The Eagle Has Landed (1976)

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John Sturges directs Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland and Robert Duvall in this fictional World War II flick about a Nazi mission to kidnap Churchill on English soil. 

Lazy direction from retiring journeyman master Sturges almost hobbles this taut and surpringly romantic fantasy war thriller but luckily New Hollywood star power wins through. Sutherland and Duvall shining brightly in particular as an IRA inflitatrator with the soul of a poet and the man with a plan respectively. The tricky situation of encouraging an audience into backing the baddies is sensitively handled, all our protagonists seemingly take on the impossible mission to avoid doing more troubling Nazi work, and by the end, by God, do you almost wish they make it. No mean feat considering weighty real life tragedies this daftly light boy’s own adventure is constructed around. So it is no The Great Escape or Attack! this last hurrah for the blockbuster ensemble war movie hits a spot no longer catered for. Unless Nolan’s upcoming Dunkirk proves incredibly cheerier and much more triumphant than anticipated.

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