Quite simply one of the greatest war movies ever made. A top notch thriller loaded with action, espionage and double crosses, "Where Eagles Dare" is the kind of movie that Hollywood just doesn't make anymore. This isn't some politically correct drama steeped in reality. No, this is good guys vs. bad guys. This is pure unabashed fantasy which keeps the audience on the edge of its seat. This is just darn good entertainment!
Richard Burton is absolutely cunning as the British agent who leads an elite group of soldiers behind enemy lines and into a seemingly unpenetrable German castle to rescue an imprisoned American General. A young Clint Eastwood is the only American on the mission. Clint is his usual cool and calm self. However he, like the audience, isn't sure who to trust. Somebody's a double agent, but exactly who is anyone's guess. Don't worry about figuring it out, just sit back and enjoy the drama. You'll love the growing tension and suspicion between Burton and Eastwood.
The journey into the castle is classic heart-stopping drama. Even better is Burton's fight with a German soldier high atop a ski lift -- truly one of the most riveting action sequences ever filmed. Bullets are flyin' and bombs are blastin' throughout. In the end, heroes emerge while evil perpetrators get their just due. Classic, absolutely classic!
And yes, as several reviewers have noted, the stunning scenery and beautiful cinematography in this film would greatly benefit from a widescreen DVD treatment. So, how 'bout it, I want my DVD!
on November 10, 2000
As far as World War II action films are concerned, they don't get much bigger & better than this nail biting, thrill a minute, nearly three hour ride into espionage, escapism & excitement !!
From the pen of Alistair McLean came the book...and then director Brian G. Hutton has done a superb job in truly capturing onscreen the pulse pounding thrill ride of the novel. The movie is like a grenade with the pin pulled out...you never know when the next explosion is coming !
Clint Eastwood (Eastwood said "Let Richard do the talking") and Richard Burton (Burton said "Clint acts with a type of dynamic lethargy") lead a group of Allied paratroopers on a daring raid to the Schloss Adler in Bavaria to rescue an American general held prisoner high in it's snow covered towers. However, all is not what it seems...the commandos are dying one by one and it soon becomes quite obvious that there is a traitor in the ranks. The film then becomes an exercise in espionage and double cross as Eastwood & Burton seek to ferret out the truth behind every man's identity....but not before Burton totally confuses Eastwood to the point where Clint remarks "Major, right now you have me about as confused as I ever hope to be !"
The movie is filled with incredible stunts, fiery shootouts and battle sequences as Eastwood & Burton seem to lay waste to regiment after regiment of German troops trying to stop their mission. Just suspend your disbelief (just like the cable car), and sit back and enjoy good old fashioned, grand scale entertainment.
Over the thirty years since this movie first came out, I must have watched it dozens of times...and I can't see myself tiring of it in the future either ! Just when the heck is it finally going to come out on DVD with a few extra goodies thrown in ??
If you don't own a copy of "Where Eagles Dare"...what are you waiting for...a true "must have" movie for any fan of big screen adventure films.
on January 8, 2000
If you want action and scenic Austrian locations, this film has it. Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood star in the movie adaptation of Alistair MacLean's novel (MacLean also wrote the screenplay). From the beginning of the film with agents parachuting out of an original German Junkers 52 to the life or death pursuit at the end of the film, this video is jam-packed with action.
Expect much of the usual MacLean storyline in this film as a handful of agents, plan gone awry, destroy a large contingent of the German Army while challenged by double agents in their midst. Much like "Force Ten from Navarone" and " The Guns of Navarone," a World War Two buff might wonder why so much of the Wehrmacht was located somewhere other than the front. No matter.
The cinematography is excellent and the locations stunning in Winter beauty. The film's musical score by itself is wonderful. The DVD release is very high quality. By the way, the soundtrack CD is also available. It's the perfect thing to listen to on a snowy day.
This movie, filled with drama, action, and a complex plot that will make your head spin, has it all. Richard Burton is dashing as the cold plotting secret agent who is leading his team on a mission to save D-Day from disaster. Clint Eastwood, here little more than a teenager, is wonderful as the somewhat befuddled American army ranger who cannot figure out why he is even on the mission.
Any attempt to go into detail about the story would ruin some of the fun. Suffice to say that you will be riveted both by the action and the performances. One note though, Burton's monologue is amazing.
If you like WWII movies and have not seen this one, you don't know what you are missing.
on April 4, 2002
Back when I was a teenage Alistair MacLean fan, I remember staying up all night reading this novel, which was actually adpated from the film (MacLean wrote the movie first!). It was probably MacLean's most exciting book: non-stop intrigue, obfuscation and action, and it is a replica of the movie. So that tells you what to expect here. Plus, we have the added pleasure of watching the screen's oddest couple of all time in Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. Burton, in an action movie for a major change, does a great job with his fight scenes, and carries the twists and turns of the plot with aplomb. Eastwood, little more than a hired assassin here, is at his steely and cool best, straight out of Leone's Italian westerns. Throw in a couple of sexy female agents, incredible stunts on a cable car, plenty of machine gun fire, explosions, car chases, and a stirring, heart-pounding music score, and you have the perfect Saturday afternoon popcorn movie. What more could you ask for? You'll be on the edge of your seat the whole time, continually asking, "What the heck's really going on here?"
on September 3, 2003
My patience in waiting for this to come out on DVD has been rewarded. Nicely remastered picture and sound help one enjoy the fact that this is not only a fun action flick, but also full of great scenery.
Clint Eastwood is typically stoic and understated, while Burton is verbose, manly, and often appears to have a look in his eyes that corresponds to his reputation as a boozehound.
The plot? Well, it's rather complicated to explain, but rest assured that it involves WW2, a picturesque castle atop a mountain, Her Majesty's Secret Service, some mystery, intrigue, and a ton of dead nazis. Trying to unravel it all along with the characters is enough to keep one's attention if for one reason or another the action isn't.
As for the action, it is superb and set the bar for all the later action films like the "Die Hard" series. For fans of that series and more recent action films who haven't seen "Where Eagles Dare", this one comes highly recommended.
on November 7, 2000
This is a fantastic, classic WW2 action film / 'Boys Own'-adventure, and it's a criminal shame that it isn't out on DVD (perhaps with extra sequences in which we see Clint Eastwood reload, or narration from a real WW2 Commando which, presumably, would degenerate into laughter as out heroes fight out entire divisions of German soldiers with nary a scratch). After a slow build-up, during which a carefully-planned, daring commando raid seems to unravel, the film kicks into gear and becomes non-stop action and intrigue. Even after blowing up most of a castle, our heroes get to cause mayhem with period kubelwagens and tripwires. Rather like 'Armageddon', almost everything in the film that can be blown up or shot, is.
It's like a cross between 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service' but with Nazis, and 'The Guns of Naverone' but with Clint Eastwood. Everything about the film is perfect, from the opening credits sequence (blood-red Germanic script, a Junkers transport plane, a driving, foreboding score) to the cast - Clint Eastwood is utterly Clint, Richard Burton is clipped enough to pass for Patrick McGoohan, and the Nazis are a fascinating, aristocratic bunch with groovy, well-pressed grey uniforms and matching MP40s. Furthermore it's *the* cable-car movie.
It's also utterly irresponsible and very silly - only 'Kelly's Heroes' and 'Star Wars' have matched the comic-book, off-hand brutality of the violence, and there's a nasty bit with an boot, a cable-car, and somebody's face that makes me wince every time I see it. It's probably Richard Burton's most memorable screen performance, too, which is something Burton himself would probably not have anticipated. It's a shame that most of the distinctive cast are either dead, or very old nowadays.
It gets shown on television every time there's a bank holiday, but it's hard to tire of watching it. Somebody release it on DVD - now.
I have been waiting and waiting for word on the expected and previously tentatively announced release of a special edition of this DVD. So, using my position as an editor at a reasonably sized suburban newspaper I put in a call to my contacts at MGM to see what the hold up might be.
Imagine my surprise then when my contact informs me that MGM does not hold the rights to the picture. Furthermore, they believe the picture has been licensed to Warner Bros.
My interest piqued I turned around and called my contacts at Warner Bros. It seems they (at Time Warner) are not aware of any licensing agreement concerning "Where Eagles Dare" and therefore have no plans to release it (since they didn't even know they had rights to it).
I don't think we can expect any DVD release of this much loved movie until MGM and Warner decide exactly who has rights to it.
Concerning the movie itself: Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood give solid performances as commando's parachuted behind enemy lines in this movie adapted for the screen by Alistair (Guns of Navarone) McLean, from his own novel.
The scenery is breathtaking and the action steller and after an admittedly slow start the action scenes really pick up in the latter half of the movie as Burton unravels a web of deceit and unmasking of traitors. He must then attampt to escape with his secrets with what would seem like the entire German army in hot pursuit.
Recommended for action fans, Clint Eastwood fans and people who like their Richard Burton dark, brooding and dangerous.
UPDATE: For those awaiting a Blu-ray release. Warner has let it slip that "Where Eagles Dare" will be one of their catalog titles to be released on the high definition Blu-ray format in 2010.
This is another great WWII action movie with Sir Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood giving fine performances. The movie is set in either the Winter of 1943/1944 and an American General is captured by the Germans and is held in an unpenetrable castle deep in the heart of Germany.
Burton is the leader of an elite commando squad with orders to parachute into Germany, enter the Castle (built on a steep cliff by the way) and get the General out of German hands. It seems the General knows about the plans for the invasion of Europe and the Germans are trying to get him to talk.
The supporting cast, Clint Eastwood et al, are outstanding. From beautiful women who are helping Burton to the assault squad with their own "agenda" to follow, this is a great action movie that has an unexpected twist of plot.
This is the kind of movie that "guys who like action movies" would enjoy. It is also a movie you have to follow closely because if you don't you will be scratching your head until close to the very end. The movie version does the Alistair Maclean's novel quite outstandingly.
I can still remember being a kid sitting in the theater when this movie came out. The cast includes Clint Eastwood (portraying an American soldier) and Richard Burton (British officer) who are teamed up along with a contingent of special forces to attack a castle and prevent a captured allied officer from revealing the D-Day plans.
The acting, the music, the dialogue and the scenery are outstanding. The plot has some great twists and the movie is great when viewed on a DVD.
This is a classic war movie that should be in any DVD collection. I've seen this movie so many times and still enjoy everything about the movie.