You can't be a military movies fan and not have seen the classic 1968 WW2 adventure 'Where Eagles Dare', aside from it being a much admired war story written by Alistair MacLean it also has the less admirable reputation as being somewhat 'fanciful' (to put it kindly)! 😏
Over the years this movie has racked up a sort of cult-like urban mythology surrounding some of it scenes where credibility is stretched to the upmost limits. That said, as long as you watch this movie in 'the right spirit' - understanding that it is in the same story-telling ilk as James Bond ('men's adventure') - then you can relax and simply enjoy some of the more ludicrous moments and chuckle. Moments like the now infamous 'Nazi Death Count' videos... 😆
Now, I'm not going to run through all of the movie's congruities but rather I will focus on one well-know 'blooper' that is obvious to anyone with even a passing interest in historic military machines. Can you spot what is out of place in this scene, bearing in mind that this is set in the Bavarian alps of 1943...
Now, the less informed will immediately jump to the conclusion that this scene is wrong because it shows a helicopter in a Second World War movie, but that's not the issue. In fact, as many of you will know helicopters were actually first used in WW2, by both the Germans and the Americans, and that the Germans were - yet again - leaders in this new fangled technology.
So, what's the gripe? Well, obviously the helicopter used in the scene was American Bell Model 47, which did not see use until 1946. However, given that original German WW2 vintage helicopters no longer exist in an operational state the substitution of an early helicopter of nearly the correct period seems forgivable (particularly as CGI was not even invented when the movie was shot).
It's a funny case where 'movie buffs' rightly point out an error, but at the same time they are most likely pointing out an error for the wrong reasons! (In that they erroneously believe that helicopters were not a 'thing' in 1943!)
Here's a video that explains what probably should have been in the scene instead, had one been available that is! ------->
I myself was unaware of this fact for many years and admit the idea of a helicopter in the movie jarred with me. It took many years before I was enlightened on the subject and I could then watch 'Where Eagles Dare' without having a good rant about the Bell's inclusion! 😆
HOWEVER... This still left plenty of other blunders that I could take pleasure in and it's - in part - these well known goofs that help make the movie so enjoyable. It's like we are all privy to a inside joke which is enjoyed by a community of like-minded war-movie enthusiasts. Incidentally, Where Eagles Dare is still one of the top rated war-movies and is Stephen Spielberg's favourite war adventure (understandable when you consider some of the cavalier moments in the first Indiana Jones movie ... Remember that super advanced Nazi bomber that Indi had his fist fight with the Goliath German soldier?)!