Kelly's Heroes (1970) and Where Eagles Dare (1968)
both star Clint Eastwood and are directed by Brian G. Hutton.
Kelly's Heroes co-stars Donald Sutherland, Telly Savalas,
Don Rickles, Carroll O'Connor, and Harry Dean Stanton. Where
Eagles Dare co-stars Richard Burton. ***
Where Eagles Dare is the story of a military operation
to retrieve an Allied high commander being held prisoner.
The group takes a German-painted plane behind enemy lines
and drops onto foreign soil - but even once the fortress
is discovered, things don't go as planned - and it quickly
becomes clear that not everyone may be who they seem. ***
Where Eagles Dare has its moments, but the movie is
an overlong mess. Dragging on for over 2.5 hours, the movie
outlives its welcome. Even Eastwood feels like he's playing
second fiddle to Richard Burton. Throwing the concept of
double agents into the movie about halfway through only
further complicates the storyline, and makes it all the
more difficult to watch and comprehend. There are some amazing
sequences, but I would have preferred this movie if it were
about an hour shorter and didn't have so damn many plot
twists that actually worked against the film. ***
Kelly's Heroes is the story of a group of World War
II soldiers who discover the hidden location of stolen Nazi
gold, and set out on a journey to get their hands on it.
But this is no easy trip or quick score. German soldiers
are onto our heroes, and they aren't going to let them reach
the riches without a fight. ***
Of the two movies in the set, Kelly's Heroes is my
preferred film. The movie has an unforgettable ensemble
cast, and takes itself less seriously than Eagles did. Like
Eagles, the movie is far too long (half an hour could easily
have been put on the cutting room floor), but it has a lot
more memorable scenes and takes a more straightforward approach.
The movie isn't a masterpiece, but it's a fun way to kill
2.5 hours. The cast is excellent, and even includes a pre-All
In The Family Carroll O'Connor. ---
Image And Sound:
These films look good on Blu-Ray but not great. From
what I can tell, Warner most likely used the same masters
that were utilized for the most recent DVD release. They
are a little softer than I would have liked, but a few scenes
here and there look very good. One thing that can't be argued
with - these are in all ways a step up form the SD offerings.
Both movies get a lossless audio track, but there is
only so much that can be done with such dated source elements.
These aren't the kind of tracks that will give your speakers
a real workout, but there are plenty of action scenes that
sound quite good. Just don't expect reference quality audio.