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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.