6.4/10
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The Eiger Sanction (1975)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Thriller | 21 May 1975 (USA)
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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 ... 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:

Revenge atop a Swiss Mountain... one of his team is a killer but who? See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

21 May 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Eiger Sanction 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

In Finland, this film is called "Tehtävä Alpeilla" meaning "A Mission in the Alps" in English. See more »

Goofs

In the sequences on the North Face Hemlock's trousers regularly change from brown corduroy knee britches to black/ blue long pants. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Jonathan Hemlock: You still here?
Pope: Now really, you don't expect me to just walk out that door, do you, sweetheart?
Dr. Jonathan Hemlock: Door or window, it's your choice.
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

Referenced in Monkey in the Morning: #ThotAudit Taxing Boobs (2018) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Overlooked Eastwood gem!
28 January 2005 | by filmbuff-31See all my reviews

This movie is highly unusual and possibly even unique in Clint Eastwood's career, either as actor or director.

In "The Eiger Sanction" he plays Dr. Jonathan Hemlock, a character completely unlike any other he has played. Dr. Hemlock is, in fact, the very antithesis of the typical Eastwood character.

Although he hides a secret past, Hemlock displays a highly cultured knowledge of fine art and jazz in both his professional and personal life. He possesses as highly refined a taste for beautiful women as he does for the most beautiful works of art.

Eastwood is both a philosopher and a lover in this film. He is also a humorist. But there are no glib one-liners here. In fact, this one film probably contains more dialogue for Eastwood than he has done for any other character he has played in his career.

Eastwood is the quintessential strong, silent type. As anyone knows who has seen him as a gunfighter hero, whether in the Old West or in the big city. In "The Eiger Sanction," he is a different kind of gun- fighter. His character is not drawn on the swift, total retribution exacted by the Man with No Name. Instead, it is drawn on the suave, debonair charm of James Bond. Jonathan Hemlock possesses the same cultural refinement and cosmopolitanism that the Bond character does. In fact, Hemlock and Bond are at work and at home in the same element: international espionage.

I suspect this is why the casual fan of Clint Eastwood typically detests this movie. Clint Eastwood appears to be miscast. But I'd say he pulls it off admirably, showing the viewer a side of himself which is rarely seen and exhibiting his versatility as an actor.

The story itself is better than average and the movie rates two and one half stars.


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