WHERE EAGLES DARE
A classic WW2 thriller from Alistair MacLean made into a movie starring the incomparable Richard Burton, CBE, alongside Clint Eastwood (who famously turned down James Bond because Clint wasn’t British). The title is from Act I, Scene III in Shakespeare’s Richard III: “The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch.” The quote is an interesting juxtaposition — wrens are timid birds but will go in search of prey where eagles are too timid to even perch. Thus, courage can come from unexpected quarters. MacLean and Burton ultimately shared similar quarters since both were laid to rest in the same Swiss cemetery just a few paces apart.
MacLean was an early master of the action-adventure-spy thriller genre having penned other classics such as The Guns of Navarone, Force 10 from Navarone, Bear Island, and Ice Station Zebra — all later adapted into movies.