6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Eagles Dare...finally on DVD
A great movie that is easy to enjoy again and again. Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood make an unlikely, but excellent team set on literally storming the castle, behind enemy lines, during World War II. The film is an incredible example of how it is possible to make one of the best action movies of all time without any modern day special effects. The locations give the...
Published on July 13 2003 by Mike
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Burton's or Eastwood's Best
While many may find it easy to embrace the lack of realism and other problems with this movie, some will find it jarring. Eastwood must have been carrying his own body weight in small arms ammunition to lay down the volume of fire he produces. Unlike "The Guns of Navarone," the only Alistair MacClean movie worth watching, there is little tension and the twisting...
Published on March 4 2004 by S. M.Silver
Most Helpful First | Newest First
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Eagles Dare...finally on DVD,
A great movie that is easy to enjoy again and again. Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood make an unlikely, but excellent team set on literally storming the castle, behind enemy lines, during World War II. The film is an incredible example of how it is possible to make one of the best action movies of all time without any modern day special effects. The locations give the film a realistic backdrop to a story that is more like a classic serial. Where Eagles Dare is filled with explosions, twists, great escapes and characters you love to hate (the Nazi SS for example). An outstanding soundtrack compliments the movie perfectly. Good versus evil and the Allies win against the Nazis in this one too. About a decade late on arriving to DVD, but worth the wait.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complex war story w/ Richard Burton,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Where Eagles Dare (Bilingual) (DVD)
Where Eagles Dare
Part of Clint Eastwood collection is misleading. Made in 1969, Clint is a quiet second eclipsed by Richard Burton's effective performance as the leader of the team. Eastwood is an American Ranger sent on a British mission behind enemy lines because he's American. Burton works behind the scenes w/ a female agent unknownst to the team. In fact as the members of the team die and only Burton knows they are murdered the who reason for the mission -- get the general and get out -- is called into question.
The members of the team were picked because of their black ops training or were they? As the story unfolds and the mystery increases the movie becomes more and more fascinating. Burton is phenomenal as always and Eastwood shows glimmers of the actor he will become. The support cast are well-know British actors you will recognize.
the plot is convoluted and spell-binding as the story changes from scene to scene until finally all is revealed and there is a exciting climax. Well written, well acted and well directed. Add this to your war/espionage collection.
5.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, I thought he looked a little nuts!,
Richard Burton was in need of hit, as his last several films didn't do great. He had seen The Guns of Navarone and liked the idea. So after talking to the author of the book Alistair MacLean, an idea was developed. Six weeks later MacLean handed Burton a copy of the script he had wrote called. "Where Eagles Dare." Burton stars as (Major Smith)a tough British Commando who leads a group of seven men into a rough mountain area located in the Alpines . Eastwood is (Lt Schaffer) the only American in the bunch. Although the group that lands in the mountains understands what their for (to rescue an American General who knows information about the upcoming D-Day landings) questions are still unanswered. Unkown to anyone except for Major Smith is Mary Elison (Mary Ure) who is there to help in the mission because she has connections with the Germans and SS! As Major Smith and Lt. Schaffer walk to the town around the castle in German uniforms they get a first hand account of what they are really in for. Rescue a American General and then get away. Suicide mission nonetheless, they take it and run. What happens in the first hour is nothing to what takes place in the hour plus that follows. Where the film gets touchy is the scene of the undercover agent. It takes place in a room with Nazi officals as well with Schaffer and Smith. What Elison is really along for during the mission is answered quickly (To get info and bail out Schaffer and Smith if and when they need it.) This is where the action starts and doesn't quite till the end. Some is well done and real, other parts aren't as well done. Filmed at great locations in Europe you can feel how cold and dangerous it was. I won't give away what else happens. It's a classic WWII war film with lots of action, shooting and explosions. Grade: B+
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Burton's or Eastwood's Best,
While many may find it easy to embrace the lack of realism and other problems with this movie, some will find it jarring. Eastwood must have been carrying his own body weight in small arms ammunition to lay down the volume of fire he produces. Unlike "The Guns of Navarone," the only Alistair MacClean movie worth watching, there is little tension and the twisting plot seems more time consuming than interesting. Both of the lead actors did much better in other WWII movies (e.g., Eastwood's Kelly in "Kelly's Heroes" gives us a far more interesting character; Burton's burned-out RAF pilot in the longest day is far more watchable than his spy in "Eagles"). Given all the movies before and since whose primary dialogue has been automatic weapons fire, I'm afraid there is little to recommend in this movie to raise it above the rest. The scenery is pretty, the action sequences are well managed, and aircraft watchers will love seeing the old airplane (Junkers 52). But for the rest... Get a copy of "The Guns of Navarone" for a good WWII adventure movie.
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely phenomenal movie,
There are very few movies out there that can combine great acting, intrigue, action and excitement like "Where Eagles Dare" can.
First you have smooth and sauve Richard Burton in a wonderful performance as Major Smith: What are his plans? To whom do his allegiances lie? What exactly is he doing?
You can also ask these questions of the whole movie as the plot thickens soon after Burton, Clint Eastwood and a crew of English commando's descend into the Bavarian Alps to, what the viewer thinks, rescue an important Allied general. Sharp observers will note early on that all is not as it seems.
Thus begins a roller coaster ride of chases, explosions, suspense & thrills.
From a wild fight atop a cable car, to the final "unmasking" of everyone's true identities, there isn't a chance to pause and take a breath.
Although Burton is fantastic, Clint is the real star as he seemingly transports his quiet and deadly "Man With No Name" personna to the film as only he can.
This movie has it all.
1.0 out of 5 stars I use this DVD as skeet.,
I hate to interrupt the Amazon.com meeting of the "Where Eagles Dare" fan club, but this movie is BUMF. Yeah, you heard me. DRIVEL. Sadistic, cold-blooded, silly, irresponsible BOSH. I was horrified to read a post by one fellow who said this was the first WW2 movie he had ever seen. This is most certainly not a war movie. "Die Brucke" is a war movie; "The Longest Day" is a war movie; "Saving Private Ryan" is a war movie. This is a British revenge fantasy, in which the Germans are portrayed as human targets who can't hit a target as wide as Richard Burton even at point-blank range. I can practically hear my relatives killed in The Big One turning over in their graves at this silly revisionist history, which is sort of like "Hogans Heroes" with a lot more killing.
For starters, the gratuitous cruelty of this film has no place given the otherwise cartoon-like atmosphere. Graphic shots of people having their throats cut or begging for mercy before being killed should be saved for real war movies and not cheap entertainment. Soldiers are expected to have at least a modicum of respect for their enemy, especially soldiers who must have lived for many years in the enemy country before the war (how else could they pass as Germans?) and must have had German friends or relatives, especially Eastwood's "Schiffer" -- a German name. Eastwood and Burton kill brutally, mercilessly, and without a flicker of human feeling, not even hate (which would have made their actions more understandable). The Germans are subhuman cockroaches, period, and even the quasi-sympathetic ones, such as the harmless helicopter pilot, are brutally knocked off. The only emotion Eastwood shows in the whole film is a smirk right before (or immediately after) he kills some hapless, unsuspecting German clerk or radio operator. Clearly his character gets a kick out of killing people. It ain't a job if you enjoy it! This is the type of film that could have only been written by a man with no grasp of what real warfare or violence are like, who also possesses more than a bit of neurotic cruelty. The Germans aren't just beaten in this film, they are annihilated. And the cable car scene is unforgivable. That silenced pistol magically never has to be reloaded when Eastwood or Burton has it, but it runs out of ammo just when the bad guy gets it? And why was it necessary to listen to the double-agent beg for his life for ten minutes before killing him? The entire scene was written for that purpose. That final "pleeeeeeeeease" just before Burton kicks him to his death (with one last, lingering close-up on his terror-crazed face) is sheer cowardly sadism, not to mention a false note. This double-agent was the same sort of guy as Burton's Maj. Smith. He should have been a more worthy adversary, not a man who spent most of the movie screaming for mercy. Do people really find this kind of thing entertaining? Has anybody who gave this film five stars ever actually seen combat, or seen a person who has had his throat cut?
This kind of film sets me off primarily because it reinforces the ridiculous, revisionist-historical notion set forth in about 2,000 other war movies that the Germans were robotic clods in battle, easily mowed down by tough, heroic Allied soldiers. Bumf! Between 1939 and 1942 the British army did not win one, as in zero, battles against the Germans. That's three whole years without a win! If anyone in the war deserved the bumbling, hapless reputation besides the early USSR it was the British Army prior to 1943. Naturally, after the war, history was re-written so that the Germans were at once portrayed as, on the one hand, this monsterous force threatening the whole world, and on the other, as complete boobs who couldn't help jumping into machine gun fire given half a chance. Twaddle! Either they were a world-threatening menace, in which case they should be respected as the tough opponents they were, or they were witless clods, in which case killing them was not heroic but simply a matter of taking out the trash. To take both views is intellectual cowardice of the highest order. One does not have to be sympathetic to Germany or Nazism to demand that they get their due as soldiers.
The name of the movie irks me further. "Where Eagles Dare" implies heroism of the first order. Is sneaking up behind a man who thinks you are on his side because you are in his uniform (a war crime) clamping your hand over his mouth to prevent him from screaming, and then slicing open his windpipe and jugular so he chokes to death on his own blood your definition of heroic behavior? And if you must show it, show it for what it is -- ugly, vicious, nasty, soul-damaging -- not as casual as a minor surgical operation. Do not exploit it for cheap entertainment....as if it were fun and relatively painless. Getting killed hurts, even for the Germans. Eagles? I don't think so. Truth be told, if this film were properly named, it would be known as "Where Vultures Dare."
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertainment At Its Old Fashioned Best!,
Where Eagles Dare is one of the first WWII movies I have ever watched, and watching it now, as then, I am still totally enthralled by this non stop action movie that offers the viewer over two hours of good old fashioned entertainement.
Surely there are things in the movie that nearly two decades later I see with more judgemental eyes, little flaws that are rarely committed in modern films,
The blood that looks exactly like paint blotches,
The German dialogue that is confused between English for German, German accented English for German, and a smutterings of German (the essential 'Schnell' in all WWII movies) for German,
And the two men that manage to destroy a whole Nazi battalion in the Reich's heartland with no more than a bullet scartch on the hand,
All these are way over the top and quite unbelievable,
But then again Where Eagles Dare offers something that many modern films caught up in too much technicalities and digital experimentation do not offer, pure sheer escapist old fashion entertainment! The breathtaking scenery, the almost Dvorakian and very underrated score, the acting, and the non stop dare devil action and decent stunts for its time, are more than enough to compensate any flaws, and to take the boredom out of sunday afternoons.A Must Buy!
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie with a nice unexpected plot twist,
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars A true action classic with great actors,
Recently released on DVD, Where Eagles Dare is a 1968 story of Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton, and a German outpost high in the mountains of Bavaria. The Schloss Adler is the HQ of the Secret Service - and they have captured an Allied General who knows the full plans for the second front.
The group going to rescue the General is British, except for Clint. None of the group know each other. All are trained in survival and all speak fluent German. Unknown to the main group, a girl parachutes after them.
The group doesn't seem to be very survival-oriented - one guy loudly yells out "Major!!" when he finds the dead radio operator. The sound echoes across the valley. It turns out the group leader and the girl are in cahoots and meet up later. In another demonstration of non-stealth, the "Major" tells other Germans he's Himmler's brother and gets into a 'fight' with the girl. Those who like to 'drink along' should know the spies drink beer and cognac at the bar.
We find out that the 'General' who crashed was a fake - it is an actor posing as the general who deliberately crashed. The story continues on, with more twists and turns.
In addition to the non-stealthy actions of the crew, there's also the non-German speaking. I was really hoping for German-language comments or even background, but it was all in straight English. There was never any indication about when the group was "supposed" to be speaking English or German - and in several scenes it might have mattered.
Still, seeing Eastwood and Burton together is great, the plot gets more convoluted and action-packed as it goes, and I know many people who love this movie as one of their favorites. The Special Features on the DVD even goes into the great Bavarian locations used in filming.
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic 60's war movie a feel good/look good experience,
Boy did critics trash this movie. So you know it must be good on some level. Alister McLean was the Tom Clancey of his day; Lean, though, lived up to his surname. This film (and the novel McLean adapted from it)is the perfect popcorn movie.
The intellectual stuff is kept to a minimum as well it should be;this is an adventure film set in the latter half of World War II. The Nazis have a captured an Allied General and are holding him prisoner in a fortress immune from assault. Except from a group of carefully selected commandos. Since it's McLean there's also a major plot twist involving an undercover agent.
Brian Hutton's lean, muscular direction helps this film take flight. The script also allows Richard Burton to stretch and play an action hero. He successfully captures the conflict of his character over the difficult mission and the potential outcome. He's also a man of action that recognizes that without his involvement, there's a good chance that the Allied General will leak information that could damage the Allied effort.
Clint Eastwood shines in one of his first American made films. After the success of the Sergio Leone movies, Eastwood had created a persona he would occupy for the rest of his career to some extent; he's the quiet loner who appears to be interested in self preservation first but, in fact, has much, much more going on underneath the surface.
The supporting cast is marvelous. The scenery, miniatures and matte paintings help create a convincing dangerous environment.
The DVD transfer isn't without flaws but it looks very sharp overall. I would have like to see less edge enhancement and the colors aren't quite as vivid as I seem to recall but that could be the enhancement of memory. The disc is a bit light on extras. Most films released now consist of a trailer and featurette. Still, I don't know that much exists in the way of outtakes, alternate sequences,etc.
The sound quality is pretty good overall although a bit compressed in spots. I also thought that the soundtrack sounded a bit flat as well. That could have been due to the dolby digital mastering or the higher quality home theater equipment available now. Remember, when this was released mono ruled the day and stereo was a rare bird indeed.
It's about time that this muscular classic film got the deluxe treatment on DVD. It's a bit long but every bit of what's on the screen is absolutely necessary.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Where Eagles Dare (1969) by Brian G. Hutton (DVD - 2005)