A German plot to kidnap Winston Churchill unfolds at the height of World War II.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Colonel Steiner
...
...
Colonel Radl
...
Molly
...
...
...
...
Captain von Neustadt
...
...
Pamela
...
Captain Clark
...
Colonel Pitts
Alexei Jawdokimov ...
Corporal Kuniski
Richard Wren
...
Karl
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Storyline

Oberst Steiner, a German parachute unit commander, is sent to England on a covert mission to kidnap Prime Minister Winston Churchill and bring him to Berlin. The seemingly impossible assignment becomes more and more feasible as the mission grows nearer with Steiner and his men arriving in England to a very real possibility of success. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1943 sixteen German paratroopers landed in England. In three days they nearly won the War. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

25 December 1976 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

L'aigle s'est envolé  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV) | (extended) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm prints)| (70 mm prints)| (some 35 mm prints) (London premiere print)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In his autobiography Michael Caine confessed to being somewhat disappointed with the end product: "The picture was being directed by the Hollywood old-timer John Sturges [...], and we were all very pleased that this illustrious veteran had agreed to direct our film. That is, until one day when I was talking to him between set-ups and he informed me that now that he was older, he only ever worked to get the money to go fishing, which was his passion. Deep-sea fishing off Baja, California, he added, which was very expensive. The moment the picture finished he took the money and went. [Producer] Jack Wiener later told me that he never came back for the editing nor for any of the other post-production sessions that are where a director does some of his most important work. The picture wasn't bad, but I still get angry when I think of what it could have been with the right director. We had committed the old European sin of being impressed by someone just because he came from Hollywood." See more »

Goofs

Shadow of the boom mic visible in the top-right-hand corner of the screen while Devlin directs Steiner to the back of the church to show him the escape route he has found. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: [WWII News Story] September 12, 1943, German paratroopers snatched Mussolini from his mountaintop prison in Italy.
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Connections

Referenced in Top Gear: Episode #4.6 (2004) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Strong Second Half Saves Boring First Hour
10 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I almost gave up on this film after the first hour. It was just too slow for me and I was having difficulty picking up some of dialog with the foreign accents (no subtitles are offered on the DVD).

However, once the "invasion" started the film was very interesting. The only ridiculous part was the role played by Larry Hagman. Liberal Hollywood loves to portray every Southerner as a gung-ho, out-of-control military freak. If I was from the South, I would have been highly offended at this stereotype.

What's really different about this film is that it's a World War II story told from the German side where the Germans are pictured as humane people. You don't see that too much from English-speaking filmmakers.

Michael Caine is the most likable of these people, one of those given the assignment of kidnapping Winston Churchill (interesting premise, off the best- selling book by Jack Higgins). Donald Sutherland plays an Irishman recruited to help in the kidnapping and he's fun to watch.

This is really a man's movie, something like "The Guns Of Navarone," but they inserted Jenny Agutter in here to give the viewers a pretty face and some romance, even though it has absolutely no bearing on the story.

Robert Duvall, Jean Marsh, Treat Williams, Donald Pleasance and Anthony Quayle are some of the other "name" actors who contribute. All in all, a pretty good movie if you can get by that first hour!


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