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Author Topic: The Eiger Sanction 40th Anniversary  (Read 2835 times)
Jed Cooper
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« on: June 12, 2015, 01:26:39 PM »

The Eiger Sanction (1975)

The first time I saw this was with an old school friend, Mike Sormanti. He introduced this to me while visiting him at home one day, pointing out some amusing scenes. The movie didn’t make an impression on me at the time and it’s one of those that’s taken a while for me to appreciate.

I did very much enjoy watching this again recently. There’s an amusing scene between Hemlock (Eastwood) and Mr. Dragon’s crony Pope.
Hemlock: You still here?
Pope: Now really, you don't expect me to just walk out that door, do you, sweetheart?
Hemlock: Door or window, it's your choice.
Hemlock: (Angrily, as he kicks Pope’s feet from his desk) I said get your feet off my desk!
Pope: Listen, buddy…!
Hemlock: Don’t call me buddy, pal or sweetheart!
He throws him out of his office. When he notices Pope left his coat behind, he grabs and throws it at him before he can get up, saying, “Don't for get your trench coat. How's anybody gonna recognize you without your disguise?” Just as funny now as when I first saw it. The ‘door or window, it’s your choice’ comment reminded me of ‘Alive or dead, it’s your choice’ from A Few Dollars More ten years earlier.

Overall I’d say the movie is good. Maybe not very good but I appreciate it more now than I have in the past. It’s nice seeing Eastwood work with George Kennedy again. He’s even better here than he was in Thunderbolt And Lightfoot the year before. I wish they’d worked together at least a couple more times. Vonetta McGee is very good and the banter between her character and Eastwood’s are fun to watch. Jack Cassidy is priceless in his role as Miles Mellough.

There was a time when I’d all but written this movie off as one of Eastwood’s worst. That’s because when comparing it to his best Dirty Harry films and westerns, this film didn’t have a chance. The Eiger Sanction may not be among his best, but there are enough good qualities in it to give it a viewing and even revisit from time to time.

« Last Edit: June 12, 2015, 01:39:42 PM by Jed [Brian] Cooper » Logged

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Perry
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2015, 03:50:35 PM »



The movie is a bore and a doesnt even compare to Trevanian's (Rodney William Whitaker) novel. The movie was not even a hit @ the box office. Only good things are Cassidy's over the top acting and yummy Vonetta McGee.
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Rawhide7
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2015, 02:24:11 AM »

yap this one is not Eastwoods greatest movie.  And like you said Jed I also did not care for it the first time I watched it. And like Perry said it was even kind of boring IMO.  And it defenately pales in comparison to his westerns and Dirty Harry movies. With all that said. I too try to look at the good parts in a movie. Which really all mediocre movies will still have some good scenes in it. Like mentioned George Kennedy is very good. Eastwood is in it which no matter how bad the movie is I will like it to a certain degree with him being in it. And of course the scenes with McGee in it were good. And the fact you watched it for the first time with a friend especially if you were really young when you watched it for the first time. I have found that the movies I watched as a very young kid with my brother and my friends will always have a special place in my heart. I remember watching USA up all night with Rhonda Shear on Friday nights and Gilbert Godfrey on Saturday nights. All those movies I will always enjoy because it reminds me of my child hood and all the great memories. Weekend at Bernies is also a very special movie for me. I remember getting that movie free with my pizza order at Little Caesars. And E.T. Was my very first movie to see at a movie theatre and of course that movie brings back special memories for me. So I think it all depends on when you watch a certain movie and with who can make a big difference on if you like it or not. If The Eiger Sanction was my very first Eastwood movie to ever see then I would probably think much better of it.  But I too will watch it again. Because movies do seem to grow on me more after watching them several times. And I too have come to appreciate certain movies that I might not have liked after the first viewing. Examples are Napolean Dynamite and Step Brothers.
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exit00
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2015, 06:06:56 AM »

I gotta take the opposite view on Eiger Sanction which when I saw it in the theatre when it first came out I thought it was great.  Clint had tons of good lines and it was like two movies in one.... pre Eiger climb and when they are on the mountain.  Plus, Clint did all his own climbing stunts and the cinematography was fantastic.  I didn't find the movie a bore at all but did think Dragon was a little over the top silly.  Maybe watching this on the small screen instead of in a theatre takes something away from this one.
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Christopher
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2015, 06:16:31 AM »

The Eiger Sanction is one I can go back to from time to time and always enjoy. Everything about it is fun.
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KC
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2015, 07:56:36 AM »

The mountain climbing scenes are extraordinary, something actual mountain climbers have acknowledged.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/18/movies/18BARC.html

Quote
You Think That Other Mountain Was Cold?
By BRUCE BARCOTT
 
NOT long ago I asked a friend who climbs mountains for a living to name his favorite climbing movies. He paused. "Man, they're all so awful," he said. "It'd be easier to give you a list that started at bad and went down to very, very bad."

When movies meet mountains, bad cinema results. Consider "Vertical Limit" (2000), which finds mountaineering so dull that it adds nitroglycerin into the mix. Or "Cliffhanger" (1993), the Sylvester Stallone vehicle propelled by evildoers and stolen loot. The 1997 television adaptation of Jon Krakauer's classic Everest book, "Into Thin Air," proved so unwatchable that the rescued climbers probably outnumbered the audience by the end.

The singular exception remains "The Eiger Sanction," Clint Eastwood's 1975 spy thriller set on the north face of the Eiger, a sheer Swiss alp that is one of climbing's most deadly proving grounds. Mountaineers revere the film, which was released on DVD last year, because in the third act Mr. Eastwood climbs the Eiger himself. The action was so real that a falling boulder killed one of the movie's climbing crew on the second day of shooting. What makes "The Eiger Sanction" respected by mountaineers also makes it compelling to the rest of us: the actors didn't act; they climbed. That, it turned out, made a pretty good movie.

http://www.splitterchoss.com/2008/05/14/top-5-climbing-movies-of-all-time/

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Top 5 Climbing Movies of All Time
Posted by BJ Sbarra on May 14, 2008

#1 – The Eiger Sanction

Clint Eastwood and mountain climbing, how can it get any better? Clint Eastwood is an agent sent to “sanction” a climber in Europe. His training takes him up desert towers in Zion and Monument Valley and his mission comes to an exciting climax on the north face of the Eiger. This will probably stand forever as the best climbing related movie to ever come out of Hollywood. Enough said.
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Rawhide7
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2015, 12:50:37 AM »

Yall are making me want to watch it again. I've only seen it two times and both times I didn't care for it very much. Now I don't mean I don't like it at all. Because there are some good scenes and the view of the mountains is great. I just think the dragon thing was kind of weird. And for whatever reason I just haven't taken to this particular Eastwood movie very well.  I will always like any Eastwood movie that he acts in to a certain degree because I am such a huge fan of his. There are only maybe like four or so of his movies that I didn't really care for very much.  Not bad considering he's been in over 60 movies. Again there are only a very rare few that I didn't care for but still like a little bit since he's in it. I will be watching this one again in the near future and maybe I will have a different outlook on it.
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Jed Cooper
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2015, 06:47:17 AM »

Thanks for all of your replies.  I found them all very interesting and enjoyable to read.  The very first time I saw this with my friend (who is now gone and yes, does hold a special meaning now), I wasn't yet a fan and/or critic that I would later morph into.  I laughed at the funny scenes pointed out to me but the film didn't make the major impression on me the way the Dollars trilogy and Dirty Harry would later.   

I think it's fascinating that when you become a fan of something you tend to become a harsh critic.  At least, that's how I was and after becoming a fan of Eastwood's films.  I all but condemned The Eiger Sanction to the pit of worst movies ever made.  I discarded it for years, not intending to ever give it a second chance.  On the other side of the same token (as my dad would say), being a fan also tends to make me reconsider opinions held previously, both bad and good.  I've gone from liking some Eastwood films a lot to not caring for them as much and also appreciating what I'd not liked before.

As I compose these Eastwood movie "anniversary" posts, I usually watch each film once as a refresher because I've seen all of Clint's movies.  After reading what you all have written, I'm inspired to watch The Eiger Sanction again.   


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