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The Eiger Sanction (1975)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 10,388 users  
Reviews: 74 user | 34 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
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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 »


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

Filming began August 12, 1974. See more »

Goofs

When driving on sand/dirt roads out in the desert, the tires screech as if driven on asphalt. See more »

Quotes

Jemima Brown: Friends? Enemies? Where do I fit in?
Jonathan Hemlock: I'm sorry, but you don't. Here's to the selfish killer and the patriotic whore! Do you have anything else to say? I usually keep a twenty in the bowl by the door. You might pick it up on the way out!
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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