The Guns of Navarone, directed by J. Lee Thompson, and released in summer of 1961, is a well made WWII action thriller.

Shot by Oswald Morris, with a score by Dimitri Tiomkin. Screenplay by Carl Foreman.

There were some 70mm blow-ups, and a number of magnetic 35s.

The negative was processed by Pathe in the UK, with prints produced in dye transfer by Technicolor.

The OCN, with all it’s inherent dupes, was well-loved over the years, with an analogue restoration performed c. 1989-90 by UCLA’s Robert Gitt.

Guns is a film that looks at good as it possibly can in 4k, with the addition of HDR, which is okay. It’s very much an “it is what it is” film.

Is it a film that deserves a 4k release? That’s the question. What has been gained over a new image harvest presented via a new Blu-ray.

Color is generally fine, with dupes looking as precisely what they are. Grain (the film was shot on the new 5250 stock) is inherent, and the imagery imparts the normal deficiencies of non-panavision anamorphic optics of the era.

Still a superb film, that stands up nicely to test of time, as does the original stereo mix, now with Dolby Atmos added, which enlivens the proscenium.

Image – 4 (HDR)

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors – Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k – 2.5

Recommended

RAH
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Robert Crawford

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Hmm, I'm going to try to watch my 4K disc this evening.
I watched the movie in its entirety on 4K disc and I'm a happy camper. The video presentation in 4K/HDR looks really good and is definitely a step up from the Blu-ray. I compared a couple of sequences from the 4K digital that doesn't have any HDR applied to it against the disc with 4K/HDR and you can tell where the color space gives the disc a more vibrant look. Furthermore, the Dolby Atmos track is really impressive and in my humble opinion, one of the best Atmos tracks from that film era. I need to compare it to the LOA 4K disc, but I don't remember that 4K disc sounding as impressive as this one. Perhaps, I'm misremembering, but even if I am, the 4K disc of "The Guns of Navarone" deserves a shout out for excellence.
 

Billy Batson

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Thanks for the review. I was undecided but probably will now stay with the blu ray. It also gives me less confidence that Where Eagles Dare (a better film) will ever be worth releasing in 4k.
Well I hope Where Eagles Dare is worth a 4K release. As far as I know there's no inherent problems with the original negatives, & I'd think a new scan from them would give something much better that what we have now, which looks like an okay DVD as best (I don't know, but I wouldn't think the Blu-ray was scanned from the original negatives). Anyway, fingers crossed!
 

Angelo Colombus

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When the movie came out on laserdisc under the Studio Heritage Collection back in 1994 it was the first time i ever viewed a restoration credit that was show after the movie. Still have that laserdisc and the Blu-ray so i might buy this new release.
 
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Chewbabka

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Is it a film that deserves a 4k release? That's the question. What has been gained over a new image harvest presented via a new Blu-ray.
So I take this to mean that it is a definite improvement over the extant Blu-Ray. I say, what’s the harm in dumping the new transfers on the latest format? It probably drives more consumers to “upgrade” than if it was merely a remastered Blu, making the releases more profitable, and helping the format and physical media at large.
 

JoeDoakes

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The Guns of Navarone, directed by J. Lee Thompson, and released in summer of 1961, is a well made WWII action thriller.

Shot by Oswald Morris, with a score by Dimitri Tiomkin. Screenplay by Carl Foreman.

There were some 70mm blow-ups, and a number of magnetic 35s.

The negative was processed by Pathe in the UK, with prints produced in dye transfer by Technicolor.

The OCN, with all it's inherent dupes, was well-loved over the years, with an analogue restoration performed c. 1989-90 by UCLA's Robert Gitt.

Guns is a film that looks at good as it possibly can in 4k, with the addition of HDR, which is okay. It's very much an "it is what it is" film.

Is it a film that deserves a 4k release? That's the question. What has been gained over a new image harvest presented via a new Blu-ray.

Color is generally fine, with dupes looking as precisely what they are. Grain (the film was shot on the new 5250 stock) is inherent, and the imagery imparts the normal deficiencies of non-panavision anamorphic optics of the era.

Still a superb film, that stands up nicely to test of time, as does the original stereo mix, now with Dolby Atmos added, which enlivens the proscenium.

Image – 4 (HDR)

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 2.5

Recommended

RAH
Based on my limited knowledge, I would have thought that an early 1960s widescreen large scale action film like this would be ideal for 4K. What is holding this back?
 

MarkantonyII

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Based on my limited knowledge, I would have thought that an early 1960s widescreen large scale action film like this would be ideal for 4K. What is holding this back?
You may be right, unfortunately in the case of GoN lab work carried out 60 odd years ago knackered the camera negative, which is why theres scenes that use dupes with contrast/detail issues.

Also as RAH mentions, it was shot Cinemascope rather than Panavision, which means the picture quality is not as good as if they had gone with the latter.

In 20 years, with advances in AI processing, some of these faults may be fixable, for now this is as good as it gets, the well has been dried up!

M
 

Mark-P

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You may be right, unfortunately in the case of GoN lab work carried out 60 odd years ago knackered the camera negative, which is why theres scenes that use dupes with contrast/detail issues.
The dupe sections are because that’s how the film was originally edited, with printer functions cut into the oneg rather that using A/B reels, not because of damage to the negative.
 

MarkantonyII

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The dupe sections are because that’s how the film was originally edited, with printer functions cut into the oneg rather that using A/B reels, not because of damage to the negative.
Not originally, Technicolor London processed the negative and their initial prints were all fine, the damage occured when it went to Eastman i believe and they unnecessarily caused the issue.

Ignore the above, i misremembered, as per RAH’s blu ray review from a decade ago:

“The film was a UK production, with some photography in Greece and L.A. Originally handled by Technicolor London, with the OCN cut for auto-select. Original UK produced dye transfer prints show what the film looked like before the alternations. The OCN was later moved to the Colonies and entrusted to Movielab. I presume there was a financial savings. The OCN was re-cut from auto-select to single strand, with all printer functions duped in.”
 
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