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The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 12,347 users  
Reviews: 88 user | 33 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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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:

The best seller is now a major motion picture. 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

There is a scene when one of the invading soldiers sits down to play a church's pipe organ. His hands are shown on the keys and it is blatantly obvious that he is not playing the technically challenging music that we hear. 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

Referenced in Not a Love Story: A Film About Pornography (1981) 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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