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The Eiger Sanction (1975)

A classical art professor and collector, who doubles as a professional assassin, is coerced out of retirement to avenge the murder of an old friend.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Warren B. Murphy) | 2 more credits »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Miles Mellough
...
Mrs. Montaigne (as Heidi Bruhl)
...
Dragon
...
Freytag (as Reiner Schoene)
Michael Grimm ...
Meyer
Jean-Pierre Bernard ...
Montaigne
Brenda Venus ...
George
...
Pope
...
Art Student
Elaine Shore ...
Miss Cerberus
Dan Howard ...
Dewayne
Jack Kosslyn ...
Reporter
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Storyline

Jonathan Hemlock is an art history professor and collector who finances his hobby by performing the odd sanction (assassination) for an obscure government bureau. He is forced to take a case where he must find out which of the members of a mountain climbing team is the Russian killer he has been given as a target by joining an expedition to climb the treacherous Eiger. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

EASTWOOD is the man . . Eiger is the location . . and the sanction - is a licence to kill! See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 May 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Im Auftrag des Drachen  »

Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clint Eastwood preformed the sequence where his character hangs off the side of a mountain by a cable himself without the use of a stunt double. Eastwood later told film critic Roger Ebert, that during the films release he donned a disguise and slipped into a screening of the film to judge the audiences reactions. To Eastwood's dismay, during the sequence a woman sitting in front of him asked her friend, 'Gee, I wonder how they did that?' to which she responded, 'Special effects.'" See more »

Goofs

After Montaigne is hit on the head by falling rocks during the Eiger climb, the next morning it is revealed he died during the night, however his 'body' can be seen clearly still breathing (as he lay frozen just behind Clint Eastwood). See more »

Quotes

Miles Mellough: For what I want in this world, I would even sell out my dear mother.
Jonathan Hemlock: How true!
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great climbing sequences make this hidden gem worth watching!
30 April 2006 | by (Halifax, Nova Scotia) – See all my reviews

Clint Eastwood stars as a former government assassin turned art teacher who is blackmailed into coming out of his retirement to pull off a difficult last job. A former colleague has been murdered. Eastwood will climb the Eiger face and kill the assassin along the way. The only problem is he isn't sure which of the three other climbers is his target.

'The Eiger Sanction' is very much a product of the 1970's, and comes from a difficult grey area of Eastwood's career. He was transitioning between Westerns and Dirty Harry and films like 'The Eiger Sanction' got lost in the mix. On the surface the film is a spy thriller, or a gorgeously shot mountain climbing/survival film. I think it doesn't get enough credit for being very tongue in cheek. It gently pokes fun at both Eastwood and 70's action movies -- Clint giving a female student a playful pat on the rump, the foxy brown flight attendant/girlfriend, and of course "damn that Brando" when Clint's Native American trainer pushes him too hard. Throw in the promiscuity and the way homosexuality is dealt with (rival gay hit-man with the little dog) and the film runs pretty nicely as a satire.

'The Eiger Sanction' is really about the third act though where the climbing takes place. Brilliantly photographed, I didn't find much not to enjoy about this film. Quite possibly the best climbing film that I've ever seen and it is certainly superior to things like 'Cliff Hanger' or 'Vertical Limit' -- which owe a great deal to 'The Eiger Sanction.' Clint Eastwood has acted in better movies and he's directed better movies. That said, this one is an unpolished gem and worth taking a look at if the opportunity arises.


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