The Eiger Sanction
Hemlock: "I'm sorry, you're going to have to get somebody else to do your wet work."
Dragon: "Please, that is a distasteful phrase."
Hemlock: "Call it what you want...wet work, termination, sanction. It all adds up to the same thing: killing."
Dragon: "It is what you do best."
release year: 1975
viewing setting: home Bluray 10/19/19 and home DVD, 1/17/16 and 10/18/13 and 8/29/09 and 10/30/03
synopsis: A retired assassin is persuaded to take one last sanction, on a perilous mountain-climbing expedition.
impressions: This was sort of a laid-back James Bond, without the gadgets or a huge menace. The protagonist is a former mountain climber who now teaches and collects rare paintings. He wants nothing more than to be left alone with all the money he's made in the past. There are a lot of very subtle espionage elements to be found here. Another plus are the mountain-climbing scenes - very breathtaking, very dangerous (a stuntman died while filming this movie.)
body count: 8
things to watch for: Any of the mountain-climbing scenes.
something this movie has that no other movie has: an annoying little dog named "F****t"
acting: Clint Eastwood does a great job as retired operative Hemlock, mixing calm coolness with action-as-necessary. George Kennedy is actually great in this role, as a mixture of tough guy and wisecracking friend...he's an older expert climber who Clint turns to for training help. He has some really funny quips directed at annoying bystanders. Thayer David (who was also the fight promoter in Rocky and the annoying Icelandic explorer in the 1959 Journey to the Center of the Earth) plays the reclusive albino mastermind. Jack Cassidy is a quirky, overconfidant ex-spy who once tried to kill Eastwood's character. Vonetta McGee is a seductress/spy who falls for Eastwood's character. Brenda Venus has a brief but memorable role as a gorgeous, energetic mountain-climbing woman.
final word: Good mix of espionage and action, worth seeing.
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