At long last, one of my favourite "fictional" World War II films is finally out on DVD and the transfer is excellent all round. And even better, there is now a "Special Edition" Region 2 release available on the Amazon UK website with an additional 17 minutes of footage, interviews with Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland & Donald Pleasance, theatrical trailers, biographies on cast & crew plus interviews from British news programs !
The 1970's was a decade when war movies were filled with mercenaries, commando's and full guns blazing action....and "The Eagle has Landed" is no exception, but a better told tale than many others !
Director John Sturges ( "The Great Escape", "The Magnificent Seven", "Ice Station Zebra" ) in his final directorial role shows once again why he was one sharpest action / suspense film directors of the 1960/70's with this exciting filming of the best selling Jack Higgins novel. What makes this film so enjoyable, and able to withstand repeated viewings is the talented cast at the centre of this twisting tale of spies and espionage. German officer Kurt Steiner (Michael Caine) is the disgraced leader of a group of crack German paratroopers that have been exiled to operate an MTB boat in the English Channel. Opportuntity comes their way in the form of Colonel Radl (Robert Duvall), with an incredible plot to secretly parachute into England and kidnap Winston Churchill from a country retreat. Donald Pleasance turns in a chilling performance as SS leader, Heinrich Himmler...Donald Sutherland in fine form as the IRA ally, Liam Devlin...Larry Hagman is the pompous and foolhardy Colonel Pitts and Treat Willians (in his first movie role) as the wiser and more wary American Ranger, Captain Clark. Attractive Jenny Agutter contributes the love interest as Molly Prior, and icy Jean Marsh puts in a cold blooded display as the Nazi sympathasier, Joanna Grey.
"The Eagle has Landed" has some great twists and turns and never lets the viewer relax as the story holds a keen balance between action, suspense, romance and tragedy. Highly recommended for those who like intrigue and adventure in their WWII movies !!
A highly entertaining and different WWII film that stands out from the rest.