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When Eagles Dared: The Filmgoers' History of World War II Hardcover – April 10, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris (April 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848856504
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848856509
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.9 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #923,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Hughes is a fan and his enthusiasm, as well as his research, shines through." -- Keith Richmond, Tribune Magazine (UK)
Praise for Stagecoach to Tombstone:
 "Written with panache and fresh insight . . . buy it!" --Dave Worrall, Cinema Retro
"A deftly written collection of essays, full of fascinating insight, this will be a must for fellow travellers on the sagebrush trail." --Howard Maxford, Film Review
"Hold your horses for next month's release of Stagecoach to Tombstone: The Filmgoer's Guide to Great Westerns, author Howard Hughes' detailed tome on 27 classic films." --Newsday.com

About the Author

Howard Hughes is the author of Aim for the Heart: The Films of Clint Eastwood, Cinema Italiano: The Complete Guide from Classics to Cult and of the Filmgoers' Guides: Stagecoach to Tombstone: The Filmgoers' Guide to the Great Westerns; Crime Wave: The Filmgoers' Guide to the Great Crime Movies and Once Upon a Time in the Italian West: The Filmgoers' Guide to Spaghetti Westerns. He is also a contributor to The James Bond Archives and is a regular columnist on film magazine Cinema Retro.

More About the Author

Howard Hughes is the writer-researcher of a dozen books, including STAGECOACH TO TOMBSTONE, MARIO BAVA: DESTINATION TERROR, WHEN EAGLES DARED, CINEMA ITALIANO, CRIME WAVE, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE ITALIAN WEST, and AIM FOR THE HEART: THE FILMS OF CLINT EASTWOOD. He is a regular columnist and reviewer for film magazine 'Cinema Retro' and contributed to THE JAMES BOND ARCHIVES, Taschen's official 50th anniversary celebration of Agent 007.

His latest book, OUTER LIMITS: THE FILMGOERS' GUIDE TO THE GREAT SCIENCE-FICTION FILMS (I.B.Tauris) looks at sci-fi classics, from 'Metropolis' to 'Avatar', via 'The War of the Worlds', 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', '2001', 'The Thing', 'Alien', 'The Terminator', 'Star Wars', 'Galaxy Quest', 'Star Trek', 'Planet of the Apes', 'Blade Runner' and dozens more.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gary P. Cohen on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As some one who greatly enjoys movies pertaining to World War II, I really enjoyed this book.
The book is divided into chapters concerning the various events of WWII: The Fall of France, The War in the Skies, The Pacific War, The D Day Landings, Special Ops in Europe, etc, etc. At the beginning of each chapter, the author gives a historical perspective of the films covered. Some of the films covered, he goes into great detail on: "Tora, Tora, Tora," "The Longest Day," "The Dirty Dozen," "Where Eagles Dare," "A Bridge Too Far," etc, etc. Unfortunately, some like "The Devil's Brigade," one of my all-time favorites, he only gives 1 sentence. Still it is nice to see him discuss some excellent WWII films that are hardly ever mentioned like "633 Squadron," "The Secret Invasion,""Hell Is For Heroes," "Armored Command" and "Tobruk." (Why is "Tobruk not out on DVD or Blu-ray?) It is during his description of "Tobruk" that he makes one of his few errors stating that both Craig (Rock Hudson) and Bergman (George Peppard) both survive at the end. In reality Bergman is killed when the flame thrower, he is using to torch some German tanks, explodes.
And while he discusses hundreds of films, there are some omissions. In the chapter on "The War in the Skies (1940-1945,) he somehow forgets "Command Decision," a terrific drama that starred Clark Gable, Walter Pidgeon and Van Johnson. This film was released around the same time as "12 O'Clock High" and was not nearly as successful. Still it was an excellent film and should have been remembered.
The author is British and uses at times various British slang terms that I as an American did not get. He also goes into great detail describing the armaments present in each film and the replacement tanks, planes, etc.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael OConnor TOP 500 REVIEWER on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Howard Hughes' WHEN EAGLES DARED is subtitled THE FILMGOER'S HISTORY OF WORLD WAR II. It's one of those 'history through cinema' creations that interweaves the actual historical events with the films that have depicted those events, however loosely. A 2012 Tauris & Company release, it surveys over 150 films made in America, England, Russia, France, Italy and various other countries.

Hughes surveys his subject topically. Chapters include 'The Fall of France,' 'The War in the Skies,' 'The Submarine War,' 'The Eastern Front,' 'Special Ops in Europe,' 'The Ardennes Offensive,' 'Operation Market Garden' and so on. Each chapter includes one "focus film" which Hughes feels best represents that chapter's subject. So, for example, THE GREAT ESCAPE is the focus film for the 'War Behind the Wire' chapter.

The book certainly casts a wide net. There are many old favorites covered along with flicks that were completely new to me. Coverage of the films vary. Some get several pages; others, a single sentence or two. I was, in fact, surprised that several classic flicks got short shrift. The text is illustrated with dozens of b&w pix and posters.

WHEN EAGLES DARED is enjoyable and informative. Film buffs and World War II enthusiasts alike should find something to enjoy within the book's 290 pages. Recommended.

Dedicated to the memory of Professor Tobey Goldberg, UW-SP 1972.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cpt matt VINE VOICE on December 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
3 stars out of five – the author can't quite seem to decide if he's writing a book about war movies or writing about the war itself. I can see if you want to give the reader a little back ground about the war or the context of the movie in the overall history, but the book bogs down in the length of each battle or conflict. The other problem with writing too much of the history is that you open yourself to disagreement regarding the interpretation of the history, which lessens the credibility of the reviews of the movie. I'd rather read a book on war movies from a movie critics view point, someone who can point out factoids regarding the film and comment on the techniques or style of direction, acting and such.

Generally speaking, those who are big fans of a particular genre such as war movies will know the subject matter. This frees the book up for more information about the film or more history about other films.

Credit the author for taking the risk to base his selection of movies on his likes vs. any set of objective criteria such as box office or critical success (no sarcasm). However, in doing so, some movies may be short changed or missed altogether. I also liked that the narrative contains data regarding what types of mock-ups or the real tanks/weapons were used.

Most war film buffs will agree with the author and his selection, some of Hugh's choices will be new or revealing. A good book, a different perspective, but not a one stop source of war movies.
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