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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by J. Lee Thompson
UK / USA 1961

 

Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn and David Niven are Allied saboteurs assigned an impossible mission: infiltrate an impregnable Nazi-held island and destroy the two enormous long-range field guns that prevent the rescue of 2,000 trapped British soldiers. Blacklisted screenwriter Carl Foreman (High Noon, The Bridge on the River Kwai) was determined to re-establish both his name and credibility after spending most of the 50's working in anonymity. To accomplish this, he decided to bring Alistair MacLean's best-selling novel, The Guns of Navarone, to the screen. Supported by an all-star cast and produced on a grand scale, the film was an enormous success, receiving seven 1961 Academy Award(r) nominations (including Best Picture) and winning for Best Special Effects. Although Foreman achieved his goal, it was MacLean who would wind up the true beneficiary; his novels became the source for many high adventure screen epics, including Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare. However, it is The Guns of Navarone that remains not only the best of the MacLean adaptations, but one of the greatest action/adventure spectacles ever produced.

***

The settings, fighters, and armaments change, but the fervor, terror, heroism, cowardice, agony, resentment, egotism, majesty, relief, pain, death, joy, love, corruption, humor, and insanity abide, as does the desire to mythologize war's grotesquerie. Unlike his progeny, though, Homer didn't bother with scoring political points. Neither pro- nor anti-war, he offered no special succor to those appalled or elated by it. For that, we've got liberals, conservatives, and, for lack of a better term, libratives — those who count receipts before taking sides.

Excerpt from Gary Gidd1ns at the NY Sun located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: 27 April 1961 (London, UK) / 22 June 1961 (USA)

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Comparison:

Sony Pictures (Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Sony Pictures - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the DVD Review!

1) Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

 

 

 

   

   

   

 

Distribution

Sony Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Sony Pictures

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 2:36:25 2:36:24.141
Video

2.27:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.62 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,376,267,825 bytes

Feature: 35,373,883,392 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.68 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Bitrate Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0); French Dub (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish Dub (Dolby Digital 2.0), Portuguese Dub (Dolby Digital 5.1) DTS-HD Master Audio English 2154 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2154 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
* Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / Dolby Surround
* Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -3dB / Dolby Surround

* Commentaries

Subtitles English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, None English, English (SDH),, Arabic, Chinese (Traditional or Simplified), Dutch, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.27:1

Edition Details:
• Disc 1:
• Commentary by director J. Lee Thompson
• Commentary by film historian Stephen J. Rubin
• A message from Carl Foreman (2:01)
• Disc 2:
• 'Forging the Guns of Navarone' Documentary (13:58)
• 'Ironic Epic of Heroism' Documentary (24:36)
• 'Memories of Navarone' Retrospective Documentary (29:34)
• New Featurettes ('A Heroic Score', 'Epic Restoration')
• 'Narration-Free Prologue', 'Roadshow Intermission'
• Original Featurettes ('Great Guns', 'No Visitors', 'Honeymoon on Rhodes', 'Two Girls on the Town')
• 3 Trailers for other movies (Edison Force, Hard Luck, Walking Tall the Payback)
• Easter Egg

DVD Release Date: May 8, 2007
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,376,267,825 bytes

Feature: 35,373,883,392 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.68 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• The Greek Resistance (interactive - select further points of interest)
- The Old School Wizardry of The Guns of Navarone
- World War II and the Greek Islands
The Real World of Guns of Navarone
- The Navarone Effect

- Military Fact or Fiction

• Commentary by director J. Lee Thompson
• Commentary by film historian Stephen J. Rubin
• A message from Carl Foreman (2:00)
• 'Forging the Guns of Navarone' Documentary (13:59)
• 'Ironic Epic of Heroism' Documentary (24:36)
• 'Memories of Navarone' Retrospective Documentary (29:34)
• New Featurettes ('A Heroic Score', 'Epic Restoration')
• 'Narration-Free Prologue', 'Roadshow Intermission' (5:45)
• Original Featurettes ('Great Guns', 'No Visitors', 'Honeymoon on Rhodes', 'Two Girls on the Town')

Blu-ray Release Date:
October 18th, 2011
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - October 11': The Guns of Navarone finally gets its 1080P transfer. The existing elements still remain at the weaker end - but the higher resolution definitely improves in tightening-up colors and the 'scope' factor is far more prominent than the previous SD. The dual-layered transfer of the 2.5 hour film quadruples the DVD bitrate, shows a shade more information in the frame - skin tones lose their orange hues and warm-up, reds and blues are notably richer but all colors improve to some degree. Although I thought I saw edge-enhancement - I could not positively identify it by zooming-in and if the halos exist they may be of an extremely high frequency and essentially unobtrusive. It lacks depth (looking decidedly flat at times) but the image is darker without excessive noise. Bottom line - it does look better visually than SD but will never look... pristine. Sony's move to HD will be its best digital representation that occasionally exposes some Cinemascope mumps (horizontal stretching).  

Audio goes the route of a DTS-HD Master 5.1 track at 2154 kbps and it has some positive attributes toward exporting the soundstage. Separations, predictably, are not dynamically crisp. Dimitri Tiomkin's fine score does tighten up and sounds impressive in lossless. There are two optional foreign language DUBs to access or a list of subtitle choices indicating the disc is, indeed, region FREE capable of playing on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

Supplements contains the multitude of extras from the 2-disc set Collector's Edition DVD including the commentaries, video features plus add an new feature entitled The Greek Resistance which heads the lead to allowing you to select further points of interest via interactive text screens including sub-headings like 'Military Fact or Fiction', 'The Real World of Guns of Navarone', 'World War II and the Greek Islands' etc.

It's a film that you need to own ion its best home theater representation - and this is it. he price of the Blu-ray is current $0.50 more than the DVD set. Easily recommendable.

- Gary Tooze

***

ON THE DVD: It's surprising that only one, A Passage to India, of the Sony's Collector's Edition classics released in 2007-2008 (not The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Caine Mutiny, Lawrence of Arabia or The Guns of Navarone) have received a Blu-ray yet. The restored transfer for this particular title looks excellent, but should look much better in high resolution. All the shortcomings of the image is due to the condition as existing materials, as explained in the DVD Savant review (HERE). The soundtrack includes original stereo as well as 5.1 remix from 4.0 audio master plus dubs in 3 different languages (Spanish, French, Portuguese).

The 2-Disc Set is loaded with extras, porting over some extras from the old 1-disc edition and includes a new commentary with a film historian Stephen J. Rubin which is a better listen than the old commentary with the director. Much more informative are a multiple of vintage and new documentaries and featurettes, 29-Minute 'Memories of Navarone' being a standout that features some actors that are no longer with us. This DVD is recommended, but better to wait for a high definition release.

 - Gregory Meshman

 


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1) Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) Sony - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) Sony - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


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Distribution

Sony Pictures

Region 1 - NTSC

Sony Pictures

Region FREE - Blu-ray

 




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