Saturday, April 10, 2010

Churchill targeted in last-ditch Nazi plot

The Eagle Has Landed (1976)
Starring: Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall, Donald Pleasance, Jenny Agutter, and Jean Marsh
Director: John Sturges
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

As defeat looks increasily inevitable for Germany, Heinrich Himmler (Pleasance) greenlights a long-shot mission to kidnap Winston Churchill. An elite force of German paratroopers under the command of Colonel Steiner (Caine) infiltrate a village near where Churchill will be taking a vacation, and with the aid of German agents already in place (Sutherland and Marsh), get everything in place for their audacious strike. However, when a series of events cause Steiner's force to be revealed, Steiner takes one last desperate gamble and turns the kidnap mission into one of assassination.

"The Eagle Has Landed" is a great WW2 suspense movie. It's got good acting--even if Sutherland's assumed Irish accent was irritatingly inconsistent--excellent pacing, and characters that for the most part are believable. (The only truly weak aspects of the story involved an insta-romance between Sutherland and Agutter's characters, and a twist at the end that I think the film could have done without.)

If you like WW films and spy thrillers, I think you'll enjoy "The Eagle Has Landed."

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