Best 1967 Adventures (3)
December 15, 2016
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1967 adventure novels. Happy 50th anniversary!
Alistair MacLean’s Where Eagles Dare.
Not as great as MacLean’s The Guns of Navarone (1957), for sure; in fact, this one might not even be one of MacLean’s top 10 adventures. However, Where Eagles Dare is based on the author’s screenplay (commissioned by Richard Burton) for a terrific movie… so it’s well worth reading. Shortly before D-Day, a US Army General responsible for planning the invasion of Normandy, is captured by the Germans and imprisoned in a fortress high in the Alps of southern Bavaria. Britain’s MI6 parachutes British Major John Smith, U.S. Army Ranger Lieutenant Morris Schaffer, and several other commandoes into Bavaria, to rescue him. As they make their way up forbidding mountains and into the heavily guarded fortress, they discover that one or more of their own number are double agents — but who? Is their mission what it seems to be? Can anyone, at all, be trusted?
Fun fact: The 1968 movie — not an adaptation, since the screenplay was written before the novel — starred Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood, and Mary Ure. The movie boasts Eastwood’s highest on-screen body count. Although Glenn Danzig borrowed the title of the Misfits’ 1979 song “Where Eagles Dare” from the movie, the song isn’t about the movie.
Let me know if I’ve missed any 1967 adventures that you particularly admire.