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Where Eagles Dare [VHS]
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Product Description

Scorned by reviewers when it came out, this concentrated dose of commando death-dealing to legions of Nazi machine-gun fodder has acquired a cult over the years. In 1968 Clint Eastwood was just getting used to the notion that he might be a world-class movie star; Richard Burton, whose image had been shaped equally by classical theater training and his headline-making romance with Elizabeth Taylor, was eager to try on the action ethos Eastwood was already nudging toward caricature. Alistair MacLean's novel The Guns of Navarone had inspired the film that started the '60s vogue for World War II military capers, so he was prevailed on to write the screenplay (his first). The central location, an impregnable Alpine stronghold locked in ice and snow, is surpassing cool, but the plot and action are ultra-mechanical, and the switcheroo gamesmanship of just who is the undercover double (triple?) agent on the mission becomes aggressively silly. --Richard T. Jameson

Customer Reviews:

  • My Favorite Movie Ever
    My Dad took me to see this at a theater when I was 8 years old. Probably not the best movie for an 8 year old girl, but I loved it. My Dad was a big Clint Eastwood fan, and my Mom loved Richard Burton, how cool is that.

    Hollywood doesn't make them like this anymore, that's for sure. The location, the story, the actors make this one of the greatest "war" movies ever.

    This is one of those movies when it's on TV, you've just got to sit there and watch it til the END, again.

    I'm buying my Mom & Sister copies for Christmas. ...more info
  • Where Eagles Dare
    This is one of Eastwoods best action movies. It does credit to Alister McClain's book....more info
  • improbable but entertaining
    This WWII action/thriller has one of the most confused and irrational stories ever filmed for a major production, but it's a story well told, and extremely entertaining, as long as you don't try to make too much sense of it.
    Richard Burton is a British major who leads an expert team that includes Clint Eastwood, to save a general held prisoner in an impenetrable Bavarian castle. Their little backpacks hold at least 2 truckloads of ammunition, as they use guile and bullets and bombs to make their way past hoards of Nazis to get to their prize. There are many twists and turns, and one just has to go with the flow of it, and enjoy the daring duo, Burton and Eastwood, do their stuff.
    Mary Ure is fine as an attractive British spy already planted in Bavaria, who bravely joins the guys in their mission, with never a hair out of place. The rest of the cast has many excellent character actors, with familiar faces if not always readily recognizable names.

    The intricate plot is fast paced, with good direction by Brian Hutton, and the soundtrack by Ron Goodwin is rousing and intense, and one of the main reasons this film is thrilling, as it really drives the action scenes. The cinematography by Arthur Ibbetson of the Alpine scenery is spectacular, and was shot on location near Salzburg, Austria, in and around the fortress of Scloss Hohenwerfen.
    The film was a huge commercial success in its theatrical release, and has gained almost cult status over the years. Comparisons can be made with the 1967 "The Dirty Dozen", which has the similar premise of infiltrating Nazi territory, using German uniforms, though "Where Eagles Dare" doesn't have the broad humor of the '67 film.
    Two handsome superstars and lots of action make this worth watching for anyone who likes wartime films with the good vs. evil battle for life.
    Total running time is 158 minutes.
    ...more info
  • Where Eagles Dare....action and fun is found!
    WHERE EAGLES DARE (1968) Starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood.

    This is a very entertaining movie. The plot is complex, yet enjoyable. Action packed, but full of suprises. Excellently paced. This movie clips along very nicely.

    The story involves a mission to infiltrate a castle in the Bavarian alps where a british general who has crucial knowledge of the upcoming Invasion of Normandy is being held hostage.

    Burton is leader of a team of british commandos and spymasters, including one american army ranger, played by the always enjoyable Clint Eastwood. None of the team members have ever met each other. The team parachutes in several miles away from the castle. But something is wrong.

    Upon landing Burton discovers one of his men has been killed upon parachuting in. But upon closer examination by Burton...it turns out he wasnt killed on impact...but murdered after landing. As the story progresses, more of Burtons team turns up murdered.

    His ranks thinning out, Burton is still determined to carry on with the mission. He is joined by fellow commando and lover Mary (Mary Ure) as well as another beautiful undercover agent Heidi (Ingrid Pitt) who has been sweet talking a Nazi SS agent who is assigned to the castle fortress.

    Down to 4 men, Burton feels that Eastwood is the only person that Burton can trust. But Eastwood isnt a dummy. He's been watching the goings on and isn't convinced that he can trust anybody including Burton, as the mission becomes more deadly and more full of unwanted suprises and double crosses with each passing minute.

    The final confrontation in the castle fortress is very enjoyable and pays off big time. There are plenty of suprises and heaping helpings of great action throughout. The film is also beautifully shot. Eastwood and Burton are icy cool in their execution of their mission and that plays great against the icy, snow covered back drop of the Bavarian alps. Harsh weather and even harsher people. Burton delivers some wonderfully witty jabs throughout the film. Eastwood is at his no nonsense, squinty eyed best as he struggles to figure out just what the heck is going on while also trying to just stay alive.

    Lush wintery backrounds, beautifully shot. Great musical score by Ron Goodwin. Wonderfully choreographed action sequences. Apparently the movie came about when Burton...having done several more "serious" films, wanted to do a fun action movie for his kids. He approched Producer Elliot Kastner. Kastner then approached Alistair MacLean. MacLean told Kastner that all his finished novels had already been optioned by other studios, as well as several upcoming projects. Kastner suggested that MacLean write an original story/screenplay. It's a great story with great action. While not the equal of MacLeans GUNS OF NAVARONE, its certainly a close second in terms of great story and all around great action sequences.

    I highly recommend this movie. Very enjoyable film....more info
  • Great
    This movie is good. I thought that it was going to be boring, but I was suprised I enjoyed it so much. It takes place in a snowy valley where the Germans have a castle stonghold. Lots of spy stuff and Clint Eastwood action. GOOD ENDING...more info
  • Second to None!
    After watching this movie countless times over the last twenty-five years and having seen practically every movie that has ever been shown about World War II I can honestly say that this is second to none. Burton and Eastwood are at their best. The plot, settings, music, and scenery are second only to the twists and turns that keep you guessing until the last moments. Despite the number of times that I have viewed this movie, it gives me sewaty palms every time I put it in the player. A must see!!!!...more info
  • Classic World War II Movie
    This movie defined one of the 'icons' of the world war II genre,, ie the secret nazi fortress/castle at the top of a mountain accessible only by a tram. It's just one of those things that you either get or you don't and this film depicts it perfectly. There are a couple of hollywoodesque problems like a car being pushed off a cliff which explodes for no reason in mid air(shades of magnum pi and other tv shows) and a couple of silly brief scenes depicting a romantic subplot between burton and one of the two female spies but they are NOT in any way obtrusive to the rest of the movie. I think by the time it was over burton and clint must have offed a couple hundred 'Jerries' at least. Good ww2 actioneer :)...more info
  • Men on a mission at its best
    It would have been hard for author Alistair MacLean to top his previous WWII commando movie, The Guns of Navarone, but he does it with Where Eagles Dare, another adventure thriller with a group of commandos on a suicide mission. It's winter of 1944 when an American general's plane is shot down and he is captured by the Germans. This isn't any general though, he knows all the plans for the second front, the D-Day invasion. A team of espionage experts are dropped in to the area to rescue him. The catch? He is being held in the Schloss Adler, the castle of the eagles, high up on a German mountaintop in a town that houses the SS and a battalion of crack troops. That's the most basic storyline, but the movie is built on a huge twist that is filtered out with clues early on. The first half of the movie deals with the team moving in and preparing for the rescue, the second half is one great action sequence after another that never slows down. Throw in a memorable score by Ron Goodwin, great Austrian locations, and you can't miss with Where Eagles Dare.

    One of the better actors of his time, Richard Burton shows off his chops as an action star playing the part of Major Smith, the leader of the commando team charged with rescuing a key American general. Burton is cool, calm and collected throughout, you're never quite sure if he's really who he is or what his motives are. Clint Eastwood stars as Lt. Morris Schaffer, the lone American in the team. Eastwood and Burton are perfect together, Burton as the smooth-talking leader and Eastwood the cold-blooded assassin always ready with a one-liner. Mary Ure plays Mary Ellison, an agent working with Smith behind the scenes. Patrick Wymark and Michael Horden have small but very important parts as the commanders monitoring the rescue attempt from London. Derren Nesbitt makes a memorable appearance as a suspicious Gestapo officer while Donald Houston, Peter Barkworth, and William Squire are three members of Smith's team. German actress Ingrid Pitt plays Heidi, an undercover agent also helping Smith's efforts.

    The DVD, part of the Clint Eastwood Collection, has the movie in its widescreen presentation that isn't a great print, but it's still above average. Special features include a 12-minute featurette, "On the Set: Where Eagles Dare," a very cool, very 60s making of mini-doc, a trailer, and some cast/crew info. Definitely one of the best WWII action/adventure movies, don't miss out on Where Eagles Dare!...more info
  • "It's called the Castle of the Eagles, because only an eagle can get there."
    Clint Eastwood probably mowed down more of Adolf Hitler's German soldiers in Brian G. Hutton's "Where Eagles Dare" than he did western outlaws as either Sergio Leone's Man with No Name in the "Dollars" trilogy or criminals as "Dirty Harry" in his five Warner Brothers crime movies. Bestselling British author Alistair MacLean penned the splendid screenplay that he later converted into a much tamer novel about a team of elite British M.I. 6 secret agents that parachute into Germany to rescue one of the top-ranking officers with a mother lode of knowledge about the June 6th Normandy landings. This MGM blockbuster that runs 158 minutes is probably the greatest action-adventure movie with a World War II setting ever produced. We're talking wall-to-wall gunfire with more surprises and complications than most movies ever attempt. Richard Burton and Eastwood as in top form and they get considerable help and guidance from busty Ingrid Pitt and Mary Ure as undercover female agents. "Where Eagles Dare" is also notable for its percussive orchestral soundtrack by composer Rod Goodwin, who carved a niche for himself in World War II movie soundtracks with "633 Squadron," "Force 10 from Navarone," "Operation Crossbow," and "The Battle of Britain." Some war movies take an anti-war stance, but neither Hutton nor MacLean had higher ideals on their collective minds when they made this war-as-an-adventure epic. If you are a World War II movie buff and you haven't seen "Where Eagles Dare," then you need to get yourself a copy of this memorable massacre.

    Admiral Rolland (Michael Hordern of "Royal Flash") sends a group of British commandos on a suicidal mission to rescue U.S.A.F.F. General George Carnaby, (Robert Beatty of "2001: A Space Odyssey") one of the overall coordinators of planning for the second front who is imprisoned in an impregnable mountain fortress called the Schloss Adler, a.k.a 'the Castle of the Eagles.' As it turns out, the Schloss Adler is the headquarters for the German Secret Service in Southern Bavaria. Colonel Wyatt Turner, DSO MC (Patrick Wymark of "The League of Gentlemen") informs them that the castle is named appropriately "because only an eagle can get to it." Apparently, on a night flight to Crete, Carnaby's British Mosquito was shot down by a wandering Luftwaffe Messerschmitt and the Mosquito crashed in near the town of Werfen. Major Jonathan Smith (Richard Burton of "Raid on Rommel"), Lieutenant Morris Schaffer (Clint Eastwood of "Kelly's Heroes"), Captain James Christiansen (Donald Houston of "633 Squadron"), Sergeant Harrod (Brook Williams of "The Wild Geese"), Captain Philip Thomas (William Squire of "Alexander the Great"), Sergeant Jock MacPherson (Neil McCarthy of "Zulu"), and Edward Berkeley (Peter Barkworth of "Seven Keys") are to parachute into Germany, enter the castle and snatch Carnaby.

    One of the sergeants suggests at the briefing that the R.A.F. fill a bomb-laden plane and crash it into the mountain fortress. Rolland reminds him that killing an American general might anger General Eisenhower. No sooner have our heroes bailed out than one of them, the radio operator, is found dead in the snow with a broken neck. The Gestapo raids a tavern in Werfen and arrests the rest and takes them separately for questioning. Smith and Schaffer are hauled away together, but they manage to escape after their car crashes. Smith and Schaffer then climb atop the cable car that ascends to the Schloss Adler. Simultaneous, one of their undercover agents, Mary Ure, is being escorted by a suave but sadistic Gestapo officer in the cable car to work in the castle.

    Once our heroes have gotten into the castle, Smith interrupts a meeting between high ranking German officers and General Carnaby. Smith proves beyond a doubt to SS-Standartenf¨¹hrer Kramer (Anton Diffring of "Heroes of the Telemark") and Gen. Rosemeyer (Ferdy Mayne of "The Fearless Vampire Killers") that he is a double-agent working for the Nazis as well as the British with a night-time call to another high-ranking German general.

    Eventually, when it comes time to break out of the castle, Smith relies on Schaffer who plasters the place with trip-wire explosives. Once the Nazis realize what is going on, all hell breaks loose. "Where Eagles Dare" the movie surpasses MacLean's own novel; he wrote the screenplay and he provides Richard Burton with some of the greatest lines that you'll ever hear in the World War II movie. Indeed, "Where Eagles Dare" is the best World War II thriller that Burton and Eastwood ever made, with Burton making more W.W. II thrillers than Eastwood. The rest of the cast is first-rate and composer Rod Goodwin of "633 Squadron" provides a memorable score that ramps up the action and intrigue. At 158 minutes, "Where Eagles Dare" never lets up on either action or excitement. The surprises that crop up in the narrative match the sizzling action sequences. Clearly, this is Brian Hutton's most memorable film, far better than the sprawling World War II crime-behind-enemy-lines, action comedy romp that he went on to direct "Kelly's Heroes" with Clint Eastwood after "Where Eagles Dare" wrapped. For the record, the propeller driven plane that appears during the opening credits is vintage Nazi plane. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the fighter planes that Smith and Schaffer blow up in the last major shoot out sequence.

    Hollywood has yet to equal "Where Eagles Dare."...more info
  • Highly Recommended!!!
    If you're looking for a great and intelligent action film, this is it! Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood team up to rescue a captured American General before he can tell the Nazis anything about the Allied invasion of Europe. Or so they think?
    When I first watched this movie I was totally amazed and dumbfounded by the plot twists, particularly the big one, and had to watch it over several times. This is NOT just another adrenaline soaked action film fueled by four letter words, shallow characters, and mindless explosions. Brian G. Hutton and Alistair MacLean craft a plot so clever and amusing, it will leave you scratching your head long after it is over. Then when you finally do figure it out, you'll smile at its simplicity and brilliancy.
    The mood and atmosphere of this movie simply speaks espionage and secrecy. It hails from the days when characters and plot drove the story, not the action. From the captivating score to the incredible scenery, 'Where Eagles Dare' is a classic. Highly recommend it!!!...more info
  • Great Adventure Caper Flick
    Love it! Love it!!

    I was afraid when I purchased this DVD that the movie would not be as good as I'd remembered from multiple decades ago when I first saw it in its theatrical release.

    A little bit "Dirty Dozen," a little bit John LeCarre, and a little bit "Mission Impossible." With Richard Burton as a thinking man's action hero, and an impossibly young Clint Eastwood to do most of the "heavy lifting."

    Except for a few (emphasis on "few") moments of sexist, politically incorrect actions and comments that date it somewhat, the film holds up very well. Convoluted plot, good action scenes, and a satisfying mystery at the heart of it all. This one is definitely a "keeper."...more info
  • excellent movie, casting and acting. On top of all, great soundtrack
    The first thing I always remembered about this good movie was its superb soundtrack.
    Listen here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XKGhG0W0LQ
    It's not just a war movie, it is also a puzzling thriller. This movie is where great stars collided: Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton... and they have done a good job. Except for a few silly errors like the helicopter scene (which in fact didnt exist at the time) this movie has no problem IMO. I wish Hollywood made movies like this these days. There are a lot of stories out there that can be made into movies. Love it!...more info
  • HAMLET ON A HILLTOP
    Perhaps I've been jaded by the kinetic fast paced action films of the past ten years, but I found WHERE EAGLES DARE a hit and miss film. Although it has a lot of action scenes, they come too far and few, and seem ridiculously drawn out and predictable. Alistair MacLean is rightfully considered a master of WWII and espionage thrillers and he certainly has wrought a complex, often confusing, plot in this rescue mission in the Alps. With Clint Eastwood the only American in the cast, EAGLES is full of noted British character actors and actresses and of course the unflappable presence of Richard Burton. The acting is so refined however that I had a hard time imagining Burton as such a dashing and capable warrior. The late lovely Mary Ure who had worked with Burton in LOOK BACK IN ANGER is merely a feminine presence in this film, but a darned good shot. Notable character actors Anton Diffring, Michael Hordern, Ferdy Mayne and Donald Houston also offer some classy support. But WHERE EAGLES DARE was too long and too convoluted for my taste. I'm not sure I understand even now who was on whose side. The locations and cinematography are gorgeous, though, and if you like this kind of espionage film, you'll probably like WHERE EAGLES DARE....more info
  • it's the music.....
    Other reviewers have covered the rest of this film, but let me focus on the music, which I believe is among the best adventure movie scores ever done. It's a simple theme, that builds in intensity and richness throughout the movie. I have seen the movie more than ten times and thrill to the music every time....more info
  • "Broadsword calling Danny Boy"
    This has got to be one of the best and worst movies of all time.

    Best because it's so entertaining and full of dizzying plot twists. Worst because it's ridiculous and full of silly plot twists.

    Alistair MacLean was something of a genius at keeping riveting suspense going -- never mind it doesn't all make sense.

    Parachute drops -- allied commandos behind enemy lines -- masquerading as German officers, infiltrating an impregnable castle via spy and on top of a cablecar.
    Battling the Germans throughout the castle -- jumping from the cablecar, tricky rigged explosives set off by a passing bus.
    That was a cute trick. Some of the reviewers forgot that Burton and Eastwood prepared for the escape by rigging explosives all along the roadway. Unlike some modern movies, this one shows them doing it.

    Then you have Burton with that incredible voice and Eastwood playing off him rather hilariously. I have never forgotten Burton's "Broadsword calling Danny Boy."

    The dialogue is actually pretty witty, if you pay attention:

    Major Smith: "Lieutenant, in the next 15 minutes we have to create enough confusion to get out of here alive."

    Lieutenant Schaffer: "Major, right now you got me about as confused as I ever hope to be."


    ...more info
  • Clint and Richard
    Action, intrigue and good acting, even my kids liked this 60's movie. I enjoyed the book and the movie was no disappointment....more info
  • Clint E.
    A good war movie with Richard Burton and a younger Clint Eastwood. For those of you who haven't seen it before the ending is good....more info
  • FANTASTIC WW II ACTION FLICK
    Where Eaqles Dare is probably only second to The Dirty Dozen as the greatest Action flick about WWII. Like that movie it concerns a daring plot with a group of highly skilled soldiers sent to carry out the mission. led by British officer major Smith (Richard Burton) and American Ranger Lt. Schaffer (Clint Eastwood) the agents seek to rescue a captured American General from a Nazi fortress who has sensitive knowledge of the D-Day invasion.

    While obviously an action adventure movie, it's more specifically a `team mission' movie like The Dirty Dozen or a `penetrate the impenetrable fortress' movie. Talk about not making 'em like this any more! There are plenty of fight scenes, chases and Nazi shoot-em-ups. There are the usual stereo-typical Germans, the ruthless Gestapo officer, the stern commander, the visiting General and tons of German soldiers. No problem, ole Clint mows down a whole battalion single handedly. Burton cuts down a company or two himself and both he and Eastwood emerge with nary a scratch.

    But hey...this isn't supposed to be a historically accurate film. This is pure, popcorn entertainment with gunfights, fist fights, cliff-hangers (literally) stereotypical nazi villians who can't hit the broad side of the barn and good ol' American and er... British heroes.

    The script is entertaining and has a few notable twists in it, a testament to the skill of screenwriter and adventure novelist Alistair MacClain. Character development is not of particular importance in this story and yet one does come away with a palpable sense of Major Smith, a fact that I again acknowledge is the handywork of Burton, whose presence is auspicious regardless of his role.

    At three hours it may be a bit overlong but it seems to fly by for the most part. A real classic of the genre and a great precursor to modern day action flicks....more info
  • where eagles dare
    Produce recieved was sent promptly and arrived in excellent condition.A welcome addition to my collection.

    ...more info
  • A brilliant idea but ...
    You know how it is . The oversimplifications and the absurd concept of the lack of intelligence in the Nazi Army makes of that film an entertaining film just for teenagers but not for you if you are a mature person .

    I recognize a splendid cast pitifully wasted . Burton in one of the less interesting films he made in his notable career.
    Even the locations are superb , there are so many incredible situations that you have to smile .

    The idea was wonderful but extremely poor conceived . Compare this film with Guns of Navarrone and establish by yourself your own conclussions. ...more info
  • Brilliant WW II movie...a classic
    "Where Eagles Dare," is a brilliant film. We have watched it so much that our cassett finally gave up the ghost. We ordered our new version on DVD and it is so sharp. The story keeps one on the edge of the seat The acting is superb...they don't make films like this one anymore.
    Such talent...breathtaking scenery and some pretty scary stunts..won't say too much as you have to see it...yourself.. WW II film....don't miss it!!!!!
    A very happy custome of Amazon. com...more info
  • Gift for a friend
    I gave Where Eagles Dare to a friend on DVD for Christmas. He had the VHS but was happy to know it was available on a DVD! Thanks- Paul T....more info