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Where Eagles Dare (1968) Poster

Trivia

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Despite Clint Eastwood's reputation for violence in other films, his character kills more people in this film than any other Eastwood character.
In the scenes where Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood climb the steep fortress walls, Burton moves with ease, while Eastwood is clearly working hard physically. This was due to the fact that Burton, who was a hard-drinker, a chain smoker and out-of-shape by that point, chose to ride a crane (made invisible by special effects) up the wall, whereas the younger, healthy Eastwood was actually climbing the wall.
Co-star Clint Eastwood referred to this movie as "Where Doubles Dared."
Nazi concentration camp survivor Ingrid Pitt found filming very difficult because many of the cast were wearing World War II German army uniforms.
The "Schloss Adler" 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 driving force behind the film was Richard Burton's stepson, who wanted to see his stepfather in a good old-fashioned adventure movie. Burton approached producer Elliott Kastner for ideas, who asked Alistair MacLean. At that time, most of MacLean's novels had either been made into films, or were in the process of being filmed. Kastner persuaded MacLean to write a new story. Six weeks later, MacLean delivered the script.
In a recent Channel 4 (UK) survey of the top 100 war movies Steven Spielberg voted this as his favorite, mainly due to its sheer "boys own" factor of unreality. He even went so far as to repeat the "Broadsword calling Danny Boy" line.
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.
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.
Bodycount: 100.
According to a special feature about this film, Ingrid Pitt, who plays Heidi, made a daring escape in real life, over the Berlin Wall.
Richard Burton's last successful movie at the box office.
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The title has its origins in William Shakespeare's 'Richard III': "The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch."
An accident during one of the action scenes left producer Elliott Kastner and director Brian G. Hutton badly burned.
The Junkers Ju 52 used in the film was still in use with the Swiss air force at the time. The Swiss also supplied the T-6 Texan trainers posing as "German fighters."
This film contains roughly 1472 edits during 151 minutes of action, this equates to an average shot length of about 6 seconds.
The castle, Schloss Hohenwerfen, is today open to the public and is a falconry. Other than the exterior, the only feature that will be familiar to movie fans is the courtyard.
The name Mary is given when introduced as Heidi's cousin, is Maria Schenk. Maria Schenk was the middle name of Colonel Claus Philipp Maria Schenk von Stauffenberg who was the chief conspirator in the July 20th plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. It was Stauffenberg who placed the briefcase with the bomb under the table at the Wolf's Lair.
The abbreviation "LSR," seen painted on various walls throughout the film, stands for "Luftschutzraum," German for "air raid shelter."
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Ingrid Pitt said Richard Burton was drinking very heavily during filming, as he was depressed about the decline of his marriage and his film career.
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The arm patches on Smith's and Schaffer's tunics show them to be members of the Wehrmacht's 1st Mountain Division, which used the edelwiess flower as its symbol.
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Richard Burton wanted Richard Egan to play the Clint Eastwood role.
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The fictional Schloss Adler (The Castle of the Eagles) is located in Werfen, and is the headquarters of the Wehrmacht Alpenkorp.
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When Schaffer talks to Major Smith after having stabbed the German officer in the radio room, he says "Fear lent him wings, as the saying goes." He is quoting "L'Honneur du nom" by Émile Gaboriau.
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Michael Caine later claimed to have turned down the role of Major Smith.
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Richard Burton and Alistair MacLean are both buried in the same tiny graveyard in the Swiss hamlet of Celigny.
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Kenneth Griffith was first intended for the Peter Barkworth role.
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Even though Alistair MacLean wrote both the book and the film, several characters have different names in the book and the film respectively. Curiously some sources (e.g. Screen World) refer to these names in the cast list.
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Derren Nesbitt (as Maj. Von Hapen) sports (bleached) blonde hair, which he'll still sport in The Prisoner, as Number 2, which was filmed during this same time.
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Wilhelm Scream: When the car carrying Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood and the German captors crashes into the snow following an attempt to kill the captors. Wilhelm Scream heard as the German flies through the car window.
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This is the writer's, Alistair Maclean, second of three WW2 commando genre films. The others being the Guns of Navarone (1961) and Force 10 from Navarone (1978), however this is the only one he produced the screenplay for.
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During production, Clint Eastwood discussed a gambling movie, " Cully the Arm", with Mrs Burton, Elizabeth Taylor. The movie was never made. They also proposed " Two Mules for Sister Sara " but the role eventually went to Shirley Maclaine.
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The castle, Schloss Werfen, is the same castle that can be seen in the background in a scene from The Sound of Music when Maria and the kids are singing Do Re Me.
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Richard Burton had wanted Leslie Caron for the Mary Ure part. Ure had previously co-starred with Burton on " Look Back in Anger".
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Richard Burton and Michael Hordern had previously worked together on The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Derren Nesbitt was nearly blinded when the squibs in his chest blew upwards instead of outwards when filming his death scene - his character was filmed being shot in the head and the chest but in the finished film he is only shot in the head.
In the scene on the plane, towards the end when Burton tells the officer that the firing pin had been removed from the STEN gun, the officer did not have to give himself away because the STEN gun does not have a firing pin. It fires from an open bolt where a pimple on the bolt face fires the cartridge.
It is a common myth that no German character with a speaking role survives until the end of the film. However this is untrue, at very least the officer who tries to phone the airfield to warn them lives.
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The call signs used by Major Smith "Broadsword calling Danny Boy" appears in Doctor Who: Victory of the Daleks (2010), which is set during the blitz of London.
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