Where Eagles Dare (1969)

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    There are 32 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by The Ringo Kid.

    • Where Eagles Dare (1969)



      Information From IMDb

      Plot Summary
      During WW2 a British aircraft is shot down and crashes in Nazi held territory. The Germans capture the only survivor, an American General, and take him to the nearest SS headquarters. Unknown to the Germans the General has full knowledge of the D-Day operation. The British decide that the General must not be allowed to divulge any details of the Normandy landing at all cost and order Major John Smith to lead a crack commando team to rescue him. Amongst the team is an American Ranger, Lieutenant Schaffer, who is puzzled by his inclusion in an all British operation. When one of the team dies after the parachute drop, Schaffer suspects that Smith's mission has a much more secret objective.
      Written by Dave Jenkins

      Richard Burton ... Maj. Jonathan Smith, MC
      Clint Eastwood ... Lt. Morris Schaffer
      Mary Ure ... Mary Elison
      Patrick Wymark ... Col. Wyatt Turner, DSO MC
      Michael Hordern ... Adm. Rolland
      Donald Houston ... Capt. James Christiansen
      Peter Barkworth ... Edward Berkeley
      William Squire ... Capt. Philip Thomas
      Robert Beatty ... Gen. George Carnaby
      Brook Williams ... Sgt. Harrod
      Neil McCarthy ... Sgt. Jock MacPherson
      Vincent Ball ... Carpenter
      Anton Diffring ... SS-Standartenführer Kramer
      Ferdy Mayne ... Gen. Rosemeyer
      Derren Nesbitt ... SS-Sturmbannführer Von Hapen
      Victor Beaumont ... Col. Weissner
      Ingrid Pitt ... Heidi
      John G. Heller ... German major (at Zum Wilden Hirsch) (as John Heller)
      Guy Deghy ... Maj. Wilhelm Wilner
      Olga Lowe ... Lt. Anne-Marie Kernitser

      Writing credits
      Alistair MacLean novel (uncredited) story and screenplay

      Produced by
      Denis Holt .... associate producer
      Elliott Kastner .... producer
      Jerry Gershwin .... executive producer (uncredited)

      Original Music
      Ron Goodwin

      Arthur Ibbetson

      * The driving force behind the film was Richard Burton's stepson, who wanted to see his stepfather in a good old-fashioned adventure movie. Burton approached producer Elliott Kastner for ideas, who asked Alistair MacLean. At that time, most of MacLean's novels had either been made into films, or were in the process of being filmed. Kastner persuaded MacLean to write a new story. Six weeks later, MacLean delivered the script.

      * Clint Eastwood was reluctant to receive second billing to Burton, but agreed after being paid $800,000.

      * The "Schloss Adler" is actually the "Schloss Hohenwerfen" in Austria. At the time of filming, the castle was being used as a police training camp. There are no cable cars near Schloss Hohenwerfen. Hence the Cable Car shooting is done somewhere else.

      * An accident during one of the action scenes left producer Elliott Kastner and director Brian G. Hutton badly burnt.

      * Despite Eastwood's reputation for violence in other films, his character kills more people in this film than any other Eastwood character.

      * The Junkers Ju 52 used in the film was still in use with the Swiss air force at the time. The Swiss also supplied the T-6 Texan trainers posing as "German fighters."

      * Alistair MacLean wrote the script and novel simultaneously over a period of six weeks. For this reason the movie follows the book faithfully.

      * Kenneth Griffith was first intended for the Peter Barkworth role.

      * This film contains roughly 1472 edits during 151 minutes of action, this equates to an average shot length of about 6 seconds.

      * In the scenes where Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood climb the step fortress walls, Burton moves with ease, while Eastwood is clearly working hard physically. This was due to the fact that Burton, who was a hard-drinker and out-of-shape by that point, chose to ride a crane (made invisible by special effects) up the wall, whereas the young, healthy Eastwood was actually climbing the wall.

      * Richard Burton wanted Richard Egan to play the Clint Eastwood role.

      * The castle, Schloss Hohenwerfen, is today open to the public and is a falconry. Other than the exterior, the only feature that will be familiar to movie fans is the courtyard.

      * In a recent Channel 4 (UK) survey of the top 100 war movies Steven Spielberg voted this as his favorite. Mainly down to its sheer "boys own" factor of unreality. He even went so far as to repeat the "Broadsword calling Danny Boy" line.

      * According to a special feature about this film, Ingrid Pitt, who plays Heidi, made a daring escape in real life, over the Berlin Wall.

      * Co-star Clint Eastwood referred to this movie as "Where Doubles Dared."

      * Derren Nesbitt was nearly blinded when the squibs in his chest blew upwards instead of outwards when filming his death scene - his character was filmed being shot in the head and the chest but in the finished film he is only shot in the head.

      * Continuity: When Shaffer starts the cable car and runs to it to jump on himself, it doesn't actually start moving until he is nearly aboard.

      * Revealing mistakes: During the classic corridor shootout between Schaeffer and the Nazis, the soldier who gets hit lying at the other end flies backwards before the ricochet charges in front of him go off.

      * Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Christiansen fires at Smith through the roof of the cable car, he fires five shots yet the pistol can be heard to click empty on the fifth.

      * Continuity: When Smith kicks Christiansen in the face on the roof of the cable car, there is already blood on Christiansen's face.

      * Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Smith shoots the radio operator twice in the back, the second blood bag fails to go off in sync with the gunshot

      * Factual errors: Schaffer's firing a machine pistol in each hand simultaneously would require almost superhuman strength.

      * Crew or equipment visible: When the captured German Alpine Post Bus races throughout the airfield, Schaffer and Mary shoot several small jeeps which flip over. As they do, the rope that flipped them can be seen being pulled off screen.

      * Crew or equipment visible: When Smith leads the group across the railroad tracks in Werfen, members of the film crew are reflected in the windows.

      * Continuity: When Major Smith goes into the Bier Keller, he is wearing an officer's peaked cap. He takes it off and places it on the table and we never see it again. (Apparently, it was stolen from the set during the lunch break.)

      * Continuity: When the traitor is shot while dangling from a rope outside the castle, the close-up shows him wearing a standard German field gray uniform. In the next shot, as he plummets to his death, he is wearing a camouflaged winter overcoat.

      * Continuity: The bullet holes in the back of the bus appear then disappear during the final chase.

      * Continuity: When Major Smith drives the captured German Alpine Post Bus toward the line of planes at Oberhausen Airfield, you can see that the horizontal stabilizer (small wing at the tail) of the first plane has already been destroyed, probably from a previous take.

      * Continuity: When Mary Elison climbs out of the river, her hair is wet/dry/wet between shots.

      * Revealing mistakes: When the metal canisters which landed by parachute at the beginning of the film are first seen, there is an obvious trail through the snow leading into the far trees, indicating the canisters were placed rather than parachuted into position.

      * Continuity: When they prepare to leap into the river, the cable car appears to be over the middle of the river, perhaps even a close to the far bank. But when they do leap, the first jumper lands close the near bank and the cable car moves over the river once again.

      * Factual errors: During the briefing, early in the movie, the team is told that General Carnaby had been on his way to meet with his Russian counterpart regarding D-Day plans and that the meeting place was to have been Crete. That would be impossible as Crete had been seized in a German airborne assault in the spring of 1941 and remained in German hands until the war ended.

      * Continuity: As Major Smith and the group walk past the wood shed at Werfen their shadows disappear between shots.

      * Revealing mistakes: When the Nazi car (after Smith and Shaeffer's arrest) is pushed into the ravine, it explodes without apparent reason before touching the ground. The same happens to the planes of the airfield being lightly hit on the tail by the German Alpine Post Bus.

      * Continuity: Smith radios HQ and tells them he is..."effecting entry within the hour." At HQ, Smith's transmission of "Broadsword calling Danny boy" is heard at a significantly faster rate than Smith spoke it into his radio.

      * Continuity: After Smith and Schaffer initially climb into the Schloss Adler, Schaffer puts on a cap and Smith doesn't have one as they walk out the door of a room and into a hall. Less than a minute later, both of them are walking down another hall, and Smith now has a hat similar to Schaffer's.

      * Continuity: The scenes showing the escape out the window shows the stunt people rappelling normally with full rigging in the long shots, yet in the close up shots the actors are just holding onto the rope and they were not shown rigging the ropes for rappelling and did not show the use of any "D" rings or other rappelling gear.

      * Revealing mistakes: Near the end of the corridor firefight, Schaffer retreats into the room and a German soldier throws a grenade through the door. In the widescreen version you can see the grenade strike the door frame and bounce back at the actor's feet, yet there is an explosion inside the room where the grenade would have landed. And grenades do not explode in a fireball as shown in this, (and other) movies.

      * Revealing mistakes: The tree stump of a tree supposedly blown off by dynamite shows clear signs of being cut down with a chainsaw.

      * Continuity: When escaping the castle, Smith helps Mary down from the roof of the cable car and then follows her into it. Between shots the chain blocking the entrance to the cable car disappears.

      * Continuity: When Mary is escaping the castle on a rope, through the window, she moves backwards down the window sill to the edge of the wall. Both her hands are in front of her, holding the rope. The next shot shows her (stunt double) abseiling down the rope with one hand behind her back (the correct way to do it, the back hand is used as a brake).

      * Continuity: The post bus used in the final escape has a black painted radiator with a silver circular badge on it when seen in the garage. However, when it is seen outside, the radiator and badge are painted red.

      * Continuity: When Maj. Jonathan Smith is shot in the left hand closing a door behind him towards the final sequences of the film, he bandages the hand. This bandage and the blood on the bandage and his hand, disappears and reappears throughout the cable car scenes.

      * Factual errors: Early in the film, Christiansen makes reference to a "Pathfinder squadron...with ten-ton bombs". The film is set some time before late 1944 which is when bombs of this size were developed, and the first wasn't dropped until March 1945. Also, the role of Pathfinder squadrons was marking targets, and they wouldn't have carried the bombs themselves.

      * Plot holes: Although several stylish call signs are used in the radio transmissions ("Broadsword", "Danny Boy", "Father McCree"), most of the other operatives and Colonel Turner, as well as the team's location, are referred to by name in open transmission.

      * Factual errors: At the beginning of the movie Colonel Turner introduces Schaffer, saying something like, "Lt. Schaffer needs no introduction, you will all recognize his shoulder patches of the Rangers Division." There were no Ranger divisions, only battalions.

      * Continuity: After the swim in the river all four heroes are soaking wet. Yet when they are in the plane, Major Smith produces an immaculately dry notebook with the incriminating evidence. No wet pages or blurred ink.

      * Anachronisms: The bus the team drives away in near the end is a 1952 Steyr built bus, a design that did not exist at the time.

      * Continuity: As they are beginning to cross the bridge into the town a car comes down the road into town and the men all move to the right, except Christiansen who moves the left, to let it pass. In the next shot all of them are on the right as the car moves forward.

      * Factual errors: In the flashback scenes in British H.Q., Lieutenant Schaffer is incorrectly wearing his paratrooper's wings over the right breast pocket flap of his dress uniform coat. U.S. Army qualification badges are always worn over (or on) the LEFT breast pocket flap.

      * Factual errors: When Colonel Kramer introduces Major Von Hapen to General Rosemeyer, he states that the Major is Gestapo. The Gestapo were secret police and came under the control of Himmler's SS. The black SS uniform was not worn by Gestapo agents and so Major Von Hapen would not be wearing an SS uniform -- he'd be wearing civilian clothes (if he was even at the Schloss Adler, which is unlikely). Further, when General Rosemeyer states that he would prefer to keep the interrogation of General Carnaby a "strictly Army matter", he's already talking out of school -- Colonel Kramer is in the Waffen-SS, not the Wermacht.

      * Continuity: At the airport near the end, the weather changes from cloudy and misty to clear blue sky and sunshine between shots.

      * Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Smith leaves the cabin in the raging blizzard, the sound of the wind howling contrasts with the view of large fluffy snowflakes calmly floating gently to the ground.

      * Factual errors: Apart from wearing a black Waffen-SS parade uniform, von Hapen's outfit has several other discrepancies, most notably a standard Nazi party armband (the one worn with the Waffen-SS parade uniform sported black stripes along the upper and lower edges), and a close combat clasp in gold above the left breast pocket, an award worn by soldiers with extensive front line experience, not the Gestapo.

      * Plot holes: With the action in the latter half of the movie taking place more or less in real time, it is never explained from where the Junkers Ju52 operates, and how Colonel Turner could get on board on such short notice. The only country from which he could've flown is Switzerland, and somehow it seems unlikely that the Swiss authorities would've allowed British uniformed personnel operating in Switzerland, much less allowed operations from her territory.

      * Factual errors: The Luftwaffe did not fly American Bell 47 helicopters during the second world war, yet we see one landing in the castle square.

      * Continuity: As Smith and Schaffer walk down a steep bank to observe the castle, their MP40 submachine guns have the folding stocks extended, then retracted, then extended again.

      * Continuity: With the Germans approaching the wood shed, Major Smith sets trip wire explosives and tells Lt. Schaffer to go out the window. Lt. Schaffer opens the window and begins his exit by straddling the window sill. In the next shot he is seen with both knees on the sill and he is backing out the window.

      * Both Turner and Smith discuss the scandal to MI6 should the scandal of his treason get out. However, in 1939 the Nazis exposed MI6's networks in Europe, and the Special Operations Executive took over its functions in wartime.

      Filming Locations
      Aigen im Ennstal, Steiermark, Austria
      Bavaria, Germany
      Borehamwood Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK
      Ebensee, Upper Austria, Austria
      Lofer, Salzburg, Austria
      MGM British Studios, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England, UK
      Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
      Samedan airport, Samedan, Kanton Graubünden, Switzerland
      Schloss Werfen, Salzburg, Austria
      Werfen, Salzburg, Austria
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- Where Eagles Dare (1968)

      Where Eagles Dare is a British 1968 World War II action film
      starring Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure, and Ingrid Pitt.
      It was directed by Brian G. Hutton and shot on location in Austria and Bavaria.
      Alistair MacLean wrote the novel and the screenplay at the same time.
      It was his first screenplay; both film and book became commercial successes.

      The film involved some of the top moviemaking professionals of the time
      and is considered a classic.
      Major contributors included Hollywood stuntman Yakima Canutt,
      who as second-unit director shot most of the action scenes;
      British stuntman Alf Joint who doubled for Burton in such sequences
      as the fight on top of the cable car; award-winning conductor and composer Ron Goodwin,
      who wrote the film score; and future Oscar-nominee Arthur Ibbetson,
      who worked on its cinematography.
      The film is noted for the phrase "Broadsword calling Danny Boy",
      used by Richard Burton several times throughout.

      I really liked this movie,
      with a great story by Alistair McLean,
      who actually wrote the novel, as the film was being made.
      Ricahard Burton and Clint Eastwood,
      were just superb together,
      not too bad, considering Burton,
      wished someone else for the Clint's character!

      All in all, good action packed war movie,
      and another classic in our list.

      User Review

      The fortress - impenetrable. The army guarding it - invincible. Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton - UNSTOPPABLE!
      10 January 2006 | by BroadswordCallinDannyBoy (Boston, MA)
      A team of elite covert agents working for the British Government is sent to infiltrate a huge Nazi fortress. Their mission: evacuate an Allied General who has detailed knowledge of the Normandy invasion. Parachuting down into the Alps the team soon discovers that one of them is dead and that there is a Nazi traitor in their midst. And that is not all what's going on...

      From opening scene to final scene Alistair MacLean's screenplay is a masterpiece of the action genre with a detailed and involving plot that unfolds in a very interesting manner. There are plenty of hairpin turns along the way that build up the suspense to a truly explosive TNT packed climax. That is all thanks to Brian Hutton's direction, which is, well, a blueprint for contemporary studio-budget action film-making. The film is long, but the real-time development of many scenes makes for terrific suspense even in slow moments and utterly breakneck action scenes. The best example is the final 45 minutes - an escape scene in real-time as our heroes breakout of the Schloss Adler. Consisting of shootouts, fights, chases, explosions, and car crashing it is probably one of the best action sequences ever made. For reasons beyond me Brian Hutton's career never fully took off into action adventure film-making, but had it, he would be the Hitchcock of action film-making. This film does to shootouts what Hitchcock did for showers! Well, almost.

      Next are the stars - Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton. They are the leaders of the covert operation and they are a terrific, fearless, sub-machine gun totting duo who give the Nazis what they deserve most - pure hell. The classic corridor shootout as Eastwood fends of soldiers from the castle radio room is brilliant and ridiculous at the same time he takes 'em all out! With a submachine gun in each hand! Make no mistake, this movie is ridiculous and wholly improbable, but if you find an action film that is more entertaining, involving, and suspenseful, along with being pure fun to watch, I'll be damned.

      If that's the cake, then the icing must be Ron Goodwin's amazing score of epic proportions. First appearing in the opening credits (or the DVD main menu) it is the type of stuff that makes contemporary master film composer Hans Zimmer proud.

      Action film fans, this is one of the ultimate movies for you. Take noteWatch it! 10/10
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- Where Eagles Dare (1968)

      Watched this film again the other week + enjoyed it as usual.
      Richard Burton is,as you say,superb in this film and i think this is one of Eastwood's best movies.
      " I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man " True Grit
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Where Eagles Dare (1968)

      I actually enjoyed this movie more then Guns of Navarone. I liked Navarone, but this movie seemed to have that little something that put it above Gun's. Clint was brilliant in his role and was basically a anchor for everyone else to revolve around. To me he kept the movie more real. I think his role gets overlooked in this film as most people rarely talk about him in it, except for us astute movie watcher's of course.
      Life is hard, its even harder when your stupid!!
      -John Wayne
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Where Eagles Dare (1968)

      SXViper wrote:

      . . . except for us astute movie watcher's of course.

      Of course, . . and as a fellow astute movie watcher, I agree this movie was better than Guns,
      And Clint did a very good job in this one, if my astute senior memory serves me correctly. :uhoh:

      Chester :newyear:
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Where Eagles Dare (1968)

      I love this movie and it's one of my top favorites. Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood worked perfectly together. Anton Differing was the perfect W-SS Colonel (SS Standartenfuhrer Kramer and Darren Nesbit was perfect as the Allgemeine-SS Sturmbannfunhrer (Major von Hapen) and the two ladies were also nice to look at.

      This is one of those movies I watch everytime I see it played and never tire of.

      BTW, here's a bit of trivia for you. The Castle used in the movie, is the real Castle that is located in Werfen, Austria. One thing I was very pleased to see and that I have possession of, is that I have a War-time private photo that was taken of this very castle which shows a few Gebirgejagers (Mountain Infantry or Mountain Troopers or Mountain Rangers-whichever you prefer?) in the photo as well as the castle in the background.

      The ranks of the three German spies, Berkeley, Christiansen and Thomas in German Gebirgejager uniforms, is that of Feldwebel (Sergeant) and both Burton and Eastwood held their same ranks in both uniforms (Major-and Leutnant (2nd Lieutenant)

      Im now off my soapbox for the time being ;-))
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..

      The post was edited 1 time, last by The Ringo Kid ().

    • Re: Classic War Movies- Where Eagles Dare (1968)

      I know someone will probably complain that im pointing this little tidbit out but, if you look closely at the color of the Waffenfarbe color (piping) on Clints Shoulderboards-you will note that the color is lighter green than the shade of dark green in between the rows of the "Roman Columns" on Richards (and Clints) collartabs. There are supposed to be Gebirgejagers--NOT Jagers or Panzegrenadiers--both of which also use a lighter shade of green for their branch colors.

      Lime Green = Jagers.
      Grass Green = Panzergrenadiers.
      Dark Green = Gebirgsjagers.

      Just thought i'd point that bit out being a collector who has examples of shoulderboards from those three branches of service ;-))

      Now back to our regularly scheduled program. ;-D
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Where Eagles Dare (1968)

      I always liked this movie although after repeated screenings I can nearly repeat dialogue.

      Interestingly, enough I always had the impression that director Brian G Hutton had died young because after Where Eagles Dare and Kelly Heroes I was not aware of any other films that he had directed.

      However, apparently he is still with us and after High Road to China with Tom Selleck he gave up directing and any involvement in the film industry to become a plumber. Would be interesting to know his story and why he decided on a career change.
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Where Eagles Dare (1968)

      That guy who quit the industry was probably tired of all the backstabbing and such that goes on within it. That was the same reason why I quit working as a Correctional Officer for the State of Texas.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Where Eagles Dare (1968)

      I too love this film. Richard Burton as an action star-who would believe that? But he was great. Eastwood if fine too, but it's Burton's film. I catch it every time it's on. The scenery, locations, etc-all incredible. Great film!
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Where Eagles Dare (1968)

      alamo221 wrote:

      I too love this film. Richard Burton as an action star-who would believe that? But he was great. Eastwood if fine too, but it's Burton's film. I catch it every time it's on. The scenery, locations, etc-all incredible. Great film!

      Have you seen Richard Burton in: The Wild Geese? He is an ex-British Army Colonel who became a Mercenary and he is called upon to lead a team of 50 men total-to go in and rescue a President Lembarni (SP?) The movie is an excellent one and Burton was great but it was said that he was very drunk much of the time during its filming.
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Where Eagles Dare (1968)

      From what I have read, Burton was smashed during the making of this one too. Cinemaretro reports that Eastwood was the only participant in the climactic chase scene - "He was the only one! He (Eastwood) was always totally confused by it all because he was starring with Richard Burton and he hardly ever saw him".
      Burton was also supposed to be driving the motorcycle while Eastwood sat in the sidecar but when it came time to film, Burton was sloshed. Eastwood smoothly intervened to avoid any embarrassment and suggested that he drive the bike.
      Burton was an alcoholic joke by this stage in his career.

      We deal in lead, friend.
    • Re: Classic War Movies- Where Eagles Dare (1968)

      Actually his career was still riding high at this point, but it did quickly go down the tubes. Wild Geese was another good film, I agree. Haven't seen it in quite awhile tho.