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Where Eagles Dare (1968)

M  |   |  Action, Adventure, War  |  12 March 1969 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 38,459 users  
Reviews: 225 user | 55 critic

Allied agents stage a daring raid on a castle where the Nazis are holding an American General prisoner... but that's not all that's really going on.



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Directors: Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, and 3 more credits »
Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Richard Burton


Cast overview, first billed only:
Patrick Wymark ...
William Squire ...
Neil McCarthy ...
Vincent Ball ...
Anton Diffring ...


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 <david.jenkins@smallworld.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They are going to win World War II this weekend...or die trying! See more »


Action | Adventure | War


M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

12 March 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agenten sterben einsam  »

Box Office


SEK 11,639,000 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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. See more »


As Major Smith and the group walk past the wood shed at Werfen their shadows disappear between shots. See more »


[last lines]
Lt. Morris Schaffer: Do me a favor, will you? Next time you have one of these things, keep it an all-British operation.
Major John Smith: I'll try, Lieutenant.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Painted Hills (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Fantastic stuff!
18 August 2005 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This is one of the first real action movies as we know it today, ever made. The movie has lots of explosions and gun- and fist fights. The story is told in a fast pace with lots of cuts, even though the movie itself isn't short at all (158 minutes.).

Even though it is still a war movie, this movie isn't as heavy and or serious as many other WW II movies made in the same period. It is kind of in the same style as "The Guns of Navarone" (Also written by Alistair MacLean.). It's more is adventurous and fun to watch than heavy or realistic. Director Brian G. Hutton later also made the other 'fun'/adventurous/WW II movie "Kelly's Heroes".

Another element that distinct this movie from other movies from the same genre is the story. The story by famous writer Alistair MacLean is just brilliant! It begins as an average WW II rescue-mission movie but as the movie progresses the story takes several twists, until at a certain point you don't even know who to thrust anymore. The ending is really action-movie-like spectacular and features a tense fight an a moving cable-car followed by the perhaps even better car chase, which really reminded of the chase were Indy and his father are escaping the Nazi's on the motorcycle, in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" Even the music sounded kind of similar! I wouldn't be surprised if Spielberg and Williams were inspired by this movie. The same goes for many other movie directors and other persons in the movie business by the way. I see similarities between this movie with 'modern' work quite often, both in story and characters as well as the action, editing and many other elements from this movie. This really is an inspirational movie, that as an action movie, just like as for instance "North by Northwest", was far ahead of its time.

It was a bit strange to see Clint Eastwood in the sidekick role. The main character of the movie is played by the legendary Richard Burton. Both actors really push this movie to an higher level with their profession and expertise and both are very believable in their roles.

An entertaining, action packed adventurous war movie with a splendid story and two wonderful performances from the two main actors.



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