Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

THE EIGER SANCTION

Clint Eastwood and George Kennedy
THE EIGER SANCTION (1975). Director: Clint Eastwood.

"Sorry about this, but twice a year all of my blood must be replaced." -- Dragon

"With what?" -- Hemlock

Jonathan Hemlock (Clint Eastwood) collects art treasures and can afford to pay for them by taking on assassination assignments for a strange agency headed by the bizarre "total albino," Dragon (Thayer David). Hemlock wants to retire but he's importuned into going after one last target, but all he's told is that it's one of the men on an international team attempting to scale the Eiger. Sounds intriguing? -- alas, the leisurely-placed Eiger Sanction takes forever to get going, and doesn't amount to much even when it finally gets to the mountain. Eastwood, who both stars and directs and is only passable at both, supposedly risked his life with location filming, so it's a shame that the results aren't more felicitous, as the movie has hardly any excitement or suspense. A type of semi-spy movie, Eiger not only has secret organizations but something about a germ warfare formula that comes to nothing. The supporting cast includes George Kennedy [Strait-Jacket] as a friend of Hemlock's; Gregory Walcott [The Steel Jungle] as Pope, a tough agent; Jack Cassidy [Richard Diamond] as an idiotic gay character who calls his dog "Faggot;" -- Hollywood's idea of a proud gay man? -- and Vonetta McGee as a lady spy who plays various games with Hemlock. Walcott is good, and McGee manages to retain her dignity despite the dumb proceedings.

Verdict: Macho meatheadedness is one thing, but at least make it entertaining! Stick with Play Misty for Me. *1/2.

1 comment:

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