There is not a poetic, contemplative, emotional nor genuinely human moment in ‘Where Eagles Dare”. It’s a damnably dirty dumbbell of a film, unashamedly made to excite the senses of undiscriminating viewers to whom empty, noisy and unceasing explosions, gun battles and general mayhem are acceptable substitutions for intelligence, artistry and clarity. It’s a film that shouldn’t work at any level: supremely silly, illogical and preposterous. Yet, work it does, if one doesn’t resist viewing it through a primitively visceral lens; on a level that brings the film back to reflect one of the original elemental pleasures of the cinema: the excitement of the cliffhanger with its calculatedly frequent perils and subsequent escapes; though admittedly often through means of shameless misdirection and more than a small amount of narrative flim flammery. Director Brian G. Hutton’s movie plays like a hyperactive serial with all of the boring recapitulation scenes excised and the chapter climaxes ramped up and italicized.
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