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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.

Director:

Clint Eastwood

Writers:

Hal Dresner (screenplay), Warren Murphy (screenplay) (as Warren B. Murphy) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Clint Eastwood ... Jonathan Hemlock
George Kennedy ... Ben Bowman
Vonetta McGee ... Jemima Brown
Jack Cassidy ... Miles Mellough
Heidi Brühl ... Mrs. Montaigne (as Heidi Bruhl)
Thayer David ... Dragon
Reiner Schöne ... Freytag (as Reiner Schoene)
Michael Grimm Michael Grimm ... Meyer
Jean-Pierre Bernard Jean-Pierre Bernard ... Montaigne
Brenda Venus Brenda Venus ... George
Gregory Walcott ... Pope
Candice Rialson ... Art Student
Elaine Shore Elaine Shore ... Miss Cerberus
Dan Howard Dan Howard ... Dewayne
Jack Kosslyn 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 »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 May 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Im Auftrag des Drachen See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Brenda Venus was twenty-five-years-old when she played the role of "George". She became the pen pal, then lover and muse, of writer Henry Miller. She also became a successful author, writing books giving advice on seduction for men and women, and a regular column for Playboy Magazine. See more »

Goofs

During the final segment of the rescue scene, Dr Hemlock removes his gloves to cut the rope. After he cuts the rope and is being hauled up, his gloves are back on. See more »

Quotes

Jonathan Hemlock: [after fighting and stepping on Popes hand] Okay, you'll be alright now Pope. Of course you may have trouble playing the clarinet for awhile.
See more »

Alternate Versions

An early cut of the movie showed, in detail, a man slitting Henri Bach's throat, reaching in, and retrieving microfilm that he had just swallowed. This was deemed too graphic, so the scene was edited to its current version. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Venture Bros.: The Revenge Society (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mountain Mystery
3 July 2010 | by Chase_WitherspoonSee all my reviews

Lesser known Eastwood vehicle has big Clint as teacher, womaniser, mountaineer, occasional assassin Jonathan Hemlock, engaged by old professional acquaintance, albino Dragon (Thayer David) to undertake one last job. Preparation for his job involves reuniting with old friend Kennedy to physically acclimatise for a treacherous climb up the Eiger peak where his quarry is - he presumes - one of those on the expedition. But the identity of his prey isn't so easily detected, leading to various plot twists.

Not the conventional Eastwood picture, but very entertaining nonetheless with an outstanding, and eclectic supporting cast. Jack Cassidy is wonderfully camp as the flamboyant Miles, minded by his ape-like thug, serves little narrative purpose other than to spice up the scenery and give Hemlock an excuse to get into killing practice. David is a quirky villain, bathed in red light, while beauties Bruhl, Venus and Rialson are fleeting but flaunting of their substantial sex appeal (Bruhl's negligee is a serious distraction). Also entertaining is veteran supporting actor Walcott as a sniveling villain, more irritating to Hemlock than any real threat, a disdain for whom he shows at every given opportunity.

Besides the cast, witty dialogue and fluent action, the scenery is at times, breathtaking. The well staged mountaineering sequences are novel and suspenseful, the tension well constructed and executed, while the narrative climax is an unexpected and neatly timed twist. It's an epic two hours, but the range of plot diversions and comic book characters ensures the pace is constant and engaging. Doesn't take itself too seriously, but remains true in the impact of its thrills. Recommended.


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