The Eiger Sanction
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Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this international intrigue action thriller that takes place on the Swiss Alps.Hemlock, a retired professional assassin (Eastwood), who has turned toward the calmer pursuit of art collecting, is suddenly forced out of retirement to hunt a deadly double agent who murdered a close friend. The hunt takes Eastwood on a breathtaking journey up the Swiss Alps with a team of mountain climbers - one of whom is the man he seeks though his identity is as yet unknown.The top-notch action film, based on the novel by Trevanian, features some of the most exciting mountain climbing sequences ever filmed.
Clint Eastwood held the dual role of director and star of this 1975 spy thriller, which makes up for sluggish pacing with a breathtaking climax on a treacherous peak in the Swiss Alps. The plot kicks into gear when Eastwood, playing a retired assassin, is recruited back into a secret organization to avenge the murder of an old friend. He's then blackmailed into making a second "hit"; this time his target is one of three men who will be attempting to conquer the Eiger, a dangerous peak in Switzerland. Himself an accomplished climber, Eastwood's character joins the expedition with George Kennedy as leader of the ground crew. Shifting loyalties, apparent betrayals, and paranoid suspicion factor into the suspenseful climax on the sheer face of the mountain. This memorable sequence--for which Eastwood performed his own mountain-climbing stunts--is effectively intense, built on a standard plot of double-cross and intrigue that was intended to combine Eastwood's screen persona with the global adventure of the James Bond films. For the most part it works--it's not one of Eastwood's better films, but it's got some first-class thrills (and a sly performance by Jack Cassidy) to grab and hold your interest. --Jeff Shannon
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Also loved the hip banter used by Clint, and the gritty lines delivered by all the actors (who were also climbers).
Now if I could just find a Stroppe Bronco like the one used by Kennedy and Eastwood, I'd be very happy. Nice factory hot rod 4x4!
Eastwood portrays a retired spy/hit man, Dr. Jonathan Hemlock, whom is forced back into action based on his love of fine art and to find the killer of a best friend, a man that once saved his life. He's also an accomplished mountain climber. Kennedy portrays his best friend, another retired climber that once had a climbing school where Hemlock trains to try and again climb the Eiger. Actor Jack Cassidy perfects the role of a former friend gone snake.
If you're into, adventure films, supense or just action, the Eiger Sanction is a great choice.
If you've got 2 or 3 good friends, spend a Saturday afternoon watching this film over a few beers. Enjoy it for what it is. Learn some of the funniest lines in film history, such as: "Does your physical condition preclude you from getting to the point?"...
Eastwood insisted on doing all his own climbing scenes, and this was one of the reasons he ended up the director: No one else would do it! Moreover, one of the technical advisors, a world class climber, much respected among mountaineers, was killed during production on Eiger. This film was no laughing matter to those who created it.
All in all, one of my favorite Clint Eastwood films, and one of the finest... and funniest.. mountaineering films of all time.