The Guns of Navarone 4K SteelBook review

Nov 07, 2023- Permalink

Sony has released the 1961 action film The Guns of Navarone as a 4K limited-edition SteelBook. Sony last released it as a 4K two years ago; this version adds Dolby Vision HDR grading and a collectible SteelBook case. Directed by J. Lee Thompson, the films stars Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn as Allied saboteurs who must infiltrate a Nazi fortress to disable two long-range guns. The cast also includes Stanley Baker, Anthony Quale, Irene Papas, Gia Scala and James Darren. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won for Best Special Effects.

The 2160p HEVC / H.265 encoded native 4K digital transfer with Dolby Vision and HDR10 is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. The remastered transfer looks excellent and true to its film source has a good grain level. Except for a few moments of softness here and there, it’s a crisp video presentation with amazing detail in the faces, uniforms and scenery. The colour palette is muted with greys and natural greens but the HDR grading adds to the differences between those colours. Black levels are deep and detail is present in darker scenes.

On the audio side of things, you have the choice of an English Dolby Atmos soundtrack that folds back to Dolby TrueHD 7.1 as well as English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 4.0 tracks, French, German, Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks, Portuguese and Spanish (Castilian) Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks, and Czech, Hindi, and Spanish (Latin American) Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks. Subtitles are available for English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Polish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish. The audio team has done a great job placing an older soundtrack into the Atmos world. Gunfire, explosions and other effects find their way across the soundscape and into the surrounds while the subwoofer adds some authority to explosions. Dialogue is clear and centred.

The 4K set also includes a Blu-ray disc and a digital code. The 4K disc has the option of showing the film with or without the roadshow intermission card. There’s also a main title progression reel which displays the early sketches for the main titles, and a theatrical trailer. The bulk of the extras are on the Blu-ray disc. There are audio commentaries by film historian Stephen J. Rubin and director J. Lee Thompson, an interactive dossier that discusses the film and the history, a look at the early aspects of production such as finding a director and cast, a look at the movie, its symbolism and connection to Greek mythology, cast and crew discussing the production and its legacy, a look at restoration efforts, a short piece on the score, various featurettes on shooting in Greece, and a message from writer/producer Carl Foreman. The collectible SteelBook case depicts the guns of the fortress on the rocky cliffs above rough seas, while a smaller image on the back depicts the fishing vessel the Allies used to get close to the fortress. There is no art on the inside.

A great movie, a great cast, great audio and video, a collectible SteelBook case and a large collection of legacy extras. The Guns of Navarone is a classic and entertaining action film and is highly recommended.