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the eiger sanction

Director: clint eastwood (unforgiven, mystic river)

Starring: clint eastwood, george kennedy, jack cassidy, and brenda venus


REVIEWER: lyall carter


A classical art professor and collector, who doubles as a professional assassin, is coerced out of retirement to avenge the murder of an old friend.

Even though it was released in 1975 The Eiger Sanction surprisingly isn't Clint Eastwood's first directorial debut. Even though most know him as an actor, Eastwood has been prolific as a director. Unfortunately The Eiger Sanction isn't one of his best and hasn't stood the test of time. 

Former government assassin Jonathan Hemlock now devotes his time to teaching and collecting paintings, but his quiet life is interrupted when he is persuaded by his former employers work for them again. Hemlock has to join a crew of explorers on a trip up the Eiger, a treacherous Swiss mountain. Hemlock must simultaneously determine which of his fellow climbers is a Soviet spy, kill his target and scale the deadly peak.

There are films like Casablanca, It's A Wonderful Life, and Rear Window that stand the test of time - in terms of pacing and watchablility. This is one of the major problems with The Eiger Sanction - for a film that is played as part Indiana Jones part John Le Carre spy fare, its incredibly slow. Which, to be completely fair, is a mark of the era in which is was created, but unfortunately that doesn't help with our the audiences ability to connect with the film. 

For an espionage film, The Eiger Sanction moves very slowly indeed.


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The Eiger Sanction is available on DVD and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 

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