacrifices involved. It shows the atmosphere of World War II, overshadowing its tour of modern Greece with the presence of the Nazis. Even the spoken German is played out to perfection, as the team must masquerade as the enemy, deal with the enemy directly, and destroy the enemy by detonating the guns of Navarone. Also, the underlying dilemma of morality arises during the movie, e.g. the problem of deciding when and if a “casualty of war” is anything but a pardoned murder. Classy and a bittersweet ballad to honor all fallen warriors, The Guns of Navarone is a masterpiece of a war film.

The Guns of Navarone is available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc wherever movies are sold in Fresno and online; it also can be rented for free from local libraries.

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