1943, The war is entering its final stages and Germany is teetering on the brink of defeat. An increasingly unhinged Hitler, orders a mission to have British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill kidnapped and brought to Germany. The plan seems ludicrous in the extreme, but a message sent from a German spy in the Norfolk countryside makes one German officer realize that such a mission may just feasible.Written by
Sir Michael Caine was originally offered the role of Devlin, but did not want to play an I.R.A. member, and requested to play Steiner instead. See more »
When Mrs. Grey fires a revolver at Pamela, who is escaping in a car, she is holding the gun at waist level. This results in very inaccurate fire, since the pistol is not being aimed. Nevertheless, she scores several hits on the vehicle, which in reality would have been nearly impossible to do. See more »
[WWII News Story]
September 12, 1943, German paratroopers snatched Mussolini from his mountaintop prison in Italy.
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The film was originally classified by the BBFC in November 1976 with a running time of 135 mins. This was cut to 123 mins for its US release. It was this version which was released in the UK on VHS/DVD (118 mins 25 fps), until the new 2 Disc Special Edition arrived in June 2004. There is also a 131 min cut in circulation. It is this version which is currently available from Artisan on Region 1 DVD See more »
Generally gets the thumbs-up, but has a couple of slightly disappointing features.
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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