Where Eagles Dare has to be one of the viewers’ favourite classic war movies of all time, along with others we could name.
What makes this film unique is that the script is tightly written and encompasses so many elements in a clever and concise way. I have viewed Where Eagles Dare so many times.
Great actors, amazing location, etc, so why, are you wondering am I drawing your attention to the above link?
There is listed therein, and in similar sites, all the things noticed which are either not answered in the storyline or depiction of plot. I am not referring to silly mistakes, such as bloopers, but, for instance, for those who know the plot, no reference is made to what happened to the pilot who deliberately initiated a crash landing to enable the American General on board to be captured, as a decoy, and then be rescued.
One of my favourite scenes is when Clint Eastwood has to deal with an enemy soldier in the radio room towards the end of the film during escape plan.
Option 1 is ridiculous whereas Option 2 was the obvious choice which he ended up having to do anyway. However, Option 1 alerted the enemy to fight back and that was the element essential to enable the following scenes to emerge in the manner they did.
Do visit this site then watch the film. I found another 50 points not listed.
One really funny sequence involved Richard Burton going into a barracks’ tavern disguised in the uniform of an enemy Officer.
En route a man of the ranks had to salute as he walked by but he did so in such a way one could tell he was an English extra actor as his style replicated Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army. “Got your sausages Captain Mainwaring” type of thing (‘Don’t panic!’)
I loved the open fire scene and the formal evening meal in that glorious hall. The escape routes towards the end of the film were exciting but I will not spoil the plot for you.
One last thing, Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood both put on uniform hats – note the difference between the English and American way. Each had logical merits. Around the same point in the film there is a type of musical ‘pass the bag around’, and it took me countless viewings of that part of the film to work it out.
I rather liked an actor Officer who gave Richard Burton a cigarette by an outdoor fire. Though of course the blonde Officer was dashing, that goes without saying.
The theme music is wonderful and panning shots excellent throughout but especially in association with various means of escape commencing with a ‘wheel room’ and controls.
I hope this has intrigued you to study the points further and do let me know if you notice more aspects not on the website.
The film is excellent, in my view, so there is no criticism from me. There are moving moments and some humour throughout.
I believe Elizabeth Taylor used to visit one of the sets/locations as she was filming various sequences of Cleopatra at the same time.
Sadly one of the main actresses died quite young when in a West End play (London) some years later and I remember very well the news item that day. She was a great actress and particularly so in this film. It may seem silly to say this but I say a special prayer for her every time I watch this film as the circumstances of her death was so upsetting and such a shock when she had established herself as a talented actress.
I must watch Where Eagles Dare again myself.
Hope you enjoy this film too if it is new to you, or that you may wish to revisit it again.
Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine