For one hundred and fifty-eight minutes, the eagles attack. Who are the eagles? It’s Clint Eastwood, Richard Burton and a handful of actors dressed as soldiers. Their mission is top-secret of the utmost importance: they must free and exfiltrate an American officer held by the Nazis in a German castle perched on a peak in the Alps. As the scenario is signed Alistair MacLean, disaster expert of the Second World War (he signed the memorable “Guns of Navarone”), the film is riddled with twists, about-faces and dangers of all kinds.
Brian G. Hutton, honest director, does what it takes, and it is successful. In 1968, of course, that cinema seemed horribly dusty, picking up all the tics and stuff from the soap operas of yesteryear. But today the show is here. Impossible to believe for a single second in the reality of situations, or even their plausibility, but we have fun. And Richard Burton is Imperial.
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Thursday October 21 at 8:55 p.m. on Paris Première. American War Film by Brian G. Hutton (1968). With Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, Mary Ure. 2h30.