"The Eiger Sanction" (1975) starring Clint Eastwood is a spectacular "mountain movie" of the sort big in 1920's German classic cinema.
The famous 1929 German movie titled "The White Hell Of Pitz Palou" (1929 Germany) starring young Leni Riefenshahl directed by Joseph Pabst is an example of German "mountain movies" which always included spectacular camera work recording breathtaking icy mountain scenes, most often in the European Alps.
World audiences were very enthusiastic about "mountain movies" but few were made after sound movies replaced silent movies.
"The Eiger Sanction" (1975) is an exception, and a spectacular one.
About 50 percent of the movie is taken up with incredible and spectacular camera work of breathtaking and hair raising mountain scenery both in the USA's famous Monument Valley terrain, and also in the Swiss Alps.
The Richard Shickel authored biography of Clint Eastwood titled "Clint" reports that a stunt man doubling for the actor-climbers in the Swiss Alps part of the movie was accidentally killed during the shoot, and the entire production was almost shut down as a result.
"The Eiger Sanction" (1975) shows both the beauty and the danger of monster mountains, and must be counted as among the best outdoor photography ever provided for a Hollywood feature movie.
The movie is historically interesting because it mirrored its times (the middle 1970's), which were still part of the counter-cultural revolution and sympathies usually called collectively "the 60's," but actually a period comprising the last half of the 1960's and first half of the 1970's (the 1970's was also "counter-cultural," but doesn't get credit for it when the while era is referred to as "the '60's").
Heterosexual interplay and enthusiasms between Clint Eastwood and various attractive actresses part of the movie are part of the show, and are of a sort which later disappeared from movies after the "Sexual Revolution" of the those "counter-cultural times" faded away.
The anti-CIA, anti-government sympathies and mentality of counter-cultural times are also seen in "The Eiger Sanction" (1975), which proposes cynically that CIA ordered and staged assassinations were not always necessary or justified.
"The Eiger Sanction" (1975) is a CIA agent movie which, unlike most others of its type, does not have a final scene where the good guy and the bad guy duke it out at the end, and the bad guy "gets his." The main interest of the movie is the wonderful photography....the movie is sort of an ultimate travelogue of spectacular mountains seen in vivid color and from astonishing angles, with camera work done from helicopters and small airplanes which "get in close" in almost a surgical way.
"The Eiger Sanction" (1975) did not go on to become a famous or honored movie listed among the "classics" of its time, but it deserves to be.
"Jaws" (1975) was made the same year (1975) as "The Eiger Sanction" (1975), and was also produced by Richard Zanuck and David Brown (Helen Gurley Brown's husband!), and also included music composed by composer John Williams.
"The Eiger Sanction" (1975) included heavyweight support talent, and the result was and still is a true winner.
Written by Tex Allen, SAG Actor.