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The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 12,065 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 32 critic

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

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Writers:

(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
Edit

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:

The daring World War II plot that changed the course of history. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 December 1976 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

L'aigle s'est envolé  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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
See  »
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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-see 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

Colonel Radl wears the Iron Cross 2nd Class (IC2) and the Knight's Cross with Oakleaves and Swords (KC). But he is missing the Iron Cross 1st Class, which was almost always awarded before the wearer could be considered for the KC. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It's not the best example of seventies war movies, but it works
30 June 2005 | by (Tessenderlo, Belgium) – See all my reviews

Partially thanks to my father I've always been a fan of war movies and that's how I already saw several of them as a kid. But of course as a kid I wasn't as critical towards them as I am today. Several of the war movies from the sixties and seventies now seem dated and very unbelievable (think for instance of "Where Eagles Dare" from 1968, which many people seem to like, but which lacks all realism as the Allies seem impenetrable by German bullets). But that doesn't mean that they all are bad. Take for instance "Cross of Iron", "All Quiet on the Western Front" (the TV remake), "A Bridge Too Far",... which are one by one excellent movies. If I have to give this movie a place in between these two categories, than I would say right in the middle. It isn't the best war movie from that time period, but it's far from bad.

Based on the novel by Jack Higgins, this movie tells the story of Colonel Steiner, a German parachute unit commander, who has been court-marshaled for opposing the SS in rounding up Jews. To avoid further imprisonment and certain death, he is offered the chance to go on an assignment in England. He and his unit will have to kidnap the British Prime Minister Winston Churchil on a covert mission. They decide to go for the seemingly impossible assignment and dressed as Polish soldiers on a training maneuver, they soon take over a small English town, waiting for the visit of the Prime Minister who will take his vacation there...

Even though I have read the book, I'm not really able to tell you whether the adaption to the movie has been a success or not. I read the book about ten years ago and it's impossible for me to remember all the details. However, as I already said, this certainly isn't a bad movie. The acting for instance is very nice. People like Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall,... all did a nice job. Especially Donald Sutherland stole the show playing the IRA militant and full time playboy Liam Devlin. What I also liked was that the 'Germans' didn't speak with some funny accent, but spoke fluent English. I prefer to hear the Germans speak German, but when that it isn't possible, this option is the best to go for. There is nothing more hateful than a well-known Hollywood actor who tries to make you believe that he speaks a language other than English (it never works and only brings down the quality of a movie).

Overall this is a good WWII movie that shows the war from a different perspective, namely from the German side. For some that will probably make it uninteresting as they see the Germans as the stupid bad guys, unable of doing some daring operations, but for me it works. I really liked this movie and all its aspects. The story is nice, the action scenes look more than OK, the acting is very good,... I really liked it all and that's why I give this movie a 7.5/10.


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