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Eagles Over London
The British High Command finds itself in the thick of a huge dilemma when it is realized that they have long been infiltrated by spies from a German intelligence group. This all happens during the preliminary stages of the Battle of Britain.
|Studio :||Atlántida Films, Fida Cinematografica,|
|Crew :||Director, Music Director,|
|Cast :||Luigi Pistilli Ida Galli Francisco Rabal Frederick Stafford Van Johnson|
|Genre :||Drama Action History Foreign|
This movie is the proof that the world is becoming a sick and dumb place
Although it has its amusing moments, in eneral the plot does not convince.
The performances transcend the film's tropes, grounding it in characters that feel more complete than this subgenre often produces.
The acting in this movie is really good.
WWII Italian/Spanish epic , this time about British airmen who prevented threatened Nazi invasion. Action,suspense and entertainment with an unit of Nazis (Francisco Rabal , Luigi Pistilli , among others) infiltrated on England . It commences at Dunkirk when a German band infiltrates British lines and unites the evacuation to Great Britain for the aim of conducting covert missions . As the Battle of Britain starts the Germans focus on attempting the sabotage new Allied Radar installations .A British Captain (Frederick Stafford ) tries to track down the Germans aided by a sergeant (Renzo Palmer) and under direct orders of a British Air Marshal (Van Johnson). It is 1940, and the diabolical mind of Adolf Hitler is planning to bomb England into submission to his warped dreams of a 'Fortress Europe'. Standing between Britain's freedom and Hitler's terrifying plans is the R.A.F - dedicated pilots who took to the skies in the face of overwhelming odds. The German Luftwaffe's planes outnumber the R.A.F's by more than 2 to 1 - 650 planes of the R.A.F. vs. 2,500 of the Luftwaffe! These odds , however, do not deplete the determination of the R.A.F. to stop Hitler, and as the Luftwaffe launches wave after wave of Heinkel 111 bombers against British cities, the R.A.F. responds, under the political leadership of Winton Churchill . Squadron Leaders lead the newest pilots of the R.A.F. into dogfighting with the Luftwaffe's experienced veterans, with the aim of driving Hitler's forces away from Dover's white cliffs for good .This European co-production between Italy/Spain/France contains noisy action , wartime intrigue, explosions, shootouts, bombing and is quite amusing . But it's also a historical reenactment of the air war in the early days of WWII for control of the skies over Britain as a subject matter that deals with a vital period of world history as the new Luftwaffe and the Royal Air Force determine whether or not an invasion can take place . Well-made war-action/thriller/adventure/ Eurotrash film , is a standout in its genre : The Spaghetti-Italian warlike. This exciting movie gets lots of action, spectacular scenes , displays several extras and tanks, in fact, the production wishes thanks the British Ministry of defense and the Army general staff for their collaboration in making this film. Relentless plot twists ,in spite of some flaws ,the warlike action keep you breathless , thanks to suspense and acceptable widescreen aerial sequences , which will suffer on small television. Great aerial photography with nice special effects aerial unit by Emilio Ruiz Del Rio. Fine cinematography by Alejandro Ulloa of ¨Horror Express¨ and atmospheric score by Francesco De Massi. Rough,elegant Francisco Rabal is good as the group leader of the motley pack ,he along with Luigi Pistilli leads the misfit group of Nazis from behind enemy lines . Remainder casting has such a terrific plethora formed by several European actors , as French : Frederick Stafford ,Jacques Berthier ; Spanish : Teresa Gimpera , Luis Davila ,Eduardo Fajardo ; Italian : Luigi Pistilli , Ida Galli and Renzo Palmer , furthermore special appearance by Van Johnson as Air Marshall Taylor. The film takes part from American classic movies referred to Commandos genre ,just like :¨ Dirty dozen¨, ¨Kelly's heroes¨ and ¨Where the eagles dare¨ but especially of ¨ Battle of England¨ by Guy Hamilton . The picture is professionally directed by Enzo Girolami Castellari who made another good war film: ¨Inglorious bastards¨. He had a lot of hit-smash in the action cinema and Spaghetti as ¨Keoma¨ and ¨Go kill and come back¨, in fact the film is an Italian Western developed on the WWII. The pic will appeal to Eurocult fans and Italian-Spaniard production enthusiasts.
Using the chaos of the Dunkirk evacuation as a cover, several German agents take on the identities of English soldiers in order to gain access to England and take out the radar installations. One Captain aware of the ruse has to track the men down and stop them before the Germans can bomb England into surrendering.Good, if a bit long, spy story set in London. there are several action set pieces that are quite good, though they suffer a great deal in pan and scan because of the use of multiple images. (Oh how this film cries out for a good letterbox edition.) This is the sort of film that grabs you from the first couple of moments and then drags you along at its conclusion. I really liked this and probably should have rated it higher than 6 but I think the viewing experience was really hindered by a lack of widescreen.Worth searching out, especially if you can find a wide screen copy.
Enzo G. Castellari's masterful "Eagles Over London" is not just a better film than most folks would give it credit for, but raises a couple of interesting questions about why the Italians bothered making WW2 movies in the 1967 - 1971 "classic" period of genre film-making. Oh sure, they were cashing in on THE DIRTY DOZEN, THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, THE LONGEST DAY, THE GREAT ESCAPE, and the other blockbuster war "hits" of the decade ... but what is really going on here? Since when all is said & done most of the examples are either silly (FIVE FOR HELL), boring (RANGERS ATTACK AT DAWN), cartoonish (ATTACK FORCE NORMANDY) or just plain bizarre (THE DIRTY HEROES, SALT IN THE WOUND), "Eagles Over London" offers a rare opportunity to examine the form without having to necessarily apologize for the film in question. It's not just another Spaghetti War cheapie.THE PLOT: An elite squad of German SS commandos -- led by the always delightfully evil Luigi Pistilli -- infiltrate Allied forces evacuating from Dunkirk by gunning down a misplaced patrol and stealing their identities, infiltrating England & letting the British to do the heavy lifting getting there. The goal is to render Britain's home radar detection system ineffective and allow German bombers to pound London into road salt. Two Allied officers realize something is amiss and work to expose & stop the infiltrators before all hope -- and the war -- is lost. It's a crackerjack plot ingeniously staged using actual British locations, cleverly endearing use of models & clumsily edited stock footage that more or less tells the story with minimal exposition, performed by some of Italian genre cinema's finest stars, and director Castellari actually had a respectable budget. This is a pretty good war movie, in spite of what the purists may have to say, and elements of it's story & extra-large scope would later turn up in THE EAGLE HAS LANDED and A BRIDGE TOO FAR.The film raises some even more interesting questions about whether or not Americanized audiences can ever take Italian B cinema seriously (in short, NO) and just what the point of having Italian filmmakers explore WW2, since after all for the bulk of the conflict they were allied with Germany under Musillini, who was as brutal of a fascist dictator as you can ask for. So what's the point? Or were they just so arrogant as to not apologize for themselves & dared to walk on hallowed ground?I've speculated on this with some cohorts and we came to the conclusion that it is a combination of the need to fulfill contracts with production companies that decided there was money to be made creating war films, along with a genuine interest in the duality of the subject matter, specifically having the opportunity to sort of re-write Italian history and put them on the side of the Good Guys. They were for the last couple months of the war, but only after we had reduced most of their country to rubble -- which is one of the reasons why most of these things are either set in France (FIVE FOR HELL, THE DAM BURSTERS) or Northern Africa (BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN, BATTLE IN THE DESERT) where the duplicity of Italy's role in the war is either a moot point, or history saw them serving with honor and gaining the respect of their British, American and Canadian adversaries."Eagles Over London" actually sets itself in Britain at the time when only England stood between Hitler and his ambition to rule, enslave and murder half of the world, and I think that one of the problems Hollywoodized war movie buffs may have with it is the audacity of an Italian director & cast to actually put themselves in that role rather than recruiting specifically American, British, Canadian & French actors to re-stage their successful bid to oppose Hitler's ambitions. In that plane of consideration, this might be one of the riskiest efforts from the short lived sub-genre, and the fact that Enzo & company managed to pull it off, make an entertaining film AND end up on the side of the Good Guys shouldn't be dismissed by silly considerations like authenticity of costumes, props, locations, names, words painted on signs or whatever. This isn't a history lesson, after all, it's a genre movie, and what might confuse or annoy traditional war movie buffs is seeing these B movie directors actually dare to have fun with the genre.So whatever negative vibe this movie may generate is a combination of sour grapes over Italy's actual role in the war, short-sightedness in being focused on authenticity, and a fuddy-duddy attitude about how war films are only supposed to be solemn tributes to those who fought, died, and ultimately won. The winners ultimately end up getting to write the histories that are later taught, after all, and while the ending may lack the sort of emotional payoff that Hollywoodized audiences expect from their war films it is still just as entertaining as any other example from the decade. When all is said and done we as humans go to the movies to be entertained, and you can't fault Enzo for having managed to do exactly that.I would rank this right up there with SALT IN THE WOUND, DESERT COMMANDOS, BATTLE IN THE DESERT and THE WAR DEVILS as one of the more respectable efforts, transcending their Spaghetti War stigma and making THE GREEN BERETS look foolish by comparison. Maybe that is what really pisses everyone off about them: They made The Duke look like a glory boy, flag waving, lunkheaded propagandist by comparison, which he was. Nothing wrong with that either, mind you, but some people just can't stand being told the truth about themselves and you shouldn't hold it against the Italians for managing to pull off putting John Wayne in his place.9/10: Enzo should be proud!!
If you have absolutely nothing to do, or you need to critique a film as an academic exercise, try this one. I saw the USA version, with English dubbed in, out of sync with the lip-movements.One can't help but notice the style of cinematography, music, editing and direction so much like the Clint Eastwood "spaghetti-westerns", or Hercules movies of the 1950's.If you want to see a movie about the Battle of Britain, there are others that are better (e.g. "The Battle of Britain").