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The Eiger Sanction (1975)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  21 May 1975 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 12,080 users  
Reviews: 78 user | 43 critic

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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Warren B. Murphy) , 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Miles Mellough
Heidi Brühl ...
Mrs. Montaigne (as Heidi Bruhl)
Freytag (as Reiner Schoene)
Michael A. Grimm ...
Meyer (as Michael Grimm)
Jean-Pierre Bernard ...
Brenda Venus ...
Art Student
Elaine Shore ...
Miss Cerberus
Dan Howard ...
Jack Kosslyn ...


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


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


Action | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 May 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Im Auftrag des Drachen  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


SEK 1,554,575 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Clint Eastwood seriously considered abandoning the project after the death of climber David Knowles. However, he decided to continue on with the film so that Knowles' death was not in vain. There were a number of accidents, injuries and mishaps during filming of the climbing sequences, that were not reported to the media. See more »


On the practice/training climb on the rock column in Monument Valley, Hemlock is shown climbing 'up' and using existing anchor points, yet it is claimed that no one has climbed the formation before. See more »


Dr. Jonathan Hemlock: [to his class] Some of you will continue in your education. Some of you will continue with your interest in art. Some of you will have interests other than that. If we've learned nothing else this year, I hope you've learned the stupidity of the statement that art belongs to the world. 'Cause art belongs to the cultivated who can appreciate it. The majority of the great unwashed does not fit into this category... and neither, I'm sorry to say, do most of you.
See more »


Referenced in Family Guy: Friends of Peter G. (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful location photography
4 April 2004 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

Shot on location in the Alps and Zion National Park, the cinematography is first class. This is great large-screen fare.

While not without their hokey apects, the many climbing scenes and story are much more realistic than those of "K2", "Clifhanger", or God-help-us "Vertical Limit".

The spy part of the story certainly has some plot holes, and I purchased a copy of "The Eiger Sanction" by Trevanian just to get some of them straightened out, and got quite a surprise. The movie is much, much more faithful to the original book than the vast majority of Hollywood adaptations. Those holes in the story - well, they're right there in the book, too. Practically the only significant differences between the two are the relationship between Johathon and Wormwood, the final status of Johnathon and Jemima's relationship, and the fact that C2 is - in the novel

  • so totally inept as an intelligence organization as to be completely

unbeliveable, this is somewhat glossed over in the movie. Frankly the differences in all three situations are argueably done better in the movie.

28 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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