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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    The Guns of Navarone, (1961) like a great many films, has its share of inaccuracies and mistakes, most of which would only be noticed by an expert...wrong ships and planes and trucks for the period the film is set in (1943), ect. But the goof in the opening scene, as a twin-engined plane is crash-landing at a middle east air strip, is so obvious that I wonder how it was not noticed by the director, J. Lee-Thompson, or any other member of the team and taken out and re-shot.



    As the plane is coming in for a crash landing and slides along the air strip, there is another twin-engined plane suspended on a wire directly above it, just hanging there like a model plane in a toy shop. How on Earth could Lee-Thompson not have noticed this? Didn't he and the Columbia executives have a private screening of the film before it was premiered and released? It seems incredible that no attempt was made to put this right. The frame below is captured from the DVD and you'd have to watch it as a moving picture to fully appreciate how bad it looks. I suppose this model work was done by the Special Effects team of, if I remember correctly from just watching the opening credits on the DVD, Bill Warrington and Wally Veevers. It should go down as the worst example of model work ever filmed for such an expensive CinemaScope war epic.



    There is mention on many sites on the Internet about this, but no one has ever come forward with an explanation for it. Anyway, I expect that, after nearly fifty years, most people who worked on the film have passed away. But perhaps one of our earstwhile members can shed some light on how this was allowed into the release version of the film. The problem with having such an inept scene opening the film is that after seeing this, the rest of the film is liable to lose all credibilty.




  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    I've never seen that movie from the very beginning, but if it is a horrible error, it sure didn't affect it at the box office as it was a huge hit.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Yes, it was a very big hit, Will. But if the rest of the film cost millions, they probably spent only a few cents on that opening model shot and it shows. If it was noticed at the studio screening and it was too late to re-shoot it, the best thing to have done would have been to take it out completely and just open with Gregory Peck getting out of the jeep and going into the headquarters. The scene of the plane crash landing served no purpose, anyway. To have left it out would not have affected the narrative.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    There are quite a few 'goofs' in that film according my military history expert friend.



    I saw a clip of Battle of Britain and noticed the cottage that Robert Shaw leaves had a modern looking door and doorbell. That was a very costly epic and it puzzles me as to why a a more accurate cottage couldn't have been used.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: England
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    yes it is pretty awful aint it. Cant understand why they let that go. Now you have mentioned it ,its gonna spoil that scene even more for me now lol

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windthrop
    There are quite a few 'goofs' in that film according my military history expert friend.


    My brother, who takes these things very seriously, was rather scathing about the climbing scenes. I suppose as with all films, Joe or Jane Public only notices mistakes in his or her sphere of interests and everyone else isn't bothered as long as the story works.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Actually, during the climbing scenes, they didn't climb any cliffs, but were crawling along the studio floor which was dressed up to look like cliffs. Behind them was a "far down below" back projection screen of a rough sea and the camera was positioned low to make it look on the finished film as though they were climbing the cliffs, while being sprayed with water that was meant to be rain. It all looked very realistic and far better than the model plane suspended in mid-air scene at the beginning.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainWaggett
    My brother, who takes these things very seriously, was rather scathing about the climbing scenes. I suppose as with all films, Joe or Jane Public only notices mistakes in his or her sphere of interests and everyone else isn't bothered as long as the story works.


    The 'willing suspension of disbelief' that all fiction works on.

  9. #9
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    So why did they need Gregory Peck to climb the cliff when they had agents on the island who could lower down a rope? And why is poor old Anthony Quayle not using the rope, so he falls & breaks his leg? I could go on...& on. Mind you, if you apply logic to just about any film it falls apart!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Generally speaking and overall, The Guns Of Navarone is a finely acted war epic with a wonderful score by Dimitri Tiomkin, but there are niggly things in it here and there that could have been done far better even then and today look ridiculous. Take the scene where Anna is shot. Being shot at such close range with an automatic pistol or revolver would cause her to be thrust violently backwards by the impact of the bullet. But there is no sense of impact when the bullet hits her. She just looks at her killer and then slumps slowly forward. I thought the same thing about the same kind of scene in The Blue Lamp when Jack Warner is shot at close range by Dirk Bogarde. At that range, the impact of the bullets would have sent him crashing backwards onto the pavement. But when he's shot, he just looks at Bogarde; holds his hand against his chest; closes his eyes and slumps to the ground. Totally unrealistic. I know they didn't like showing any blood in those days, but they could have made the shootings look a bit more real than that.



    Another anomaly in The Guns Of Navarone: They choose to climb the south cliff because it's unguarded, as the Germans know it's 400 feet straight up and can't be climbed by man or beast. Yet when Peck and Quinn get to the top, there's a German guard there who they have to deal with. What was he doing there, guarding the top of the cliff when they believed it was unclimbable? Obviously, there was no script conference before the film started shooting, to discuss any anomalies and mistakes like that in the script. There should have been.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator Country: UK christoph404's Avatar
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    Its been mentioned before but films are designed to be viewed in real time from start to finish and in that context "goofs" are just about impossible to notice,.... well they are for me. Now that we have the facility at home to view scenes over and over again, freeze frame, slow motion and so on it becomes easy to pick up on things that a viewing audience wouldn't notice or perhaps even care about! That plane in the background is hanging on wires but the fact that the camera is panning to the left gives the impression on first viewing that the plane could be moving to the right. Talking of realism, I often think its a bit un-realsitic to dissect films in such a way, movies are like theatre, we are watching a drama, nothing is real and I am of the opinion that a certain amount of stylized expression is acceptable, so someone being shot at close range and dying in a dramatic way is fine by me!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: United States will.15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan



    Another anomaly in The Guns Of Navarone: They choose to climb the south cliff because it's unguarded, as the Germans know it's 400 feet straight up and can't be climbed by man or beast. Yet when Peck and Quinn get to the top, there's a German guard there who they have to deal with. What was he doing there, guarding the top of the cliff when they believed it was unclimbable? Obviously, there was no script conference before the film started shooting, to discuss any anomalies and mistakes like that in the script. There should have been.


    I don't know if that's a big deal. What they may have meant it wasn't well guarded. Hell. it was only one German and they took care of him with no problem. Maybe he was just walking by.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Actually, there was a patrol post on top of the cliff with a telephone connected to headquarters. Seems strange that the Germans would go to that much trouble at the top of a cliff that they believed was unscalable and therefore weren't expecting a commando unit to come over the top of it.

  14. #14
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    The picture was great and had an excellent music score by Dimitri Tiomkin that is still recognised today.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    Yes, the score is excellent and I have the original Phillips LP of it from 1961. In fact, the score is so good, that it tends to make the actual film seem far better than it really is. Many a composer has helped "save" a film in this way. A pity that there are some very bad continuity gaffs in the actual film, though. Example: Anthony Quinn in his German uniform, has a medal ribbon over the top of his upper left tunic pocket that appears and disappears in between shots in the same scene. Why did nobody, including Quinn himself, notice this and say, between takes, "No, I don't want that tunic...I want the one with the strip over the top pocket." Terrible continuity by someone.



    Similar examples occurred at the end of Casablanca (1943), where Conrad Veidt's epelets on the shoulders of his army coat keep appearing and disappearing in alternate shots in the same scene and the equally bad continuity in High Noon (1952), where Gary Cooper's marshal's badge keeps appearing and disappearing on his waistcoat as he's talking in his office with Lloyd Bridges. If I'd directed any of these films, I'd have cringed with embarrassment when I attended the premiere. But in reality, I would have noticed these gaffs while watching the rushes every day and ordered the scenes to be re-shot. The question regarding such gaffs in The Guns Of Navarone is why didn't J. Lee-Thompson notice them? Perhaps he didn't always attend the screenings of the rushes.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain vincenzo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darrenburnfan
    Yes, the score is excellent and I have the original Phillips LP of it from 1961.


    Same here. Thankfully James Robertson Justice's narration is included over the opening Prologue theme.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Windthrop
    The 'willing suspension of disbelief' that all fiction works on.


    Absolutely correct!! I mean we're told Navarone is an island "of no strategic importance of its own" ... so if that's the case what was the point of the Germans going out of their way to build a multi-million Deutschmark gun emplacement there? ... and if it's an island why the blazes did those otherwise doomed destroyers have to cruise past cave mounted guns that couldn't be turned around? Couldn't they simply have gone round the other side of the island? And what are odds of finding a character like Mallory who just happens to speak German like a German and Greek like a Greek and is also the Worlds' greatest mountain climber. On top of all this we can't really expect him to be an expert on special photographic effects as well.



    I must have seen this film a dozen times - I still love it despite all the improbable rubbish.



    And that's the bloody truth!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: England darrenburnfan's Avatar
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    I agree. I still love watching the film despite it's obvious flaws and, of course, Richard Harris's "Australian" accent comes and goes in the same scene. Obviously, no one at the script conference (if there was one) mentioned that the British destroyers could have gone around the island of Keros and landed on the other side of it to rescue the soldiers.

  19. #19
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    I dont understand why no one has mentioned the atrocious attempt at an aussie accent by Richard Harris.he seems to think that using the word bloody in every sentance makes him sound as if he is from oz.Also remember that Niven is in the film because John Davies vented his anger against Kenny Moore by refusing to let him play the part.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by orpheum
    I dont understand why no one has mentioned the atrocious attempt at an aussie accent by Richard Harris.he seems to think that using the word bloody in every sentance makes him sound as if he is from oz.Also remember that Niven is in the film because John Davies vented his anger against Kenny Moore by refusing to let him play the part.


    While I can certainly knock his accent I think it's the scriptwriters who have to carry the can for the repeated use of bloody this and bloody that.

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