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The ultimate 'men on a mission' movie
Kenny Mitchell3 September 2004
Once a year, usually around Christmas time but always in winter, this movie is played somewhere on British TV. Like 'The Great Escape' this movie has become a staple of TV station classic war movies wheeled out once a year to keep the punters happy, and it always delivers.

How can it fail? It has spectacular scenery, great actors, lots of schoolboy WWII style action and even busty wenches in maid uniforms. This film is ingrained in the psyche, you cannot see a mountaintop castle without thinking of Schloss Adler and the cable-car scenes. If I'm trudging through the snow in the woods then I hear myself humming the theme from 'Where Eagles Dare'. If I or anyone from my generation picks up a radio, it's only a matter of time before someone starts sending "Broadsword calling Danny Boy" in an imitation of Richard Burton's plummy tones. It's a given.

I know it's not the most realistic movie ever made, but Richard Burton, Michael Horden, Clint Eastwood and the gang carry it off with great aplomb and we believe every line. The pacing is excellent, leaving similar offerings such as 'Guns of Navarone' feeling like funeral marches. And talk about atmosphere! This movie reeks atmosphere, from the settings in the beautiful mountains to the scenes inside the old caste hallways to the exterior shots of people rapelling down the sides of the viciously cold walls. It's a must see, 8 out of 10 compared to all films, and 10 out of 10 for 'men on a mission' movies.
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Terrific Stuff!
John Mclaren22 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Epic war pic where Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood manage to unmask most of the German spy network in England, slip Jerry the wrong plans for the second front, kill the leading members of the Abwehr in Southern Bavaria, and destroy half of the local Wehrmacht- all in a little over two hours. Terrific score by Ron Goodwin, great action sequences and a commanding performance by Burton give this the "must see" imprimateur. Meanwhile it's obvious why the Nazis lost the war- since they rate one worse than Imperial Stormtroopers in the "can't hit the broadside of a barn" shooting stakes. Our plucky Allied troops more or less shoot themselves out of anywhere and anything....

However the radio call-sign "Broadsword calling Danny Boy" is now part of British folklore; the cable-car sequence is unmatched in spectacle; and the whole film makes you cheer up and feel better about the world. For once the Brits are portrayed as cooly proficient rather than public school chumps. What with the Yanks playing second fiddle, it's almost like the good old days ....
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Fantastic stuff!
Boba_Fett113818 August 2005
This is one of the first real action movies as we know it today, ever made. The movie has lots of explosions and gun- and fist fights. The story is told in a fast pace with lots of cuts, even though the movie itself isn't short at all (158 minutes.).

Even though it is still a war movie, this movie isn't as heavy and or serious as many other WW II movies made in the same period. It is kind of in the same style as "The Guns of Navarone" (Also written by Alistair MacLean.). It's more is adventurous and fun to watch than heavy or realistic. Director Brian G. Hutton later also made the other 'fun'/adventurous/WW II movie "Kelly's Heroes".

Another element that distinct this movie from other movies from the same genre is the story. The story by famous writer Alistair MacLean is just brilliant! It begins as an average WW II rescue-mission movie but as the movie progresses the story takes several twists, until at a certain point you don't even know who to thrust anymore. The ending is really action-movie-like spectacular and features a tense fight an a moving cable-car followed by the perhaps even better car chase, which really reminded of the chase were Indy and his father are escaping the Nazi's on the motorcycle, in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" Even the music sounded kind of similar! I wouldn't be surprised if Spielberg and Williams were inspired by this movie. The same goes for many other movie directors and other persons in the movie business by the way. I see similarities between this movie with 'modern' work quite often, both in story and characters as well as the action, editing and many other elements from this movie. This really is an inspirational movie, that as an action movie, just like as for instance "North by Northwest", was far ahead of its time.

It was a bit strange to see Clint Eastwood in the sidekick role. The main character of the movie is played by the legendary Richard Burton. Both actors really push this movie to an higher level with their profession and expertise and both are very believable in their roles.

An entertaining, action packed adventurous war movie with a splendid story and two wonderful performances from the two main actors.


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Most Exciting, Atmospheric, Ingenious--McLean Served Well This Time
silverscreen88814 June 2005
"Where Eagles Dare" was produced by folks who decided that Alistair Macleam deserved to be produced on film by someone who followed the author's exciting ideas. The result is a major improvement of the Us-er qualities of the character played by Clint Eastwood, the potent casting of Richard Burton, who is very very good (for once) in an adventure-level lead as the infinitely-resourceful leader of a WWII team of destructive agents, and an intelligent if action-level work of cinematic artistry. Others have written very well on this film; what I want to add to their basic core of arguments is some notes about the acting and ideas. From the group's boss, Michael Hordern to the ladies, Mary Ure and zoftik Ingrid Pitt, to enigmatic Robert Beatty, everyone involved is more than adequate in his/her part to very good. The three enemies, Ferdy Mayne, Derrin Nesbitt and Anton Diffring excel in whatever scenes they are given; and Peter Barkworth, Donald Houston, Patrick Wymark, et al as traitors have never been seen to greater advantage. Director Brian Hutton faced the all-but-impossible task of bringing a vaguely-implausible raid staged in snow country on an isolated castle to life. With stirring music, lovely art direction and edge-of-impossible special effects involving explosives, running machine-gun duels in a bus, falling telephone poles, a battle on a cable car, wrecking at an airport and a parachute drop betrayed from the start, he manages to bring the entire tale off very nicely by my standards. The other chief asset of the film lies in its unusually intelligent dialogue, plot turns and constant surprise. I counted at least seven major surprises, every one of which as in a good Hitchcockian thriller leads to a memorable scene; these are therefore not just script gimmicks, but rather they qualify as ingenious use of the adventure genre to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. This film perhaps is what James Bond films always should have been, but only in the case of "Doctor No" and "Goldfinger" ever were. One could wish that "The Secret Ways", "Ice Station Zebra" and several others of McLean's thrillers had been treated with as much respect, and near genius, as this memorable piece of screen excitement was (for once) afforded.
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The fortress - impenetrable. The army guarding it - invincible. Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton - UNSTOPPABLE!
BroadswordCallinDannyBoy10 January 2006
A team of elite covert agents working for the British Government is sent to infiltrate a huge Nazi fortress. Their mission: evacuate an Allied General who has detailed knowledge of the Normandy invasion. Parachuting down into the Alps the team soon discovers that one of them is dead and that there is a Nazi traitor in their midst. And that is not all what's going on...

From opening scene to final scene Alistair MacLean's screenplay is a masterpiece of the action genre with a detailed and involving plot that unfolds in a very interesting manner. There are plenty of hairpin turns along the way that build up the suspense to a truly explosive TNT packed climax. That is all thanks to Brian Hutton's direction, which is, well, a blueprint for contemporary studio-budget action film-making. The film is long, but the real-time development of many scenes makes for terrific suspense even in slow moments and utterly breakneck action scenes. The best example is the final 45 minutes - an escape scene in real-time as our heroes breakout of the Schloss Adler. Consisting of shootouts, fights, chases, explosions, and car crashing it is probably one of the best action sequences ever made. For reasons beyond me Brian Hutton's career never fully took off into action adventure film-making, but had it, he would be the Hitchcock of action film-making. This film does to shootouts what Hitchcock did for showers! Well, almost.

Next are the stars - Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton. They are the leaders of the covert operation and they are a terrific, fearless, sub-machine gun totting duo who give the Nazis what they deserve most - pure hell. The classic corridor shootout as Eastwood fends of soldiers from the castle radio room is brilliant and ridiculous at the same time - he takes 'em all out! With a submachine gun in each hand! Make no mistake, this movie is ridiculous and wholly improbable, but if you find an action film that is more entertaining, involving, and suspenseful, along with being pure fun to watch, I'll be damned.

If that's the cake, then the icing must be Ron Goodwin's amazing score of epic proportions. First appearing in the opening credits (or the DVD main menu) it is the type of stuff that makes contemporary master film composer Hans Zimmer proud.

Action film fans, this is one of the ultimate movies for you. Take note - Watch it! 10/10

Rated PG, quite generously, for pretty extensive violence and action
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Terrific Action Movie
jcu196311 November 2004
I couldn't help notice one of the postings about this movie, calling it a snoozer. I hardly agree with that assessment. In fact, I would categorize the film as one of the best action films ever made, whether WWII or other. If the action isn't enough to hold one's attention, the movie has a number of twists and turns to hold your attention until the perhaps not-so-obvious ending.

Some postings have also been critical of the length of the movie, somewhat more than 2+ hours. Again, everything about the film keeps it moving very well.

Most of the postings rate this film on a 1-10 basis. I give it a 10 for sure.
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Thanks Dad for introducing me to a brilliant movie
demos999 January 2001
"Where Eagles Dare" was one of the first films that my father took me to see at the cinema when I was a boy in the 1970's. Back then I was 100% caught up with the on-screen action and loved every minute of it. Now 25+ years later the film holds the exact same thrills for me as it did then. I always list it as one of my 10 all-time favourite films.

I had no idea who Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood were at the time I first saw "WED" but I thought they were marvellous in the film. A few years later the BBC started showing it on TV (usually at Christmas!) and I always watched it each time it was on. Some years ago I was able to buy the Widescreen video of "WED" and now I can watch it whenever I like!

The music is absolutely brilliant and I often find myself humming the stirring main theme from time to time.

Not only did "WED" introduce me to Burton and Eastwood (two of my all-time favourite actors) but also to the novels of Alistair MacLean and many of his other films, such as "The Guns of Navarone", "Bear Island" and "Breakheart Pass" (all of which I recommend).
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An archetypal schoolboy adventure, containing a sufficient variety of excitements...
Nazi_Fighter_David2 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This time Eastwood plays Shaffer, a professional killer in the American army, who joins an international commando team, led by a British major, Jonathan Smith (Richard Burton).

The group is sent to the Bavarian Alps supposedly to rescue an American general from the hands of the German Army, who possesses highly valuable information on the impending D-Day invasion of Europe... Actually the high-ranking officer is a fake, and the real purpose of the mission is to discover which one of their team is a Nazi double agent who has succeeded in penetrating British intelligence...

Aided by five other commandos, Burton makes the daring parachute drop into enemy territory, and his commando squad succeeds in entering the inaccessible fortress where the general is held, with the assistance of an intelligent operative, Mary Ellison (Mary Ure) whose presence is a secret to the other men...

If you can stop being so serious, you can enjoy another piece of escapism, as scenic and exotic as the Aegean... The film contains a number of twists and turns, treachery and surprise revelations, a fiery battle with so many explosions within a castle, a hand-to-hand struggle to the death atop a moving cable-car, and Eastwood driving a speeding motorbike through a blinding snowstorm while on a terrifying mountain road...
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One of the best adaptations among Allistair Maclean's novels
ed5617 January 2005
A highly entertaining world war II action film with two of the greatest actors of their time at a high point of their career - Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. The first hour or so is the setting to the action that will follow: a group of American and British soldiers is sent to a castle where the Natzis are holding an important American General. The plot of course is not that simple and has a lot of spins and surprises that accompanied by a fascinating action scenes (Very impressing for a 1968). With a beautiful filming location at the freezing landscapes of Germany and Austria this movie is truly an amazing to watch. Notable sequences are the cable car sequence and the final escaping sequence. Richard Burton gives his usual strong performance and Clint Eastwood is good as his executor. All in all a well crafted action classic that is highly recommended. 10/10
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A great wartime thriller
Jonathon Dabell10 January 2003
Where Eagles Dare is simply wonderful. Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood are in terrific form as leaders of a mission deep behind enemy lines. Their job: to infiltrate a mountain top castle and rescue an imprisoned American colonel. There's actually more to the mission than that, but to give away the twists would be to rob anyone who hasn't seen the movie of some wonderful surprises.

The snowy backdrop is perfectly captured. The action sequences (of which there are many) are brilliantly staged, especially the fight atop the cable car, and the bus chase at the end. Each character is well cast, with Burton, Eastwood, Ure and Hordern giving commanding performances. Best of all is the little-known Derren Nesbitt who oozes menace and charm as a nasty Nazi soldier.

I've seen this film countless times and it never tires me. It has so many twists and turns and well-execute sequences that it is gripping every time you watch it. There's really no other way to say it - you need to see this film and see it soon!
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Could have been real...
jlpicard1701E21 July 2004
Alistair McLean's movie adaptation is a thrill to watch.

Putting Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton together, was a masterpiece idea and it actually works!

The scenery in itself, in the Bavarian Alps, adds a touch of uneasiness about the entire story. Difficult to reach, difficult to conquer, but above all, difficult to escape from.

It's a cat and mouse game between British and German Intelligence services in World War Two. A later filmed adventure of this sort, but based on actual events, would add to the realistic perspectives shown in "Where Eagles Dare".

In fact, in 1976, a movie called "The Eagle Has Landed", inspired this time from a novel by Jack Higgins, dealt with the plan of the Third Reich to abduct and/or kill Winston Churchill!

If one considers that, "Where Eagles Dare" depicts something that could really have happened, only from the other side of the fence.

Everything in it is depicted in a very realistic and chilling manner and even if someone described it as James Bond in WWII, it is far less fantastic as one may come to think.

Granted, to perform such missions, someone ought to have been either a madman or so careless about his life, that luck would have had more importance than actual real tactics.

Nevertheless, this is an adventure movie that grips you from the very first instant and doesn't let loose to the end.

Far more paced than "Guns of Navarone", this is one of the few very good action movies ever made.

The music by veteran composer Ron Goodwin is memorable and unlike his other "war" installments so easily identifiable that you will be left humming it even when the movie is already finished.

It is more a cult movie, than an actual "history-making" one, but as i always say, they don't make them like this anymore.
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Awesome Film!
savannagrrl12 January 2004
Okay, what can I say?

I've read all the comments (yes, every single one of them), and it seems like tons of people don't like implausible movies. That's fine, but the next time James bond defuses a nuclear bomb at 007 seconds left till detonation, I expect you to stand up and walk out of the movie too.

For those of us who *like* our men to be super, awesome, and face danger with a wry smile and a catchy line: this movie is for you.

Okay, first off, Burton is to die for. Don't get me wrong: I love Clint as much as the next girl, but Burton is so...masterful. He's deliciously awesome. And sometimes, when he's wiping out tons of Nazis, you can see this gleeful evil and satisfying smile on his face that just tells you: this guy *love* his job. If he isn't killing Nazis, he just wouldn't know what to do with himself. That's my kinda man.

Okay, so you have to totally suspend some belief for this movie to work, but it's a James Bond like thriller. I mean, people who are commenting that it doesn't conform to WWII historical standards have *got* to get their heads out of their books for a bit and try *enjoying* life instead of merely *studying* it for a while. And, by the way, as one user commented, some helicopters like the one in the movie *were* flying in 1939 in Germany. They just weren't widely used at the time.

This movie totally kicks butt. Forget about it making sense in a military way: that's not what it's about. War Games didn't make sense either, but it was fun anyway. And, another little gripe about some critics: the Germans aren't in a position to blow up the doors in the castle because *tada* that's a really stupid thing to do seeing as how if they miscalculate the explosive charge, they could bring a ton of medieval blocks slamming down on their heads in the process. The Nazis are stupid in this movie, but they're not *that* stupid. Duh.

Clint manages to wipe out about half the Reich in this movie with his machine gun, and even has a great take where he does a Matrix-style dual-wield gunning move, which is all in great fun. Hey, Han Solo wiped out about half the Stormtroopers in the galaxy too with his blaster, and trying to point that out as being unreal would be just...well...silly. The Force isn't real either. Wanna complain? Go figure....

I suggest you get this movie on DVD. It's awesome. The letterbox format totally kicks and I love it. The score is great. The action is awesome. The plot, the first time you see it, always keeps you guessing. At least it did for me, but that's because I don't read a billion books on spies so that I can dream about being one when I never will be. Maybe that's why I enjoyed this movie a lot more than some others. This has got to be one of my top all time favorite movies.

Yes! Awesome movie. Have fun watching it. It's long but it's great. Sometimes great movies are best when they are long so you get to enjoy them more. To the others who took this waaaaaaaaay too seriously: relax.

It's...just...a...movie. Maybe you never heard that line before.
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Great Escapist Entertainment
Sonatine9723 August 2002
Perhaps one of the best war films ever to come out of Hollywood, WED, is typical Boys-Own, escapist adventure, where our heroes (Burton, Eastwood et al) can do no wrong and the action comes thick and fast.

But this isn't total mindless violence (see Rambo 2, for that kind of rubbish). WED does have a decent story and nice little plot twists, that although not totally plausible do make the film a bit more thought-provoking than just watching 148 minutes of gun fire, explosions, decapitations and soldiers being thrown off cable cars at great altitude.

Even though both Eastwood & Burton hog most of the show (and rightly so), they are ably supporting by two women (Mary Ure & Ingrid Pitt). Both women don't have chunky roles but its significant to see any females play such positive parts in what is mostly a male arena when it comes to war films.

Some of the photography is absolutely stunning even though some of the stunts are clearly filmed in the relative safety of a studio, and it shows too!

The acting, although not as po-faced, talky & self-righteous as the film's nearest rival, The Guns Of Navarone (see review), is good by most standards. Burton looks perhaps little old for this kind of all-out hero roll, but he manages to pull it off with his fierce determination and calm disposition.

As for Eastwood, well it meant a uniformed departure from his poncho, gun holster & cowboy hat from his day with Sergio Leone. He is still playing the same kind of character as The Man With No Name, and is still killing hundreds of bad guys while looking suitably cool & reserved, the only difference is the era - from the Wild West to WW2.

But surprisingly the combination of Burton's classical approach to acting & Eastwood's brash new-kid-on-the block 60s adaption works quite well and make for a good partnership as they go about kicking German Butt in their usual inimitable ways.

Brian Hutton's direction follows the pace & temperament of Alistair MacLean's sparkly screenplay although I do feel the film is a tad too long and I think about 15 minutes could've been cut without really upsetting the balance of the story.

WED doesn't challenge the brain, it is thought-provoking in its own little ways and probably bares little or no resemblance to how life was really like during the real WW2. But for all that WED is great entertainment. It doesn't insult the intelligence but then again it was never meant to. But what we are left with is a very enjoyable romp with a great cast and superb scenary.

It doesn't take itself too seriously as Guns Of Navarone does; and neither is it just mindless violence (Rambo 2). This film dares to be different and succeeds in spades.


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Action-packed and thrills in a risked mission during second world war
ma-cortes27 October 2004
The movie centers upon a bunch of commandos led by Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood with the mission to free an American General (Robert Beatty) from a Nazi castle . They will take on an evil SS chief (Darren Nesbitt) and Nazi officers (Ferdy Mayne and Anton Driffing) and confronting deal of dangers and adventures . They are helped by two beautiful girls (Mary Ure and Ingrid Pitt) .

Film runtime is overlong , two hours and some but isn't boring and gets lots of amusement for the fast-movement . From the beginning until ending , the action movie is unstoppable. This is one of the best of several movies from novels by Alistair McLean about WW2 . The film gets a certain likeness to ¨Dirty Dozen¨ and ¨Kelly's heroes¨ and group of films that were made regarding to warlike adventures during the 1960-1970 years about special forces in dangerous missions . In the motion picture there are suspense , frenetic action , shootouts , thriller , rip-roaring and a little bit of violence . The final confrontation between the starring and enemies on the air cable funicular is breathtaking . The picture obtained too much success at the box office . Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood are top notch . Ron Goodwin musical score is gorgeous and Arthur Ibbetson cinematography is excellent .

Direction by Brian G Hutton is magnificent , he began with little and prestigious films as ¨Wild seed¨ and ¨The Pad¨. Thereafter, he veered off into big budgeted pictures with all star-cast , proving which he could handle big scale action , such as ¨Kelly's heroes¨ , ¨High road to China¨ and this one . The movie will appeal to second world war buffs and emotions lovers.

Rating: 7,5/10 . Better than average. Well worth watching
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Incredible, Action-Packed, Mind-Blowing, Beautifully Made WWII Espionage Action Thriller
ShootingShark21 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
During World War II, Major Smith is in charge of a highly dangerous mission to rescue a captured American general held in a remote mountain castle being used by the Germans as a command centre. As he and his men attempt to infiltrate this stronghold, it seems that double-agents are everywhere and the mission is doomed to fail ...

There are two types of war movies; the poetic philosophical ones and the ones where they blow up as much stuff as possible. This is the best example of the latter and for me the best World War II movie ever made. I think it's the unique structure that does it for me - there's an impossible mission to break into an impregnable fortress which lasts for eighty minutes, followed by a fifteen-minute dialogue scene that piles so many crazy plot twists on top of each other that it turns your brain into mush. Then there's an unparalleled fifty minutes of non-stop action as our heroes kill their enemies, destroy the communications, blow up half the castle, rappel down the walls, escape in a cable car, leap into a river, drive a truck through occupied territory, dynamite a bridge, smash up an airfield and escape in a fast-moving plane. I think this sequence is simply the finest non-stop action footage ever lensed. The great novelist Alistair MacLean wrote the story directly for the screen (although he also published it in book form) and came up with the most exciting wartime spy adventure ever written. There's just no flab in it; it's a long movie but it's all plot and action all the way, with no boring characterisation, love interest, waffly dialogue or padding. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, the cast are fantastic in the low-key tone of their performances; grim, dogmatic, straight-ahead and focused, with Burton and Eastwood a brilliantly unlikely pair of leads, and kudos to the relatively unknown Nesbitt as the memorably creepy red-headed Major Von Hapen, the scariest Gestapo officer in the movies (until Ronald Lacey in Raiders Of The Lost Ark). The four key technical elements of any film - photography, music, editing and art direction - are all outstanding, particularly Ron Goodwin's big booming drummer-boy score, which pounds memorably along. This is that rare cinema treat; a brilliant story, brilliantly realised. Our appreciation must also go to the incredible stuntwork by Hollywood legend Yakima Canutt, who was the assistant director and supervised many great sequences like the hair-raising fight atop the cable-cars. Shot in fantastic Alpine locations in Austria (the Schloss Adler is really the eleventh-century Burg Hohenwerfen, south of Salzburg) and at Borehamwood Studio. Trivia - Clint Eastwood, as the charming Major Shaffer, kills about forty people up close and personal in this film, and about another forty indirectly via explosives - a Boy's Own comic-book soldier hero if ever there was. This movie is the best kind of entertainment - fast-moving, action-packed and dramatic without ever being stupid, a sensational story and superbly put together. Don't miss it.
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Better Than "Navarone"
gvb090718 July 2002
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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Very Cliched And Dated
Theo Robertson28 August 2003
As a child I used to love all those old war movies set during the second world war but as I grew older I grew to dislike them . The majority of WW2 war films are American of course with a subjectively American point of view ie the Yanks won the war single handed . Not surprisingly two WW2 war films I still love today are DAS BOOT and CROSS OF IRON both of which are German productions . WHERE EAGLES DARE is a British film but suffers from many of the faults as its American counterparts

The screenplay was written by the late Alistair MacLean at a time when even his shopping lists would be produced into blockbusters . MacLean was a schoolteacher by trade but was famous for his meticulous research into the subjects he wrote about which makes WHERE EAGLES DARE doubly disappointing : The Germans/Nazis are portrayed as being cruel and very stupid , they`re also very easy to kill because unlike the British and American characters they find it impossible to shoot straight . In fact it`s totally ridiculous the way Eastwood`s character is able to fire two machine guns at once and throw back the Germans grenades without getting a scratch . In truth the Germans were very efficent on the battlefield while being very cruel off it.

Maybe I`m a bit hard on the movie since it`s not really a war film but a spy story set during the war , a bit like a James Bond film where Anton Differing is Blofeld . It`s also interesting to see Richard Burton play a very similar character to Bond since he was once a candidate to play Fleming`s character and if his performance here is anyhing to go by he might have outdone Connery as a sadistic assassin but probably would have been less convincing as a sophisticated womaniser . There`s also a brilliant twist where it looks like Smith isn`t who he claims to be but this is the only moment of brilliance in a film with cliched portrayals of Germans and rather poor production values ( Check out the myriad of scenes featuring some painfully obvious back projection ) which won`t appeal to an audience in 2003
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Not a more captivating film have i ever seen before.
mad4tonic5 June 2003
It's 2:40 am on a tuesday morning, in the middle of summer '97. i can't sleep, i'm too hot, and i'm sitting on the side of my bed, pondering aimlessly about my future on this planet. oh dear.

i go downstairs to quench my thirst. and i turn on the t.v., to try and find something boring enough to send me to sleep. I'm flicking through the movie channels when i suddenly come upon the opening credits of an old movie named 'Where Eagles Dare'. i say, 'ok, i'll watch this for a bit.'

I can honestly say, that i have never enjoyed watching, or been more captivated by a film ever before in my life. i actually remember saying at the end, 'yes! yes! now that was a good film!'

It was great! the continuous subtle plot twists really made the movie. it started off with a simple plan. rescue a general from an inpenetrable fortress in the heart of NAZI territory, using an elite crack commando unit. but it then went from good to brilliant. some of the commandos died mysteriously. then things in the plan started to go wrong. it was fantastic.

i completely forgot about everything else, like the time. i was completely immersed in the film and the characters. That is what i term as a cracking movie. the ability to really captivate you, so that when the end credits come up, you think, 'oh yeh. i'm watching a movie.' i also feel a very calming sense come upon me, but at the same time my mind is racing away with excitement. you could say i feel actively relaxed.

If you have not seen this movie, i recommend it above all else, when your up for a good, no excellent World War II action movie.

Watch it, watch it, watch it. And i promise you will have a great time watching it.
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Great spy and action movie with twisting plot
Shelby Spires30 November 2005
Take Alistair MaClean's "Guns of Navarone" and "Ice Station Zebra" then you have the recipe for "Where Eagles Dare." Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton are sent on an Alpine spy/sabotage mission behind enemy lines aimed at confusing and delaying the Germans. It's interesting to see Eastwood take seconds to Burton's acting in this picture. Eastwood was just coming off his major success with the Italian westerns and was an international star, but wasn't an American leading man. This film marks the last time he wasn't in the star/leading man part. Dotted throughout the movie are wonderful actors who turn in solid performances. Accomplished thespians Patrick Wymark, Donald Houston and Derrin Nesbitt, to name a few, are faces many will recognize from UK television roles. An interesting point made in the film is the ordinary German soldier's sometime disdain for the fanatic Nazi SS or Gestapo trooper. This is shown through one German officer's unwillingness to comply with the local Gestapo major. It's rare to see that kind of "layer" added to the German side of a plot in an American picture. Generally, they are always just treated as bad guys to be dispatched in hails of lead or burning explosions. The film holds up well over time, and there's little to date it to 1969, save for the youthful faces of many of the actors. Some 36 years after its release, "Where Eagles Dare" continues to be entertaining. It certainly beats the current crop of "big gasoline driven explosion" movies that have no plot. It is heavy on action and plot, but it has a running time of 155 minutes -- plenty of time to develop plot and action.
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Dandy espionage during wartime...scales the heights...
Neil Doyle28 August 2006
This well-titled thriller indeed goes WHERE EAGLES DARE and then some. When men aren't climbing mountain peaks, they're fighting atop cable cars and doing so many other stunts on a rescue mission that it becomes the ultimate in action/spy drama of the cleverest kind.

And why not? It's based on Alistair McLean's thrilling novel and he authored the screenplay, turning his fast-moving novel into a thrill ride despite a running time of 158 minutes.

At the center of the action are RICHARD BURTON and CLINT EASTWOOD and their mission is to rescue an American General from the clutches of the Nazis before he can reveal the secret plans for a D-Day invasion. He's being held in a German castle high in the mountains so the mission starts out as a built-in obstacle course. Naturally, a lot of daring and derring-do are needed to accomplish the task once the men arrive at the castle.

It's a beautifully mounted production with no expense spared to turn this into a full-fledged winner, aided immeasurably by Ron Goodwin's background score and some exceptional photography in vivid color.

Summing up: an action fan's dream.
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High dose of adrenealin!!
ledzapplin0071 May 2003
Clearly one of the best of its genre, Where Eagles Dare, comes across as a powerful espionage drama with a high dose of adrenealin. Although the screenplay is quite convoluted, it is extremely engrossing and keeps the viewer on the toes. In fact the intertwined storyline adds to the vigor and vitality of the film. Its like a guessing game which the director plays with the audience.

Richard Burton charts out of his usual epic and sensitive roles and dons on the mantle of a tough Major. He is ably supported by Clint Eastwood who is impeccable in his little speaking role of of Lt. Schhaffer.

The cinematography and background score catapults the film to new heights. The title music is haunting and remains with you hours after you finishing watching the film.

I feel that maybe a little more deft editing would have enabled the film to be labled as a classic.
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Utterly Implausible
kenjha30 December 2011
During WWII, an Allied force infiltrates a German castle in the Bavarian alps. The plot is contrived and the action is mindless. It is so utterly implausible that it makes James Bond films seem realistic. It is laughable how easily the Allied force infiltrates the German stronghold - not even their accents give them away, although this issue is circumvented by having all characters speak English in their own accents. The good guys kill hundreds of Nazis and blow up buildings and bridges with their unlimited supply of explosives. The Nazis, on the other hand, are so inept that they don't get a scratch on Burton's gang, and it takes them 15 minutes to break down a locked door.
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Good plot??
adem-317 September 2006
Seriously, I don't understand the other comments.. This movie is not as good as they mention it. The first hour is OK, but after then you only watch how good and smart Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood are. They don't miss anything. The Germans are so stupid. They just hit Richard Burton 1 time in the whole movie. No people this is just a action movie like Terminator and Rambo. But this time you don't have 1 guy who can't die but 3 guys and 2 women. They are riding in a bus and they are shooten with a bunch of bullets. Do they wound? No of course not! They are so good. They even know when German people are going to shoot. Maybe this was a good movie back then, but for know it is a average movie. I think this movie is just a average action movie, but a realistic war movie? I don't think so.
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The Nazi's were blind, deaf, and totally incompetent.
Jazzcat3 March 2000
Warning: Spoilers
At least, they were if you believe this movie. The premise for Where Eagles Dare has real potential. But this is pure Hollywood stupidity folks.

The two main Allied agents waltz through their mission, killing Nazis with ridiculous ease, while casually strolling through a hail-storm of bullets. Never once do you get the impression that the heros of this movie are in any danger of death or of failing to complete their mission, despite the supposedly incredible odds against their success. This makes for a painfully boring movie, completely lacking in suspense, but abounding in absurdity.

For me, the worst crime of this movie is the way it trivialises the Allies' bloody struggles and hard won victories over the Germans during WWII. The final verdict? Even Colonel Klink would have been insulted. Nuff said.

But if you want the dirty details... (Warning! Possible spoilers and (definite) rants follow.)

Where else but in Hollywood could a group of British covert agents openly and casually discuss their plans for infiltrating the most heavily guarded Nazi fortress in Germany while sitting in a German pub filled wall to wall with Nazis? (Hello?!) Where but Hollywood could a British and American agent stand unconcealed atop a trolley hundreds of feet above the ground, travelling into the heart of this very fortress, and *not* be seen by the trolley guards, who seemed to be determined to look in every direction except the one from where the trolley is approaching? Where else would a Nazi guard, *knowing* that Clint Eastwood is an American agent, fall for his extremely lame "I need to tie my shoelace" (!?!) line, while travelling in a car! (Germans know the importance of properly tied shoelaces while sitting in an automobile!) Where else can a single Allied agent (Clint Eastwood, of course) hold off hordes of Nazi soldiers single-handedly? Not only that, but casually pick up a Nazi grenade tossed at him, and throw it back at the Nazis, taking his time in doing so, whereupon it promptly explodes? (Were these German grenades designed only to kill Nazis?) Then, when the plot demands it, a single Gestapo officer orders both of our heros to drop their guns, and they do so promptly, despite the fact that they both have two machine guns to his one Luger and Nazi officers as hostages to boot.

I'm sure there is more of this incredible stupidity to report, but I couldn't bring myself to watch more than half of this absurd movie.
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The epic militaristic score by Ron Goodwin is the best thing about the film .....
PimpinAinttEasy22 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Dear Quentin Tarantino,

I have liked some of the movies that you recommend in your interviews. But you seem to like a few turkeys. Where Eagles Dare is one of them. Yes, the title sequence with the view from the plane flying over mountains to Ron Goodwin's epic militaristic score was brilliant. Probably among the best title sequences of all time. You cannot stop humming the score even after the movie gets over.

But it falls apart after that. You have the Germans who are all stupid and cannot shoot well at all. Man, the German characters were so pathetic. I cannot think of more awfully written characters in a movie. Some of the action scenes were great - especially the scenes in the cable car. Now that was a great idea. But they could have done so much with it. I hope somebody does another cable car scene based on the one in this movie.

There isn't much humor or anything. The film takes itself too seriously. Parts of this film obviously inspired you to make Inglorious Basterds, Quentin. So I guess some good did come out of it.

Best Regards, Pimpin.

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