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  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    I'm just in the middle of creating a British film timeline from 1930 to present day and wondered what people would regard as the best/most important film of the year 1990?



    Life Is Sweet?



    Also 1976? Man Who Fell to Earth or Eagle Has Landed?

  2. #2
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    The Eagle Has Landed, without a doubt!. It's a kick ass british film with the coolest ensemble cast ever put to film.

    And it stands as the last film from master director John Sturges (respect). With a cast featuring Michael Caine,

    Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall, Donal Pleasence (he IS Himmler!), and Anthony Quayle, it doesn't get any

    better.



    Sturges brings the film in as the seventies war film to end all seventies war films. It's the last word in seventies

    action adventure filmmaking. I was pretty astounded when I first saw the UNCUT version on DVD!. The fact that

    it's filmed in England makes it even more entertaining. The film runs at a cracking pace as a group of Nazi's plan

    to kidnap Winston Churchill. Nazi's in england, seriously suspenseful in some scenes. Stunning cinematography

    and one buzzing score by Lalo Schifrin cranks up the adrenaline as the film progresses.



    The Carlton DVD features a lot of uncut scenes with more violence, fighting, shooting, mayhem and more cool

    music by Schifrin. This is one film that needs a restoration and a re-release. Criminally under-rated The

    Eagle Has Landed is a great classic war film that still plays well, even now.



    The Nazi pub scene with Donald Sutherland is the best. "Whiskey, please" :) .



    Donald Pleasence threatens to steal the entire first act with his performance as Himmler, and spits out his

    dialogue as if it's his last performance. Pleasence, who had worked with Sturges in a lot of his previous films,

    must have known that Sturges planned this film as his last. He puts in a right performance.



    And let's not forget Caine's performance as a Nazi with the coolest dialogue:



    Colonel Kurt Steiner (Caine):

    I have no intention of dying now. But if I'm

    going to, allow me to choose where and how.



    But for me, other than the acid humour that is lttered through out the film, you would think the director was British

    at times. For me, it's the single scene that Anthony Quayle has at the start. One of my favourite english character

    actors, he puts in a great appearance as a disillushioned Nazi Admiral:



    Admiral Canaris (Quayle):

    That meeting, you should have seen it, Radl.

    There was Hitler, first ranting, then cajoling,

    then perfectly rational... then raging and

    stamping like a-- like the ringmaster of

    some freak circus! Goebbels, hopping from

    one foot to another like a-- like a schoolboy.

    Bormann... hmph... a vulture, perched in the

    corner, watching, listening, never speaking.

    And Mussolini -- Mussolini! -- an automaton,

    Radl! And I looked round that room, and I

    wondered: am I the only one who can see it?

    And if so, what must I look like to them?



    The Eagle Has Landed, should have been on the BFI 100, but they never would have allowed it. This is the kind

    of film audiences would love to see in the cinemas now, not some crap rehashed american war film with no

    originality. Did I mention Michael Caine's in it too! :) lol



    And, this is connected, just a curiosity I have. The film was an ITC production, great independent films were

    made by them in the past (except for Raise The Titanic, which is so bad it's really quite good!). If Carlton bought

    ITC's entire archive for $150 million, how come they stopped broadcasting their Cartlon Cinema TV Channel. They

    must be loaded if they can spend $150 million in one go!.

  3. #3
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    But was The Eagle Has Landed really a remake of Went the Day Well? (1942). There are more than a few similarities. Was that where Jack Higgins got the idea from?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    The Eagle Has Landed is really a jazzed up (ingredients of The Dirty Dozen and Kelly's Heroes thrown in) version of Went The Day Well?; but I don't think it was ever officially credited. The manor house siege is moved to the village church and Jean Marsh takes over Leslie Banks' role as the fifth columnist in their midst. Perhaps Cavalcanti's pacifist ideal also runs through it as the idea to kill Churchill is intended to bring the war to an end.



    Of course, WTDW also owes something to Albert de Courville's An Englishman's Home (based on the play) which like the Ealing film was greeted with controversy for showing the plucky Brits getting killed off. Sadly I've never seen it.



    As Caine's career was on the wane it was no surprise to see him in the chief role as many of the 1970s Lew Grade ITC or Rank-Thorn-Emi (whatever they were calling themselves!) films featured a fading Hollywood star in a tepid big-budgeter. It was either that or a sitcom crossover... they even managed to make The Likely Lads unfunny!



    Special mention should also go to Donald Sutherland who's IRA sympathizer brought an extra angle and a touch of droll humour to the film. Sutherland treaded similar water shortly afterwards in the underrated Eye of The Needle. (sadly let down by the likes of Christopher Cazenove getting in on the act)



    The 1970s The era film quality control forgot.

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    The Eagle Has Landed is really a jazzed up (ingredients of The Dirty Dozen and Kelly's Heroes thrown in) version of Went The Day Well?; but I don't think it was ever officially credited. The manor house siege is moved to the village church and Jean Marsh takes over Leslie Banks' role as the fifth columnist in their midst. Perhaps Cavalcanti's pacifist ideal also runs through it as the idea to kill Churchill is intended to bring the war to an end.



    Of course, WTDW also owes something to Albert de Courville's An Englishman's Home (based on the play) which like the Ealing film was greeted with controversy for showing the plucky Brits getting killed off. Sadly I've never seen it.



    As Caine's career was on the wane it was no surprise to see him in the chief role as many of the 1970s Lew Grade ITC or Rank-Thorn-Emi (whatever they were calling themselves!) films featured a fading Hollywood star in a tepid big-budgeter. It was either that or a sitcom crossover... they even managed to make The Likely Lads unfunny!



    Special mention should also go to Donald Sutherland who's IRA sympathizer brought an extra angle and a touch of droll humour to the film. Sutherland treaded similar water shortly afterwards in the underrated Eye of The Needle. (sadly let down by the likes of Christopher Cazenove getting in on the act)



    The 1970s The era film quality control forgot.


    I with you on this...I saw The Eagle Has Landed in 1977 at the ABC in Sheffield on a cold wet Monday afternoon IIRC & had the cinema pretty much to myself.



    I was impressed then but in retrospect, it is NOT a great movie. Of course, Donald Pleasance's portrayal of Himmler is good because he was GOOD actor. His protrayal of Blofeld in "You Only Live Twice (Mr Bond)" was more sinister and for the most chilling ever protrayal of a Nazi, it has to be Kenneth Branagh as Heydrich in "Conspiracy".



    Quayle is perfect as Canaris as is Duval as Major Radl. Sutherland is no better than OK as the IRA man and his accent is irritating.



    The dialogue and scenes are stereotyped - I wince at the old codger's line "More bloody foriegners" upon the exposure of Caine's men as Germans.



    Sutherland's affair with Agutter is contrived in the extreme and the action is no better than a 60's TV show - exiting it is not.



    The rest of the characters from the village priest to Larry (JR) Hagman's stupid American colonel are just weak parodies.



    The analagy with Went the Day Well is a good one...I've only seen it once, IIRC, the ruse is blown by the fith columnist's mispronunciation of a "V".



    However, the film is based on Jack Higgin's excellent book of the same name. It is one of the best British war novels ever written and it's a shame the film couldn't live up to it.



    On a last note, I find it depressing that the British film industry can't get the confidence to make a film without American actors or American characters or both.



    "For Queen & Country" and "Bridget Jones' Diary" are slaps in the face to British acting talent with US actors playing British characters...can you imagine a French film using a US actor to play a Frenchman?

  6. #6
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Polynikes:



    The analagy with Went the Day Well is a good one...I've only seen it once, IIRC, the ruse is blown by the fith columnist's mispronunciation of a "V".
    There's a query about a '7' crossed in the continental fashion.



    There are various suspicions about them and a few people question things but most questions are explained by the fifth columnist (a trusted member of the village). They're never really 'blown' as such. The takeover is almost successful but one of the prisoners escapes.

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    SteveCrook:



    There's a query about a '7' crossed in the continental fashion.



    There are various suspicions about them and a few people question things but most questions are explained by the fifth columnist (a trusted member of the village). They're never really 'blown' as such. The takeover is almost successful but one of the prisoners escapes.
    As I remember, the main female character pulls a revolver on the suspect fifth columnist when he mispronounced a word...

    My father was a sixteen year old in the Home Guard / LDV in 1940 and there was a tongue twister they made strangers say which contained many V's and W's to trip up the German spies...funny now.

  8. #8
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    As I remember, the main female character pulls a revolver on the suspect fifth columnist when he mispronounced a word...

    My father was a sixteen year old in the Home Guard / LDV in 1940 and there was a tongue twister they made strangers say which contained many V's and W's to trip up the German spies...funny now.
    You'll have to watch it again :)



    You're thinking of when the vicar's daughter, who had been thowing herself at the squire all through the film, discovered he was the fifth columnist. She shows him what she thinks of people who betray her - a very powerful scene.



    Radio 4's arts programme just after The Archer's, "Front Row" was tonight talking about the films most frequently shown on TV. The Bond films came quite high up in the table, but so did Went The Day Well? - usually shown when the cricket is cancelled.



    The trouble with that pronunciation test was that it tripped up a lot of the European film-makers who were here at the time.



    When Emeric Pressburger came back from Canada after making the government sponsored film "49th Parallel" (for which he won an Oscar) he was interned as an enemy alien until Powell (with the help of the MoI) got him out.

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    SteveCrook:



    You'll have to watch it again.



    You're thinking of when the vicar's daughter, who had been thowing herself at the squire all through the film, discovered he was the fifth columnist. She shows him what she thinks of people who betray her - a very powerful scene.
    It's been a few years so perhaps I'd better.

    Not sure US cable T will show it in the near future though....



    The trouble with that pronunciation test was that it tripped up a lot of the European film-makers who were here at the time.



    When Emeric Pressburger came back from Canada after making the government sponsored film "49th Parallel" (for which he won an Oscar) he was interned as an enemy alien until Powell (with the help of the MoI) got him out.
    Channel 4 ran a programme about the real dad's army in which the darker side of those petty authority fanatics got out of hand with more than one policeman being shot at.

    An Eastern European employed by the ministry of agriculture was shot dead by the LDV as a fifth columnist whislt undertaking a survey of arable land in the South East as part of his job.

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    "NEXT OF KIN" 1942. I bought a first gen VHS copy from BLACKSTAR. It was advertised as "The film Churchill tried to ban". Mervyn Johns was one of the fifth columnists. Its worth a look. You can imagine the fear and anguish films like this, and the others mentioned above, must have left people at the home front feeling. Husbands, fathers and sons at sea or overseas for years. Them never knowing what danger each was in. Powerful stuff propaganda.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Europe Bernardo's Avatar
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    It is amazing how different people remember the film. Now I thought the ruse was blown when the young lad, helping to unpack pulled out a bar of chocolate but spelt with a K.

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    Bernardo:



    It is amazing how different people remember the film. Now I thought the ruse was blown when the young lad, helping to unpack pulled out a bar of chocolate but spelt with a K.
    Maybe there were different versions like Nescafe adverts?



    I distinctly remember the mispronounced "W".

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly it was that the German soldiers rationed chocolate had 'Chocolade' imprinted on it.

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    DB7:

    I'm just in the middle of creating a British film timeline from 1930 to present day and wondered what people would regard as the best/most important film of the year 1990?



    Life Is Sweet?



    Also 1976? Man Who Fell to Earth or Eagle Has Landed?
    I stopped going and watching films from the 1990s. I much prefer the old black/white and films up to the late 1970s. Too much sex and violence + they cannot make films today.

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    Good to see this one discussed. Not great but certainly better than average. True, Sutherland's Irish accent is bad, but not as bad as his English accent in Eye Of The Needle (another one worthy of second looks). And he effectively delivers some decent comic relief with the line (about Radl's Russian front cigarettes) "Hand me another one 'o them Bolshevik firecrackers..."



    And Caine pulls off a masterfully wordless trick at the church door, smiling at Treat Williams' Sergeant as if knowing something. And it's - of course! A salute is expected, due to rank. Regardless of service, one is owed SOME respect. That character may have been about to die, but was determined to do so PROPERLY.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Mapledurham Mill.



    Mapledurham Church.

  17. #17
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    paulm:

    I stopped going and watching films from the 1990s. I much prefer the old black/white and films up to the late 1970s. Too much sex and violence + they cannot make films today.
    Same here, the last film I went to see at the pictures was The Towering Inferno.! My films are forties through late sixties, my wife thinks I am a saddo! Although I don't pretend to know a lot about them , they are the ones I enjoy the most.

  18. #18
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    When it comes to British movies,my favourites tend to be of the forties up to the sixties.

    The Eagle has Landed was not one of my favourite war films,but it is watchable and Michael Caine - going through a bleak patch at the time - was very good as the German officer.

    In the last twenty years,Local Hero,The Killing Fields and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels I would rate as my favourite British films. Anything with Hugh Grant is a no no with me and I can't but feel that the current crop of British movies made today wouldn't feel out of place if they were made directly for television.

    Does any agree that we have the inability to make blockbusters like the Americans.

    Ta Ta

    Marky B frown

  19. #19
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    The Eagle has Landed is very watchable only due to Michael Caine. Although the action scenes are very well done, it does smack of a low budget British film, as usual. But I would rather watch this than most U.S. films of the same period. Top of my list of British war movies has got to be Dunkirk with John Mills.

  20. #20
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    I meant to say on my last that The Brit film industry does make blockbusters, they just don't get noticed!

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