6.9/10
17,376
102 user 37 critic

The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

A German plot to kidnap Sir 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

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 Iantjambo

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:

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

Lt Mallory says "Get a missle for the bazooka". Bazookas do not fire missiles they fire rockets. Any fully trained soldier would know the difference especially an officer. By definition missiles are guided after firing by some means. Rockets are not. See more »

Goofs

In the original release, the automobile seen from the air during the opening is not the one in which Canaris arrives at HQ (different flag, different plates). A scene was deleted that shows that the first automobile is Himmler's. See more »

Quotes

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

Alternate Versions

The Carlton distributed DVD "Michael Caine double bill" is the full uncut version incorporating all the cut scenes, including the blood from Colonel Pitts' head and the shot in the back of the soldier. However on the description of the film it has the wrong film length info, it is about 12 minutes longer than shown. See more »

Connections

Referenced in In Praise of Action (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It could make The Charge Of The Light Brigade look like military genius.
9 October 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

A small Norfolk village in England is suddenly the focal point for a Polish regiment's training exercise. It would seem they are not all they are saying they are, so with Winston Churchill due to visit the village, there is something seriously afoot.

Written by Jack Higins, directed by John Sturges {The Great Escape} and starring Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland and Robert Duvall, The Eagle Has Landed is a different sort of war movie. Flipping the axis to a German point of view and having English and American actors playing the Germans, is a bold move that, fluctuating accents aside, makes for a totally engrossing picture. Offering a fair bit more than your standard film of men on a suicide mission for the war effort, the piece's pulp origins, and its idyllic country setting give it a quality that ensures the viewers attention stays firmly with the film's steadily paced first half. Also adding intrigue into this already interesting broth is that our main Nazi protagonist is not down with the whole killing Jews thing. It's very sly in how it pans out, its not asking the audience to feel sympathy with Steiner {Caine professionally impacting}, it's just proclaiming that not all people should be tarred with the same brush.

Mostly the cast are fine and boosted by a brilliant turn from Donald Sutherland as an IRA spy helping the Germans, Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasance, Anthony Quayle, Jenny Agutter and Jean Marsh all are solid within the picture's structure. Oddly the performance of Larry Hagman as the appropriately named Colonel Pitts sticks out like a sore thumb, buffoonery in bravado intent it's difficult to tell if it's meant to be comic relief or a statement of how the British viewed the yanks at this time? A young Treat Williams as Capt. Harry Clark ensures that not all American soldiers in the film come off as dunderheads. Playing out more as a mystery with it's various twists and turns, and seeping with tension amidst the village folk, The Eagle Has Landed is an odd sort of picture, but it certainly delivers enough to make it way above average. 6.5/10


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