The Eagle Has Landed

The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

World War II.

Jung speaks of synchronicity, of "events having a coincidence in time". It is just such a synchronicity that lies behind this story. In 1943, German paratroopers pulled off a daring raid, freeing Mussolini from his prison. Excited by this success, Adolf Hitler makes the patently absurd suggestion that a similar raid could, perhaps, be carried out to abduct Winston Churchill. His sycophantic followers delight in seeing the poor Admiral on the spot sweating, so they build the idea up. The Admiral knows the Fuhrer will quickly forget the idea, but that his followers will not, so he is forced to order that a feasibility study be carried out.

The Colonel given that task has just received an otherwise meaningless report that suggests, yes, it is feasible.

A squad of disgraced paratroopers—their leader, Colonel Kurt Steiner (Michael Caine) dared to show compassion to a young Jewish woman attempting to flee when being loaded aboard the trains to the camps—is recruited to tackle the seemingly impossible task. Disguised as Polish soldiers—but with their German uniforms underneath; they are not spies—they parachute onto a deserted stretch of English coastline, just a few miles from a lonely village where Churchill intends to spend the weekend.

The villagers accept their presence, and all seems to be going smoothly, until a little girl falls into the millstream. One of the soldiers dives in to save her; in the process of getting her out, he is dragged in under the waterwheel, and when his lifeless body comes out the other side, his German uniform is exposed. The villagers are locked in the church, but one escapes, and word gets out to a platoon of US Rangers based nearby.

With Churchill alerted and their forces under siege in the village, can Steiner and his men possibly succeed in their mission?

The answer might surprise you...

This is quite a slow movie, more thriller than action, and fully the first hour is focussed on the planning of, and preparation for, the mission. The action does ramp up in the second half, though, as Steiner and his men defend their positions against American and British forces. I was particularly intrigued by the idea of Caine playing a German officer who speaks English "without an accent"—given that I'd never seen him play anything other than a Cockney before. He did a great job!

IMDB: The Eagle Has Landed

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Latest Articles

2014 Movie List

Since typing out the 2013 "Movies" list was more than a little tedious, I've written a short Perl script to do the work for me. Never underestimate the power of a short Perl script! Here, then, is the list of everything I watched in 2014. Hmm. I sure racked up the couch-time!

Read more...

2014 Reading List

2014 was also a slow year for me. I think I'd almost go so far as to say that 2014 was my Annus Horribilis; certainly I didn't seem to be particularly productive with anything. My heart just wasn't in it. Neither were my kidneys.

Read more...

2013 Reading List

2013 was a slow year for me, book-wise. Apparently. I only read 26 books, and there were a couple of large gaps during which I was too focused on other projects to do much reading. (And since 2014 was, uh, not a good year—for many reasons—I never finished typing this up until April 2015!)

Read more...

2013 Movie List

Sometime in August 2013, I decided to add a "Date Watched" column to my movie database, thus allowing me to at least list what I have watched each year, by year.  Obviously this list only goes back as far as August... :-)

Now that I've got my script working (produced for the 2014 list) I've regenerated this list too!

Read more...

Barbara Wright

Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) was Susan Foreman's history teacher at the Coal Hill School; along with Ian Chesterton she followed Susan back to the junkyard in which she was living, and encountered the Doctor.  When, concerned for their student, they forced themselves into the TARDIS, they were essentially abducted by the Doctor.

Read more...