6.9/10
16,508
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 daring World War II plot that changed the course of history. 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

Donald Sutherland and Robert Duvall appeared in MASH (1970) and Lady Ice (1973). See more »

Goofs

The largest scale map that Colonel Radl looks at on the map room wall is a 1970's style Ordnance Survey "Landranger" series map. The 1940's versions were of a different style and coloring. 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 and the Artisan Region 1 DVD). 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 Constable")
  • 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 maneuvers scene) (Part of this scene is on the Artisan DVD Region 1, but it's very short)
  • Pitts telling his men to "put that windshield down, and give me some hand grenades" (following the war office disagreement) (This scene is on the Artisan DVD Region 1)
  • Pitts looking through binoculars, putting white flag on jeep and negotiating with a German, whilst his men get into position (after Clark stops Churchill) (This scene is on the Artisan DVD Region 1)
  • Brief shot of a German soldier playing music on church organ (This scene is NOT on the Artisan DVD Region 1)
  • Brief shot of above German soldier, dead slumped over organ (This scene is on the Artisan DVD Region 1)
  • Radl and Karl outside in Alderney (after Steiner and Devlin depart) (This scene is on the Artisan DVD Region 1)
  • Two U.S. soldiers send dogs into a hut after Devlin, then Devlin using his dog whistle trick (after Steiner knocks soldier unconscious). (This scene is on the Artisan DVD Region 1)
See more »

Connections

Featured in Peep Show: Jeremy Makes It (2004) 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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