Castle of the Eagles

Updated
castleofeagles_front
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie Title:
Genre:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1968
Original Running Time:
155
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
124
Time Cut:
31
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
Allied agents must stage a daring raid on a fortified castle to rescue a prisoner vital to winning the war. But not everything is as it seems...

A classic wartime "men on a mission" movie with fantastic production values and performances. But the pacing of the storytelling does drag in parts from a modern viewpoint.
Intention:
The editing has a very traditional style. Typical of a movie cut on film in the 60s. Very few J cuts and there's a lot of “shoe leather” left in. So if a character is just walking from one room to another, you tend to see all of the steps they take. The goal here isn’t turn the film into some Michael Bay fast cutting action film. Just to tighten up things while keeping the narrative largely intact. Hopefully it still feels like a film edited in the 60s just now a 2hr one instead of a 2hr 30m one.
Special Thanks:
Dwight Fry for taking up his precious time to both preview the edit and offer feedback
Release Information:
Digital
Cuts and Additions:
- Added FE.org logo at the start.
- Removed “Where Eagles Dare” title card and replaced with custom “Castle of the Eagles” title card.
- Added Fan Editor Credit.
- During the mission briefing, cut exchange about using 10 ton bombs. Moved the only relevant information revealed in it (that General Carnaby is an American) into the later answer to Sgt. Harrod’s question about why he’s so important.
- Multiple short trims during the parachuting sequence for pacing.
- More trims to speed up how quickly the men regroup at the supply drop after landing spread out across the area.
- Tidied up Smith struggling to get the code book out of Harrod’s pocket.
- Colour corrected the long take inside the Alpine cabin as it had faded colours from the optical dissolve that was used to start the scene.
- Trimmed shots to get Smith from the cabin to the shed behind it faster.
- Cut Schaffer carrying hot water to his chair while waiting for Smith to return. Now we cut to him when he’s checking his watch.
- More trims to Smith's return walk back to the cabin.
- Pacing trims to Smith and Schaffer’s walk down the hill where they first observe the castle.
- End the post radio call exchange between Admiral Rolland and Col. Turner on the line “Who’s next I wonder?”. Removed the rest of the conversation where they go on to extoll the virtues of how good an agent Smith is.
- Cut dialogue exchange about the Dobermans and the electric fence as neither will be encountered.
- Stabilised wobbly optical of the army barracks through the binoculars.
- Massively cut down the sequence of the helicopter landing.
- Sped up the pacing of the sequence where the men stow the gear in the shed on the outskirts of village and change into their German uniforms.
- Cut the scene where they pass through a check point on the bridge. Now we go directly from them emerging in their disguises to walking about the village near the guesthouse.
- Cut Mary and Heidi observing the German soldiers arriving outside the guesthouse. Now their arrival is a sudden surprise for the audience when they burst into the bar.
- Lots of little trims to the German Col’s entrance and dialogue.
- Cut the initial lack of response to Smith’s question if anyone has any suggestions. Now Schaffer immediately replies.
- Cut the part of the scene where Major Von Hapen initially doesn’t get through to the cable car operator. Start the scene with Von Hapen, Mary and Heidi getting into the cable car and riding it up to the castle.
- Multiple small trims to Smith and Schaffer causing the car crash, gathering the dead bodies and pushing the car off the road.
- Cut a few repetitive lines from the exchange between Von Hapen and Col. Kramer about not being informed about there being British agents in the village.
- Pacing trims to Smith and Schaffer planting the trip wire bomb and sneaking out of the back window while the soldiers come in the front.
- More trims to the motor bike theft and subsequent escape across the bridge.
- Again more trims to planting the trip wires on the poles, returning to the village and checking if the bus starts.
- Removed the least convincing rear screen project shots from their ride on top of the cable car.
- Cut Mary sneaking down a corridor before entering an empty room in the castle. We now cut to her just when she’s entering the room.
- Also cut out early from that scene at the point when Mary looks up at the ceiling joist she’s going to have to remove, rather than watching her go pick up a prybar from across the room and carry it back. Next time we cut to her the hole will already be made. We can trust the audience to infer that she did it.
- Edits made to Schaffer sliding down the snow covered roof and stopping himself with his ice axe to have less awkward leg flailing.
- Sped up the pacing of sequence where Smith and Schaffer are climbing up the ropes.
- Cut away from the scene when Smith reaches the top on his “Thank you for those few kind words” line as its good joke punchline to end on.
- Cut entire sequence where Schaffer kills multiple people in the radio room. This solves a potential plot hole where an important radio telephone call is made later in the film despite the audience seeing the radio operator dying in this scene. It also removes a setup that doesn’t really go anywhere as they also kill the helicopter pilot here to prevent the German’s from using it. But then the helicopter is never brought up again for the rest of the film.
- Applied the music score that used to play over the now deleted helicopter stuff to the later scene of Smith and Schaffer sneaking in to observe Gen. Carnaby and the German’s talking. Shifted dialogue for Carnaby and Germans about to match their lip flaps since this scene has also been shortened for pacing.
- Some lines cut from Von Hapen asking Mary to accompany him down to the cafe.
- Most of Smith’s long monologue around the table is left as is. Some lines have been cut if possible if they don’t add vital information to an already complicated plot. For example the line in italics below has been removed since the man who sent the spies on their mission IS the top agent in Whitehall. So that sentence is redundant and muddies the waters about who is who.
- Cut away from Maj. Wilner when he says goodnight rather than watching him drink a glass of water afterwards.
- Cut Smith asking Lieutenant Kernitser to get pencils and notebooks for the men to write their list of names. Next time we cut back they’ll just be writing them. We don’t need to know how they got the paper.
- Removed frames when Schaffer kills Kramer, Rosemeyer and Kernitser to tighten up the gap between muzzle flash and blood squib.
- Cut Smith planting a bomb in the records room. Again backtracked the music from this scene to the earlier scenes to bridge the gap and make the soundtrack continuous. Later the record room explosion will also be cut to avoid a continuity error.
- Added SFX of third gunshot when the other radio room operator is killed as he is clearly shot 3 times but there are only 2 on the soundtrack.
- Too many trims to the sequence where Schaffer is holding off the soldiers outside the radio room while the castle starts exploding to mention. Repetitive shots of guns firing have been cut to keep the momentum of the firefight always moving forward.
- Increased the pace of Schaffer climbing down into the Cable Car station.
- Removed Schaffer running all the way up several staircases to barricade the door at the top by cutting away to unused footage I’d saved of the chaos happening in the courtyard outside that door. Now we just see the part where he barricades the door and comes down the stairs. This is enough to establish the location’s geography rather than seeing both the trip up and down.
- Cut some of the more uneventful parts of the cable car fight. Such as people struggling with each other with little to no actual movement.
- Shortened the time Smith has to wait for the second cable car to approach so he can jump to it.
- Lots of little trims to get everyone into the cable car faster while the Germans are trying to break the door down.
- Trims to the bus chase, again to reduce the amount of endless machine gun shooting.
- Restructured the final race to the airfield so the plane arrives before Smith makes it there in the bus. Original they arrived first and just parked the bus to wait for the plane. Now there is no drop in tension and its full steam ahead throughout.
- A bit of tightening up of the final scene between Smith and Col. Turner on the plane.
- Cut the line “Not so hasty, lieutenant. We mustn't cheat the hangman” since I prefer to use the more subtle line from Smith that comes later “Not as painful as that long drop to the end of the rope” as the reveal of what Turner’s fate will be once he’s convicted.

User reviews

6 reviews
 
100%
7-9 stars
 
0%
5-7 stars
 
0%
3-5 stars
 
0%
1-3 stars
 
0%
Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.8(6)
Visual Editing
 
10.0(6)
Audio Editing
 
10.0(6)
Narrative
 
9.7(6)
Enjoyment
 
9.5(6)
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Overall rating
 
9.1
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
What an improvement! Seamless trims, excellent sound (high-bitrate stereo) and picture quality. I didn't miss any of the cut bits. In this edit, shorter is clearly better.

MY biggest compliment is for the new pacing: it's obviously faster, but it doesn't *feel* fast. It still feels authentic for a movie from this era. I imagine the temptation to cut another 10+ minutes from the film, to speed up the story even more. That would no doubt have cut into the "meat" of the story, whereas Robulon succeeds in cutting the "fat" out of the story.

My only markdown is for several far-fetched turns in the plot. Nothing against the editor, simply acknowledging the imperfect material Robulon had to work with.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
L
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Overall rating
 
9.4
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I'm a big fan of Where Eagles Dare, in fact it is my favorite man-on-a-mission WW2 action adventure movie. I watched the theatrical last about 2 years ago and I can honestly say I did not notice what was cut. Everything I remember is still in here except its 30 minutes shorter. Sometimes you dont notice something is broken until someone like Robulon comes along and fixes it. I cant ever go back and watch the theatrical again, the faster pace of this just improves a great movie and makes it a great GREAT movie.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Seamlessly and vastly improved.

The technicals are all spot on as are all the trims. The movie flows more fluidly and credibly. I'm going to have to dig out my Blu Ray and run these side by side to be sure...

The original suffers with a molases like trudge in places pepperred with some overlong shoot outs and it is why for me the original would rank a 7 in enjoyment. Now it's a 9 for me, and a big pick up for certain.

Outstanding work and highly recommended.
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(Updated: November 09, 2022)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Best part about this superb edit is the fact that I can hardly recognise where the changes are from a film I have watched so often. This despite its losing half an hour! Brilliant.

User Review

Format Watched?
Digital
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Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
This is was amazing! I've always liked Where Eagles Dare, but I've always found it too long. Your edit fixes that and makes the plot easier to understand, thank you.
W
Top 100 Reviewer 53 reviews
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