This starry, over-inflated and expensive ($5 million) movie, set in Spain, was adapted from C.S. Forester’s The Gun, about a guerrilla band dragging a massive cannon across the Iberian Peninsula in 1810 to blow up a French stronghold.
As the Spanish army retreats from Napoleon’s invading troops, only a few guerrillas remain to carry on the fight. Their target is the heavily fortified town of Avila, which they plan to take with the biggest cannon ever mad
It’s a splendidly calculated spectacle – United Artists’ only movie in the magnificently sharp VistaVision process – with a priceless, eye-catching cast, though criticism at the time centred on Frank Sinatra’s Spanish accent (excellent) and Cary Grant’s British prissiness (unavoidable).
Flamenco queen Sophia Loren provides the glamour and the Franz Planer photography is remarkable.
Captain Anthony Trumbull