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.
A hard but mediocre cop is assigned to escort a prostitute into custody from Las Vegas to Phoenix, so that she can testify in a mob trial. But a lot of people are literally betting that they won't make it into town alive.
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 <email@example.com>
Critics generally compare "Where Eagles Dare" unfavorably to "The Guns of Navarone." As usual, the critics are wrong.
"Navarone" has many virtues, but too much talk and high-mindedness slow down the story. Anthonys Quayle and Quinn are wonderful, but Gregory Peck comes off as more of an Oxford don than a world-renowned mountaineer and David Niven, playing surely the oldest corporal in the British forces,.proves an insufferable bore. "Eagles", on the other hand, dispenses with the moralizing claptrap and serves up non-stop action. Although it's running time is approximately the same as "Navarone's", it never seems as long and you never feel the characters are trying to make a point, except with their machine pistols.
Of course "Eagles" greatest strong points are Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. By 1968 Burton had eschewed the serious parts for the big money and the critics crucified him for selling out. Well, in this case I'm glad he did since he's superb as team leader Major Smith. Burton projects an aura of invincible self-confidence. He's rather reserved much of the time, but you never doubt his engagement. This is a man who simply won't be defeated. Peck's stuffy, diffident performance in "Navarone" pales by comparison. And Eastwood, though hardly Burton's equal as an actor, is Dirty Harry in boot camp - his Schaffer will kill you sooner than look at you, and it doesn't hurt that he looks great too.
"Eagles" also has a better villain than anyone in "Navarone", superior scenery, and a far superior score. Ron Goodwin's theme has been etched in my mind for over 30 years, but I can't remember a note from "Navarone's."
Perhaps the greatest World War Two adventure film of all time. Less realistic than a James Bond movie, but outstanding escapist entertainment.
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