Trapped in Midair: “The Eiger Sanction” (1975)

eiger1      “The Eiger Sanction”  (1975)

     If the opening scene of “The Eiger Sanction” is any indication, one would expect to be seeing a straightforward espionage drama. However, when we are soon introduced to a black agent named Jemima Brown (Vonetta McGee), an albino intelligence chief named Dragon (Thayer David) and a flamboyant gay villain (Jack Cassidy) with a dog named Faggot, it becomes clear that the enterprise is not exactly meant to be taken seriously, and therein lies the problem with Clint Eastwood’s film of the Trevanian thriller; not a lack of tone, but an inability to choose from scene to scene just what kind of film is intended. It’s a thriller. It’s a parody of a thriller. It’s both simultaneously, and therefore succeeds at neither. Which is a shame, for what works in the film is quite spectacular, with action sequences that are literally jaw dropping without once reverting to the tired reliance on blazing guns or noisy explosions.

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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
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3 Responses to Trapped in Midair: “The Eiger Sanction” (1975)

  1. beetleypete says:

    I’m with you. Some good set-pieces, but ultimately flawed, and badly showing its age now.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Thanks for the response Pete. It’s striking how, as you noted, dated the bulk of the film looks, yet those mountain climbing scenes are still thrilling. I do miss films (even silly ones) that trusted in real world stunts and locations before the great surrender to CGI.

      • beetleypete says:

        Me too.
        I think CGI will kill cinema as we knew it, and VR will eventually become the norm. I won’t be around to see that, and won’t be sorry either. (I’m very dated too 😉 )

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