Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.
During WW2 a British aircraft is shot down and crashes in Nazi held territory. The Germans capture the only survivor, an American General, and take him to the nearest SS headquarters. Unknown to the Germans the General has full knowledge of the D-Day operation. The British decide that the General must not be allowed to divulge any details of the Normandy landing at all cost and order Major John Smith to lead a crack commando team to rescue him. Amongst the team is an American Ranger, Lieutenant Schaffer, who is puzzled by his inclusion in an all British operation. When one of the team dies after the parachute drop, Schaffer suspects that Smith's mission has a much more secret objective. Written by
Dave Jenkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Alistair MacLean wrote the script first and then the novel immediately afterward. Although the underlying plot remains the same, the book and script are not entirely faithful to one another. For instance, the book is substantially less violent and the characters are somewhat more comedic. Also noteworthy is the book included a brief love story involving Schaeffer and Heidi. See more »
In the cable-car fight scene, Christiansen fires the silenced pistol five times and then throws the gun on the cable-car floor after the bullets run out. The gun immediately bounces several times, even up to shoulder height, suggesting it is in fact a prop-gun made of rubber or some other material besides metal. See more »
Major John Smith:
Let me make myself perfectly understood. If any of you utters a word... I'll kill you all; do you understand?
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The fortress - impenetrable. The army guarding it - invincible. Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton - UNSTOPPABLE!
A team of elite covert agents working for the British Government is sent to infiltrate a huge Nazi fortress. Their mission: evacuate an Allied General who has detailed knowledge of the Normandy invasion. Parachuting down into the Alps the team soon discovers that one of them is dead and that there is a Nazi traitor in their midst. And that is not all what's going on...
From opening scene to final scene Alistair MacLean's screenplay is a masterpiece of the action genre with a detailed and involving plot that unfolds in a very interesting manner. There are plenty of hairpin turns along the way that build up the suspense to a truly explosive TNT packed climax. That is all thanks to Brian Hutton's direction, which is, well, a blueprint for contemporary studio-budget action film-making. The film is long, but the real-time development of many scenes makes for terrific suspense even in slow moments and utterly breakneck action scenes. The best example is the final 45 minutes - an escape scene in real-time as our heroes breakout of the Schloss Adler. Consisting of shootouts, fights, chases, explosions, and car crashing it is probably one of the best action sequences ever made. For reasons beyond me Brian Hutton's career never fully took off into action adventure film-making, but had it, he would be the Hitchcock of action film-making. This film does to shootouts what Hitchcock did for showers! Well, almost.
Next are the stars - Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton. They are the leaders of the covert operation and they are a terrific, fearless, sub-machine gun totting duo who give the Nazis what they deserve most - pure hell. The classic corridor shootout as Eastwood fends of soldiers from the castle radio room is brilliant and ridiculous at the same time - he takes 'em all out! With a submachine gun in each hand! Make no mistake, this movie is ridiculous and wholly improbable, but if you find an action film that is more entertaining, involving, and suspenseful, along with being pure fun to watch, I'll be damned.
If that's the cake, then the icing must be Ron Goodwin's amazing score of epic proportions. First appearing in the opening credits (or the DVD main menu) it is the type of stuff that makes contemporary master film composer Hans Zimmer proud.
Action film fans, this is one of the ultimate movies for you. Take note - Watch it! 10/10
Rated PG, quite generously, for pretty extensive violence and action
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