Thursday, September 26, 2013

Where Eagles Dare (1968)

Director: Brian G. Hutton

Writer: Alistair MacLean

Composer: Ron Goodwin

Starring: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure, Patrick Wymark, Michael Hordem, Donald Houston, Peter Barkworth, William Squire, Robert Beatty, Anton Diffring, Ingrid Pitt

More info: IMDb

Tagline: They look like Nazis but . . . The Major is British . . . The Lieutenant is American . . . The Beautiful Frauleins are Allied Agents!

Plot: 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.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again? Absolutely.

Oh, what I would give to see this on a crazy big theater screen.  The opening alone is amazing and with the ominous score by Ron Goodwin, it's got to be a great theatrical experience.  I remember watching this on VHS as a kid dreaming of what it must look like in widescreen.  Years later I had the laser disc and then I was dreaming of what it must look like on something larger than a 32" TV.  Now the 60" isn't cutting it.  A little while after watching this (I'm a little behind, see?) I upgraded to an 82" but that's not enough.  The 105" projector screen is calling me and I might have to give it another shot.  I love this movie.  It doesn't get old.  It looks great, feels great (I love the cold castle setting, and those colors at night are wonderful), sounds great (can't get enough of that great score), the cast is great (Richard Burton could ramble about anything and I'd listen), and the action is great.  The ending...OK, the ending gets a little ridiculous with all of the deception and a TON of exposition in the plane ride but I love it.  I don't care if it's long winded; it's a whole mess of fun.  A big WWII actioner with everything going for it and then that one guy's fate.  WOW.  Nice.  

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