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The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 12,000 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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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

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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:

| |

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

Devlin's (Donald Sutherland) motorcycle is a 125cc Royal Enfield Flying Flea. Two Flying Fleas were on set but neither being very reliable, a 125cc Yamaha engine was fitted into the Royal Enfield frame and was used in some shots with the Flying Flea engine noise superimposed. For the viewer to tell them apart, when Sutherland uses the hand gear change, it's the Flying Flea engine; when he uses his foot to change gear, it's the Yamaha engine. See more »

Goofs

When Radl walks in to the hangar and shows the paratroopers the plane, he says it is a DC-3 captured nearly intact. The military version of this plane was C-47, and it is more likely that he would have known its military name than its pre-war civilian model designation. 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 Al Murray's Great British War Movies (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Generally gets the thumbs-up, but has a couple of slightly disappointing features.
13 May 2004 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

Based on a best-selling tall story by Jack Higgins, and featuring an all-star cast that must've cost half the budget just to get to sign up for the project, The Eagle Has Landed is an enjoyable but slightly overlong wartime actioner.

German soldier Max Radl (Robert Duvall) comes up with an audacious plot to deliver a devastating blow to the Allied forces by kidnapping Winston Churchill from a Norfolk village. A team of deadly German spies, led by Kurt Steiner (Michael Caine), are smuggled into England to carry out this sinister scheme. Aided by an Irish mercenary (Donald Sutherland), the German forces rapidly and ruthlessly close in on their target. Only an inexperienced American garrison, posted in a quiet corner of Norfolk, can stand in the way of a devastating German victory.

The Eagle Has Landed is one of the few films where the all-star cast doesn't have a detrimental effect. In films like A Bridge Too Far and The Longest Day, the presence of so many stars actually results in a game of "star-spotting", and this diverts the audience's attention away from important plot developments. In The Eagle Has Landed, each actor brings depth and charisma to their strongly written roles (especially Sutherland as the devious Irish rogue, and Duvall as an eye-patch wearing Nazi). This film's faults lie elsewhere. The opening hour and a quarter goes on rather too much and ought to have been trimmed by at least fifteen minutes. Also, the plot rides its luck with increasingly less likely, less plausible developments (especially the unpersuasive "twist" ending). For these reasons, The Eagle Has Landed isn't quite the excellent film you might be hoping for. What it is, however, is an enjoyable, well-acted and very watchable slice of escapism.


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