6.9/10
17,310
100 user 38 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:

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

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

David Bowie had auditioned for a part in this movie, according to Dan North in his book "Sights Unseen; Unfinished British Films". See more »

Goofs

When Radl is climbing the stairs to his office he can be seen to be speaking, and his assistant Karl is also seen to reply. However, there is no sound of either man speaking, and the only sounds heard are Radl's footsteps on the stairs. 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 UK video version of this movie (once available on Channel 5/Spectrum sell thru) is missing roughly 12 minutes of footage. This material can be found in the version screened by the BBC, although the 'beeb' decided to censor two brief scenes of violence (after Grey shoots Pitts, there's a quick shot of blood covering his face and a U.S. soldier having his shoulder shot while a colleague pronounces "son of a bitch"; both of these are in the shorter video version). The following omissions occur in the video:
  • Radl and Karl walking to map room, putting map on wall (this follows Radl saying "where is Studley Barnett")
  • Liam walking into churchyard, then church, meeting Father Vereker and Pamela (following the pub scene)
  • Long, important dialogue scene with Liam, Grey and Steiner discussing their motives (following the manouvres scene)
  • Pitts telling his men to "put that windshield down, and give me some hand grenades" (following the war office disagreement)
  • Pitts looking through binoculars, putting white flag on jeep and negotiating with a nazi, whilst his men get into position (after Clark stops Churchill)
  • Brief shot of nazi playing theme music on church organ
  • Brief shot of above nazi, dead slumped over organ
  • Radl and Karl outside in Alderney (after Steiner and Devlin depart)
  • Two U.S. soldiers send dogs into a hut after Devlin, then Devlin using his dog whistle trick (after Steiner knocks soldier unconscious).
See more »

Connections

Featured in Al Murray's Great British War Movies (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Generally gets the thumbs-up, but has a couple of slightly disappointing features.
13 May 2004 | by barnabyrudgeSee 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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