Where Eagles Dare

where_eagles_dare_posterYear: 1968

Synopsis: After a US Army officer is captured by Nazi Germany, an Anglo-American team is sent on the rescue operation, but nothing is as it seems.

Pros:
• Richard Burton (The Cerebral Spy) drove the film, as Clint Eastwood provided the film’s cold soldier heart. Fellow spies played by Ingrid Pitt and Mary Ure provided the film’s shadowed soul.
• Was an engrossing spy film under deep cover as a WWII epic.
• The sense of peril was remarkable, as failure seemed likely in every scene.
• Every sequence was intense in its own way, on par with the best spy films. Beautiful to watch in its calculated brutality.
• No gadgets were required in the making of this film.

Cons:
• Can come off as a bit full of itself at first.
• Except for a couple instances of German, the fact that everyone was speaking English was a bit absurd at times
• The intricate plot was not for those looking for mindless action.

Discussion:
“Broadsword calling Danny Boy!”

This might just be one of the best spy films ever made, enhanced by the complexity of WWII Europe. The backdrop of war created the thick facade between the opposing forces. Within, even on the Allied side to a lesser extent, was the distinct sense of friction between the many arms working the war effort. The only one that had a sense of what was really going on was Maj. Smith (Burton), who created a degree of the complexity with his team to keep some degree of control in his missions. There were times when it felt like we were witnessing a just created Plan C, when we might have still been deep in the elaborate machinations of Plan A. Perhaps we were in as far as Plan 9 by the end, but there was no way to know. We were merely a witness with Lt. Schaffer (Eastwood), forced to react on the fly, unknowing if survival was even possible. We needed to see it through to the end. That end was a dark catharsis.


Rotten Tomatoes — 90%

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