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The Eagle Has Landed

A solid war thriller from 1976, THE EAGLE HAS LANDED features an all-star cast and a strong adaption of Jack Higgins popular novel.

With WWII in full swing, the Nazis come up with a brave/crazy plot to kidnap Winston Churchill in England.

When first approached with the plot, Colonel Radl (an eye-patched and menacing Robert Duvall) thinks its insane, but soon the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place to make the kidnapping more feasible.

Michael Caine is the German Parachute commander who speaks perfect English (with that classic Caine tweak) and takes 15 paratroopers with him into the English Countryside.

Donald Sutherland has a very similar role to his later film "Eye of the Needle" as spy Liam Devlin, whose involvement with an English girl will complicate the Nazis plans.

Larry Hagman is over the top as Colonel Pitts, the leader of the American forces in the small town where they hope to grab Churchill. It's as if JR Ewing went back in time and threw on a uniform. It's the only bad performance in the film.

Throw in Donald Pleasance as SS Officer Himmler and Jenny Agutter (American Werewolf in London, Logan's Run) as Sutherland's distraction and you've got a solid cast.

The screenplay is by James Bond veteran Tom Mankiewicz, playing things pretty serious in his adaption of Higgins bestseller.

The film drags a bit in spots, but the last 45 minutes provides plenty of classic war movie action.

This Eagle lands with an entertaining B-.

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