Where Eagles Dare

  • Directors: Brian G Hutton
  • Producers: Elliott Kastner, Jerry Gershwin
  • Writers: Alistair MacLean
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, War
  • Actors: Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure

Where Eagles Dare takes place during World War II. In the winter of 1943-44, U.S. Army Brigadier General George Carnaby, enroute to Crete to rendezvous with Russian forces to plan the final details of the invasion of Normandy, is captured by the Germans when his aircraft is shot down. He is taken to the Schloß Adler (The Castle of the Eagles – hence the story’s title), a fortress high in the Alps above the town of Werfen and the headquarters of the German Secret Service in southern Bavaria. A special team of mainly British commandos is hurriedly assembled and briefed by Colonel Wyatt Turner and Admiral Rolland of MI6, and led by Major John Smith, MC and US Army Ranger Lieutenant Morris Schaffer. Their mission is to parachute into the locality, infiltrate the Schloß Adler, and rescue General Carnaby before the Germans can interrogate him.

Known only to Smith and Rolland, SOE agent Mary Elison, a trusted member of MI6, accompanies the mission. General Carnaby, really an American actor and look-alike by the name of Cartwright Jones, deliberately crash-landed near the castle after a staged attack by Royal Air Force fighters. He must be rescued before the Germans realize that he truly does not know of any secret plans and is not General Carnaby.

The final scene takes place on board the plane. Smith shows the books of German names to Turner, commenting that one single name is missing — one that the others couldn’t have known, since the mastermind of the German spy network in Britain was kept hidden from them. It is the name Smith showed Kramer earlier that evening, the name Kramer confirmed as the top agent. That name is Colonel Turner. Turner, exposed, faces a court-martial for treason in his native Britain. He chooses suicide, leaping from the plane. Smith returns to Rolland, having successfully destroyed German infiltration in Britain for the remainder of the war.

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