Where Eagles Dare

I’ve seen two great films this weekend. The first was Fargo by the Cohen brothers, a wicked black comedy superbly shot in Minnesota during the freezing winter. It’s stars Steve Buscemi, a superb actor with a great, and fantastically British set of teeth.

Best scene: The pregnant policewoman questioning the two local girls in the bar.

The second is my favourite World War 2 film, Where Eagles Dare. I first saw it when I was about nine and watched it over and over on video. The reasons I liked it so much came back to me this afternoon when I watched it whilst continuously drinking tea.

Let’s start with the Bavarian location. The film is set in and around a superb mountain top castle, the Schloss Adler, that is only accessible by cable car – how cool is that? Then there’s the German uniforms; camp yes, but also well cut with plenty of leather and cool insignia. Note the timeless reversible parkas as worn by Major Smith (Richard Burton) and Lieutenant Schaffer (Clint Eastwood) in the Schloss Adler scenes.

There are some really good suspense scenes in this film, the sort that seem to have disappeared with the advent of OTT Hollywood style special effects. Also it has an interesting storyline that follows closely the book by Alistair MacLean, a childhood favourite author of mine. I also had a crush on the character of Heidi, (Ingrid Pitt) which I was pleasantly reminded of this afternoon. At the time of this film she bared an uncanny resemblance to my girlfriend Mandy.

Best scene: “Broadsword calling Danny Boy!, Broadsword calling Danny Boy!”

A couple of Scandinavian guys have built a superb tribute website at www.whereeaglesdare.com, where they are selling reproduction reversible parkas and other assorted memorabilia.

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