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The Eiger Sanction (1975)

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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:
Mrs. Montaigne (as Heidi Bruhl)
Freytag (as Reiner Schoene)
Michael Grimm ...
Jean-Pierre Bernard ...
Brenda Venus ...
Elaine Shore ...
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 | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 May 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Im Auftrag des Drachen  »


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,200,000, 31 December 1975
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


When Hemlock meets Dragon, Dragon's right contact lens has moved to the bottom right of his eye in one shot. See more »


Ben Bowman: john, do what I tell you. cut the rope above you!
See more »

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User Reviews

Beautiful location photography
4 April 2004 | by 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.

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