The Eiger Sanction (1975)
Scene: Opening Titles
Location: Zürich , Switzerland
In the above Tableau, the Münsterbrucke one of the original Bridges of Zürich. The Camera is looking further up the River Limmat. The Towers on the right of Frame are the Towers of the Grossmünster . The Spire on the far left is the Spire of the Fraumünster , which is at the opposite end of the Bridge to the Grossmünster. The shorter Spire, on the left of Frame is the St Peter Kirche which is further away from the Camera, up River. The Building on the immediate right of the Bridge, is the ancient Wasserkirche , originally a small Island.
In the above Map, the approximate camera position on the Utoquai for the above panning shot.
In the above tableau, the Stadthausquai. Far right of frame is the Münsterbrucke . The Spire closest to center frame is the Fraumünster , which is on the same axis as the bridge. The Building to the immediate left of the Fraumünster is the Stadthaus which gives its name to the embanked section of river in front of it, the Stadthausquai. To the left of the Stadthaus is the PTT building. In the foreground, is the Bauschänzli , a small section of the original Vauban fortifications of the Zürich old town which guarded the river entrance to the town. The small structure with the two small turrets at either end situated to the right of the Bauschänzli is a floating lido which is moored on the quai.
In the above map, the old Vauban gortifications of Zürich
In the above Tableau, the Münsterbrucke and the Wasserkirche are at far left of Frame, the Utoquai center-frame, as viewed from the Bauschänzli. Henri Baq, the courier, was played by Frank Redmond , who was also Assistant Camera.
In the above tableau, the Münsterbrucke viewed from Bauschänzli. Henri Bach enjoys his last glass of beer at the Café at this location, and is seated at a table on the far right of frame just behind the camera. The café operates in summer. Henri Baq's table is situated between the fourth and fifth lamppost on the balustrade. The building visible above the first bridge pillar from the right, is the Rathaus .
+ Cafe Bauschänzl
The Photograph above was taken from the Grossmünster and shows the Café Bauschänzli. Henri Bach would have had to walk along the Riverside past the floating Lido and out of Frame to the right to reach the Bridge where he would have crossed to the North side, stopping to receive the Drop whilst doing so.
In the above Photograph, the position of Henri Bach's table at the Café Bauschänzli. The Bridge in the center frame is the Münsterbrucke.
The Zürichsee frozen over during the Seegfrörni of the winter of 1962-1963. You can see the trees of the Bauschsänzli below the flags and the Quai Brucke in the mid ground.
In the above Tableau, the southern end of the Münsterbrucke in front of the Fraumünster .
In the above Tableau, the Wühre when viewed from the Münsterbrucke .
In the above Tableau, the Wasserkirche from the Münsterbrucke.
In the above Tableau, the Münsterbrucke, with the Background of the Utoquai, on the North Bank of the River.
In the above tableau, the Kirchgasse, Zürich. It is in this Street that Henri Bach's murderers will meet their end.
In the above Tableau, the Kirchgasse, Zürich.
The Napfgasse. Henri Back is entering the frame below from the left.
In the above Tableau, the Spiegelgasse in Zürich.
Lenin's House is at number 14 behind the right of Camera. At Spiegelgasse 1 is the Cabaret Voltaire , which became home to Refugee Artists from all over Europe during the Great War. It was at Cabaret Voltaire at this time that the Dadaist Movement was founded.
+ Cabaret Voltaire
In the above Map, the last steps of Henri Bach. Note that continuity on the ground has been followed until the last scene in the Spiegelgasse. Henri Bach leaves the Café Bauschänzli to walk along the embankment of the River Limmat and crosses the Münsterbrucke. From the bridge he must walk under the Grossmünster to the Kirchgasse. Continuity breaks after he turns right out of the Kirchgasse unless he walks in a large circle and around to the top of the Spiegelgasse (top of Map).
Kirchgasse, Zürich. This is the Restaurant Karl der Grosse. Note that the sidewalk has been replaced by all stone cobbled sidewalk. As you can see, exterior dining has been curtailed due to the number of dead Soviet agents falling through the roof.
+ Restaurant Karl der Grosse
+ Restaurant Karl der Grosse at Swiss Restaurants
In the above Frame, Eastwood has drawn his Revolver and is approaching the anteroom of the Apartment. The Revolver is a S&W M38 with shrouded hammer. These scenes were shot with the building you see in the movie.
Eastwood's view of the Assassins as he opens the partition doors. Note the wide angle of the lens. This a real location and there is no where for the camera or lights to step back into.
In the above Frame, Assassin #2 turns to face Eastwood. He is holding a Luger P08 or possibly a Lahti L35 Automatic Pistol.
Kirchgasse, Zürich. The man who murdered Henri Bach falls to his death. The spire on the roof of the Grossmünster is visible to far right of frame.
Kirchgasse, Zürich. The above frame, is taken from the shot when the camera itself is thrown from the window from where the villain meets his death. One of the frames shows the opposite side of Kirchgasse, where we see the Grossmünster Kapelle and the monastery which is situated in the precincts of the Grossmünster.
In the above Photograph, the Window from which Clint Eastwood throws the Villain who murdered Henri Bach. On the right is the Monastery building in the Precincts of the Grossmünster. The Spire of the Grossmünster is visible over the Roof of the Monastery in one of the Frames as the Soviet Agent falls to this Death.
In the above Photograph, Eastwood appears from the right of Frame around the corner of the Restaurant Karl de Grosse, and into the building just outside the left of Frame.
In the above Map, the Kirchgasse, and the position of the Restaurant Karl der Grosse.
Clint Eastwood holds the camera. Sensibly the crew have rigged a safety rope for him. There is more danger than appears to the eye. When a rope is made taught by your own weight, if a sharp edge like windowsill contacts the rope, it goes through the rope very quickly. Rigging on buildings is difficult because there is little within buildings other than the walls which has the strength to resist a shock load like a falling climber. The advantage of rigging in buildings is that you can use as much rope and webbing as you have with you without regard to weight. Best to use as anchors the huge webbing straps of the kind used by truck wreckers.
In the above Map, the Center of Zürich
On the left, Miles Mellough , played by Jack Cassidy , on the right, Henri Baq, the courier, was played by Frank Redmond who was also the assistant camera.
Clint Eastwood and Candice Rialson
+ Monument Valley Maps
Scene: Clint Eastwood arrives at the airstrip and is collected by Ben Bowman played by George Kennedy (00:38:50)
Location: Monument Valley , Arizona-Utah, just North of US Highway 163. The A-Z Minerals Corporation Airfield (03UT).
Approx Co-Ordinates: 37 07 23.07 N 109 58 41.61 W
Clint Eastwood arrives in a Piper Aztec Aircraft. Visible right of Frame is Big Indian, left of Frame is the nose of he first 'Horse' in Stagecoach Butte. To the right of the lowermost Photograph, US Highway 163 heads from Mexican Hat, behind the Camera, across the Utah State Line into Arizona and out of sight through Monument Valley heading South West. A-Z Minerals Airfield is just outside the right of frame, over the other side of US Highway 163. In the actual frame, you can see Sentinel Mesa rising in the background between Big Indian (right) and Stagecoach (left).
In the above Map, A-Z Minerals Airfield (03UT), showing the approach of the Aircraft on bearing 43 degrees. The Angle of View of the lens is around four Degrees, making it a Super-Telefoto Lens of around 500mm
A-Z Minerals Airfield (03UT Bearing Approach 43 degrees) is not be confused with the Airfield at Gouldings (UT25 Bearing Approach 176 degrees (formerly 71V )), which is several miles further South West toward Monument Valley, right at Gouldings Lodge. In fact if you overshoot your landing you end up in Gouldings Lodge. Most Photographs captioned »Monument Valley« are taken from the Highway just below A-Z Minerals Airfield because of the backdrop visible in the above Photographs.
In the above Map, Monument Valley Airfield 71V at Gouldings Lodge, and A-Z Minerals Airfield 03UT.
During filming, the Clint Eastwood, George Kennedy and the other actors stayed at Gouldings Lodge . The crew stayed at the Holiday Inn at Kayenta .
+ A-Z Minerals Airfield
+ The Monument Valley Airstrip at Gouldings
NATO TPC G-19A 1:500,000 air chart, Monument Valley, AZ-UT. Kayenta is lower right of frame. As you transit US 163 you drive past Agathla Peak on your right hand side. Finally you enter Monument Valley with Gouldings on on your left hand side and the Valley Road on your right hand side. You can see that both Gouldings airfield and A-Z Minerals airfield are marked on this air chart,.which used data compiled around 1972
The next few minutes of imagery and dialog are some of the most enjoyable anywhere in film. The script is superb, but delivered almost as if ad-libbed, so natural and flowing is the delivery and interchange. George Kennedy and Clint Eastwood genuinely look as if they are enjoying themselves. Of course, the first half of this scene is filmed in Monument Valley in Arizona, up to rejoining the Asphalt and the second half of the journey, at Zion National Park in Utah.
Scene: Ben Bowman played by George Kennedy arrives to collect Dr Hemlock
Location: Co Road 432, which lies at the end of A-Z Minerals Airfield Runway in the direction of Monument Valley, and is Perpendicular to it (forming a 'T' shape). The Camera is positioned at the intersection of the Runway and Co Road 432. Hulkito Wash lies between Co Road 432 and Monument Valley. Ben Bowman drives down the 'T' from the direction of US Highway 163 to the intersection of the Junction with the Airfield, then U-turns and heads back toward Highway 163.
A-Z Minerals Airstrip - Clint Eastwood is collected by George Kennedy in the Bronco
In the above frame, the background is exactly the same as for the shot of the approaching Piper Aztec aircraft, which indicates that the ingress and egress of the Ford Bronco is exactly perpendicular, exactly cross-ways to the center-line of the airstrip axis. If you look closely you can see some of the crew in the reflection on the side of the Bronco.
Ben Bowman guns the Bronco, spins the hides and heads for the Asphalt on Highway 163.
In the above Frame from the Movie, left of frame is Stagecoach Butte, right of frame is King-on-his-Throne Butte and in the background center Frame is
sentinel Mesa. In the Photograph below, taken from a slightly different angle (on the other side of US Highway 163) Sentinel Mesa does not intrude into the Background, but appears off behind Stagecoach Butte. Stagecoach Butte is in fact composed of Stagecoach Butte, Bear-and-Rabbit Butte and Castle Butte, with Stagecoach Butte being right-most Frame, nearest camera, and Castle Butte being left-most frame, furthest camera.
In the above Frame, the Ford Bronco disappears back toward US Highway 163. The actual rejoining of the highway was shot on the next road closer to Monument Valley, which is below the wash to the right, out of Frame. This was because each location was selected to make sure that the Stagecoach Butte - Saddleback Butte Vista appeared in the background for each of the three main camera positions used in these scenes. John Ford, the director who was the first to use Monument Valley as a location in 1938 while shooting Stagecoach (1939) , used the same technique when shooting the coach and horses. He would pick the best backdrop, frame the camera on it, and have the coach and horses come through the middle of the frame.
In the above map, the section of Co Road 432 which abuts the end of A-Z Minerals Airfield at the Monument Valley end.
In the above Map, Co Road 432 at its intersection with A-Z Minerals Airfield. The camera is positioned on the same axis and bearing as for the shot of the Aircraft landing. This time the Camera is positioned at the end of the runway nearest Monument Valley at the intersection of the runway with Co Road 432. This allows the camera to place the Stagecoach Butte - Saddleback Butte Vista center frame and still have the Ford Bronco move at speed along a dirt road.
Scene: George Kennedy pulls the Ford Bronco onto the Asphalt.
Location: Junction of US Highway 163 with West Hulkito Wash Road , a few hundred meters below A-Z Minerals Airfield in the direction of Monument Valley.
In the above Frame, George Kennedy punches the kick-down on the Bronco as they rejoin US Highway 163, turning right in the direction of Monument Valley. Mexican Hat to the north east would be a left turn. The same vista visible in the previous frames is visible as the Ford Bronco picks up speed on the Highway. At 00:40:17 we cut to footage of the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive Road.
Hulkito Wash Road exit onto US Highway 163 - George Kennedy drives the Ford Bronco onto the asphalt.
This road runs parallel to the previous road, but on the other side of the Wash (Wadi) to Co Road 432 used in the previous shot. The camera crew could have used the exit from Co Road 432 onto US 163, but the they would have had an inferior background in the frame. Use of West Hulkito Wash road allows the frame to be filled with a background of the same mesas used in the previous frames, the classic "Monument Valley" vista.
In the above map, the camera lines up Castle Rock with the centerline of the elevation of Sentinel Mesa. The line crosses US Highway 163 at the Junction of West Hulkito Wash Road . A-Z Minerals Airfield is just back over Hulkito Wash. As the Ford Bronco turns right down US Highway 163 you can see the Vista of Stagecoach Butte through to Saddleback Butte with the highway disappearing towards them.
George Kennedy pounds the throttle on the Bronco and heads of Monument Valley
In the above Frame, on US Highway 163 heading for Monument Valley from A-Z Minerals Airfield.
Monument Valley from the East, arriving from Mexican Hat.
Looking back toward Mexican Hat on US 163. The road is about to drop into the canyon to cross the river at Mexican Hat. I had spent a freezing night in the 4x4 somewhere east of here on the other side of the river in order to take photographs at dawn having driven through a snowstorm on the heights south of Moab. As I awoke a Raven which had spent the night on the telegraph wire kronked at me. I left him some food then started the engine and idled down the grade into the trading post at the river crossing at Mexican Hat to get some coffee.
Monument Valley from the eastern approach on US 163. I remember on this trip prompting myself to go and do some more work on The Eiger Sanction locations, but looking at these photographs now and seeing Arizona/Utah in the grip of winter, I must have been mad. I do not remember any snow at the time, but that is probably one of the effects of memory: You become so used to seeing photographs of Monument Valley in high summer, when your memory recalls viewpoints of Monument Valley, it overlays images which are more powerfully remembered than the original scene. One of the beauties of exploration in winter such as this, is that you have the ground to yourself and it was as if the film crew had just left the previous week. No other souls intrude into your thoughts and if you did not know any better, it were as if you were the first man to wander abroad through this land.
Monument Valley from US163 looking over the entire 180 degree southern horizon. The Stagecoach Butte-Saddleback Mesa constellation is right of frame with Eagle Mesa farthest right. The Stagecoach-King-Saddleback constellation is visible right of frame. That's a lot of sky.
Monument Valley from the East in winter with snow on the ground. Stagecoach Butte center frame. The Three Sisters can be seen clearly edge of frame left.
Monument Valley from the East in Winter
Monument Valley to the South. The rock features are to the right, out of frame.
Scene: On the Road in the Ford Bronco on the way to the Training Camp
Location: Zion Canyon Road, Utah
Scene: Arrival at Ben Bowman's Training Camp
Location: Zion Lodge , Zion National Park, Utah.
The original Zion Lodge was built in the Twenties but burnt down in 1966. The replacement was hastily constructed and in a more modern style than the aesthetically pleasing original buildings which matched their surroundings. These replacement buildings were in turn re-modeled in the 1990s, restoring them to their original appearance. Zion Lodge at the time of its appearance in The Eiger Sanction would have been in its 1966 form, even though in the film we do not see any section of the Lodge large enough to recognize. Sadly for us, the swimming pool was demolished in the Eighties.
As Clint Eastwood and George Kennedy arrive at the Zion Lodge, which is the setting for Ben Bowman's training camp, visible in the Parking Area is an exceedingly rare Bizzarrini 5300 GT sports car.
In the three frames above, the Bizzarrini 5300GT sports car in a light green color.
Giotto Bizzarrini was an Italian designer who worked for Enzo Ferrari, producing most notably the Ferrari 250GTO . The Ferrari 250GTO was the most successful and most famous Sports Racing Cars of the Sixties, and fought a decade long duel with Carrol Shelby's AC/Ford Cobras . During a crisis within Ferrari known as "the Night of the Long Knives" Bizzarrini departed Ferrari and worked independently. Perhaps his most notable production was the striking Bizzarrini 5300 GT . The curse of small independent automobile producers is their inability to produce their own engines, because of the large quantities of capital required and the long pay-back times on that capital. This results in small manufacturers using engines produced by the big auto makers (almost invariably the American manufacturers), the medium sized sports car producers being reluctant to sell their engines to potential competitors. Bizzarrini chose to use Chevrolet small block and big block engines normally fitted to Chevrolet's Corvette which were then outfitted to Bizzarrini's specifications. These proved to be highly satisfactory engines, both on the Roads and on the Track, where at Le Mans, Bizzarrini's entry proved to be one of the fastest cars on the Mulsanne Straight.
To whom this particular Bizzarrini belonged and what it was doing at the Location is not evident, but driving such a splendid Automobile through Zion Canyon and US Highway 9 must have been an immense pleasure.
This is not the last time Clint Eastwood will bowl us a curve ball when it comes to letting exotic automobiles creep into the edge of the frame. In Every Which Which Way but Loose (1978) , a Ferrari 512BB appears in the far upper right of frame just as Clint Eastwood's pickup draws into a parking area.
+ The Eiger Sanction at the Internet Car Movie Database
+ Website dedicated to Bizzarrini Automobiles
+ Iso A3C / Bizzarrini 5300 GT
NATO ONC G-19 air chart Monument Valley and Zion Canyon
Scene: Ben Bowman's Training Camp Swimming Pool and Bar.
Location: Zion Lodge Swimming Pool and Bar.
In the above map, the frame of the film shows the position of the old swimming pool and bar relative to the Lodge buildings and the oval parking area. You can see the green lawn area to the east (right of picture).
In the above Frame, the approach from the South to the Swimming Pool at Zion Lodge
In the above Frame, Eastwood and Kennedy walk the Eastern side of the Swimming Pool area at Zion Lodge.
Scenes: Training sequences at Ben Bowman's Training Camp
Location: Zion Canyon, Utah.
Scenes of great Natural Splendor: Brenda Venus playing »George« during the Training Scenes in Zion Canyon , Utah. Brenda Venus was not only an Actress but highly accomplished in the Arts and played the rôle of muse to playwright Arthur Miller, which produced voluminous correspondence between the two.
In the above tableau, Checkerboard Mesa, Zion National Park, Utah on the Zion - Mt Carmel Road, US Highway 9.
Brenda Venus at Checkerboard Mesa, Zion Canyon - © Brenda Venus
In the above Tableau, the entrance to the Narrows of the Virgin River, Zion Canyon, Utah.
In the above Tableau, the Hanging Gardens, Zion National Park, Utah.
Brenda Venus at Zion Canyon - © Brenda Venus
In the above frame, the bridge from Zion Lodge over the Virgin River to the West side of the Canyon. Zion Lodge is to the right of frame.
Brenda Venus and Clint Eastwood on the old bridge - © Brenda Venus
»Now I'm gonna tell you something. Listen, 'cause I'll ask questions later. I don't like you on my flank 'cause it scares me. I don't like being scared. If you ever come near me again, I'll kill you. Understand?« 00:55:16
Scenes: The Swimming Pool
Location: The Zion Lodge Swimming Pool
In the above Frame, Zion Lodge Swimming Pool is visible through the trees, and beyond it almost out of frame is Zion Lodge. This shot was taken from the West side of the Zion Canyon (the River Side). North, going further up the Canyon is left of Frame, and South, going down the Canyon to the road, is to the right of Frame. All of the action which takes place at Ben Bowman's Climbing Camp was shot at Zion Lodge, including the interiors. There were no studio takes.
In the above Frames, the Swimming Pool, looking North up the Canyon. The first climbing scene (Frame above) is up to the left of Frame.
In the above Frame, looking South across the Swimming Pool Parking Area, the Road and River being right of Frame.
In the above Frame, looking South-West across to the Road and River.
In the above Frame, the East side of Zion Canyon above Zion Lodge. The Bar is South-facing on the North side of the Swimming Pool, so as not to shade the Swimming Pool area.
In the above Frame, looking East across the lawns (still present in this day) toward the Zion Lodge.
In the above frame, looking directly South over the parking area. The Ford Bronco and Bizzarrini 5300GT are visible left of Frame over Clint Eastwood's right shoulder.
Clint Eastwood and George Kennedy enjoy an Olympia Beer at the bar of the Zion Lodge Swimming Pool
Clint Eastwood and George Kennedy enjoy an Olympia Beer at the top of the Totem Pole. Olympia Beer appears in several movies produced by Malpaso.
Map of Zion Lodge and the pool area as it was in 1974.
Buns, played by Susan Morgan Cooper , serves cigarettes to Miles Mellough. Susan Morgan Cooper is presently a documentary film maker.
Scenes: Climbing Sequences with Ben Bowman
Location: Start in Zion Canyon and continues into Monument Valley
West face of Zion Canyon, directly above Zion Lodge.
A Route called »The Cave« below the Cerberus Gendarme, Zion Canyon. Mike Hoover and Clint Eastwood jumared up Lost Arrow in Yosemite as a training climb to prepare Clint Eastwood for the climbing scenes in the film. Eric Bjornstad also worked on this scene.
In the above tableau, the red zig-zag marks out the same pattern of cracks in the rocks in both scenes. The red square marks the same block of rock in all three photographs. In the photograph, the camera is at the same position as Ben Bowman's head in the frame from the movie.
Clint Eastwood and Ben Bowman climb the Cave Route on the Cerberus Gendarme, Zion Canyon, Utah. In this photograph, the actual route is behind the pillar, between the two cameras. The climbers would be obscured from this angle.
In the above photograph, the Cave Route on the Cerberus Gendarme, Zion Canyon.
The Cave Route on the Cerberus Gendarme in Zion Canyon from above
Mike Hoover at Zion Canyon
In the above Tableau, the face of Rock Door mesa, above Goulding's Lodge, Monument Valley.
This jump was actually performed by Mike Hoover who was lead climber on the climbing crew. Eric Bjornstad, also on the climbing crew for Monument Valley and Zion Canyon, was hanging just off the back of the gendarme in this shot, in case Mike Hoover made a bad landing and Eric had to grab a hold of him. Clint Eastwood, George Kennedy and the other principals stayed here at Gouldings Lodge. The crew stayed at the Holiday Inn in Kayenta .
|00:56:25||Training Climb begins on the east side of Zion Canyon above Zion Lodge, Utah.||Angel's Landing||Zion Lodge, UT|
The Cave Route, Cerberus Gendarme, Zion Canyon, Utah. Crew: Eric Bjornstad.
|Cave Route||Zion Canyon, UT|
|00:57:07||Shot of the Cave Route from below||Cave Route||Zion Canyon, UT|
|00:57:14||Shot of Clint Eastwood climbing the Cave Route, from above||Cave Route||Zion Canyon, UT|
Long zoom lens shot of the exit of some chimneys - Clint Eastwood being top-roped -
Shot from within the chimney -
Upward shot of Clint Eastwood in the Chimney - Clint Eastwood being top-roped -
Upward Shot Chimney against the sky
Rock Door Mesa above Goulding's Lodge, Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah. This was Mike Hoover standing in as Dr Hemlock. Eric Bjornstad was roped up just out of shot.
|Rock Door Mesa||Monument Valley, AZ/UT|
Tyrolean Transfer above the Totem Pole Basin, Monument Valley, Arizona
|Hunts Mesa||Monument Valley, AZ|
Second shot of Tyrolean Transfer above the Totem Pole Basin, Monument Valley, Arizona
|Hunts Mesa||Monument Valley, AZ|
Close-up of Clint Eastwood performing a Tyrolean Transfer, Totem Pole in Background
|Hunts Mesa||Monument Valley, AZ|
Clint Eastwood/Mike Hoover summiting the top of the Totem Pole
|Totem Pole||Monument Valley, AZ|
Rooster Rock, Monument Valley, Arizona
|Rooster Rock||Monument Valley, AZ|
|01:01:24||Long Panning shot of the Totem Pole upper section||Totem Pole||Monument Valley, AZ|
Crests the Summit of Totem Pole
|Totem Pole||Monument Valley, AZ|
Long shot of the top of the Totem Pole, Dr Hemlock holding the rope while Ben Bowman climbs.
|Totem Pole||Monument Valley, AZ|
Cut away to Ben Bowman jumaring: This shot was taken at the foot of the Totem Pole but the editor has cut it into the summiting sequence to represent Ben Bowman cresting the top of the Totem Pole.
|Totem Pole||Monument Valley, AZ|
Long shot of Ben Bowman cresting the summit of Totem Pole.
|Totem Pole||Monument Valley, AZ|
Clint Eastwood pulls George Kennedy over the lip of the Totem Pole.
|Totem Pole||Monument Valley, AZ|
Training Climb Sequence Ends.
In the chimney shots above, in some shots, you can see Clint Eastwood still attatched to the top-rope. The top-rope is a rope which runs from the top of the climb all the way down the climb. If you attatch yourself to a top-rope , when you fall the top-rope catches you right away. The movie editor was a non-climber and did not know that the top-rope was a safety device used to get the climbers into position. Hence, the shots with the top-rope appear in the final cut of the movie.
In the above Frame, the Totem Pole, in Monument Valley , is the rock spire which appears to the right of frame. Clint Eastwood is rappelling down a face directly south of the Totem Pole.
In the above frame, Clint Eastwood rappels down a rock face
In the above Photograph, the Rock Face above Totem Pole Basin down which Clint Eastwood Rappels.
In the above Frame, Clint Eastwood hauls himself across a line strung between two pillars. The Totem Pole rises in the background, mid-Frame.
In the above Photographs, Clint Eastwood makes a Tyrolean Transfer between two Rock Pillars above the Totem Pole Basin. This was actually Clint Eastwood and not a stuntman. The rope had been rigged by climbing crewmember Eric Bjornstad. Eric mentions that Clint Eastwood was not only very fit but very capable when it came to performing physical stuntwork like this.
In the above photograph, Clint Eastwood makes a Tyrolean Transfer between two Rock Pillars above the Totem Pole Basin.
The Totem Pole basin showing the position of the towers used to mount the rope over which Clint Eastwood traverses. Just beyond the Totem Pole is Sand Springs.
Clint Eastwood makes a difficult and exhausting hand-over-hand transfer across a rope. Both John Cleare and Eric Bjornstad state that Clint Eastwood performed stunts that climbers would not ordinarily attempt. Mountaineers use a word »exposure« to describe a horrible feeling you experience when you are over an abyss. »Exposure« makes everything more difficult and a lot more terrifying. It can be difficult for you to make your feet move. »Courage is a capital sum reduced by expenditure« observed Ian Fleming in Dr No. And Clint Eastwood must have started out with a fortune.
Clint Eastwood swings across a rope between two pillars above Totem Pole Basin. The pillar visible in the background is Yei Bi Chei, which is the pillar closest to the Totem Pole.
In the above Map, Clint Eastwood climbs over the edge of an outcrop at the foot of a Mesa next to Rooster Rock, which appears in the Background.
In the above Photograph, you can see the two Bands of harder Sandstone which form the two Outcrops at the Foot of the Mesa. In this scene notice how crumbly the sandstone is. Clint Eastwood breaks a piece off in his hand.
In the above Photograph, the position of the two Outcrop Bands in relation to Rooster Rock.
In the above Photograph, Rooster Rock in relation to the Totem Pole and Sand Springs Basin.
In the above Photograph, George Kennedy's stunt double begins his climb of the Totem Pole on the West Side. This would have been Eric Bjornstadt.
This was the Route by which the Totem Pole was originally climbed. George Kennedy's stand-in is actually climbing up a rope using two ascenders called » Jumars « . This are a small metal frame with a handgrip. Within the frame is a cammed vise which grips the rope when it is pulled downwards. The harder you pull, the tighter it jams. From the bottom of the frame hangs a small rope ladder made from webbing. One ascends the rope by standing on one rope ladder and moving the other, unloaded rope ladder further up the rope, then standing on that one while you move the other one. Climbing on the Totem Pole was prohibited by the owners of the Park, the Navajo Indians in 1962.
The Totem Pole had been climbed four times before and there was some quantity of climbing hardware (»protection«) still lodged in the cracks. The Navajo were amenable to allowing another climb if the climbers would retrieve all the climbing hardware, the metal pitons and nuts on their way down and tidy up.
All subsequent climbs on the Totem Pole have taken place on the face hidden from the Valley Road, the "Bandido Route". This face is to the right of the one George Kennedy is climbing in the above photograph. In the movie frame, it is away to his right hand side.
In the above frames, George Kennedy continues his ascent of the Totem Pole. You can determine the Location from which the camera and cameraman were suspended by reference to the photograph.
In the above photograph, the section of the Totem Pole which George Kennedy is climbing. The pillar closest to the Totem Pole is Yei Bi Chei, upon which the camera was mounted for some of the next sequences.
The Totem Pole, Monument Valley. Ben Bowman belays for Dr Hemlock as he climbs.
The image above is a composite of movie frames from the upward panning shot made by the camera. You can see that as the camera approaches level, the distortion in the lens approaches its minimum, before returning to a more distorted rendering of the image as it pans upward. You can obtain an idea of how vast the 450ft high Totem Pole is in comparison to the barely visible figures of the climbers. 450feet is the height of a forty story building. The man playing Ben Bowman in this shot is climbing crewmember Eric Bjornstad. The stuntman who was meant to be playing Ben Bowman could not ascend the rope fast enough on this Jumars and Eric had to take off his harness and free-climb without protection into position. The band of rock you can see opposite the figure of Ben Bowman is rotten. That is all that is holding on the top of the spire. George Kennedy and Clint Eastwood were helicoptered onto the top of the Totem Pole for the final sequence in this scene, which Eric Bjornstad said was a frightening experience because of the very small area of the top of the spire and the heavy downdraft from the helicopter. Personally, I would be reluctant to rig a rope from the top of the Totem Pole to the next pillar or anything else because of the uncertainty over how strong it is.
Clint Eastwood and George Kennedy climb the Totem Pole, both dwarfed by the gigantic landscape and barely visible on the face.
Clint Eastwood places a Bong in a crack as he closes on the summit of the Totem Pole
In the above Frame, Ben Bowman belays for Dr Hemlock.
Dr Hemlock places a large metal wedge called a »Bong« in a wide crack. He then secures a Karabiner, which is the silver-colored metal ring into the Bong and runs the Rope through the Karabiner. Should he fall, the rope will run through the Karabiner, held by the Bong and Ben Bowman's weight, which is attached to the other end of the rope, will be hauled upwards. Ben Bowman will have secured his own waist harness to a similar metal piton in the rock. Should even his mass be insufficient to arrest Dr Hemlock's descent, this rope will held by this security and prevent Ben Bowman from be pulled skywards while Dr Hemlock drops past him.
In the above Frame, George Kennedy chats with Clint Eastwood after their ascent of the Totem Pole.
In the above Tableau, the camera shows Clint Eastwood and George Kennedy after they have been landed on the top of the Totem Pole by helicopter. The frame on the far left is tilted because the camera was being hand-held and the cameraman moved at the last part of his pan to the left. The first take was so shakey that it was unusable.
During some shots on the summit of the Totem Pole, the climbing crew, which consisted of Ken Wyrick and Eric Bjornstadt, were hanging off a rope below the top of the Totem Pole, to keep them out of frame. The Totem Pole was first summited by the late great Donald Wilson , climber and adventurer. The scene on the Totem Pole was the last climbing sequence to be filmed and Eric was very pleased when the crew gave to him all of the climbing gear you see in these frames. At the time this was several hundred dollars worth. Eric still has some of the karabiners.
In the above tableau, the features of Monument Valley visible in the background.
In the above photograph, the position of Clint Eastwood and George Kennedy on the summit of the Totem Pole. Thunderbird Mesa is prominent in the background.
In the above montage, the camera points toward the background which appears in the frame of Eastwood and Kennedy seated on the summit.
In the above frame, Eastwood and Kennedy look out over Monument Valley in the direction of Rooster Rock with the Thunderbird Mesa behind them.
Climbing on the Totem Pole and Spider Rock had been prohibited in 1962. Then after a climbing accident on Shiprock in 1970, climbing anywhere on Navajo tribal lands was prohibited.
Clint Eastwood led negotiations with the Navajo for use of Monument Valley as a location. At one point Eastwood became so incensed with their demands for money that the jumped back in his automobile and roared off over the desert. Clint Eastwood had called their bluff and the Indians pursued him in order to accept his offer. The final figure was forty-thousand dollars.
From the the Los Alamos Mountaineers website :
Don Liska says that "The accident on Shiprock that occurred during the period March 25-28, 1970 was arguably the most significant that the Los Alamos Mountaineering Club was ever involved in. This accident culminated in the official closure of the entire Navajo Reservation to climbing, a ban which exists to this day. Prior to this, only Totem Pole and Spider Rock had been placed off limits (after 1962) though the winds of change were in the air and Shiprock had already claimed two lives in the 31 years since its first ascent, so the traditional Navajo fear of death therefore entered into the closure decision. With increasing traffic by climbers, this decision was nearing a critical stage in 1970." Don Liska's description of the accident is summarized below. (It is also reported in the American Alpine Club's 'Accidents in North American Mountaineering", 24th annual report of AAC Safety Committee, 1971, pp 8-11.)
Don Liska noted that "The climbing ban was officially broken once, in 1975, by the Navajos themselves during the filming of 'The Eiger Sanction.' Then they allowed Eric Bjornstad and Ken Wyrick from Moab to climb the Totem Pole one last time to prepare the summit for the helicopter film crew and remove existing ascent hardware and all traces of prior climbs. Incidentally the tribe also received $40,000 for this 'relaxation' of their own rules. In Alpinist X, Bjornstad reveals that the Totem Pole continues to be climbed, but by its hidden back side 'Bandito' route. Similarly, all climbers who adhere to the desirability of the Fifty Classics will continue to find a way to circumvent the ban on Shiprock, most by simply ignoring it. In fact, more climbers ascended Shiprock in the 15 years after the ban than in the 31 years preceding it."
Permission to use the Totem Pole was granted on the condition that the crew removed all the old pitons left on the climbing route after the previous two decades of climbing. During the Seventies, climbers throughout the South Western USA used pitons (metal pegs) which they banged into cracks in the rock using hammers. The climber's rope is then threaded through a metal ring attached to the end of the piton. The rock in Monument Valley is soft sandstone and the hammering of the metal pegs left scars in the rock. Even with the small number of climbs which took place on such a difficult rock face, the rock still suffered from erosion and damage resulting from this practice. In areas where climbing is permitted, climbers do not use pitons but use clamps and wedges, which grip within cracks within the rock surface, without damaging the rock . These are not as effective as pitons but are the only alternative.
In the above photograph, old piton scars in rock.
In the above photograph, various designs of pitons.
In the above photograph, the soft sandstone rock found in Zion Canyon has been scarred by ropes being drawn across it.
In the above photograph, cams, which replaced pitons as methods of protection. The cams are spring loaded to keep the two pairs of plates lodged against the inner surface of the cracks in the rock. In the event of a fall, the rope, which runs through the metal ring on the end of the cam, will load the cam, the gearing of which is designed to increase pressure and therefore grip, the more the pressure is applied. »Gear« is to climbing and mountaineering what ammunition is to military endeavors: You can never have enough of it and some one always has to carry it.
+ Glossary for Climbing Terms
+ Glossary of Climbing Equipment
Summit Magazine 1976 June number 03 volume 22 with text and photographs by Eric Bjornstad. Photograph in splendid Kodachrome, with a gentle fade of the magazine cover from twenty-five, no, thirty-five years of aging. Where did the time go ?
Ken Wyrick and Eric Bjornstad on the summit of the Totem Pole.
Another day at the office. In the monochrome photograph far upper right of frame is Rooster Rock. At Ken's feet are the huge quantities of rope required to scale the Totem Pole. In the lower photograph you can see the relation of the Totem Pole to Rooster Rock. The two photographs together start to give you a feel for what it must have been like to be two small figures in such a giant landscape.
In this photograph the position of the Tyrolean Traverse within the Totem Pole Basin.
Ken Wyrick rigging the Tyrolean Traverse over the Totem Pole Basin
The Totem Pole Basin showing the position of one of the two Tyrolean Traverse rigged by Ken Wyrick and Eric Bjornstad for Clint Eastwood. The right hand monochrome photograph shows Ken Wyrick hanging off the reverse of the pillar. To our left is the pillar, then in the next photograph you can see Eric Bjornstad's rock boots, then to our left again, Clint Eastwood hanging on the traverse. The two monochrome phoographs were taken looking toward our viewpoint.
A 1975 Cover of Alpinist magazine. The magazine featured details of the many climbing sequences in The Eiger Sanction.
I were Clint Eastwood I think I would be justly proud of this splendid Photograph.
Scene: Miles Mellough pursues Clint Eastwood out into the Desert
Location: Monument Valley , Utah.
+ Maps of Monument Valley
Miles Mellough's Ford Thunderbird chases Clint Eastwood's SHM Ford Bronco down Valley Road away from US Highway 163. In the above tableau, Valley Road, Monument Valley. To the right of frame is Merrick's Butte. Center frame is East Mitten Butte. Left of frame is West Mitten Butte. Out of frame to the left is Sentinel Mesa. The camera is mounted on Mitchell Mesa for this photographs. Valley Road rejoins US Highway 163 somewhere out of frame to the left.
1938: John Ford films Stagecoach (1939) . The Ford Thunderbird and the SHM Ford Bronco would be coming in from left of frame. While Stagecoach (1939) and The Eiger Sanction were separated in time by thirty six years, during filming of Play Dirty (1974) in 1973 in the badlands of Almeria in southern Spain, Sir Michael Caine tells that some of the German tanks which were cast in Play Dirty were being photographed coming up a dirt road, at the same time that the horses in a Western were coming around the corner. Neither second unit knew of the other and the horses all bolted at the sight and sound of the German tanks.
In the above Photograph, Valley Road in Monument Valley. US Highway 163 is way out of Frame to the left. Elephant Mesa is to the far right, Merrick's Butte is mid-right, to the left of Merrick's Butte is East Mitten Butte, then West Mitten Butte, then in the distance in the direction of Mexican Hat is Stagecoach Butte, then left again is Sentinel Mesa. The Photograph is taken from Mitchell Mesa. The camera is looking North East.
In the above Satellite perspective, the view is looking South from Mexican Hat toward the Monument Valley area and Arizona as if traveling South on US Highway 163.
+ Maps of Monument Valley
01:08:02 Valley Road from Mitchell Mesa. The classic view of Monument Valley. The Thunderbird chases the Bronco into Monument Valley. Far right is Merricks Butte, to the left is the East Mitten and to the left again the supporting buttresses of the West Mitten, which is closer to the camera.
Chase through the Desert - Valley Road. The small red bar marks the end of the take. The two small red triangles marke the berm on the corner of the road in both the movie frames and the photograph.
Monument Valley Panorama from what is now the visitors center. Valley Road runs immediately below from theleft to the right. Nearest camera is the left Mitten, to the right, Merricks Butte. In between the two is the right Mitten. If you follow Valley Road away to the right, the next Butte you arrive at is Elephant Butte. The Three Sisters will appear on the your shortly after that. Far left of frame is Sentinel Mesa. In the background behind it is the Stagecoach Butte group.
Chase through the Desert - Valley Road. The small red bar marks the end of the take. The two small red triangles mark the berm on the corner of the road in both the movie frames and the photograph.
01:08:30 The Bronco is pursued by the Thunderbird. Sentinel Mesa back over on US 163 appears in the background right of frame and the Hunts Mesa / Three Sisters massif appears in the background left of frame. The supporting slopes of Elephant Butte line the side of the road to the right of frame. You can see the Three Sisters and the Mittens in the aerial footage shot over the credits of Makenna's Gold
01:08:30 The Bronco is pursued by the Thunderbird under the Hunts Mesa / Three Sisters massif.
01:08:35 The Thunderbird continues its pursuit of the Bronco. Merricks Butte appears through the open sunroof. You can see this location in The Searchers (1956) at 00:14:36
01:08:30 The Bronco is pursued by the Thunderbird under the Hunts Mesa massif between Elephant Butte and Camel Butte.
01:08:37 View of Raingod Mesa from the Totem Pole, leading to Camel Butte and Elephant Butte, showing the road down which the Ford Bronco and the Ford Thunderbird race toward the camera. The crew must have recorded several reels of film on this section of road and the editor chose a few seconds from one of these reels.
01:08:54 The latter half of Valley Road from Mitchell Mesa. Merricks Butte is to the left of frame. Behind it in the distance, the Stagecoach Butte grouping. Mid-frame is the right Mitten, with its thumb hidden behind it. To the right of frame is Elephant Butte.
01:09:01 Valley Road between Three Sisters and Elephant Butte. For reasons which are not clear the Thunderbird stops suddenly leaving the Bronco to go on. When desert racing like the Paris-Dakar, you have to exercise care when driving fast into another vehicles dust-cloud. Perhaps the driver of the Thunderbird lost sight of the Bronco and decided to stop.
01:09:00 Valley Road between the Three Sisters and Camel Butte. This is a section of film shot from the fender mounted camera on the Bronco. The Bronco twists through an 'S' in the road which means that the frame takes in first Merricks Butte, way to frame right, then (almost) the Three Sisters pillars way to frame left. The hood on the Bronco was painted black to aid in heat dissipation. Black as a color radiates much more heat than white. This was a feature of late Sixties early Seventies race cars and factory built performance cars.
Valley Road below the Three Sisters. The Three Sisters pillars are just about to come into frame when the editor cuts to a new section of film.
01:09:03 The Thunderbird continues pursuit of the Bronco through the 'S' bend in Valley Road just before Camel Butte and the junction of the Loop Road. Three Sisters almost appear in the frame left.
Valley Road under Elephant Butte. US 163 is to the left and the Loop Road and Totem Pole Basin is to the right. In the frame, the Bronco has passed the outlying peninsular of Elephant Butte heading to the right of the photograph toward the Totem Pole Basin.
01:09:03 Valley Road between Three Sisters and Elephant Butte. On the left is the Mitchell Mesa just before the Three Sisters. In the background on the ofurth frame is Sentinal Mesa. Center frames is Merrick's Butte, and on the right is the section of Elephant Butte closest to Valley Road.
Clint Eastwood is chased along Valley Road below the Three Sisters and Elephant Butte
Monument Valley: The Three Sisters looking North toward Elephant Butte and Merricks Butte
Scene: Clint Eastwood puts the Ford Bronco into a U-turn and charges at the Ford Thunderbird, killing Miles Mellough's Bodyguard.
Location: Under the Totem Pole, between Rain God Mesa (right of Frame) and Thunderbird Mesa (left of Frame).
Miles Mellough's bodyguard Dewayne played by Dan Howard withdraws a Smith &Wesson M36 J-frame Revolver. This close-up was shot on Valley Road on the same section as the long shots.
Totem Pole Basin approach - The chase enters its final phase. The shot starts with the Bronco making the sharp left hand turn indicated on the map. The Totem Pole constellation comes into frame, with Rooster Rock, just out of frame to the left.
01:09:37 Close-up footage of Miles Mellough, bodyguard Dewayne and Faggot the Yorkshire Terrier speeding the Ford Thunderbird toward the charging Ford Bronco.
At 01:09:37 The close-up shots of Miles Mellough and Dewayne in the Ford Thunderbird are actually filmed with the Thunderbird traveling in the opposite direction to the direction the scene in the movie requires. You can see Rooster Rock visible through the rear windshield. Up to this point the vehicles have been traveling through Monument Valley down Valley Road in the direction of Rooster Rock.
Bodyguard Dewayne, in addition to his day job, now has to shoot left-handed, while driving a speeding Ford Thunderbird across a bumpy track toward a charging Ford Bronco.
In the above tableau, Clint Eastwood is about to put the Ford Bronco into a U-turn. Thunderbird Mesa is left, The Pinnacles of Rain God Mesa are frame right, Mitchell Mesa is in the background. The vehicles have arrived toward the camera, as if proceeding down Valley Road from the direction of US 163. Observe the tire marks in the dirt from previous takes.
In the above Photograph, the Pinnacles of Rain God Mesa. Visible is the Road used for the U-turn scene and the large Boulder next to the Road visible in the Movie Frame.
In the above Photograph, the View from the Ford Thunderbird as it charges toward the Bronco, showing the Pinnacles of Rain God Mesa Left, Thunderbird Mesa Right, and the Totem Pole ahead.
In the above Map, the Camera Position for the scene of the U-turn under the Pinnacles of Rain God Mesa at Sand Springs.
Rain God Mesa. Some of the close-up action shots with the camera on the Thunderbird were shot "out of sequence", with the Thunderbird actually traveling in the wrong direction. Rooster Rock appears in the frame, which is (in sequence) behind the Bronco.
Scene: Clint Eastwood hold Miles Mellough at Shotgun Point
Location: At Sand Springs, between Rain God Mesa and Thunderbird Mesa, under the Totem Pole.
In the above Frame, Eastwood holds Miles Mellough, played by Jack Cassidy , at gunpoint somewhere out in front of the Totem Pole group of Spires in Monument Valley . Jack Cassidy was a secret bisexual in real life, which may have helped him give this superb rendition of Miles Mellough.
This is one of the most magnificently composed frames in the history of Cinematography. The position of Miles Mellough and the car upon the background, the position of the shotgun barrel in relation to the whole. Even the angle of the roof-line of the vehicle in relation to the other objects and the background. Superb.
There is a small continuity error in this scene, in that as the camera shoots the frames of Clint Eastwood as he speaks to Miles, Clint Eastwood is holding the shotgun up at a slight angle, higher than the angle seen in the above frame.
|DESERT CHASE - ZION LODGE TO TOTEM POLE|
Dewayne the bodyguard packs the trunk of the Thunderbird
|Zion Lodge||Zion Lodge, UT|
|01:07:46||Clint Eastwood in the Bronco on the Zion Canyon Road||Zion Canyon Road||Zion Canyon, UT|
|01:08:04||Bronco and Thunderbird on Valley Road, Monument Valley, panning shot||Valley Road||Monument Valley, AZ|
On-car camera Bronco, Valley Road
|Valley Road, Sentinel Rock||Monument Valley, AZ|
Close-up dashboard of the Bronco
On-car camera - Bronco's brake lights
On-car camera Thunderbird
|Valley Road, Merricks|
Close-up wrestling shoe on brake pedal
On-car camera Bronco
On-car camera Thunderbird
|Valley Road Merricks|
Panoramic shot from Three Sisters. Thunderbird stops suddenly
|Valley Road Elephants Butte|
On-car camera Bronco -
|Valley Road Elephant|
On-car camera - hood of Bronco -
|End of Loop Road|
|01:09:10||On-car camera - chase car (Bronco)||Totem Pole Chicane|
On-car camera Thunderbird "We've got him now !"
|Valley Road Merricks|
|01:09:22||Helicopter camera - Bronco||Monument Valley|
Tripod Camera crane - Start of Duel
|01:09:36||On-car camera Thunderbird - Shows Rooster Rock, which means the Thunderbird would be chasing the Bronco in real life, not charging toward it.||Rooster Rock|
Tripod camera - Dust - Showing Rooster Rock
On-car camera - chase car Bronco
|At Pinnacles, showing Rooster Rock in frame.|
On-car camera Thunderbird - Showing Rooster Rock
|Rooster Roch||Monument Valley, AZ|
|01:09:43||On-car camera Thunderbird - Bodyguard aims his revolver - In frame would be the Totem Pole and Rain God Mesa. The Thunderbird is moving toward the Pinnacles. The Thunderbird would be chasing the Bronco in real life, not charging toward it.||Pinnacles|
On-car camera chase car - Bronco begins charge - In frame is the flats out toward Rooster Rock
|At Pinnacles, with Rooster Rock in frame.||Monument Valley, AZ|
On-car camera Bronco - Clint Eastwood aims shotgun - In frame is the Pinnacles
|01:09:45||Bodyguard recieves gunshot wound - In frame is Rooster Rock. The Thunderbird would be chasing the Bronco in real life, not charging toward it.|
|01:09:47||Thunderbird spins out -||Pinnacles|
|01:09:52||Bronco returns to scene of spin out - FOV Totem Pole/Rooster|
|01:09:56||Tripod - Clint Eastwood alights from Bronco - FOV Pinnacles|
|01:10:02||Tripod - Thunderbird in front of Totem Pole - FOV Totem Pole|
|01:10:10||Tripod - Thunderbird in front of Totem Pole - Shotgun appears in frame|
|01:10:21||Tripod - Clint Eastwood stands in front of Bronco - FOV Pinnacles|
|01:10:22||Tripod - Thunderbird in front of Totem Pole - Shotgun in frame - FOV Totem Pole|
|01:10:26||Tripod - Clint Eastwood stands in front of Bronco - FOV Totem Pole|
|01:10:28||Tripod - Thunderbird in front of Totem Pole - Shotgun in frame - FOV Totem Pole|
|01:10:29||Tripod - Clint Eastwood stands in front of Bronco - FOV Pinnacles|
|01:10:30||Tripod - Thunderbird in front of Totem Pole - Shotgun in frame - FOV Rooster|
|01:10:31||Tripod - Clint Eastwood stands in front of Bronco - FOV Pinnacles|
|01:10:32||Tripod - Thunderbird in front of Totem Pole - Closeup Miles Mellough - FOV Totem Pole|
|01:10:37||Tripod - Clint Eastwood stands in front of Bronco - Mellough into shot - FOV Pinnacles|
|01:10:46||Tripod - Dr Hemlock and Miles Mellough mount Bronco|
|01:10:58||Tripod - Clint Eastwood through windshield of Bronco|
|01:11:02||Tripod - Panning shot||Rain God - Sentinel|
|01:11:10||Closeup - Odometer|
|01:11:18||Tripod panning shot Rooster Rock||Rooster Rock|
A photograph of John Ford at the same location, standing closer to the Totem Pole. John Ford pioneered filming in Monument Valley when he shot Stagecoach (1939) there in 1938. At that time US Highway 163 was a dirt road.
In the above Tableau, the location used for Miles Mellough being held at Shotgun point. This is close to the road, on the edge of Sand Springs, under the Pinnacles at the edge of Rain God Mesa.
Clint Eastwood uses an 12 Gauge Ithaca Model 37 Shotgun.
Rain God Mesa and Spearhead Mesa. The camera pans from Rain God Mesa to Spearhead Mesa and the large expanse of desert between Spearhead Mesa and Rooster Rock, which is way out of frame to the right.
Two Ford Broncos were used in the making of the movie. The one you see in the frame above, license plate ERO 268, and a second one, used for Crew support.
Clint Eastwood is driving a Ford Baja Bronco . This was a design of Bronco derived from the off-road racing Bronco built by Holman-Moody Holman-Moody were one of the biggest names in race car construction had built most of Ford's racing cars or the engines for them . »SHM« stood for Stroppe-Holman-Moody, as Holman-Moody had bought out Bill Stroppe, another race car builder, in 1965. Bill Stroppe's shop at Signal Hill used to be to the West Coast what Holman-Moody were to the East Coast. The SHM off-road racing Broncos were entered into the big Desert Races like the Mint 400 , the and the Baja 1000 . Bill Stroppe actually competed in the 1970 Mint 400 in a Stroppe-prepard Bronco along with driver Parnelli Jones . At one point they flew over a huge drop and broke the front end on landing. The crew brought them a new axle and they continued the race but eventually did not finish due to engine trouble. 1973 was kinder to them and they finished first. It was the 1971 Mint 400 which Hunter S. Thompson was meant to be covering when he wrote his masterpiece Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971) You can see a photograph of Bill Stroppe in the 1971 Mint 400 here.
John-Holman of Holman-Moody with a Ford SOHC engine in the Holman-Moody workshops circa late Sixties. In the final chapter of the horsepower wars which concluded in the late Sixties, the Ford SOHC engine was to have fought it out with Chrysler's Hemi . A change in NASCAR's rules meant that the duel never took place. The soundtrack of The Eiger Sanction gives us the engine note of the SHM Bronco when Clint Eastwood pulls away from the Zion Lodge where Miles Mellough is packing his luggage into the Thunderbird. The engine sounds like a small-block .
Scene: Clint Eastwood drives Miles Mellough for a great distance through the Desert.
Location: West of Rooster Rock
In the above frames, you can see Rooster Rock. During the Scenes with the Training Climbs, the shot of Clint Eastwood cresting the top of the Totem Pole is actually filmed on a Crag on the Mesa to the right of frame. The training climb sequence, starting with the climb above Zion Lodge is an assemblage of shots from different climbs in both Zion Canyon and Monument Valley, culminating in the ascent of the Totem Pole. The 120mph speedometer was federally mandated in the early Seventies presumably to stop people trying to drive faster than 120mph.
Left in the Desert to Die: Dr Hemlock drives Miles Mellough to his death, across the expanse of desert in front of Rooster Rock (left of frame) with the camera somewhere near the Totem Pole.
In the above map, the Ford Bronco is driven past the foot of the mesa which Clint Eastwood was climbing during the training sequences.
In the above photograph, the section of the valley floor over which the Ford Bronco is being driven.
Scene: Left to Die in the Desert:
Location: North East of the Totem Pole
On the ground, Clint Eastwood has only driven Miles Mellough a few hundred meters from Sand Springs back behind the Totem Pole.
01:12:06 In the above frame, the background features the Stagecoach Butte grouping.
Stagecoach Butte from the Totem Pole Basin. Dr Hemlock holds Miles Mellough at gunpoint.
In the above Frame, right-to-left, the Totem Pole, followed by a gap, then the Yei Ben Chei group, followed by a fatter pinnacle called 'Pioneer Woman'. Clint Eastwood is holding Miles Mellough at gunpoint and is preparing to leave him in the desert, where he will suffer the terrible fate of being set upon by Hordes of Navajos trying to sell him rugs, 'Native Jewelry' and other items, and likely have to shoot himself after ten minutes of this. Note the tire marks in the dirt from earlier takes.
In the above tableau, the location used for Miles Mellough being left in the desert, only a few hundred meters North East of the Totem Pole. The location is in the area rising away from the drainage channel which is covered in sparse grass. The lower area of the drainage channel is wind-blown sand. Observe the tire marks in the sand from a previous take.
Monument Valley looking from the Totem Pole Basin toward Rooster Rock. Clint Eastwood drives away in the mid left of frame leaving Miles Mellough in the desert to die. Rooster Rock is only just out of frame to the upper left. You can see the supporting debris cone of Rooster Rock coming into view in one frame.
Miles Mellough is left to die in the desert between the Totem Pole and Rooster Rock. Rooster Rock is just out of frame to the left.
A publicity still from Monument Valley, under the Totem Pole.
Monument Valley from Hunts Mesa
In sequence, the location work at Monument Valley and Zion Canyon must have been done last because the 'wrap' party for the motion picture was held in Carmel at the Hog's Breath Inn, which was owned by Clint Eastwood.
+ SEE ALSO
+ Monument Valley Maps
+ EXTERNAL LINKS
+ Monument Valley as a Movie Location
+ Brenda Venus
+ Mile-By-Mile guide to US Byroads
»There have been joys too great to be described in words, and with these in mind I say, Climb if you will, but remember that courage and strength are nought without prudence, and that a momentary negligence may destroy the happiness of a lifetime. Do nothing in haste; look well to each step; and from the beginning think what may be the end.«
- Chapter XXI The First Ascent of the Matterhorn, Edward Whympher Scrambles amongst the Alps 1871
»Ich kann nicht mehr« ("I can do no more")
- Toni Kurz' last words while within touching distance of the rescue team, north face of Eiger, 1936., quoted in Heinrich Harrer The White Spider
Scene: Opening shot of the Eiger and Kleine Scheidegg at its foot (01:13:13).
Location: The Eiger taken from the direction of Wengen, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland. July & August 1974
Approx Co-Ordinates: 46 35 03.23 N 07 57 46.28 E
Map: Swiss Carte Nationale De Swiss 1:50,000 Number 254 'INTERLAKEN'.
Directions: From Grindelwald, take the cog railway up to Kleine Scheidegg. From Lauterbrunnen, take the cog railway up to Kleine Scheidegg.
The fade from the previous scene at Monument Valley to the shot of the Eiger Nordwand was achieved with an optical projector system , very few of which are left because digital special effects have taken over almost entirely from optical special effects.
Clint Eastwood, as was frequent in his movies, advocated and demanded realism and The Eiger Sanction was no exception. He hired a guide and instructor Mike Hoover and took instruction in mountaineering and climbing from him. All of the climbing sequences and stunts were filmed on the Eiger and performed by Clint Eastwood himself. No mountaineering is without risk and on 13-AUG-1974, the second day of filming, one of the mountaineers who composed the crew, David Knowles , was killed by a rock-fall which hit and bruised Mike Hoover and had it been seconds earlier, would have hit Clint Eastwood.
English mountaineer Martin Boysen doubled for Clint Eastwood when climbing and movement were required. Clint Eastwood himself was in the frame when close-ups and stunts were required.
Second Unit Director was Norman Dyhrenfurth
Dougal Haston was technical adviser and initially Safety Officer until Hamish McInnes took over. Dougal Haston was killed in an avalanche while skiing at Leysin, three years later.
The actor-mountaineers attended a week of training at the International School of Mountaineering ("I.S.M.") of which Dougal Haston was director. The school, founded in 1965 and still one of the best if not the best, was legendary not just for mountaineering but for socializing and nightlife. Many of the big names in mountaineering were involved with the school in some way.
The climbing sequences were shot on the West Ridge of the Eiger, the Stollenloche. The scenes at the bivouac were shot in bad weather on the Monch. The ice field sequence was shot on the Mathildaspitze on the west side of the Jungfraujoch because the icefields on the Eiger were too dangerous to use.
The scene where the climbers fall from the mountain was performed by Clint Eastwood himself. It was not a stunt most climbers would have attempted, which gives you an indication of Clint Eastwood's interest in realism. The falling climbers were filmed by throwing dummies off the Rotefluh into the meadows below.
Swiss helicopter company Air Glacier handled the helicoptering, as they had done for On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1968)
The film shot that day was helicoptered to Zürich where it was put on an aircraft to London. That night it was processed at Technicolor's facility in Heathrow (West Drayton) in London and then couriered back to Kleine Scheidegg the next day. There was an editor suite installed in a railway freight flatcar at a siding in Kleine Scheidegg and within it a rough cut of the the previous days filming would be prepared for viewing that evening. Technicolor closed the West Drayton processing facility several years ago and constructed a new operation at Pinewood Studios.
Eastwood and Hoover remained friends after the making of The Eiger Sanction and Eastwood would attend reunions of the mountaineers and their fellow climbers.
Technicolor Heathrow UK plant at West Drayton, photograph circa late Sixties. In the 2000s the plant was closed and moved to a locations at Pinewood Studios
In the above photograph, the Eiger North Face and below it, the little cluster of hôtels and the railway terminus of Kleine Scheidegg. Grindelwald is down to the left, and Wengen, down to the right. Running behind the railway axis of Grindelwald-Wengen-Mürren which you see in front of you is the Eiger-Mönch-Jungfrau chain of mountain peaks. From the rail junction of Kleine Scheidegg, a rail spur climbs up toward the Eiger (moving to the upper right of Kleine Scheidegg in this photograph), where it disappears into the mountainside, then circles and climbs until it appears at the very peak of the Jungfrau, the peak to the right of the Eiger.
When you fly close the face of the Eiger, the aircraft jumps around in the huge updraft which is being pushed up the face.
Eiger Nordward Summertime. Hôtel Bellvue des Alps is frame lower right.
In the above photograph, Kleine Scheidegg station taken from the same position but using a 200mm lens. The station building is mid center of frame nearest the camera. The locomotive shed is to the mid right of frame. The rail spur which climbs up to the Eiger and Jungfrau is visible climbing away from the station building through the center of the frame. The large buildings to the left of the station building is the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes , where most of the scenes take place. Fritz von Allmen was the director of the hôtel at the time. The von Allmen family are proprietors of several hôtels on the Jungfrau, including the Beausite Park Hôtel at Wengen.
In the above Frame, Kleine Scheidegg Station.
At 01:13:29 we have a useful orientation shot of Kleine Scheidegg station which is the summit of the cog railway which ascends from both sides of the saddle which meets under the Eiger, from Grindelwald and from Lauterbrunnen.
The Eiger rises to right of frame and the station and hôtel Bellevue des Alpes are center frame. The railway which ascends through the tunnels within the Eiger to the top of the Jungfrau can be seen drawing across the frame to the right from Kleine Scheidegg station. The smaller line above it is a track which in summer ascends towards the Eiger and in winter is a ski piste returning to Kleine Scheidegg.
The helicopter shot zooms in on Eastwood who is standing on the grassy ridge just above the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes at Kleine Scheidegg, in which most of the scenes take place.
+ Kleine Scheidegg Hôtels Website
All of the cast and some of the crew stayed at this Hôtel during the making of the film.
In the above map, the Eiger-Mönch-Jungfrau Massif and the villages below it, Grindelwald-Wengen-Mürren.
Map of Grindelwald-Wengen-Mürren road links
Cog railways have a toothed rack which is installed in the center of the tracks (narrow gauge) which allows a large gearwheel on the locomotive to engage the track and haul the train up the steep inclines. There are cog railways here on the Jungfrau, at Zermatt, and at Chamonix-Montenvers. The cog railway at Zermatt was to be extended all the way up inside the Matterhorn but the advent of the Second World War delayed plans and the extension was never built.
In the period before the invention of the automobile cog railways were a good way of increasing access to the higher Alpine resorts. While cog railways are picturesque, charming and are not halted by bad weather, they are expensive to run and maintain and are a very slow way of shifting hundreds of skiers up the mountains. Moving large numbers of skiers is best accomplished by the Cable-Cars of the conveyor type, where multiple cars are attached to the same cable like a coal hopper system. You can see one of these cable-cars coming up from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg. Thus, no cog railways have been constructed in the post-war era.
In the above photograph, the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes photographed from the Eiger side of the Station Building. The rail spur up the Eiger continues out of frame to the right. The Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes consists of both of the buildings visible.
In the above photograph, you can see the toothed rack which is fixed to the center of the rails.
Rack Railways are constructed using a third, toothed, rail engaged by a toothed drive wheel underneath the locomotive, which allows it to pull the train up a much steeper gradient than would normally be possible. The journey is slow, not least because of the quantity of horsepower required to pull carriages up a grade that steep. The locomotives were originally steam locomotives, but have been substituted by electric locomotives which offer greater horsepower. Railways leading through mountainous areas were the first to be electrified because of this advantage. There are also Rack Railways at Zermatt and Chamonix .
In the above photograph, the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes with the Eiger North Face in the background.
Scene: Dr Hemlock and Ben Bowman arrive in the lobby Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes (01:14:19).
Location: Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes , Kleine Scheidegg, Jungfrau Region, Switzerland.
Approx Co-Ordinates: 46 35 06.78 N 07 54 39.13 E
Directions: Once you alight from the train at Kleine Scheidegg, the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes is the large building in the direction of the Eiger.
In the above photograph, the building of the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes which is used for the Hôtel scenes.
Most of the scenes take place in or around the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes.
At 01:14:18 we see the lobby of the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes.
The lobby of the Hôtel Bellevue des Alps. Siegfried Wallach the Financial Controller on the crew, plays the Hôtel Manager. Stefan Frech, one of the hôtel staff, played a head waiter.
In the above three frames, the waiter serving was actually an employee of the Hôtel Bellvue des Alps, Herr Stefan Frech. He fondly remembers the parties every evening which followed the close of shooting.
At 01:21:59 we enter the dining room of the Hôtel Bellevue Des Alps. The party are seated under the second window from the central lobby of the Hôtel. When standing outside the hôtel viewing it from the Station, this is the second window from the left of the central stone entrance staircase, under the 'B' in 'Bellevue'. As Eastwood enter and the camera follows him to the table, you can see the Kleine Scheidegg station outside. Eastwood spies Pope taking refreshment at the tables set out in the front of the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes
In the above photograph, Clint Eastwood is seated inside the dining room behind the window to the left of the frame. The Mönch-Jungfrau are visible in the reflection upon the windows.
In the above photograph, the couple seated to the right of frame are where Clint Eastwood and his party would have been seated. The Station Building is visible behind the large pile of snow. The Locomotive Shed is visible through the window on the left hand side.
In the above Frame Heidi Brühl
In the above photograph, the Station Building taken from in front of the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes. If you ski over the mountain visible in the background and descend, eventually you reach the Lauterbrunnen-Grindelwald valley road. Grindelwald is down to behind your right shoulder and Wengen and below it Lauterbrunnen down away to the left of frame.
At 01:23:52 Eastwood goes out to meet Pope. At 01:23:52 Eastwood descends the exterior steps of the Bellevue to meet Pope. The stairs are under the 'Vue' of 'Bellevue'. At 01:24:41 Eastwood and Pope walk around the end of the station to walk around the side of the station furthest away from the Eiger and the Hôtel Bellevue as if walking down the tracks toward Wengen (46 35 06.78 N 07 57 39.23 E).
Clint Eastwood meets Pope in front of the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes. Note the product placement of the brand of beer which appears several times elsewhere in the Film. Also, the Cinzano branded Ashtray.
Clint Eastwood takes Pope off for a "discussion". Notice how the dining room has been extended with the addition of a semi-circular extension.
At 01:25:37 Eastwood and Pope continue along the path beside the station and arrive at the locomotive shed. At 01:25:37 Eastwood and Pope arrive alongside the locomotive shed and as Eastwood hits Pope in the face he falls down the embankment. At 01:26:32 you can see back up the railway line to the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes. The Eiger appears behind Eastwood's head as he holds Pope on the ground. At 01:27:14 we return to the Hôtel Bellevue as Eastwood ascends the stairs within the hôtel.
In the above frames, the end of the platform at Kleine Scheidegg.
In the above Frames, the end of the platform and the side of the locomotive shed.
In the above Frames, the turning spur in the tunnel.
In the above Frames, the Embankment where Eastwood gives Pope a beating.
In the above map, the route of Eastwood and Pope to the embankment. The red square marks the spot Eastwood and Pope stop to converse. The concrete structure set into the mountainside behind them and visible on the map, is a railway spur which recedes into a tunnel. Locomotives can enter the spur from either direction and then exit in a different direction having changed the way they are facing.
The Spur for turning Locomotives appears in the background.
Eastwood and Pope walk alongside the Locomotive Shed.
This photograph was taken by Greg McCollum http://www.chattoogaphotohistory.com/ who was on a European tour and visited the location during filming.
Scene: The Climbers approach the Eiger (01:28:00)
At 01:28:00 the team of climbers begin their approach to the Eiger. The approach to the Eiger is the path which leads away from the Hôtel Bellevue in the direction of the Eiger, slightly above the railway which ascends the side of the Eiger.
In the above photograph, Kleine Scheidegg taken from up on the Eiger-Mönch-Jungfrau Massif. Grindelwald is down to the right and Wengen down to the left. The footpath to the base of the Eiger North Face runs down to the left. There is a ski piste close under the skirts of the Eiger and from there you can approach the face. Remember that if you are standing under the face, there are rocks falling down the face of the Eiger toward you, usually after the sun is high and melts the ice which is holding them.
In the above photograph, Kleine Scheidegg taken from lower down the mountainside. The Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes complex is visible to the far right of frame.
John Cleare , one of the two climbing cameramen, played the part of the English tourist. An Australian woman who was the nurse on the crew played his wife.
A contemplative Clint Eastwood considering the next Scene. J.J. Rayman was the stills photographer for the Kleine Scheidegg locale but John Cleare shot the stills on the locations on the mountains, the Eiger, Monch and Mathildaspitze.
With Staff of the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes
Clint Eastwood and some of the cast outside the Hôtel Bellevue des Alps. Mountaineer Rheinhold Messner, visiting the set, stands to Eastwood's left.
Kleine Scheidegg: This photograph was taken by Greg McCollum http://www.chattoogaphotohistory.com/ who was on a European tour and visited the location during filming.
George Kennedy and Clint Eastwood amuse themselves with one of the locals.
Scene: The Sun terrace of the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes (01:38:47)
At 01:38:47 we see the character of Ben Bowman talking to the lady with the telescope. This scene was shot on the sun terrace which is behind the hôteltel building marked 'Des Alps', which can be seen to left of frame, with the end elevation of the 'Hotel Bellevue' visible right of frame. The station, if you could see it, is to your mid left and the Eiger is behind your right shoulder. In winter this area fills with snow to a depth of nearly two meters..
In the above photograph, the sun terrace of the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes. You can see that in Winter, it is filled with deep snow. The actual terrace you see in the film was a raised platform built for the movie. Subsequently, the hôtel built a new terrace.
A publicity still with an odd Color Balance. Compare the above Photograph of the end Elevation of the Hôtel Bellevue.
In the above Map, the position of the Sun Terrace of the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes.
On the Sun Terrace of the Alps, the brand of Beer used in the Product placement makes another appearance. Grindelwald is in the Valley in the Background.
Product placement: A different beer, brewed by Olympia, has its label turned toward the Camera. Clint Eastwood and George Kennedy also drink Olympia beer when they reach the top of the Totem Pole
In the above Frame, you can see the raised platform which was built for the movie for use as the Sun terrace.
In the above frames, the Sun Terrace of the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes in Plan.
At 01:58:57 we return to the sun terrace. At 02:01:43 we see another helicopter shot which gives a good overview of the scene on the sun terrace.
If you stop the frame at 01:13:35 you can see a complete overview of the location. Kleine Scheidegg station is center frame, and its Locomotive Shed is the building nearest the camera. The two buildings near the top center of the frame are the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes. The Jungfrau region was one of the first Victorian winter sports regions and the hôtel was one of the first purpose built. It is served entirely by the cog railway as there are no roads. The scene where the climbers review a map of the Eiger take place in a room in the left hand building (which has a sign 'Hotel Bellevue' upon it. To the right hand building is affixed the letters 'Des Alps'. The scene in the restaurant where Eastwood spots Pope outside was shot in the restaurant of the 'Hotel Bellevue', two windows from the left of the center stone staircase.
In the above photograph, the dining room windows of the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes. The right hand window is the window at which Clint Eastwood and his party seat themselves.
Eastwood and Pope leave the terrace and walk toward the left hand side of the station as we view it. They continue along the tracks until they reach the end of the Locomotive Shed and the fight takes place on the embankment just after the engine shed. The sun terrace upon which the telescope is mounted is located behind the right hand hôtel building, the 'Des Alps' .
In the above photograph, the Station Building taken from the opposite side of the Hôtel Bellevue. Eastwood and Pope walk from left of frame to right of frame.
In the above photograph, the Station Building in foreground and to the Locomotive Shed to the right of frame. Eastwood and Pope walk past the Locomotive Shed.
In the above photograph, from right to left, the Hôtel Bellevue des Alpes, the station building and the locomotive shed. After the locomotive shed is the embankment down which Eastwood knocks Pope. This has now being built over with a works shed.
In the above tableau, the top frame shows the view from the face of the Eiger of the mountainside behind Kleine Scheidegg Station. The clear-cut visible in the frame is the line of the Cable-Car which takes skiers up the mountain behind the station.
A Smith and Wesson M40/42 Centennial with internal hammer falls from Clint Eastwood's Rucksack. This scene was filmed in the real railway carriage while it was moving.
Photograph by © Chic Scott
Reverse of the Universal Studios photographs
Dougal Haston , Clint Eastwood, Norman Dyhrenfurth . Photograph by © Chic Scott
I think this photograph was also taken by © Chic Scott. Same line-up, same color balance.
German release program cover.
German release poster.
Photograph shot during filming.
During filming on the face of the Eiger, English Mountaineer and crew member David Knowles was killed by rockfall. Knowles had made an ascent of the North Face of the Eiger in 1970. Film maker Mike Hoover was supervising the filming on the Face of the Eiger and is credited on the Film as »Climbing Advisor«. Hoover told the story of the accident in the the August 1975 issue of American Cinematographer.
»Tuesday, [August] the thirteenth , was also cold, clear and beautiful. By 9:30 the chopper had moved all 14 of us up to the West Ridge of the Eiger. Today we would finish one of the most difficult set-ups in the picture. Not bad. By three we had finished on the face and had begun to film up on the flat area above, ascending the ropes back to the top for a sync scene where we establish that the German is a careless fool and that the Frenchman is a damaged careless fool. Then I remembered that we didn’t get the POV of the falling fake rocks that just miss Eastwood and hit Montaigne. So I had to go back down on the face and Dave [Knowles] volunteered to go onto the wall with me to help, while everyone else began to fly out in the chopper. So the two of us rappelled down to our position on the wall and clipped into a group of pitons. I think we both were glad to get out onto the peaceful wall and let the others hustle all the junk back down in the chopper. The shot was rather simple, Martin drops the foam rocks down on us and Dave bats any away that might hit the lens. Perfect,but really scary-looking through the camera as the rocks bomb down, I just can’t keep from flinching. Finished. I suggest to Dave that he go on back up while I coil the ropes, put the camera away and take out the pitons but he says no and that he’ll stay and help So we joked and began to clean up. He told me about working with the BBC, I think on the “Old Man of Hoy.” One day he was carrying a very expensive video camera that was turned on and he didn’t know it. So the camera was transmitting back to the control truck while he was stopping on a tiny ledge to pick some exceptionally beautiful wildflowers. The guys back in the control truck were going crazy as he put the camera down on a ledge balanced some three hundred feet above the smashing surf. We were both laughing when we heard the sound of a big rock falling from above It sounds real close and I instantly cover and crouch into the wall as close as possible, I hide my hands so as not to lose any fingers. Feel pretty good. It smashes into the small of my back and I almost black out as a smaller shower of rocks continues. I feel a weight on top of me. I can’t move my legs, so pinch them and am so happy to feel the pain. Dave must be okay, But he’s on top of me—hanging upside-down—dead. He must have looked up right into it. I’m sure he never felt anything and was happy when he passed away—and it was so quick that there was no fear at all. [Producer Robert] Daley and Eastwood talked about stopping production, but what for? We all knew that serious accidents were a real possibility before we started. But on the second day? My pelvis had a small crack and all the surrounding muscles were smashed so I was out of action for about ten days.«
Schickel in his biography of Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood on page 313 comments:
»A wake was held, and Clint considered canceling the production. The climbers, however, urged him to go on. They knew the risks of their trade, ran them habitually and felt that moviemaking added nothing to them. For his part, Clint came around to the view that aborting the production would render Knowles’s death—not to mention all the hard and dangerous work that had preceded it—meaningless.Mike Hoover would go on to win an Academy Award in the category of Live Action Short Films, for the hang-gliding film Up (1984); his Solo had been nominated in the same category previously (1972) (according to the pressbook for The Eiger Sanction, he had also received two other Oscar nominations). Additionally, he’s worked on around a hundred feature film projects involving daredevil cinematography, including Forrest Gump and The River Wild. In April 1994, he was the sole survivor of a helicopter crash that killed Eastwood’s close friend, former Warners exec Frank Wells (at the time chief operating officer of the Walt Disney Co.)—a crash that might have claimed Eastwood’s own life as well.
Eastwood had joined Wells, Hoover, Beverly Johnson (who was Hoover’s wife and partner and his closest collaborator in his adventure films) and several others for a weekend of high-altitude skiing in Nevada, but he left in his own helicopter before the others when the weather turned threatening on the second day, having an engagement in Sun Valley later that day. Schickel writes that this decision “almost certainly saved his life,” and he reports that Eastwood was deeply shaken by the tragedy, but he inexplicably fails to mention that the only man to survive the crash was Eastwood’s old friend and colleague on The Eiger Sanction, Mike Hoover. Despite devastating physical injuries and the loss of the woman with whom he said he had become “infused, like in metallurgy when you meld a chunk of iron with a chunk of brass,” «
The White Spider by Heinrich Harrer is the classic account of the first attempts to climb the North Face of the Eiger. Heinrich Harrer went on to write Seven Years in Tibet after becoming trapped in India by the start of the War.
In the above photograph, the view from the top of the Jungfrau of the glaciers which run South away from the Eiger-Mönch-Jungfrau Massif. This remote high glacier between here and Wallis is the high center of the Alpine range.
In the above map, the Jungfrau region with the film locations marked.
Jungfrau Region by road and railway
+ SEE ALSO
- Other Movies shot on Location in Monument Valley, including Stagecoach (1939) , She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), The Searchers (1956) and Forte Apache (1948) .
- Other Movies shot on Location on the Jungfrau, including On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1968).
- Carrera Pan-Alpina
- Full-text of Trevanian's 1972 Novel, The Eiger Sanction from which the idea for the motion picture was drawn. The book was in fact a spy spoof.
- Sandstone Towers of the American South-West Desert by Eric Bjornstad . This is the original guide. An invaluable resource.
- Skiing on the Jungfrau.
+ EXTERNAL LINKS
- The Eiger Sanction (1975) at Wikipedia
- The Clint Eastwood discussion board and resource at www.clinteastwood.net
- The Clint Eastwood Archive
- Brenda Venus
- Chic Scott's website
- Heinrich Harrer's The White Spider at Wikipedia
- The Script of The Eiger Sanction (1975) at www.Script-O-Rama.com
- Ascent, the Sierra Club annual for 1975/76 entitled A Film by Chic Scott. Features photographs by John Cleare and Mike Hoover .
- Monument Valley at www.AmericanSouthWest.net .
- The Eiger Sanction (1975) at the Internet Car Movie Database
- George Kennedy will publish his memoirs entitled »Trust Me: A Memoir« this Fall of 2011.
- The Eiger Sanction (1975) on www.youtube.com
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