IMDb > The Eagle Has Landed (1976)
The Eagle Has Landed
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The Eagle Has Landed (1976) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   12,143 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Tom Mankiewicz (screenplay)
Jack Higgins (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Eagle Has Landed on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 December 1976 (Finland) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
In 1943 sixteen German paratroopers landed in England. In three days they nearly won the War. See more »
Plot:
A German plot to kidnap Winston Churchill unfolds at the height of World War II. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Not a Bad Effort See more (88 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Michael Caine ... Colonel Steiner

Donald Sutherland ... Liam Devlin

Robert Duvall ... Colonel Radl

Jenny Agutter ... Molly

Donald Pleasence ... Himmler

Anthony Quayle ... Admiral Canaris

Jean Marsh ... Joanna Grey

Sven-Bertil Taube ... Captain von Neustadt

John Standing ... Father Verecker

Judy Geeson ... Pamela

Treat Williams ... Captain Clark

Larry Hagman ... Colonel Pitts
Alexei Jawdokimov ... Corporal Kuniski
Richard Wren

Michael Byrne ... Karl

Joachim Hansen ... SS-Obergruppenführer
Denis Lill
Rick Parsé (as Rick Parse)
Léonie Thelen (as Leonie Thelen)
Keith Buckley
Terence Plummer (as Terry Plummer)
Tim Barlow ... George Wilde (Publican)
John Barrett ... Laker Armsby
Kate Binchy

Maurice Roëves ... Maj. Corcoran (as Maurice Roeves)
David Gilliam

Jeff Conaway ... Frazier
Asa Teeter

Rob Reece (as Robert G. Reece)
Jack McCulloch
Siegfried Rauch ... Sgt. Brandt
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Patrick Allen ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Leigh Dilley ... Winston Churchill / George Fowler (uncredited)
Harry Fielder ... Motorbike Outrider (uncredited)
Paul Finemore ... Dead Diver (uncredited)

Anthony Forrest ... Sgt. Hayley (uncredited)

Adolf Hitler ... Himself - Greets Mussolini After Rescue (archive footage) (uncredited)
Wolf Kahler ... Hauptsturmführer Fleischer (uncredited)
George Leech ... Traumer (uncredited)
Roy Marsden ... Stormbandführer Toberg, SS (uncredited)
Ferdy Mayne ... Radl's Doctor (uncredited)
Peter Miles ... Adolf Hitler (uncredited)
Benito Mussolini ... Himself - Rescued by Skorzeny (archive footage) (uncredited)
Otto Skorzeny ... Himself - Rescues Mussolini, Wears Binoculars (archive footage) (uncredited)
Joachim von Ribbentrop ... Himself - Greets Mussolini and Hitler, Wears White Lapels (archive footage) (uncredited)
Kent Williams ... Mallory (uncredited)

Directed by
John Sturges 
 
Writing credits
Tom Mankiewicz (screenplay)

Jack Higgins (novel)

Produced by
David Niven Jr. .... producer
Jack Wiener .... producer
 
Original Music by
Lalo Schifrin 
 
Cinematography by
Anthony B. Richmond (director of photography) (as Anthony Richmond)
 
Film Editing by
Anne V. Coates 
 
Casting by
Irene Lamb 
 
Production Design by
Peter Murton 
 
Art Direction by
Charles Bishop 
 
Costume Design by
Yvonne Blake 
 
Makeup Department
Eric Allwright .... makeup artist
Betty Glasow .... hairdresser
Mike Jones .... hairdresser (as Michael Jones)
Paul Rabiger .... makeup artist
Freddie Williamson .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Basil Rayburn .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David C. Anderson .... assistant director (as David Anderson)
Terence Churcher .... second assistant director (as Terry Churcher)
Michael Stevenson .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Peter James .... set dresser
John Paterson .... construction manager
John Chisholm .... property master (uncredited)
Brian Muir .... sculptor (uncredited)
Terry Wells .... stand-by property master (uncredited)
Barry Wilkinson .... stand-by props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Jonathan Bates .... sound editor
Robin Gregory .... sound recordist
Gerry Humphreys .... dubbing mixer
Jeremy Hume .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Terry Sharratt .... boom operator (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Roy Whybrow .... special effects
Chris Corbould .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Gerry Crampton .... stunt coordinator
Gillian Aldam .... stunts (uncredited)
Del Baker .... stunts (uncredited)
Andy Bradford .... stunts (uncredited)
George Lane Cooper .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Cooper .... stunts (uncredited)
Gerry Crampton .... stunts (uncredited)
Jim Dowdall .... stunts (uncredited)
Steve Emerson .... stunts (uncredited)
Richard Hammatt .... stunts (uncredited)
Nick Hobbs .... stunts (uncredited)
Jazzer Jeyes .... stunts (uncredited)
George Leech .... stunts (uncredited)
Mark McBride .... stunts (uncredited)
Valentino Musetti .... stunts (uncredited)
Terence Plummer .... stunts (uncredited)
Ken Shepherd .... stunts (uncredited)
Eddie Stacey .... stunts (uncredited)
Bill Weston .... stunt double: Michael Caine (uncredited)
Bill Weston .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Allwork .... aerial photographer
James Bawden .... camera operator
Martin Evans .... electrical supervisor
Gordon Hayman .... camera operator: second unit
George Whitear .... stills
John Wilcox .... director of photography: second unit
Harry Jackson .... best boy (uncredited)
Mike Roberts .... focus puller (uncredited)
Derek Suter .... electrician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Elsa Fennell .... wardrobe supervisor
Mike Jarvis .... wardrobe master (as Michael Jarvis)
 
Music Department
Peter Watson .... music editor
John Graves .... music preparation (uncredited)
 
Other crew
John Beharrell .... production accountant
Douglas Bianci .... aviation consultant
Edna Bianci .... aviation consultant
Penelope Forrester .... assistant to producer
Ray Freeborn .... location manager
Geoff Freeman .... unit publicist (as Geoffrey Freeman)
Ray Frift .... location manager
Hubert Fröhlich .... German adviser (as Hubert Froehlich)
Lew Grade .... presenter: for (as Sir Lew Grade)
Bernard Hanson .... location manager
Sally Jones .... continuity
Åke Lindman .... Finnish production consultant (as Ake Lindman)
Andrew Mollo .... historical consultant
John Dodds .... runner (uncredited)
Paul Tivers .... set runner (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
135 min | Germany:125 min (25 fps) (TV version) | UK:145 min (25 fps) (extended version) | USA:123 min | USA:131 min (DVD version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (35 mm prints) | 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | 4-Track Stereo (some 35 mm prints) (London premiere print)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:16 | Norway:16 (1977) | Singapore:PG | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:15 (tv rating) | UK:15 (video rating: extended version) (2004) | UK:15 (video rating) (1986) (2000) | USA:PG | West Germany:16 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Treat Williams spent a week with the 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Rangers during an exercise in Georgia to prepare for his role.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: At the church, Steiner wears a black leather jacket. That particular jacket was only given to Luftwaffe Pilots, not Luftwaffe paratroopers, regardless of Officer status. In reality he would have worn the same jacket as Captain Von Neustadt does late in the movie..See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Narrator:[WWII News Story] September 12, 1943, German paratroopers snatched Mussolini from his mountaintop prison in Italy.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Top Gear: Episode #4.6" (2004)See more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the theatrical version and the Extended version of the movie?
See more »
112 out of 137 people found the following review useful.
Not a Bad Effort, 29 October 2004
Author: rglasby from Atlanta, Georgia

OK, to respond to the "review" from Richard WA.

The movie is of course based on Jack Higgins' bestseller of the same name and like many debut books, is by far the best book he wrote - being written over a period of years as Higgins worked as a schoolteacher. It is meticulously researched and a fine read.

Now the film.

First, Of course an historically illiterate US teen would barely comprehend that history existed pre World War II or understand that the USA doesn't have a monopoly of the eagle as a national symbol. I read the book back in the mid-70's and never even thought about moon landings. For war movies/books, "eagles" are forever associated with Germany & that the USA also uses an eagle as a national symbol is purely coincidental.

Richard WA can relax in the knowledge that few outside his peer group experienced his confusion.

Second, By telling the story from the German perspective, we get a new appreciation of the German fighting man's view. Just as "Das Boot" gave us an insight into the German mind, so too does this. A similar experience can be had watching the WWII POW camp movie "The McKenzie Break" where German POW's try to escape from a British camp - quite interesting really. But I guess if you're only interested in rooting for the Red, White and Blue, this is not your thing.

Third, The accents are brilliantly done. It was decided for the movie that the comical Hollywood "German" accent would not be used. The "Ve haff vays of making you tork you schweinhund" is nowhere to be seen, instead the German characters use perfect accentless English to great effect.

Fourth, Sutherland's Irish character, Devlin, is not a Nazi sympathiser. He agrees to support the operation because the Germans offer to pay him a fortune to do so. Money for the cause etc.

Fifth, The pre-operation phase of the movie is actually too short - as the producers wanted more of an action flick than the book delivers. In the book, the planning of the operation is analysed to infinite detail, down to the uniform details and relative attributes of allied versus German parachutes. I guess if your experience is computer games, then exposure to any kind of pre-operation detail is not something you're used to.

Sixth, A newcomer in WWII Britain would certainly raise suspicion and Sutherland's character certainly does do that - not really a flaw of the book/movie but an operational problem that the Germans just had to accept given the timeframes involved.

Seventh, Jenny Agutter's character is completely unbelievable. Try to ignore that part of the movie - thankfully she's there for purely aesthetic purposes.

Eighth, The 5th columnist who already lives in the English village is actually a South African survivor of the British concentration camps - as explained in the movie. Perhaps Richard WA thought they were a German invention or more likely he's never heard of the Boer War and sleepwalked through that part of the movie.

Ninth, The "battle" scene is deliberately short to emphasise the gulf in class between German paratroops and National Guards. When the Germans are confronted by real soldiers, they're defeated in short order. Larry Hagman's character is a poor caricature and serves only to supply a comic element that's not needed - something the movie suffers from as if the producer was scared to make the movie too gritty. Richard WA's last point is most revealing. Why should Germans fight for Germany when everyone knew that they were going to lose and were on the wrong side anyway. Who ever heard of a brave German soldier fighting to the end anyway? Despite what many think, Americans don't have an monopoly on patriotism either - I doubt if he ever wonders why Steve McQueen never settled for a comfortable life in a German POW camp!

Tenth, Yeah, the tunnel is something of a contrived device...it's not in the book BTW.

Eleventh, The reason for not spiriting "Churchill" away after the attempt to kidnap him was precisely because the British wanted Germany to think he was there and not in Tehran! The whole point of a decoy is that it's visible and attracts the attention while the real principal is concealed.

In summery, the Eagle has Landed is a solid attempt to film a great book. I doubt, given the plot, that a universally appealing movie could've been made but the greatest movies ever are not universally appealing. Movies you love as children are not regarded in the same way in adulthood.

The Eagle has Landed is in many ways like "The Day of the Jackal". Most of the action goes on inside the principals' heads. Deception, mental thought processes and subterfuge don't make good cinema. However the movie has some very good points:

Great locations. Great actors doing good jobs (Jenny Agutter excepted) - especially Donald Pleasance doing the best ever spine-chilling portrayal of Himmler. Good twist at the end. Challenging portrayal of "the enemy".

I recommend it - it's not "A Bridge Too far" but it's pretty good.

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