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!