The Eagle Has Landed

1976

Adventure / Drama

12
IMDb Rating 6.9

Synopsis


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2.59G
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PG
English
23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
134 min
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1.64G
1280x546
PG
English
23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
134 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by KEVMC 8/10

After the successful rescue of Mussolini by German Paratroopers, Col.MaxRadl is asked to prepare a feasibility study on an attempt to kidnap WinstonChurchill. At first this seems a preposterous idea, until a message arrivesfrom an agent in Britain which reports that Churchill will spend a weekendin the picturesque Norfolk village of Studley Constable, which is only a fewmiles from a deserted stretch of coastline. A plan is formulated to dropCol.Kurt Steiner and his highly experienced unit into Norfolk to carry outthe mission, aided by IRA man Liam Devlin and respected local figure JoannaGrey, who is a German agent and the source of the originalmessage.<br><br> This film has been a personal favourite of mine since I first saw it onits TV premiere around 1979, aged 12. It is of course the screen adaptationof Jack Higgins bestseller. I must admit to never having read the book, so Ican't testify how closely the film follows it. Produced by ITC in 1976, itboasts an impressive cast in Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, RobertDuvall, Donald Pleasance and a pre-JR Larry Hagman. Veteran HollywoodDirector John Sturges was at the helm - the man responsible for 'Bad Day AtBlack Rock', 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'The Great Escape' to name justthree. The production values and technical credits are uniformallygood.<br><br> As to the film itself, it remains an entertaining romp. Your interest isheld throughout, and you find yourself half wanting the Germans to get awaywith it, as Michael Caine and his men are such decent chaps. DonaldSutherland is full of Irish charm as Devlin, Larry Hagman is intentionallyfunny as the incompetent Col.Clarence T.Pitts, Robert Duvall is convincingand sympathetic as Radl, and Donald Pleasance quite chilling as Himmler.Good though the film is, it might have been better. In his autobiography,Michael Caine talks about the fact that after shooting had wrapped, Sturgesheaded back to California and never returned for any of the editing or postproduction. Caine felt let down by this, for as he correctly states, aDirector can do some of his most important work at this stage. However, healso remembers the shooting of the film as a very pleasurable experience. Atthat time he lived at Windsor, and much of the filming was done nearby onthe beautiful Mapledurham Estate, during the longest, hottest summer thatmost of us remember.<br><br> I paid a visit to Mapledurham recently, during the fine summer that we'vejust enjoyed. It's instantly recognisible - the watermill, the church, themanor house, Joanna Grey's cottage - all as they appear in the film and wellworth a visit. It always amuses me that the events are supposed to takeplace in November - a truly miserable month here - and yet its clearlymid-summer on screen.<br><br> I have one major gripe. Not with the film itself, but its availability onDVD. The UK version is to be avoided like the plague. Cursed with beingdistributed here by Carlton, its in 1.33:1 and worse is missing some 12minutes of footage. The US version is at least in 2.35:1, but is stillmissing 3 to 4 minutes of the film. Thank heavens that I still have mycomplete version recorded from the BBC some 12 years ago, before theydecided to cut some brief moments of violence. Its really annoying when agood film that did reasonable business at the box office gets such shoddytreatment on DVD. There really is no excuse for it.<br><br> When all is said and done, this is a good entertaining yarn and anintriguing idea (even if it does have echoes of 'Went The Day Well'). Maybenot a classic, but always good fun, professionally mounted and with somelovely locations. Give it a try if you haven't already seen it, just avoidthat Region 2 DVD!

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Reviewed by Jonathon Dabell ([email protected]) 6/10

Based on a best-selling tall story by Jack Higgins, and featuring anall-star cast that must've cost half the budget just to get to sign up forthe project, The Eagle Has Landed is an enjoyable but slightly overlongwartime actioner.<br><br> German soldier Max Radl (Robert Duvall) comes up with an audacious plot todeliver a devastating blow to the Allied forces by kidnapping WinstonChurchill from a Norfolk village. A team of deadly German spies, led by KurtSteiner (Michael Caine), are smuggled into England to carry out thissinister scheme. Aided by an Irish mercenary (Donald Sutherland), the Germanforces rapidly and ruthlessly close in on their target. Only aninexperienced American garrison, posted in a quiet corner of Norfolk, canstand in the way of a devastating German victory.<br><br> The Eagle Has Landed is one of the few films where the all-star castdoesn't have a detrimental effect. In films like A Bridge Too Far and TheLongest Day, the presence of so many stars actually results in a game of&quot;star-spotting&quot;, and this diverts the audience's attention away fromimportant plot developments. In The Eagle Has Landed, each actor bringsdepth and charisma to their strongly written roles (especially Sutherland asthe devious Irish rogue, and Duvall as an eye-patch wearing Nazi). Thisfilm's faults lie elsewhere. The opening hour and a quarter goes on rathertoo much and ought to have been trimmed by at least fifteen minutes. Also,the plot rides its luck with increasingly less likely, less plausibledevelopments (especially the unpersuasive &quot;twist&quot; ending). For thesereasons, The Eagle Has Landed isn't quite the excellent film you might behoping for. What it is, however, is an enjoyable, well-acted and verywatchable slice of escapism.

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Reviewed by ragosaal 7/10

&quot;The Eagle has Landed&quot; is a fine World War II fiction film placed inEngland that deals with a German commando operation planned to kidnap(or kill) Winston Chruchill.<br><br>The p&igrave;cture is most entertaining right from the start -when the plan isdesigned- and keeps up all along when it comes to the operation&#39;sachieving. A good script, excellent British outdoor locations, wellmade action sequences and a most competent cast are highlights of thefilm. Its also interesting that the German commandos are shown asdecent and even likable men, professional soldiers that just like theallies fight a war for their country even if they don&#39;t agree with theNazi regime that rules it.<br><br>&quot;The Eagle has Landed&quot; is also a good farewell from movies for directorJohn Sturges (this is his last work in direction) a prolific man thatgave us movie and western fans very good titles of the genre such us&quot;Gunfight at OK Corral&quot;, &quot;The Magnificent Seven&quot;, &quot;Last Train from GunHill&quot; and the more contemporary &quot;Bad Day at Black Rock&quot;.<br><br>A most entertaining and enjoyable film in the genre.

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