Broadsword Calling Danny Boy: Watching ‘Where Eagles Dare’
I saw Where Eagles Dare in high school and the thing I remember most is that f*cking everything exploded. The story is nonsensical; the intrigue is endlessly confused, since, even when they’re supposed to be Sprachen Deutsch, all the actors only and always speak English; and the grand alpine gondola finale is nowhere near as riveting as the similar climax to Carol Reed’s Night Train to Munich a few decades earlier.
The movie sucks. Still, I get it.
Despite its tackiness, its clumsiness, its obviousness in being a quick and easy paycheck for everyone involved, Where Eagles Dare is, for Dyer, high Shakespearean tragedy. And the book itself follows a sorta Shakespearean shall I compare thee to a summer’s day model too, come to think of it. Geoff Dyer knocks it down as much as he builds it up, which, to me, is the sign of real movie-lovin’ film-geekery.
In the end, the frame-by-goddamn-frame analysis leaves us one big take away – don’t let bullsh*t notions of a great film get in the way of a good movie.
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