Eiger Sanction
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Product Description

Clint Eastwood plays James Bond in some unlikely mid-1970s casting. Eastwood directed himself as an art teacher (!) who is actually a government operative (!!). But when an American agent is assassinated in Europe, he's called out of retirement to put the hurt on the men who did it. Based on a novel by Trevanian, the film winds up with Eastwood climbing a mountain in Switzerland and playing a game of kill-or-be-killed with one of his targets. Some decent action, but also a lot of filler. Still, the cast includes George Kennedy and the late Jack Cassidy, whose sharklike smile was perfect for playing a professional killer. --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews:

  • The Eiger Sanction Holds Up
    Clint Eastwood's "The Eiger Sanction" was made in 1975 and was, at that time, an excellent action thriller. Viewing it again recently, I was surprised at how well it has held up. This is due mostly to the location shoots - filmed in Monument Valley and in the Swiss Alps instead of on a Hollywood soundstage. These guys really went up there and filmed those climbing sequences for real (including star and director Eastwood, who was about 45 at the time), and that just can't be faked. The spy story is also pretty good, there is an excellent supporting performance by Jack Cassidy, and Vonetta McGee and George Kennedy lend solid support. Also, John Williams' pre-Star Wars score is hauntingly jazzy and suspenseful. Check this one out....more info
  • addicted to it
    I remembered seeing the film and that I probably liked it.I am 66 and desperate for entertainment.
    It has probably never been shown on telvison because it would need too much editing.I love it now, watched it 12 times until my vcr
    wore out so I got another copy. i also got another vcr....more info
  • Classic and awesome movie!
    You can never go wrong with Clint Eastwood! I love this movie, the espionage story and the European scenes. Many people don't know that Clint Eastwood performed his own stunts in this movie since he was a real Mountain climber and assumed all high risk shots for the movie!! Highly recommended and the supporting actors including Keneddy are all aces!...more info
  • Good Clint but horrendous DVD mastering. BUDGET TRANSFER TO SAY THE LEAST!
    I am reviewing the actual dvd quaility..Horrendous! No remastering for the digital domain whatsoever. I wish they would re-release this. Picture is full of artifacts and the signal strenght is weak..it's disrespectful to the DVD format! It's like watching a VHS version!...more info
  • Nice Mountain Scenes but Ho-hum Drama
    This film was widely acclaimed when it was release for its wonderful mountaineering scenes. They were state of the art at that time. Now, they are merely good. CLIFFHANGER has some better ones. Still, if you like that sort of thing, it is worth watching.

    It's also worth watching if you like secret agent, black ops types of films. I do but this one is not as good as many others in that respect.

    The story is of a retired government hitman who is an art professor. He is forced out of retirement to go after some people who assassinated a friend of his. All he is told is that one of the assassins will be taking part in the climb of Mt. Eiger in Switzerland. It is up to Eastwood to figure out who it is and "sanction" him.

    This film portrays a very bleak view of the US government. This not uncommon for films from that time. Basically, the mindset is that the US is no better than any other regime and probably worse.

    It's a fairly decent action film but will never rank among my favorites.
    ...more info
  • the eiger sanction
    I like this Eastwood movie; I always found myself watching it when it came on TV so I bought it....more info
  • good eastwood pic
    Good movie if you are an Eastwood fan..Plot is not real clear, but if you like Clint and George Kennedy, it's worth watching...more info
  • The Eiger Sanction
    My wife enjoys The Eiger Sanction far more than I do. I actually purchased the DVD for her. Although I'm quite fond of Clint Eastwood, there are many other movies I'd rather watch than The Eiger Sanction.

    The photography from the American southwest is vastly better than the part of the film photographed in Europe, in my opinion. And Eastwood did his own mountain climbing in The Eiger Sacntion.

    I'd far rather watch Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, or Sudden Impact (all for the 20th time or more) again rather than watch The Eiger Sanction for the third time. I'm afaid of heights, so this may have something to do with my non-interest in The Eiger Sanction. On the other hand, this is one of my wife's favorite Clint Eastwood movies. (The three babes closest to Clint in Play Misty For Me are much easier for a male viewer to look at and enjoy than either of the two women who Clint comes into contact with in The Eiger Saction. Myself, I'll take Donna Mills any day of the week!)

    Andy McKane

    Missoula, Montana...more info
  • Wierd. Sadistic. Entertaining. Eastwood!
    In his seemingly endless career, Clint Eastwood has directed quite a few movies, and acted in a helluva lot more. "The Eiger Sanction" may rank as the wierdest of all of these, and that's saying something. It's the not-so-short story of a semi-retired government assassin who is blackmailed back into service for one last job. Of course, "one last job" turns into several. And the last of the last involves a target whose identity is unknown to both Eastwood and his employers. Cross a boilerplate international secret-agent yarn with a whodunnit, or rather a whoisit, mix in some Rocky-esque training sequences and top it off with a documentary on the wierd because-it's-there mountain-climbing culture, and you have "The Eiger Sanction."

    I knew after 5 minutes of watching this movie it had to be based on a novel, and not a particularly good one at that. It has the feeling of a by-the-numbers story punched up to "colorful" dimensions by a pill-popping hack writer, who deciced that making every character so wildly eccentric would make us forget they could all have walked right out of Central Casting with their per diem checks in hand.

    Take the names, for instance: Hemlock, Mello, Dragon, Wormwood, Pope, George (for a woman), and of course, Jemimah. Subtle, they're not.

    But I'm getting ahead of myself. Eastwood is Dr. Hemlock, the ex-assassin who now works as college professor. For a third of the film, Clint plays Hemlock as a fussy, smug, condescending, know-it-all who uses words like "involuted" and wears ridiculous 70's era eyeglasses. Then, about a half-hour into the film, he simply becomes CLINT EASTWOOD, guzzling beer, using words like "ain't" and abandoning the professor persona completely. I never did figure out whether this was intentional, meaning that Hemlock's collegiate personality was simply an act, or whether Clint simply couldn't summon the energy to play Hemlock as such an annoying, arse-puckered temple of repression and decided to play himself for the rest of the flick instead. To his credit, once Eastwood drops the smug, his character is a lot more likable and often very funny.

    Hemlock's boss is Dragon, a wierd albino who lives in a climate-controlled office(I'm not making this up). Dragon, we are told, used to work for the Nazis, and how he heads up C-2, a "deniable" gov't agency that "sanctions" various unfortunates who fall afoul of it. He blackmails Hemlock out of retirement by threatening problems with the IRS over Hemlock's art collection (I SWEAR I am not making this up). Then he sweetens the pot by saying that the mystery target is the guy that iced Hemlock's friend and mentor. Dragon also employs a hapless minion named Pope, whose main purpose in the film seems to be to get beaten up and humiliated by Eastwood. Question: if you're such a Professor Moriartyesque mastermind, why can't you employ a goon who actually knows how to fight?

    Hemlock's girlfriend, sort of, is a black female agent named....sigh....Jemimah. She seduces him and steals his money, which is how all good relationships start. Then he gives her a condescending lecture on the immortality of her actions, which had me holding my head in dismay. Dude, YOU KILL PEOPLE FOR A LIVING, AND YOU'RE GIVING MORALITY LESSONS? NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL INVOLUTED.

    After killing several unimportant people, Hemlock discovers that his mystery target is a mountain-climber going up with an expedition to best the Eiger, a man-eating pile o'rock in the Swiss Alps. Since Hemlock twice failed to conquer the Eiger, he's naturally intrigued. He can combine his two hobbies and take a vacation to Europe all at once. But first he has to get in shape, and since this takes half the movie, it's worth noting.

    Eastwood's old friend George Kennedy trains him at his remote desert resort in Arizona. While Hemlock follows George, his female Indian mountain guide, around on endless runs up sheer rock, he runs into Mello, an effete, foppish ex-mercenary now emeshed in the drug trade, who left Hemlock for dead in the jungle years ago. Poor Mello, played by Jack Cassidy, is one of those unfortunate characters who always appear in Eastwood films, whose express purpose is to be humiliated over and over again and then get killed. Like Dragon, Mello employs a bodyguard who can't fight and ends up blubbering for his life in the middle of the desert. The scene is played for laughs, but I didn't find it funny, or realistic. Hemlock drives the guy at gunpoint into the Mojave desert and leaves him to die of thirst and heat stroke? You gotta be kidding. First of all, if Mello really was an ex-special forces drug kingpin, he'd hardly be the floppy-wristed wuss Cassidy is forced to portray. Second, he'd be carrying a damn gun himself, instead of a poodle and a pack of cigarettes. I've met a lot of SF guys in my life, and none of 'em ever lisped, "You let ME choose the wine!"

    Having prepped himself, Eastwood heads for the Eiger while trying to puzzle out which of his team-mates he's got to kill. He also beats up Pope again, for using an unpleasant phrase to describe Jemimah. Once again, let us behold the hypocrisy: the murderer for hire stands up for racial justice. Finally, and by this time you've worn quite a groove in your couch and are probably on like your ninth beer, they climb the mountain, and the real fun begins. Will Eastwood get his man? Will Eastwood even survive the climb? Do you care, considering he's playing a sadistic button-man with a superiority complex?

    The answer is, yeah, sort of. This movie is bizarre, sluggish, wantonly cruel, and has enough shots of the Arizona desert and the Swiss alps to fill 2 or 3 documentaries. But it's also wierdly compelling and visually impressive. When he isn't humiliating people or killing them, Eastwood's Hemlock is wisecracking at thrice the rate of Dirty Harry. All that's missing is the enjoyabl sensation that the hero is actually doing something good....more info
  • A Great Oldie -- But Is It An Edited Version?
    I could swear that there were a couple of different scenes when I saw this film in theatrical release.

    There was at least one more scene in the Eiger Hotel where Pope confronts Eastwood, and Eastwood slams his hand in the door. That explains the extra irony when Eastwood later steps on Pope's hand in their outdoor fight, and Pope cries out "ow, my hand, my hand!".

    Also, the scene where the little dog jumped into Eastwood's jeep in the desert was omitted in the original. Instead, when George Kennedy later informs Eastwood that the county sheriff has found Milo's body in the desert, he concludes with: "...and the damnedest thing..." "What's that?" "They say that he ate a dog" to which Eastwood returns his best insouciant smile. I could see that they might have taken that out for today's animal-rights PC-crowd. Which means that they must have filmed both versions and used the more rude one in the original release. Does anyone else remember it that way?

    Anyway, the film is still a lot of fun, even if they took away some of its 70's edginess....more info