Where Eagles Dare Review
Where Eagles Dare
December 4, 1968
Brian G. Hutton
Behind the Scene and other Major Plot Points
“Where Doubles Dared.”
Co-star Clint Eastwood referred to this movie as “Where Doubles Dared.”
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.
According to a special feature about this film, Ingrid Pitt, who plays Heidi, made a daring escape in real life, over the Berlin Wall.
Top 100 war movies
In a recent Channel 4 (UK) survey of the top 100 war movies Steven Spielberg voted this as his favorite, mainly due to its sheer “boys own” factor of unreality. He even went so far as to repeat the “Broadsword calling Danny Boy” line.
The title has its origins in William Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’: “The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch.”
WW2 Commando Genre Films
This is the writer’s, Alistair MacLean, second of three WW2 commando genre films. The others being The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Force 10 from Navarone (1978). However this is the only one he produced the screenplay for.
Brian G. Hutton played to his actors’ strengths, allowing for Richard Burton‘s theatrical background to help the character of Smith and Clint Eastwood‘s quiet demeanour to establish Schaffer.
Towards the end…
In the scene on the plane, towards the end when Burton tells the officer that the firing pin had been removed from the STEN gun, the officer did not have to give himself away because the STEN gun does not have a firing pin. It fires from an open bolt where a pimple on the bolt face fires the cartridge
Derren Nesbitt was keen to be as factual as possible with his character Von Hapen. Whilst on location, he requested to meet a former member of the Gestapo to better understand how to play the character and to get the military regalia correct.
“L’Honneur du nom”
When Schaffer talks to Major Smith after having stabbed the German officer in the radio room, he says “Fear lent him wings, as the saying goes.” He is quoting “L’Honneur du nom” by Émile Gaboriau.
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
[section label=”RT/Meta Critic Review”]
RT/Meta Critic Review
Alistair MacLean wrote an original screenplay that was treated with respect for the writer’s unusual abilities as a master of actionful suspense. The resulting film is highly entertaining, thrilling and rarely lets down for a moment.(click here to see)