Further apologies to suitboyskin for repaying this kindness by falling asleep last night, although in my own defense it was after the phone situation was stabilized
So, if you did happen to see that, please do me the kindness of ignoring it. Thank you.
One weekend Major Smith, Lieutenant Schaffer and a
beautiful blonde named Mary decided to win World War II.
Where Eagles Dare is a perfect example of what a retard-o-tastic movie from the 60s looks like. Richard Burton outsmarts everybody while Clint Eastwood and Ingrid Pitt plow through thousands of Nazis with various weaponry, explosives and booby traps. The good guys are crack shots while the Nazis can't aim worth a damn, but the witty script, penned by Alistair MacLean and tailored for Burton's talents is full of little mindgames. Despite the length of the film (a whopping 158 minutes with an intermission), director Brian G. Hutton's tongue in cheek direction (he would take High Road To China a little more seriously, but not too much) keeps the story moving, even when all of the double and triple crosses pile up. A highlight of the film is Ron Goodwin's intense score, which has been issued by FSM.
The original LP was a re-recording, but FSM's release is of the original tracks, and it sounds great. I have to say, however, that at 70 minutes it has a tendency to drag somewhat. I tend to prefer expanded and chronological editions of film scores because they often better reflect the score as a musical work. In this case, however, I think that the album just lasts too long, especially in the first half.
That said, the music is fantastic, featuring a great mounting theme that really comes into its own in the second half of the album when all the violence is taking place. I plan to go through this disc and prepare a shorter version of the score for my Nomad and mp3 CD. Operation Crossbow is paired with this score, but I haven't had the chance to check that one out.
These are actually the first Goodwin scores that I've gotten. For some reason, just haven't come across his work until now. I've been aware of it, but until I saw Where Eagles Dare I didn't actually hear any. I also picked up a Chandos disc of his themes as well. Ballsy stuff.