Where Eagles Dare - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Where Eagles Dare Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 5, 2007
They sure knew how to make great WWII films back in the 1960's. So many classics from that era to love and remember. This highly suspenseful action-adventure, starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood in excellent form, joins those ranks with ease, as it takes us through a rousing series of taut and explosive events. While we do have to suffer a lot of obvious blue-screens, the outstanding story - along with its actors - makes such minor drawbacks effortless to overlook. There's a lot of plot twists as well, which results in the film being pleasantly unpredictable. We don't get that too much in modern cinema, without it feeling contrived or artificial in some way. Add to that the enchantingly sexy Ingrid Pitt, and you have more than enough reason to watch this great classic. A well-deserved 4 out of 5 stars!
Super Reviewer
½ May 21, 2011
An impossible but no less important mission..
Hyper cool heroes who perform the most daring stunts without as much as breaking a sweat..
Double, triple or even quadruple twists and turns in the plot (Eventually you'll loose count)..
Overall, a brainless popcorn movie that does'nt offer anything reputable or realistic. Still its fun to watch Eastwood shooting the crap out of people.
Super Reviewer
June 25, 2006
One of the highlights of the World War II military caper films that were rather popular in the 1960s. It has all it needs: an impossible mission to a unique and interesting location, very bad odds and cool heroes. Here: Richard Burton as sly fox planning ahead and Clint Eastwood as tight-lipped rookie. While the first half concentrates on stealth and deception, the second is action packed, both are very exciting. The story offers more twists than you'd expect from such a film, too. As far as the realism of UK and US soldiers easily sneaking into Nazi facilities go: Tarantino certainly had a look at this before doing "Inglourious basterds".
Super Reviewer
½ June 12, 2010
A blisteringly exciting and thoroughly exhilarating action-packed thriller. A classic men on a mission adventure in the tradition of The Guns of Navarone. It's purely entertaining with enough explosive suspense and slam-bang non-stop action to go around for two and a half hours. A smart, dazzling and well-crafted masterpiece. Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood are terrific.
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2007
This is one of my all-the-time favourite war films based on the novel by Alister MacLean I read before watching this. Really great entertainment in the escapist adventure where our heroes can do no wrong and the action comes thick and fast.
Surprisingly the combination of Richard Burton's classical approach to acting & Clint Eastwood's brash new-kid-on-the block 1960s adaption works quite excellent and make for a good partnership as they go about kicking Nazi butt in their usual inimitable ways.
Super Reviewer
March 23, 2010
Debatably my favorite war movie, mainly in the fact that it's so much fun. The plot is virtually flawless and extremely original, I almost feel like it could have been a B movie at one time before they discovered how cool it was. A secret ops mission at a Nazi Castle is unbeatable in terms of shear intrigue, who wouldn't want to see that played out. Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton give two very different, yet flawless performances. Every time they appear on screen you are marveled by how amazing they are. The action is amazing and some of the best sequences are achieved by simply doing things no one ever tried to do before. The visuals alike are so unique and beautiful, hardly any war movies capture the offbeat background in the way this film does.
Super Reviewer
½ September 7, 2009
This is a true representation of the book by alistair maclean, which may not be the best thing, as it does get a little boring. however, clint eastwood does very well and this movie was great for its time.
Super Reviewer
March 12, 2008
Where Eagles Dare is about a group of Brits led by Major Smith (Richard Burton) and one American (Clint Eastwood) whose mission is to penetrate a fortress and bring back an American general who has the plans for the second wave of Allied European assault.

This is your basic, straightforward, 1960's WWII movie where they take an established star (Burton) and an up and comer (Eastwood) and send them on an impossible mission against thousands of Nazis. The problem with Where Eagles Dare is that by the time you get to any kind of pay off you really don't care. You'll be bored to tears by the never ending action sequences as characters swing back and forth between sets over and over again. The two hour forty minute running time could have easily been trimmed to make the film run a little easier, but that would still not make up for Burton's performance. Burton tries to be the star, yet Eastwood steals the stage, which isn't saying much because Eastwood is given very little to work with in his character. He's practically playing a plank. Burton, who was intoxicated through much of the shoot, pales in comparison.

There are a few good sequences throughout the film, but most of it drags on and on and never really reaches its destination. You'll need a score card for all the plot twists and a pillow for the inevitable nap.
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2007
Good but overlong action thriller. Some good twists and beautiful scenery help. Burton, sometimes a very good actor and sometimes a very lazy one falls on the good side in this as does Eastwood, the ladies perform well although they aren't given much in the way of character development.
Super Reviewer
May 6, 2007
Another Great "Bunch of Guys (and this time girls) get together to kick some ass movie
Super Reviewer
January 14, 2007
why is it that Clint Eastwoods best films are not Dirty Harry or westerns
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2006
Rather dim-witted boys own WWII action movie based on a novel by populist hack Alistair MacLean. The action scenes are strangely dull and overlong, but it does have some kitsch entertainment value, particularly involving the interplay between Burton and Eastwood.
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2006
GREAT! one of the best war spy movies ever!
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ July 5, 2014
"Love lift us up where we belong, where the eagles dare, on the mountain... there!" No, forget that, let's go with, "the blizzard goes on, but still they must fly! No one should go where eagles dare!" Yeah, sorry, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, but we need a more edgy song reference for a discussion regarding a war film starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, which is why I'm sticking with Iron Maiden... you know, because they never get cheesy. Actually, that's a perfect reference, because considering that this is a Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood war film, it should be every bit as heavy metal as Iron Maiden typically is, and considering that it still came out in the '60s, it should also get to be as cheesy as Iron Maiden can get. I don't know if the era would so much defuse dramatic momentum, as much as it would be the fact that, at this time, Brian G. Hutton was also gearing up to make "Kelly's Heroes", which made a joke out of war, over the excessive course of almost two-and-a-half hours. This film is over two-and-a-half hours long, and it isn't even a comedy, at least as far as '60s films were concerned (Okay, this film isn't nearly that dated), but at least it has plenty of things to keep you entertained, though not enough to compensate for the shortcomings.

With all my jokes about dated dramatics of the '60s, this film has quite a bit of edge to it, yet not exactly to its narrative itself, which follows formula and, along the way, makes matters worse by hitting conventional, almost trite dialogue, if not characterization that is lacking is to begin with. This drama really is about the mission, so it wastes so little time in firing right in that, beyond the mission, immediate development is hardly touched upon in a script that goes on to have hold the audacity to say very little about the well-portrayed and somewhat memorable, but formulaically and thinly drawn characters, and take its time to say so little. Running over two-and-a-half hours in length, this film is simply too blasted long to place only so much attention to exposition and material, near-monotonously meandering along filler, if not some ultimately inconsequential plot layers so recurrently that momentum which should be consistently slick ends up rarely picking up to really, really entertain. Needless to say, it doesn't help that Brian G. Hutton's directorial storytelling hits its share of slow spells, with quiet, or at least thoroughly atmospheric spots that rarely retard momentum so greatly that dullness sets in, while engagement value is lost for an extended period of time, but still has a tendency to bland things up with its questionable thoughtfulness over thin material found both in Alistair MacLean's script and in concept. Once again, this drama is really about the mission, not the thematic and dramatic weight or scope of war, simply high-caliber military men who, for the sake of national security during wartime, take on a task that is rich in visceral tension, but even conceptually lacking in dramatic tension, no matter how much ambition is placed in the relatively minimalist story concept's interpretation. This ambition, of course, begets inspiration that goes quite a ways in driving this film as entertaining and reasonably compelling, perhaps to where the final product could have rewarded, despite its natural shortcomings, were it not for the consequential shortcomings, which render the final product formulaic, thinly drawn, draggy and all around underwhelming. Of course, the final product just barely falls short of what it could have been, delivering more than adequately of respectable strengths, even in production value.

Peter Mullins' art direction is pretty solid, doing close to nothing unique with its restoration of more remote regions occupied by the Nazis during WWII, but still doing enough to distinguish the time in an almost attractive manner, at least beyond a lovely, snowy backdrop that colors up visuals almost as much as smashing action, limited though it may be in quantity. As far as quality is concerned, the action stands out, with tense tighter sequences and grand, technically impressive pieces of broader scale that mark highlights in establishing a sense of consequence to a story whose consequentiality is more limited in concept than it probably should be as a war thriller. With that said, there is still some juice to salvage in the basic idea behind this film, which is genuinely intriguing in its tense study on military spies taking on a mission of great consequence, despite only fair cinematic consequence, often genuinely flavored up by highlights in Alistair MacLean's conventional, undercooked and overdrawn script which include some snappy dialogue and even plenty of surprisingly audacious set pieces that aren't afraid to reinforce what edge there is. There's plenty of bite to this film on paper, and when it comes to execution by director Brian G. Hutton, although many a hiccup is hit, thoughtfulness that thrives on quiet intensity, if not the tonal quality of Ron Goodwin's solid, if conventional score, upon finding material to draw upon, engages pretty commendably, particularly when tensions really arrive, handled with a kick was almost uncommon for films of the time. Its violence edgy and its atmosphere subtle, the intensity of this drama is typically pretty raw, highlighting an entertainment value which rarely abates to the point of losing you, and ultimately carries enough color to engage through and through. What endears about as much as anything is, of course, a cast full of charismas, most all of whom all but pale in comparison to the charisma of the subdued Richard Burton and the gritty Clint Eastwood, who also share a certain chemistry that makes the central leads particularly memorable, in spite of thin characterization. Yes, for every strength there is a shortcomings, thus, the final product falls short, but only of rewarding, to which it comes close enough to entertain and compel serviceably with a respectable, if limited array of strengths.

Bottom line, hardly anything new is done here, and only so much of anything at all is said about the characters, despite an excessive structure whose slow spells are made all the more bland by cold spells in direction and natural shortcomings to the story concept, which are ultimately to difficult to ignore for the sake of reward value, enough glimpses of which are seen through solid immersion value and action, decent and often edgy writing and direction, and plenty of charismatic performances - particularly those by Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood - to make Brian G. Hutton's "Where Eagles Dare" a somewhat inconsequential, but ultimately perfectly decent and often tense military thriller.

2.75/5 - Decent
Super Reviewer
November 25, 2011
Despite it's improbable and often incomprehensible plot, Where Eagles Dare is an effective World War II action film. Director by Brian Hutton, whose other notable films include Kelly's Heroes (also featuring Eastwood), and Gunfight at the O.K. Carole, guides the film with a proper sense of tension and pace, combined with impressive cinematography. In short- it's smartly made. The script suffers from being overly written (or perhaps overly gimmicky), in that it has an overabundance of twits, some of which are fairly asinine. The action scenes, though handled well, do also get tiresome toward the end. The casting, however, is very strong, with Richard Burton showing his brilliance (especially in one very memorable scene, which I have seen described as an "epic mindfuck session"), and is complemented well by Eastwood. That chemistry alone carries the film through any deficiencies.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2011
A War/Spy movie based on a book by master of action, Alister MacLean, who also wrote the screenplay at the same time. Throw in the inspired pairing of Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood, some breathtaking alpine locations and it sounds like a recipe for one hell of an action film - and that's exactly what we get - non-stop action and intigue from beginning to closing credits in a very memorable and classy movie indeed.
Super Reviewer
April 28, 2010
Good war movie starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. A group of spies set out to rescue a captured soldier in a German Fortress high in the mountains, only to find out their assignment has been leaked by an informer. The story was very silly, but the interplay between screen legends Burton and Eastwood made up for it, and there was plenty of action with Clint killing half of the German army singlehandedly. Worth a look if nothing's on.
Super Reviewer
½ August 16, 2007
Genuinly good film.....definatley one of the better war mobies.
Super Reviewer
June 2, 2007
A complicated plot with so many twists and turns it borders on being hard to follow. The action is impressive for the time, but it grows a little tiring.
Super Reviewer
½ May 5, 2007
Another of the great little films staring Richard Burton. Also, Clint Eastwood was amazing in this double cross film.
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