Where Eagles Dare (1968)

where_eagles_dareAlistair MacLean’s “Where Eagles Dare” is summarized pretty well by its own tag line “They look like Nazis but … The Major is British … The Lieutenant is American … The Beautiful Frauleins are Allied Agents!” One may want to add that they also talk like American or British agents while the Germans have a silly accent but then again it was 1968 and having subtitled Germans would probably have been met with little acceptance. As a result this action adventure has only its escape plot going for it, the setting becomes secondary.

Major John Smith (Richard Burton) is sent to rescue an American general who is reportedly in possession of the plans for D-Day from a seemingly impregnable German fortress located high up in the Bavarian Alps. Lieutenant Morris Schaffer (Clint Eastwood) is assisting Smith in this Allied operation. As the men penetrate the fortress, facing an endless supply of German soldiers, it becomes apparent that some members of their own small Allied team may not be who they seem to be.

This is not a serious Second World War movie, neither in tone nor in accuracy, it is a bit of escape fiction that has a lot of bombs in stock for the viewer and never takes itself too seriously and you cannot help but laugh at some of the German officers and their moves on the “Frauleins” while Burton and Eastwood kick ass in their own fashion.

If rated as war movie “Where Eagles Dare” would fail miserably if watched as action movie it is ridiculously silly most of the time, still Burton and Eastwood carry this film the whole way through to the end and it is amusing to watch besides the scenery and the “Frauleins” are stunningly beautiful and sometimes treacherous.


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