Guns of Navarone

Plot hole: Maria describes in lurid detail how Anna was arrested by the Germans and tortured by being severely whipped, leaving her with gruesome scars all over her back. She also says that Anna hasn't spoken a word to anyone since she escaped from captivity. How, then, does Maria (or anyone else) know about the scars? Nobody saw them (they don't exist) and Anna obviously didn't tell anyone about them.

Factual error: Miller rigs his booby trap by attaching the wires from the bomb to a pole down which a metal runner slides, so that when the runner touches the wires it completes the circuit and detonates the bomb. The trouble is, the pole is made of steel, and steel is very conductive indeed. Miller attaches the exposed end of the wire to the pole without any insulation or gap. The circuit will actually be completed when Miller attaches the battery, and he and his booby trap will be blown sky high.

Continuity mistake: When David Niven climbs the ladder to place explosives on the gun he is fully clothed. In the next second, showing him at work on the gun, he has no tunic and no officer's cap. (02:09:30)

Greg McCreanor

Plot hole: The huge guns are set high up on a cliff face facing out to sea and it is obvious that they cannot be depressed to fire at a downward angle - the massive gun carriages set on rails would prevent that happening. They cannot be elevated to fire at an upward angle, too, because they fit pretty snugly in the hole cut into the cliff face to accommodate them. This means that their maximum and minimum ranges would be quite close together, covering a strip of maybe a few hundred metres either side. Given that the sea is completely open on the side of the island they are protecting, why don't the ships targeted by the guns while passing the island simply sail inside or outside of the narrow stretch of sea the guns can hit?

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The guns are firing across a strait. A strait is a "narrow passage." Since the targets must appear at a limited range, the guns only need a limited elevation angle.

Noman Premium member

Watch the film again. The guns are facing the open sea. There is no land visible anywhere behind the ships. If that's a strait, it's a very, very wide one.

The mission given says the guns are guarding a strait. The last shot of the six destroyers shows land behind them on the opposite side of the strait.

Noman Premium member

Other summaries explain that the strait is only deep enough for the ships at the place which matches the guns' range. So ships could not take advantage of further away or closer in.

Then what are the dark shapes rising out of the sea on the far side of the ships. If they are not islands, what are they?

Noman Premium member

Factual error: SS Hauptmann Sessler, played by George Mikell, and uniform later worn by David Niven. Hauptmannn was a rank in Wehrmacht, not SS. Insignias looks like SS-Obersturmführer or maybe SS-Hauptsturmführer, but definately not Hauptmann.

Marcus Adelswärd

Other mistake: At the beginning of the film a bomber is crashing. As this is happening another bomber is stationary in the sky.

Other mistake: When Miller throws explosive into the German patrol boat's engine room it explodes in sheets of flame, etc. However, there is no damage at all to the fishing boat - no scorch marks and no debris. At least the sail should have caught fire.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where the group is climbing the cliff, even when Mallory and Stavros reach the summit and kill the German soldier, there is hard rain. However, in the next shot when they throw the German soldier by the cliff, there is no rain and the sky is clear.

Continuity mistake: When James Darren has his final shoot-out, the German officer approaching him looks unscathed, but then in the next shot his coat is full of bloody bullet holes, before they start shooting at each other. (02:16:35)

Revealing mistake: In the shots taken from above, on the scene where Mallory and Stavros are climbing the cliff under hard rain, the rain falls over the back of them, not over his head. Reveals that this scene was taken in horizontal position over the floor. Not taken in vertical position.

Continuity mistake: When the fishing boat is stuck at the base of the cliff we see it tossing and rolling. However, when Brown is in the hold there is no movement. Also when the men are unloading their supplies the boat is obviously fixed and stationary.

Continuity mistake: When Gregory Peck and David Niven are planting the explosives, they are both wearing uniform shoes, when they are getting ready to go down the rope to escape, they are both wearing paratrooper boots and Gregory Peck's are white.

Dennis Gannon

Continuity mistake: When the girl is killed by Maria we see a shot of her from the shoulders up. She is not shot in the head so we can only suppose that has been shot in the heart (for her to die so quickly) but when Brown checks her out there is no blood and no exit wound on her back. So where was she shot?

Other mistake: Towards the end, when the Germans are searching for explosives around the guns, there are several Germans using metal detectors, yet they are walking along the steel rail tracks and around metal shells and ammo boxes.

Factual error: When the commandos are heading to Navarone by fishing boat, they are buzzed by the piston-engine high-wing observer plane (looks a lot like a tricycle-gear Cessna, not around in that period). As the aircraft passes it sounds like they were buzzed by a big powerful craft, like a Mustang or a Spit.

Other mistake: After Mallory answers the field telephone on the rocks, the German telephone operator sounds the alarm. When the alarm goes off, Germans run out and jump onto a truck. When the truck drives away it says Dodge on the back.

Audio problem: When Maria is talking to the other woman at the ruins after she comes to, the last time she says, "Our friends," her lips don't match the words.

Other mistake: Throughout this movie it is stated that Mallory can speak German "perfectly", that is, without accentual or grammatical problems at all. But Gregory Peck's 'German' throughout the movie is obviously less than perfect. (I ought to know; I live in Germany and speak both English and German well enough to notice the difference.)

Factual error: German officers would not be present for the search of explosives and would certainly not take part in disarming them. Procedure would certainly have explosives experts do this while officers commanded the battle.

Fireball

Continuity mistake: When Anthony Quayle wakes up from breaking his leg, David Niven passes him a lit cigarette, but then, a few seconds later, he passes him another lit cigarette, which he puts in his mouth.

kh1616

Corporal Miller: Sir, I've inspected this boat, and I think you ought to know that I can't swim.

More quotes from Guns of Navarone

Trivia: Anthony Quinn was so taken with Rhodes, the location for the movie, that he decided to buy some land there. Particularly a bay formerly known as Vagies Bay, which is still called Anthony Quinn Bay.

More trivia for Guns of Navarone

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