During WW2 a British aircraft is shot down and crashes in Nazi held territory. The Germans capture the only survivor, an American General, and take him to the nearest SS headquarters. Unknown to the Germans the General has full knowledge of the D-Day operation.
The British decide that the General must not be allowed to divulge any details of the Normandy landing at all cost and order Major John Smith to lead a crack commando team to rescue him. Amongst the team is an American Ranger, Lieutenant Schaffer, who is puzzled by his inclusion in an all British operation. When one of the team dies after the parachute drop, Schaffer suspects that Smith’s mission has a much more secret objective.
Release Date: March 12, 1969 (USA)
Did You Know?
Despite Clint Eastwood’s reputation for violence in other films, his character kills more people in this film than any other Eastwood character.
The part that ultimately went to Clint Eastwood was also offered to Lee Marvin, but he declined, telling the producers they were about 4 years too late. Marvin had already starred in a WW2 action-adventure, The Dirty Dozen (1967), which he hated. Although it made him a huge star, he did not want to return to that type of movie.
The title has its origins in William Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’: “The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch.”
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