Operation Market Garden, September 1944: The Allies attempt to capture several strategically important bridges in the Netherlands in the hope of breaking the German lines. However, mismanagement and poor planning result in its failure.
Nun Sara is on the run in Mexico and is saved from cowboys by Hogan, who is preparing for a future mission to capture a French fort. The pair become good friends, but Sara never does tell him the true reason behind her being outlawed.
During WW2 a British aircraft is shot down and crashes in Nazi held territory. The Germans capture the only survivor, an American General, and take him to the nearest SS headquarters. Unknown to the Germans the General has full knowledge of the D-Day operation. The British decide that the General must not be allowed to divulge any details of the Normandy landing at all cost and order Major John Smith to lead a crack commando team to rescue him. Amongst the team is an American Ranger, Lieutenant Schaffer, who is puzzled by his inclusion in an all British operation. When one of the team dies after the parachute drop, Schaffer suspects that Smith's mission has a much more secret objective.Written by
Dave Jenkins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the scenes where Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood climb the steep fortress walls, Burton moves with ease, while Eastwood is clearly working hard physically. This was due to the fact that Burton, who was a hard-drinker, a chain smoker and out-of-shape by that point, chose to ride a crane (made invisible by special effects) up the wall, whereas the health-conscious Eastwood was actually climbing the wall. Burton had already been diagnosed with bursitis - possibly aggravated by faulty treatment - arthritis and dermatitis. See more »
Shaeffer kills the soldier in the radio room. Schaeffer puts him in the chair (so all would seem normal, when they kill the helicopter pilot). We see the radioman with his head tilted/slumped to the side. In the next shot (taken from the opposite side), the dead radioman has his head straight up. See more »
Major John Smith:
Let me make myself perfectly understood. If any of you utters a word... I'll kill you all; do you understand?
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The original release running 158 minutes had an Intermission and Entre'acte that have been skipped from many video releases (including the DVD release from Warner), resulting in a 155 minute version. This has induced a fade-out and fade-in of the music in the scenes preceding and following. The intermission was originally placed after Lt. Schaeffer sets the explosives in the interrogation room. See more »
Where Eagles Dare illustrates that a film should be watched carefully. For what tends to be overlooked here is the real performance of the heroics of this film, which is that executed by the woman character played by Mary Ure. She is really cool and calm, as she goes it alone on her mission with precision timing and unflappable bravado. If it wasn't for Ure's character the mission would not have been pulled off. In this respect where Eagles Dare gives value to the importance of women's roles in a man's world! The only criticism I have for the director here is the way Ure is portrayed as a second rate machine gunner in comparison to the more immediate and concise shots from Eastwood's character.
As for the acting, it seamed odd to have the great stage actor Richard Burton playing a Bondesque role, and out of the context of his classical performances which his rich voice lend to. But, his timing in this film was perfect.
Likewise the timing of the direction and editing of Where Eagles Dare is spot on, with never a pause to catch your breath, making it a complete adrenalin thrill from start to finish.
In all, a fantastic film. This is more so because there is a great plot, onto which action is added, making it a very interesting piece of cinema. Also for the great performance by the unassuming Mary Ure.
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