'Broadsword Calling Danny Boy': On Where Eagles Dare
A thrilling Alpine adventure starring a magnificent, bleary-eyed Richard Burton and a coolly anachronistic Clint Eastwood, Where Eagles Dare is the apex of 1960s war movies, by turns enjoyable and preposterous. ...more
Maybe he’s hilarious in his other books but, going by this one, Geoff Dyer is a desperately unfunny man! An example of his “comedy”: so the film’s premise is ...more
If you're a fan of the film then this is a mu ...more
However, if I am honest my subsequent re-watching of these films does not justify the expense other than to have it to hand to show to someone who has never heard of the movie let alone seen it.
With the multiple channels and a desire to retreat into a book I don ...more
The good thing about this is that I have never seen the movie before. The bad thing about this is that I have never seen the movie before. I am a huge fan of Dyer and anything of his, particularly in non-fiction always makes for good to great reading. This short book is really a long-form essay, a fan letter to one of his favourite films from his formative years, which he admits that he was too ashamed to declare his love for in public before.
This has many of the classic Dyer traits (h ...more
The intro sets the scene (literally) for the kind of read you are in for:
“Do the mountains and the blue Bavarian twilight cause the drum march to rattle into existence – is the music an emanation of the mountains? – or are the peaks and valleys hauled into view by the march ...more
Fairly obviously, this is written for people who know the film Where Eagles Dare and preferably who love it – a group which includes most of us who were teenage boys when it came out in late 1968. I still remember seeing it for the first time at the cinema, and, for example, the roar of laughter when Richard Burton announces that he has uncovered a plot to assassinate the Führer. Geoff Dyer ...more
Where Eagles Dare is one of the genre-defining movies. It’s the ne plus ultra, almost perfect crystallization of the WWII action film, and rightly called by Tarantino the best guys-on-a-mission movie. A tightrope act between the implausible and the absurd. Breathtaking scenery and stunts. A suicide mission behind enemy lines to a vertiginous Nazi castle “where eagles dare not perch.”
Alistair MacLean gives the plot more twists than a dreadlock, stocks it with the full set of menacing Nazis and s...more
This is a delightful trip down memory lane for those of us who regard “Where Eagles Dare” as one of the best adventure films ever made.
Dyer’s affection for the film is obvious from the start as he provides an in-depth commentary on "Where Eagles Dare": scene by scene, actor by actor, and dissects the plot. Nothing escapes his witty pen as he reverentially analyses this endearing film. Most, if not all, of the intended ...more
A few years ago Geoff Dyer wrote a book called ZONA, an analysis of Andrei Tarkovsky's movie Stalker. He says in his new book "it was...absolutely the only film to which a book could be devoted." There have been many books published recently that are devoted to a particular film -- one on High Noon, one on Pride of the Yankees, and the whole BFI series. None of them are anything like BROADSWORD CALLING DANNY BOY. Dyer loves the action film Where Eagles ...more
'Broadsword Calling Danny Boy' started off well but soon the narrative and childish jibes wore thin. I rejoiced that thankfully this book is just a small read.
BCDB felt like Geoff was telling his mates about his fantasies with regards the 2 major female characters. For example and I quote:
'Heidi wearing ...more
In a sad kind of way, the jokes seems to mimic the flaws of the movie: The movie is a collection of over-used tropes, and the jokes and observations are in a way obvious ...more
I picked it up on the back of Zona, Dyer’s earlier book on Tarkovsky’s Stalker, but this is a very different proposition. This is not really a huge surprise as on the face of it there’s very little to link Stalker, rated as a masterpiece of Russian cinema and one of the greatest films of all time with this book’s subject - Where Eagles Dare, a by the numbers piece of studio film-making not likely to appear on a list of the masterpieces of any kind of cinema.
That said, most of his pop culture references you will get. How can you go wrong with Eastwood/Burton and Where Eagles Dare ...more
Dyer obviously loves the film, - who doesn't - and none of the comments are made with any nastiness attached, it’s more a large dose of respectable ribbing.
If there is anyone out there who hasn’t seen ‘Where ...more
For other readers who are not devotees of the film, you will learn a lot about it from the author's observations, but it's like an 'in' joke you have to be there to find it funny.
The quality of the writing is evident, but I lost interest at times with the content, and I have seen the film more than once.
Conclusions, am I glad I read this book? Yes. Would I have read it if I'd realised ho ...more
Geoff Dyer is a brilliant and funny writer in less then 120 pages he dissects the movie with affection and wit. He also clearly delineates the difference between a great movie and great literature.If you have not see ...more
Loved the idea of the book. But it felt dashed off. The bits that were good were padded out with half thought out jokes.
Even with the padding it was all read within a couple of hours.
Felt very let down by assorted dust jacket quotes from reviewers. You couldn't help but think they were doing a mate a favour.
Now I'm craving a muc ...more
I think Clive James does a better job of explaining the films entertaining foolishness in a couple of pages in 'Cultural Amnesia' than Dyer does in this book. It isn't without positives though. The little section on how Clint Eastwood moves is a good bit of well-observed writing.
Fundamentally though this is a reasonably entertaining bit of fluff about a reasonably entertaining bit of fl ...more