And Judaism and Judaism are almost completely absent. It is an important (and coherent) part of the film`s liberalism to emphasize that it is humanly impossible to distinguish between the Jew and the non-Jewish. But there is no visible Jewish home, no Jewish culture, no menora, no synagogue. Dave is — important — far from home and trying to find a place to rent. Phil and his fiancée meet a famous Jewish scientist, Fred Liebermann (Sam Jaffe), and he is an exotic European intellectual, like Albert Einstein, who talks about Zionism and the Palestinian homeland. But that`s all. And the film is very apolitical, apart from references to forgotten far-right figures like Theodore G Bilbo and Gerald LK Smith. The film`s source novel, written under the pseudonym Trevanian by Rodney William Whitaker, is considered a burlesque of the unpleasant representations that pass through the Bond films, and Eastwood conveys the author`s characterizations while crossing the distance between irony and sincerity. One of the heavyweights of the film is the unusual, effeminate Miles Mellough (Jack Cassidy), who calls his dog “faggot”, while Hemlock`s love interest is a black woman named Jemima (Vonetta McGee), a subject that amuses him when he hears the name. These provocations, and much more like them, make The Eiger Sanction one of Eastwood`s insolent works, although the homophobia and racism they seem to profess cannot be copied as easily as that, Hemlock himself being disfigured more than once throughout the film, while Jemima appears to be a more complex and powerful character than his stereotypical name suggests.
It is about the anti-Semitism of prosperous post-war America and the insidious way in which Jews were excluded from high-level social clubs, resorts and, of course, jobs. There have been no official bans, just a nod and a nod and a “gentleman`s agreement” between nice conservatives they know the kind of people they want to be associated with. This is the kind of everyday prejudice that Groucho Marx elegantly dismissed with his joke that he did not want to join a club that would have him as a member. Please see your comment below in the preview and click “Poster” if you are satisfied. It is one of those comments that end up appearing incomplete, with Richard Schickel, who engages with the actors June Havoc and Celeste Holm.