6.9/10
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103 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)

Photos

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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

Tom Mankiewicz thought the script was the best he had ever written, "but John Sturges, for some reason, had given up" and did a poor job. He said that Editor Anne V. Coates was the one who saved the movie, and made it watchable. See more »

Goofs

When Steiner and Devlin find Arthur's body in the cottage, the blood stain on the door from when Molly shot him has mysteriously disappeared. 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 The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Fine Good Bye for John Sturges
8 December 2006 | by ragosaalSee all my reviews

"The Eagle has Landed" is a fine World War II fiction film placed in England that deals with a German commando operation planned to kidnap (or kill) Winston Chruchill.

The pìcture is most entertaining right from the start -when the plan is designed- and keeps up all along when it comes to the operation's achieving. A good script, excellent British outdoor locations, well made action sequences and a most competent cast are highlights of the film. Its also interesting that the German commandos are shown as decent and even likable men, professional soldiers that just like the allies fight a war for their country even if they don't agree with the Nazi regime that rules it.

"The Eagle has Landed" is also a good farewell from movies for director John Sturges (this is his last work in direction) a prolific man that gave us movie and western fans very good titles of the genre such us "Gunfight at OK Corral", "The Magnificent Seven", "Last Train from Gun Hill" and the more contemporary "Bad Day at Black Rock".

A most entertaining and enjoyable film in the genre.


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