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It is the winter of 1944. A lone transport plane, in German Luftwaffe insignia, picks its way through the peaks of the Bavarian Alps by night. Inside, seven paratroopers, in German Fallschirmjaeger uniform, wait in grim silence for the jump signal. Among them is their leader, Major Smith (Richard Burton) and his junior officer, Lieutenant Schaeffer (Clint Eastwood). The others: Christiansen (Donald Houston), Barkely (Peter Barkworth), Thomas (William Squire), Mac Pherson (Neil Mc Carthy) and Harrod (Brook Williams) are enlistedmen. In the silent tension, Major Smith ponders his mission briefing.
Flashing back to headquarters in London, the Fallschirjaeger paratroops turn out to be a team of highly trained British MI6 agents (except for Shaeffer, who is on loan from the American OSS). Briefed by intelligence cheif, Admiral Rolland (Michael Hordern), and his executive officer, Colonel Turner (Patrick Wymark), the team's mission is to rescue a captured American, General Carnaby (Robert Beatty), an Allied planner for Operation Overlord (D-Day). The General's plane has been shot down, & he is being held prisoner at the Schloss Adler (Castle of Eagles), an impregnable mountain-top fortress that also serves as headquarters for the German Alpine Korps. The prisoner must be rescued before he can divulge any information about Operation Overlord.
The "Schloss Adler" castle fortress on the mountainside is actually the "Schloss Hohenwerfen" in Austria. At the time of filming, the castle was being used as a police training camp. There are no cable cars near Schloss Hohenwerfen. Hence the Cable Car shooting is done somewhere else. The castle is still open today to the public & is the site of a falconry. Other than the exterior, the only feature that will be familiar to movie fans is the courtyard
We must wonder what the body count turned out to be in this film. The body count floats right around 100, which most are single handed killings by Schaeffer (Eastwood). Many of the deaths were not that bloody, just maybe gunned down and then fall over. Despite Clint Eastwood's reputation for violence in other films, his character kills more people in this film than any other Eastwood character. Eastwood was reluctant to receive second billing to Burton, but agreed after being paid $800,000. Burton wanted Richard Egan to play the Clint Eastwood role.
The German soldier who was a traitor was pretty good footage as we see him fall to his death after being shot. A funny note about this is that when the traitor is shot while dangling from a rope outside the castle, the close-up shows him wearing a standard German field gray uniform. In the next shot, as he plummets to his death, he is wearing a camouflaged winter overcoat.
Although this film contains roughly 1472 edits during 151 minutes of action (which equates to an approximately 6 seconds a shot, there seem to be long & quite somber sections of the film where people are busy doing other things like putting on their coats, making sure the radio works, etc.
The part that ultimately went to Clint Eastwood was also offered to Lee Marvin, but he declined, telling the producers they were about 4 years too late. Marvin had already starred in a WW2 action-adventure, The Dirty Dozen (1967) which he hated. Although it made him a huge star, he did not want to return to that type of movie.
Nazi concentration camp survivor Ingrid Pitt found filming very difficult because many of the cast were wearing German Uniform.
This 1968 classic pairs the enigmatic Richard Burton (The Night of
the Iguana, The Desert Rats, The Wild Geese, Cleopatra, etc) with
the iconic Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, Dirty
Harry, Gran Torino, Absolute Power, etc) in a tale of wartime bravery
and treachery. World War II is raging and an American general has
been captured and is being held hostage in Schloss Adler, a Bavarian
citadel that is nearly impossible to breach. The general allegedly
has the date and place of the Normandy invasion in his mind-so he must
be rescued. It is up to a highly skilled Allied soldiers (led by
Burton and Eastwood) to liberate the general before the Nazi's break
him and he reveals the information. Director Brian G. Hutton, tragically,
did not direct too many movies-this one and Last Train from Gun Hill
being the two big hits he did on the big screen. He also directed portions
of Gunsmoke Season 2 on tv-- so he was a capable director that did very
professional jobs when he worked. He places great war action in this
movie as well as suspense in getting the allied soldiers into the citadel,
and weaves a spy into the mix-without revealing it until the final moments
to add to the suspense. If you enjoy war action and suspense filled
classic movies-then this movie is for you. If you are a collector of
Clint Eastwood movies, this one is also a must have. For most people this
movie will give a full evenings entertainment too.
This is the excellent star studded 1969 war classic. The Alistair Maclean story was already very good and the way it is made for the big screen is a benchmark for all war movies to follow.
The two leading stars Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton form a perfect pair, both professionals in their own way. The scenery is great (snowy alps and a menacing fortress in the hills "Schloss Adler"). There are many twists in the plot and great action scenes.
The DVd has some interesting extra's: a theatrical trailer and a 15 minute vintage featurette. The picture and audio quality is good and this is easily a "must have" DVD for anyone interested in action, thriller or war movies. It's a lso a long movie: more than 2 and a half hours of nonstop action!
An Allied plane has been shot down, allowing the Nazis to capture an American General who knows the plans for the Second Allied invasion. The Brits assemble a team of commandos, including an American Army Ranger (Eastwood), to rescue him from a Nazi fortress in the Bavarian Alps. When members of their team turn up dead, it starts to look like their mission has been compromised. Richard Burton and Mary Ure also star in this adventure-turned-spy-thriller.
I saw this film when I was a kid. The opening score was and perhaps still is the best music I've heard. A classic spy versus spy game set in World War Two Bavaria. Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood work great together. You have your stereotypical NAZIs, double-crossing agents, and beautiful women! Its almost a WW2 version of a James Bond genre with helicopters and car chases! I recommend this film highly to anyone who loves a classic war flick - you won't be disappointed.
I originally saw Where Eagles Dare when I was a teenager back in 1969. I loved it then and haven't thought about it for years until recently. When I found out it was availabel on DVD I decided to buy it. It is just as good as I remember it. Lots of action, and several plot twists make it an above average war flick. The only thing I didn't like is the Germans speak English. I would prefer German speech with subtitles but that is a minor complaint. If you like WW2 movies, then you have to check this one out!
This is still a great WWII Movie. Of Course it was early in Clint Eastwoods Career and took second chair to the old Master Richard Burton. The Effects were great and long before the advent of CGI to take the place of realism.. I also liked the extra outtakes from the making of the film.. If you are a WWII buff, this film is a must for your collection; and the best part is that it is made now on DVD instead of VHS..
A very interesting suspense filled movie featuring top actors Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton-with that kind of talent-how can you go wrong?
It's not based on any real events of course and at times there are things there that stretch the credibility factor such as the hallway shootout with Eastwood (Lt. Schaefer) holding two MP_40s in either hand "cowboy" style shooting back at the SS .
It has all the pleasing elements in a guys' movie.A couple of hot chicks-oollaahhllaahh! Some witticisms at times reminiscent of dry British humor by 'Major Schmidt" (Richard burton)
Got to see it.
This is a classic old war movie. The cast, including Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton was all of the best actors at the time of production. The plot keeps you guessing who is on what side, where the information leaks are coming from, and how can such a mission succeed. The era of war movies seems to be lost, but there is much more to this one, well worth an Ebay price
Best WWII war movie ever! Set in the alps. Lots of action & intrigue! Keeps you trying to figure out what's going on!