The novel version of Alistair MacLean’s Where Eagles Dare is not all that it seems.
It’s a classic thriller made into an explosion-filled, action-packed film.
Well, not quite.
In fact, the book started out as the film.
Producer Elliott Kastner approached MacLean directly and asked him for an original script.
MacLean wrote the script and then the book to coincide with the movie’s release.
Years later, Kastner remember the moment he first approached the author.
“I rang Alistair MacLean at his home in Surrey, and told him that I would really like to meet with him. He refused; he didn’t wanna meet without my telling him more details. So I told him: I wanted him to consider writing an original story, directly for the screen. There was a moment of silence, followed by ‘Hmm, nobody ever asked me that before…’
“ ‘So’, he said, ‘What is it you want?’ ‘I want a team of five or six guys on a mission in the Second World War, facing enormous obstacles. I want a mystery. I want a sweaty, exciting adventure movie.’ That’s all I told him, just that.”
And in the book and film that is exactly what we got!
Found this interesting article by Dan Snow while trolling through BBC archives about Ireland during “The Emergency”!
An attempt to recover a Spitfire from a peat bog in Donegal will highlight the peculiar story of the men – both British and German – who spent much of World War II in relative comfort in neighbouring camps in Dublin, writes historian Dan Snow.
In Northern Ireland in 1941, a routine Sunday afternoon sortie by a pilot flying one of Britain’s Spitfire fighters runs into difficulties.
Returning to base after flying “top-cover” for maritime convoys off the coast of Donegal, the Rolls Royce Merlin engine overheats and fails.
The pilot yells into his radio “I’m going over the side”, slides back the bubble canopy, releases his seat straps and launches himself into the air.
The Spitfire is one of the most vaunted examples of British engineering’s history. The greatest ever single-seat, piston-engined…