Where Eagles Dare

• TOP NOTCH (my top choices)
• HONORABLE MENTION (well worth watching)
• YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER (I like them but you might not)
• CLASSICS (Great movies up through the 1960s - many don't have any rating)

Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure   

Summary - Allied agents stage a daring raid on a castle where the Nazis are holding an American General prisoner... but that's not all that's really going on.

Cautions -Wartime violence (SPOILER - Lot's of Nazi's get shot)

Commentary - Where Eagles Dare isn't your typical World War II Action film. It plays for us a fictional, clandestine, thought-provoking, and challenging plot that, despite plenty of action later on, often seems just the opposite of the run-and-gun Action extravaganza more common in this era. Clocking in at almost three hours, you'll certainly get your "money's worth."

Where Eagles Dare is a thrill ride into the world of wartime intrigue, building its plot through several twists-and-turns that aren't generically transparent but instead well-conceived and finely-tuned to the story, its setting, and its locale. The lack of action does take a toll on what can be something of a slow-to-develop first act that takes its time setting up the plot and the characters, but the payoff is worth the time and the pace picks up wonderfully once things are set in motion and the film captures a spirit that often feels like something out of a James Bond movie while also keeping up appearances as a sturdy and exciting action extravaganza with enough explosions to keep even the most ardent celluloid pyromaniac satisfied.

Despite it's ambition, the visuals still hold up well today because so much of it was filmed in actual (and at times very remote) locations.

I recognize that many aficionados revere the musical score by beloved British composer Ron Goodwin, but I found it one of the worst things about the film. Be warned that at the slightest indication of intrigue audiences will be beat over the head with a "suspense cord." I'm afraid I found it over the top and distracting. If you feel the same, I encourage you to forge ahead - adventure and intrigue await.


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