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Critics
Leonard Maltin

Modern-day version of Republic serial, with slam-bang cliff-hanger action that never lets up. Burton and company assigned to free American officer held captive in German mountain castle during WW2. Terrific; script by Alistair MacLean, from his best-selling novel.

Jonathan Dabell
Movie Review For action, suspense, treachery and surprise revelations, look no further than Where Eagles Dare. A team of daring paratroopers are dropped into the Bavarian mountains during a particularly fierce winter during WWII. Their mission : to infiltrate a nearby Gestapo command post, situated on the top of an impregnable cliff, and to rescue an imprisoned American general. The plan : to reach the castle by hitching a ride on the treacherously icy roof of a cable-car. The result : pure suspense of the highest order! Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood are marvellous in the lead role, Burton bringing a calm heroism to his part, while Eastwood oozes a raw meanness that was later put to good use in Dirty Harry. Brian G.Hutton directs each scene effectively, milking the script for every bit of excitement that could possibly be mustered. Yakima Canutt's stunt work is mind-bendingly dangerous, too. If the plot is little more than corny, comic-strip hokum, that doesn't matter, because the rest of the cast and crew have done such good work in covering up the plot deficiencies that there simply isn't a moment to pause on little discrepancies. Only one thing remains to be said about Where Eagles Dare : BUY IT NOW!!!

Samuel Stoddard

Tension and plot twists abound in this farfetched but supremely entertaining spy story about a group of agents, who may or may not be what they appear, infiltrating a Nazi fortress. Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood give solid, likeable performances and work well together. A significant flaw is the film's conclusion -- the climax is not immediately recognizable as such, leaving the viewer wondering during the final resolution, "Is the fun really all over?" Consequently, the movie can leave you feeling mildly hollow -- yet with this word of warning, it shouldn't be so bad. If you're looking for fast-paced wartime adventure, look no further.

Dave Kehr
Routine war adventure, imitating the callousness of Robert Aldrich's The Dirty Dozen but without Aldrich's nihilist zeal. Still, you have to admire any film that casts Clint Eastwood opposite Richard Burton; the real violence is in the clash of acting styles. With Mary Ure and Michael Hordern; Brian G. Hutton directed from the Alistair MacLean novel (1969). From the Chicago Readers

TVGEN Movieguide

A high-powered, big-budget WWII espionage thriller, WHERE EAGLES DARE follows an elite group of Allied commandos, led by John Smith (Richard Burton) and assigned to rescue an American general being held captive by the Nazis in a castle high in the Bavarian Alps. Ably assisted by a young American lieutenant, Morris Schaffer (Clint Eastwood), Smith and his crew of six don German uniforms and parachute into enemy territory. One of their number is found dead after landing, and Smith begins to suspect that one of his men is a double agent. He meets up with a pair of Allied agents, Mary Ellison (Mary Ure) and Heidi (Ingrid Pitt), and they manage to infiltrate the castle, which is accessible only by a tramway. An exciting picture with much derring-do and adventure, WHERE EAGLES DARE is also a lengthy film, though there is more than enough action to keep it moving along. Of course, it's all a bit hard to credit (especially since the Germans can't seem to hit anything with their machine guns), but that's part of the fun. Burton, in a switch from the heavy dramatic roles that made him famous, is excellent as an action hero, but Eastwood is the one who makes it all worthwhile. If it's explosions, gunplay, and wartime treachery that you like, WHERE EAGLES DARE delivers.

Hal Ericksson

An expensive but enormously profitable war picture, Where Eagles Dare centers upon a daring rescue and even more daring escape. Disguised as Nazi officers, commandoes Maj. John Smith (Richard Burton), Lt. Morris Schaffer Clint Eastwood and six other courageous souls parachute behind enemy lines. Their mission: to rescue an American general, held captive in a supposedly impenetrable alpine castle. Aiding and abetting the commandoes are Allied undercover agents Mary (Mary Ure) and Heidi (Ingrid Pitt). Also on hand is a British officer (Patrick Wymark), who masterminded the mission. Somewhere, somehow, someone amongst the Allies is going to turn out to be a traitor. There's also a neat plot twist in store when the commandoes manage to reach the American general -- which leads to yet another twist. The vertigo-inducing climax has made Where Eagles Dare one of the most sought-after of "early" Eastwood starring features. The film was written directly for the screen by espionage novelist Alistair MacLean.

"Bratwurst"
Richard Burton leads some British commandos into the Alps to rescue some an American colonel held captive in a mountaintop fortress.

A young Clint Eastwood joins the team & plenty of action follows. There's the usual assortment of stormtroopers & SS officers be warned ö there's a plot you have to follow & the bad guys aren't quite who they seem. Apart from the Nazis, that is.