6.9/10
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98 user 36 critic

The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

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

Director:

John Sturges

Writers:

Tom Mankiewicz (screenplay), Jack Higgins (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Caine ... Oberst Kurt 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 Alexei Jawdokimov ... Corporal Kuniski
Richard Wren Richard Wren ... Hans Altmann
Michael Byrne ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | Polish

Release Date:

25 December 1976 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Adler ist gelandet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV) | (extended) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| 4-Track Stereo (some 35 mm prints) (London premiere print)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In various exterior shots around the church, faint double yellow lines can be seen at the side of the road, most notably when Col. Steiner first turns up masquerading as the Polish Colonel, and when Col. Pitts drives to the church under the white flag. Attempts have been made to conceal them, but the outlines are still visible. These are parking restriction markings, and weren't introduced in the UK until 1958. See more »

Quotes

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

The new Region 2 DVD contains an extended cut of the film with a running time of 145 mins (25 fps). The additional scenes are:
  • 1. Different pre-title sequence with Himmler arriving at the castle seen in the opening credits. Himmler, Canaris and Hitler exit a meeting, where Himmler suggests the feasibility study of the Churchill kidnap plot to Canaris. This runs into the title sequence.
  • 2. After the scene between Radl and Canaris, Radl goes to his own office to find his doctor waiting for him. A conversation follows which suggests that Radl is terminally ill.
  • 3. Extension of the scene between Devlin and Joanna Grey where she gives him money for the trucks, warns him about stolen petrol and they toast the success of the mission. This is followed by Devlin riding through the village on his motorcycle, across the marsh, arriving at his cottage and looking around. This runs into the scene of Devlin arriving at the village pub.
  • 4. After the scene in the dunes between Devlin and Molly Prior, there is a scene between Steiner and Von Neustadt at the airfield where they discuss their chances of success.
  • 5. That scene runs into Devlin arriving at his cottage. He is joined by Molly Prior. They talk and Devlin reads poetry to her.
  • 6. After Devlin takes delivery of the trucks, he re-enters the cottage to find Molly there. She confronts him, mistakenly thinking he is a black marketeer. These two scenes make more sense of her later declaration of love for Devlin to Arthur Seymour.
  • 7. Directly after Himmler rips up Radl's letter, there is a short scene with Father Verecker reading a newspaper in the vestry of the church. He is surprised by Laker Armsby who enters via the tunnel (used by Devlin and Steiner later). This basically explains where it comes and goes to.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
difficult to believe but great entertainment
23 June 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is an exceptional war movie about a supposed plot by the Nazis to kidnap Churchill. Michael Caine is a German officer who speaks perfect English and leads a team of paratroopers who are disguised as Poles. The cover story is that they are a Free Polish regiment on maneuvers in Britain. At the same time, IRA leader Donald Sutherland helps lay the groundwork for their arrival.

The story is very complex and the acting is first-rate. Provided you don't think too much, this is a highly entertaining film. Sure, the Nazis didn't attempt such a mission, but I enjoyed this alternative history movie.


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