Where Eagles Dare is a 1968 film directed by Brian G. Hutton and starring Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, and Mary Ure. The screenplay and the 1967 best-selling novel were written at more or less the same time by Alistair MacLean; it was his first of several screen writing efforts. Both film and novel are often considered classics.
Below: How Where Eagles Dare may have opened when seen in UK cinemas with its original A certificate
(Click below to view the Original Trailer)
Where Eagles Dare 1969 Clint Eastwood Richard Burton original UK QUAD poster B
Where Eagles Dare 1969 Clint Eastwood Richard Burton Original French film poster
Where Eagles Dare 1969 Clint Eastwood Richard Burton Original French film poster Landscape version
Where Eagles Dare 1969 The Royal Gala Film Premiere film programme from January 22nd 1969 held at the Empire Leicester Square - a rare and lovely piece.
Where Eagles Dare 1969 Original UK synopsis and cast sheet
Where Eagles Dare 1969 French large fold out illustrated press sheet
Where Eagles Dare 1969 Original Colour Lobby set x 12 Spain
Below: Close up example
Where Eagles Dare 1969 Original UK illustrated booking slip
Where Eagles Dare 1969 Original USA colour press book supplement
Where Eagles Dare 1969 Original theatrical Trailer 8mm format
(To view trailer see above)
Where Eagles Dare 1969 10 x 8 Press Stills b/w x 30 + 1 Colour
Where Eagles Dare Clint Eastwood Richard Burton Original Australian Day bill poster
Where Eagles Dare 1969 Ron Goodwin extended & restored Complete CD from FSM
Where Eagles Dare 1969 UK Original press book
Where Eagles Dare 1969 UK Original press sheets
Where Eagles Dare 1969 Where Eagles Dare / 633 Squadron Ron Goodwin Rare CD release
Where Eagles Dare 1969 3 Different Original tie in Paperbacks
Where Eagles Dare 1975 Re-issue Colour Lobby set x 8 USA 14 x 11 (1 shown)
Where Eagles Dare 1975 Re-issue Colour Lobby set x 8 USA 10 x 8 (1 shown)
Where Eagles Dare DVD Widescreen with Making of on Location and Original Trailer
Where Eagles Dare LD NTSC W/S Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton Deluxe Edition
MGM Released a huge advertising Campaign for Where Eagles Dare and with various designs. I will start to list and add more images to this section after the release of Cinema Retro's Where Eagles Dare Special Magazine Tribute due out in the Summer. In the meantime:Here are 3 different Original US 1 sheet posters (Style A, B and C) released by MGM.
Below: Where Eagles Dare International One Sheet / Style D
And Below The US International Lobby Set
Below: Close up of the Title Card
Below: Example of Mexican Lobby Card
Below: Italian Foto Busta Original release
Below: Italian re-release Foto Busta
Below: Where Eagles Dare Spanish LP Soundtrack
Below: Where Eagles Dare French Single
Where Eagles Dare 1969 Japanese poster
Below: Where Eagles Dare Original Japanese film program - Thanks to Philip McLean
Below: Where Eagles Dare Original Spanish 1 sheet poster - Below that, the Re-Release version which actually features a change of artwork for Clint - and is actually based on a still from Magnum Force!
Below: Where Eagles Dare German poster
Below: Where Eagles Dare Turkish poster
Below: Where Eagles Dare Italian 2 Folio poster
Below: Where Eagles Dare Belgian poster
Below: Israeli Where Eagles Dare poster
Below: Where Eagles Dare Argentine poster
Below: Where Eagles Dare Danish poster
Below: Where Eagles Dare Original banner
Below: Where Eagles Dare MGM advanced trade screening Ad 1968
Below: How about this superb advanced trade Ad! Thanks to Neil Thompson
Below: Where Eagles Dare very rare UK Window Card - Thanks to Davy Triumph
Below: Where Eagles Dare Original Cinema Standee
From Where Eagles Dare Original Model Cable Car used in the movie
From Where Eagles Dare, Richard Burton's Original Nazi jacket
Below: Where Eagles Dare (partnered with Kelly's Heroes) for a superb Blu ray release
Below: The very rare UK 60 x 40 Theatrical poster, thank you to Davy Triumph
Below: A Swedish and Finnish poster from 1970s
Below: Where Eagles Dare Original Australian glass slide
Below: Where Eagles Dare one of the many different UK VHS sell through covers
Below: Where Eagles Dare Super 8mm condensed version, 3 x 400ft reels - which were broken into 3 chapters-
1) The Assault 2) The Rescue 3) The Escape. At approx 17 minutes per reel, the total condensed version ran for approx 51 minutes.
Where Eagles Dare (1968)
March 13, 1969
In the War Tradition, 'Where Eagles Dare'
New York Times
By VINCENT CANBY
Published: March 13, 1969
IN one way or another, almost every adventure movie deals with the attempt to penetrate an impregnable fortress, or with the escape from one—a formula whose success may not be entirely unrelated to the fact that it transmutes into quite acceptable narrative terms the basic, continuing sexual dilemma. If this is true—and I'm not prepared to pursue the matter further here, "Where Eagles Dare" is the ultimate metaphor. It encapsulates human experience into an ordered, comprehensible melodrama that is both absurd and entertaining.
The story is so simple and familiar it could have been conceived by anybody in the time it takes one to brush one's teeth.
During World War II, a small group of Allied soldiers, commanded by Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood (at their most uncomplicated, comic book best), is parachuted into the Bavarian Alps. The group's mission is to rescue an American general, held prisoner in a mountain castle guarded by what look to be several Nazi divisions and accessible only by cable car. With something like two hours still to go, it turns out that some of the commandos are questionable security risks and that the general is a member of Actors Equity.
However, the plotting, wild and sometimes seemingly endless, is not as important as the physical production and the dramatization of individual incident.
"Where Eagles Dare" is a textbook of techniques, a guide to movie methods in its blending of location photography (great, snow swept mountain vistas) with studio artifice (process and glass shots, miniatures), which are no less effective even when one is being consciously amused by them. This kind of awareness can be enriching when the methodology is so classic, representing, as it does, a direct line of descent from Méliès.
The methods employed to keep the story moving are no less classic. There are fights on top of cable cars, people hanging perilously over precipices, double and triple twists of plot (which prompt such character comments as "This is incredible!"), guns jammed at key moments, sheer walls to be climbed. It is a movie of almost constant destruction—vehicles, bridges, trees, faces, people, aircraft, with not much differentiation made among them.
Alistair MacLean, author of "The Guns of Navarone," wrote the original story and screenplay (which was later turned into a novel), and it was directed by Brian G. Hutton, whose previous credits ("Wild Seed," "The Pad" and "Sol Madrid") give no hint that he might be capable of this sort of thing.
"Where Eagles Dare" is not a personal film, but one that is manufactured and assembled. It uses actors (Burton, Eastwood, Mary Ure, Anton Diffring) pretty much for what they look like, not for what they can do, since the last thing you want in such a movie is a character who calls attention to himself, instead of the situation.
There is an excess of situation here that threatens to become as numbing as an overdose of Novocain. It never quite does, however. Yesterday afternoon, an elderly gentleman at the Astor became audibly annoyed as the movie passed one of its many potential endings to go on to new crises. He uttered a vulgar, eight-letter comment. Several minutes later, he said simply: "Fantastic." It was not entirely pejorative.
WHERE EAGLES DARE, screenplay by Alistair MacLean, based on his story; directed by Brian G. Hutton and produced by Elliott Kastner; a Jerry Gershwin-Elliott Kastner Picture presented by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
At the Astor Theater, Broadway and 45th Street,
Loew's Orpheum, 86th Street at Third Avenue, and the Murray Hill Theater, 34th street east of Lexington Avenue.
Running time: 155 minutes.
John Smith . . . . . Richard Burton
Lieut. Morris Schaffer . . . . Clint Eastwood
Mary Ellison . . . . . Mary Ure
Vice Admiral Rolland . . . . . Michael Hordern
Colonel Wyatt-Turner . . . . . Patrick Wymark
Cartwright-Jones . . . . . Robert Beatty
Colonel Kramer . . . . . Anton Diffring
Olaf Christiansen . . . . . Donald Houston
Reichsmarschall Rosemeyer . . . . . Ferdy Mayne
Torrance-Smythe . . . . . Neil McCarthy
Geoff Dyer on Where Eagles Dare
From The Guardian on line Sunday 6 December 2009
I keep waiting for the day when Where Eagles Dare begins to pall. I mean, how many films can stand up to multiple viewings over such a vast span of time (about 40 years)? In fact, the opposite seems to be happening – it gets better, yields deeper layers of meaning, every time I see it.
Adapted from the novel by EM Forster… no, hang on, that's Where Angels Fear to Tread, but there's a point to be made here. Where Eagles Dare is a great title, anticipating the widespread popularity of the SAS motto "Who Dares Wins", even though it was made years before the storming of the Iranian embassy in 1980, of which the film could be seen either as a prophetic allegory or a direct inspiration. And the title is not just a sonorous bit of rhetoric plucked from Shakespeare. No, the castle scaled by Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood et al is called the Schloss Adler, the Castle of the Eagles. So the title is literally true, thereby cleverly inverting or – as is said in the world of agents and double agents – "turning" the intended sense of the lines in Richard III: "The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch." How cool is that!
I last watched Eagles the day after seeing Disgrace, the latter serving as a textbook demonstration of everything that is wrong with a certain kind of dutiful film-making. What a plod! JM Coetzee's great novel is ploddingly translated into a script that is in turn ploddingly transferred to celluloid. It's not a movie at all, it's a ploddie, whereas Eagles is a piece of perfect cinema, in that the script dissolves into the film. (Alistair MacLean wrote the script and then turned it into a novel.)
But what a script it must have been! What a plot! How do people dream up twists and turns like that? The key turnaround comes in the castle's Great Hall and involves Burton crossing, double- and triple-bamboozling everyone in sight. In the script the dialogue was divvied up more evenly between Eastwood and Burton, but it ended up with Eastwood doing more of the shooting and Burton more of the talking. Good call. Burton admired Clint's "dynamic lethargy", but in this scene calls him a "punk – and a pretty second-rate punk at that". It's a devastating bit of verbal jujitsu since, effectively, Burton takes Eastwood's signature line – "Ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?" – and turns it back on him, before Clint's even landed the part of Dirty Harry.
As for Burton, was he ever better than in Eagles? It's a masterly display of how to boss people around. Do this, do that! Everyone else – Mary Ure, the German agents, even Eastwood – they're all just Burton's bitches. Like all bossy people, Burton ultimately resorts to "I'd better do it myself" mode. So when the German agents kick Eastwood unconscious and escape by cable car, it's the ageing, alcoholic Welshman who jumps on the roof and settles their hash – big time! One gets an ice-axe in the arm, the other falls into the valley after clinging so desperately to one of Burton's legs that it must have ended up a foot longer. Naturally, it's Burton who drives the bus at the end – and even then he's still barking out orders: "Take out the control tower!"
Clint and Mary duly obey. That's another forward-looking aspect of Eagles: from King Kong onwards the role of women was often just to swoon, scream, look threatened and, ideally, get their kit off; here Mary Ure blasts away with a machine gun like she's the Baader Meinhof Gang's Gudrun Ensslin. In fact, now I think about it, I see that the film is a premonitory account of the impending guerrilla war on the impregnable fortress of the German state apparatus with its concealed roots – all those twisting tunnels and corridors – in the Nazi past.
In keeping with this, although the concealed intention of the mission is to weed out top-ranking double agents, its most immediate consequence is gratuitous murder and mayhem on a huge scale. They trash the schloss, wreck the surrounding infrastructure (the cable car is a write-off) and, by the end, are so addicted to the thrill of vandalism that, instead of driving politely through the entrance to the airfield, Baader – I mean Burton – smashes through the perimeter fence (I love the way it gets dragged along after the bus) before achieving the ultimate goal of any self-respecting 1970s terrorists: destroying some stationary planes.
And here we get to the most intriguing paradox of the film. If Milton was of the devil's party without knowing it, then the writers, cast and crew of Eagles were secretly on the side of the Germans, whom they ostensibly outwit, terrorise and slay in large numbers. Everything in the film is German. It's practically an advert for the superiority of German manufacturing. They fly in and out on a Junkers Ju 52. They rely exclusively on German weaponry (predominantly the MP40 Schmeisser submachine pistol). We do not see a British gun until they're on the way home and Patrick Wymark pulls a Sten on Burton. And guess what: the firing pin's been removed – it doesn't frigging work. Finally, and most stylishly, the stars all wear German uniforms. How come Hugo Boss has not reissued those super-cool – ie cosy – retro winter anoraks? Vorsprung durch Technik!
Below: Where Eagles Dare Spanish Herald
Centre spread from Variety Wednesday February 5th 1969
Below: A great shot of Clint and Ingrid Pitt
Below: Brian G. Hutton, Clint and Ingrid on location
Below: Clint stops on Tower Bridge in London to speak to a local Policeman, during a sightseeing break while filming Where Eagles Dare
Below: A rare contact sheet for Where Eagles Dare
Below: Cameramen Alec Mills and John Beaumont doubling as German soldiers