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The Eiger Sanction (1975)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 10,708 users  
Reviews: 75 user | 33 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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Eiger Sanction (1975)

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Cast

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

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:

HIS LIFELINE - held by the assassin he hunted. See more »


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  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 1,554,575 (Sweden)
 »

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

Before being attached as the director, Clint Eastwood originally asked his friend Don Siegel to direct the film as he personally felt that he wasn't capable of directing an action film with dangerous stunts like this one had. After a long positive talk with Siegel, Eastwood took the reins as director. See more »

Goofs

The place in the desert where Hemlock leaves Miles is near the base of the needle rock that Hemlock and Bowman had just climbed, and it can be seen behind them when Hemlock stops his Bronco to let Miles out. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Jonathan Hemlock: You betrayed the both of us in Asia, and we lived, no thanks to you. Now you people have killed Henri in Zurich.
Miles Mellough: I didn't actually kill him, you know.
Dr. Jonathan Hemlock: Well I probably won't *actually* kill you.
Miles Mellough: That's very little comfort.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Life of David Gale (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

terribly enjoyable/ enjoyably terrible?
15 December 2005 | by (Wolverhampton, England) – See all my reviews

This is the silliest film with Eastwood's name on the credits, and that includes stuff like 'Francis in the Navy' and 'Tarantula'. But at its best, its a kind of bravura silliness. There are chunks of quotable dialogue, vertigo inducing cinematography and the requisite smorgasbord of villains and could-be/would-be villains. Just don't ask me if its a spoof, because I have no idea. I'm pretty sure nobody involved with the picture did, either.

The intermittent tone seems largely attributable to the fact that, at this point in Clint's career, the ego had landed. Thus we witness scads of nubile young lovelies attempt to lure the granite hewn stud into bed, whilst he disrobes to reveal a finely honed physique at every opportunity. The women are all sex crazed psychopaths (ain't it the truth) driven to distraction by his squinting cool and formidable musculature. Notice also the number of times both female AND male characters are required to comment admiringly on Eastwood's appearance and caress his form with their eyes. There's no distance to any of this, however. Even the pop-Nietzcheian antics of the mountain climbers are served cold. The director star never offers us the merest suggestion that he's mocking the preening machismo at any level.

All of this worship, plus the fact that the star's performance is WAY, WAY over the top - his usual 'snarling and eye-rolling alternated with boyish grin' is accentuated to parodic proportions - lends the piece a bizarrely dreamy, awkwardly sadistic homo-eroticism. If, in any other film, the hero yelled, "you're quiet now, ain't ya, ya little prick?" at a dog called 'faggot' after he'd killed it's master, I'd be on safe ground in assuming that the makers were nudging my ribs. Here, though, the surrounding unfettered narcissism and borderline unpleasantness it engenders makes it impossible to tell when the joke is for us or on us.

But its fun because of this nonsense. Even the final inconsequentiality of the whole exercise can't diminish that. It's just that this film, more than any other in his catalogue, lends extreme credence to biographer Patrick McGilligan's central assertion that, cinematically speaking at least, Clint is a lot less smart than critics allow.


24 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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