Eagles Over London (1969) Poster

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7/10
Great Suspense, Energy and Pizzaz
SgtSlaughter7 November 2002
Here we have, yes, another Italian war movie from the early 1970s. This one features a half-decent international cast and a slew of decent action sequences.

As the British evacuate Dunkirk, several German saboteurs infiltrate their forces. They kill a squad of English troops and take their ID tags. Frederick Stafford, the platoon leader, finds the dead men and realizes their IDs are missing. Upon returning to England, he heads efforts to locate the saboteurs before they can blow up radar installations along the coast.

The film boasts a good international cast: Frederick Stafford, though dubbed, is pretty good as the Hungarian-English Captain. Van Johnson does a corny bit as an English Air Marshall and even participates in a few aerial battles. Francisco Rabal is very good as the German officer who befriends Stafford; Stafford realizes who he REALLY is and must face him during the bone-shattering climax. Hottie Ida Galli turns in a good performance as Stafford's girlfriend. I must also note the presence of Luigi Pistilli as the German group leader. The man was marvelous in the Leone westerns and is very good here as well.

The battle sequences range from superb to incredibly corny. The dogfights involve live action, miniatures, and poorly edited black and white stock footage. The ground combat scenes are often confusing -- but exciting -- since the British and German infiltrators wear the same uniforms. Great cinematography -- this appears to be filmed on location in England is is done well. The music score is typical adventure type stuff but does the job. Much of the combat footage found itself recycled in Umberto Lenzi's FROM HELL TO VICTORY in 1979.

Overall, for a good cast and great direction by Enzo Castellari, I give it a 7/10.
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7/10
Nice warfare movie packs thrills , spectacular scenes and historical deeds
ma-cortes22 January 2011
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.
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6/10
EAGLES OVER London (Enzo G. Castellari, 1969) **1/2
Bunuel19767 October 2006
This is a surprisingly elaborate war film which tackles the same events as the big-budgeted BATTLE OF Britain (1969), but from an entirely different perspective - the infiltration of German spies into London prior to the Luftwaffe's aerial attack in order to destroy the RAF's infallible radar system, and British Captain Frederick Stafford's efforts to root them out in time.

While the generally slick presentation belies the modest funds that were obviously available, the overall achievement is still hurt by too much concession to elements particular to lowbrow film-making and especially some grating comic relief (culminating in a brawl between British and French soldiers) provided by Renzo Palmer - but there's also a baffling over-emphasis on the heroics of a French air ace (who's not even a major character!), as well as obviously choreographed stuntwork...not to mention the fact that every revelation in unmasking the Nazi plot is left to the ingenuity of one man, which makes one wonder just what would have become of Great Britain if Stafford hadn't been there!! Besides, even if I was watching the film in Italian, the fact that none of the cast is British or German is inescapable - which certainly doesn't award it any marks for authenticity!

Castellari's often flashy direction doesn't work either: shooting from odd angles (through a bullet hole in a helmet, through a pair of clasped hands or through a loudspeaker!) and utilizing distracting editorial techniques, such as his playful use of the split-screen - which is partially lost anyway, given that the aspect ratio on the print I watched has been changed from the original 2.35:1 to 1.85:1! The action-packed film (with a couple of romances thrown in for good measure) is enjoyable in itself but, even if flawed, BATTLE OF Britain is clearly superior (the familiar Euro-Cult faces here are no match for the roster of Britsh stars which populate that film!) - though they did engage the services of Bunuel regular Francisco Rabal (as a conscientious German) and American Van Johnson(!) as the British RAF officer in charge of the country's defense (who, in the final decisive action, takes to the skies himself to repel the invading Nazi forces).
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5/10
An uneven film but on balance, the good far outweighs the bad.
MartinHafer24 September 2011
This is an odd case of casting, as the very American actor, Van Johnson, plays a British officer! However, despite this, the film looks very good for an Italian-made WWII film--sort of like a 'spaghetti' war film. For example, the Dunkirk scene was quite nice and had a pretty expansive look--with a relatively large cast and lots of ships. And SOME of the airplanes were done well (such as the fake He-111 cockpits--VERY nice). Unfortunately, the rest of the planes in the film are an odd lot--probably because the original models weren't available to the Italian film company. The German fighters were often American T-6s or even British Spitfires and the Spitfires were sometimes some odd plane (I assume Italian) that looks a bit like it but whose cockpit and undercarriage look more like that of the German Bf-109. To make it even more confusing, the exact same plane was often used interchangeably by BOTH sides in the film. And, at one point a British fighter plane becomes a Lysander observation plane. Clearly the film's attention to these sort of details was pretty poor...at best. And, late in the film the planes are CLEARLY cheap models. It's best to just close your eyes or so get a snack during these scenes because even if you don't care about these details, it still will confuse you.

The plot itself is rather clever. At Dunkirk, a group of Germans who speak English well are chosen to assume the identities of dead British soldiers. Then, when the British army is rescued, these agents can then infiltrate the country and eventually attack the Brit's most important secret weapon--their radar.

The bulk of the film is executed reasonably well (not always great--but not bad) and it's obvious they spend some money on the film. However, there were a few problems. The punching sounds in the fight scenes sounded EXACTLY like the punching sounds from a kung fu film! There also was a scene involving the killing of a German female agent and it was silly and WAY overdone--and completely unnecessary. All together, the film was very uneven but the good still far outweighed the bad. I would really love to see this film re-done--with a tighter script and more consistent special effects.
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6/10
good wartime spy drama
dbborroughs30 August 2009
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.
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Not favourable
jmaclachlan321 September 2001
This is the most innacurate depiction of the RAF and the Battle of Britain that anyone could envisage. Look no further than the aircraft in use on the movie. They have Messerschmitt 109s dressed up as spitfires and Spitfires dressed up as Messerschmitts. How stupid could you get.

The idea of Van Johnson as an air Commodore hysterically controlling an air battle above wartime London from the cockpit of a Fighter of indeterminate breed is also to ludicrous to contemplate.

Possibly one of the worst war films ever made
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A spaghetti War Film thats better than most!!
Warfilmman20 November 2000
Here's an oddity - an Italian made war film that is actually quite good. Okay the dubbing is bad, and the locations are a bit "mediterranean" particularly Dover and Dunkirk, but all in all a well made war film. Its the story of a group of German commandos who intermix with returning British troops from Dunkirk, and wearing British uniforms attempt to destroy the radar installations around the coast and therefore aid the imminant German invasion. A British Captain played by Frederick Stafford attempts to track down the Germans aided by Van Johnson as a British Air Marshal - an odd bit of casting, but I'm sure the aging Van welcomed the money.

This comes up for sale on video every now and then, and I recommend it to war film buffs.
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9/10
Perhaps The Finest Euro War Genre Film From The Classic Period
Squonkamatic27 June 2006
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!!
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2/10
strange 60's Italian war film
rooskydog29 October 2016
If you are looking for an accurate and gripping war film then this probably wont be the film for you.But if your looking for a drama filled,exiting film then this is the film for you. it is about a couple of undercover Germans who get to England from Dunkirk disguised as British solders.Their mission is to infiltrate and sabotage British radars which are detecting German aircraft and stopping them from attacking England. the German agents get found out and stopped by an English commander who befriended one of the German agents.

The plot is not the reason why this film is so weird it is the combat and the way it is all displayed making it so bad.

it begins with some British soldiers defending a position which is attacked by German tanks which are quite clearly not from world war 2 later on in the film there are dog fights between messerschmitt and spitfires (fighters) but the actual planes that are used were messerschmitts as spitfires and spitfires as messerschmitts making it very confusing and not very accurate. the fighting and the special effects are not that good either. i found this film very disappointing i am very fond of war films but i wont recommend this war film
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5/10
Almost passable fiction, awful war movie.
misterx2117 September 2006
If the spectator is able to abstract from the "historical" collocation of the plot, and is willing to spend some time watching an Italian action B movie of the seventies, it may prove a passable distraction. If compared with the majority of similar Italian efforts, one could even term it a masterpiece. The story evolves at a good pace and isn't marred by too many sentimental diversions, the action scenes are a bit naive but enjoyable. On the other hand, from the point of view of historical correctness or even sheer plausibility, the movie is really ludicrous (and, for some, this can be enjoyable, too!). The very idea of German spies taking and maintaining the identity of British soldiers seems to be improbable: soldiers must return to their units, where there will be a lot of people able to recognize them; let alone when some of them pose as members of specialized radar corps. Every lover of war aircraft will laugh her/his head off: Messerschmitts (or similar fighters) confused with Spitfires, Stukas with straight wings... But the top is reached, IMHO, when Sir Winston Churchill, after the first German bombardment of London, announces through the BBC an imminent retaliation against Berlin, that even takes place! I can't help thinking of F.D. Roosevelt announcing Doolittle's plan in advance! All in all, there is perhaps more historical truth in those Italian mythological pastiches featuring Hercules, Samson or the local "Maciste" allied of fighting each other. If it had been a "peplum" movie, too, my evaluation would have been higher.
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4/10
The Battle of Britain as envisioned by Italians?
bobster6627 January 2002
The story starts off at the Battle of Dunkerque as a German Unit infiltrates British lines and joins the evacuation to England for the purpose of conducting covert operations. As the Battle of Britain commences the Germans focus on disabling the new British Radar stations.

As an old Italian movie it was filmed without sound and voice-overs were added later just like a Spaghetti Western. Filmed as a wide-screen movie the pan and scan job to fit a TV screen is poorly done. But that is not the worst of it. There are several split screen periods in the movie with up to four different pictures at once and to refit for a 4:3 aspect ratio the editors just cut out the edges of the film, essentially cutting some of the multiple views in half. Very sloppy.

The acting and directing is dull if serviceable but the script and editing (not just the editing for TV) is weak. The casting deserves special mention as laughable. I like Van Johnson, but a British Air Marshall? And the very Mediterranean looking Germans are a hoot!

For World War Two history buffs you may enjoy the scenes of the beaches of Dunkerque as I can't recall ever seeing it represented in a movie before. Unfortunately, the scenes of the air battles later in the movie will make you cringe.

This movie may have some curiosity value for those of us who love war movies but others will probably be disappointed. I gave it 4 out of 10.

Bob
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8/10
'Spaghetti War' genre invented.
RatedVforVinny7 December 2019
An amazing Italian war film directed by the great Enzo G.Castellari. He's well known for directing the original 'Inglorious Bastards' and has only come to fame in the UK, because he's one of Tarantino's heroes. 'Eagles over London' concerns first the evacuation from Dunkirk, to secret enemy agents in England (trying to knock out secret radar installations). 'Eagles', does not have any of the exploitation quality, or humour of 'Inglorious Bastards' but it does contain some outstanding battle scenes and the acting is first rate. Stars two of my favourite Italian western actors, Luigo Pistilli ('For a Few Dollars More') and Eduardo Fajardi ('Django'). Despite having Tarantino's name plastered all over the UK, DVD release, this film is still relatively undiscovered.
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3/10
RAWM*
rps-220 February 2002
*Really awful war movie! So why didn't I just turn it off when Van Johnston turned up as a British air marshall. I mean, John Wayne would have been much better. Some of the Dunquerque scenes are pretty good. And a lot of things --- and people --- get blown up. But it's a parade of cliche characters and predictable plot turns. Indeed it's such a bomb that if the Luftwaffe had had a few prints of it and had dropped them on London, they might have won the Battle of Britain. But I wouldn't wish that on the British people. I gave it a three and that only because I was in an exceptionally generous frame of mind.
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3/10
WWII Spaghetti-Western
asaquon110 November 2002
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").
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6/10
Daft but still fun
nickboldrini1 March 2018
If you know anything about WWII history this will have you either laughing at the ridiculousness of it all or raging at the inaccuracies (Warning - this film contains a PIAT-zooka). But beneath it all is a reasonable plot, with some classic characters, the hard as nails sarge, the clueless youngster., etc which make it still kinda fun.
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8/10
Rip roaring Macaroni Combat
TankGuy20 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
It's May 1940. France has surrendered to Nazi Germany and the battle scarred British are retreating from Dunkirk. However, in the midst of this chaos a crack Nazi spy unit made up of English speaking Germans wearing British uniforms is worming its way into the ranks of the British army. These imposters make their way to England with the rest of the evacuation fleet. They have one objective, destroy all radar installations along the English coast prior to a planned invasion by Germany. As the battle of Britain commences, it is up to Captain Stevens to root out and stop the saboteurs before Britain is crippled at the mercy of the Luftwaffe!

I thoroughly enjoyed this Macaroni combat flick from one of Italy's finest, Enzo G. Castellari. Those of you who are familiar with the spaghetti western and Eurocrime genres will know that Castellari is a master of the action movie and it is evident that much of today's action filmmakers have learnt a lot from him. Eagles Over London gets off to an enthralling start with the explosive ambush of a German tank column, the murder of British troops and the strafing of the Dunkirk beaches by German planes. After this there is a lull in the action and the middle of the movie is very hollow to say the least before we get an exciting firefight as one of the radar stations is partly destroyed. Towards the climax there are a couple of suspenseful dogfights and another exciting attack on a radar base in which the bogus troops are thwarted. As per usual I was thrilled by the special effects and stunts throughout the film and there is a sturdy number of kills. The stuntmen flail, flip and hit the ground in a way that is rarely seen outside of Italian cinema. Then we have the typical European cinematography(the quick zooms and dizzying pans)which always add a special touch to these movies. Castellari uses the split screen technique to fantastic effect during the air battles. This provides the film with a kind of novelty value. I was taken aback by how professionally Castellari utilised the split screen method and I also thought that the inclusion of stock footage from the real battle of Britain was a fine touch. On one side of the screen we have stock footage and on the other you see the Spitfires and Messerschmitts firing at each other, it's pretty impressive. There is also a scene which is a blatant rip-off of the kissing sequence between Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair. A male and female character embrace as the camera performs a repeated 360 degree pan around them.

The film is given a rousing score by Francesco Di Masi and the acting was also satisfactory. Frederick Stafford made a great hero in Captain Stevens and an excellently villainous Luigi Pistilli was a robust adversary. Hollywood star Van Johnson, complete with American accent, seemed happy to collect a paycheck as an RAF commander. Look out for a cameo from spaghetti western bad guy Eduardo Fajardo as a German officer and a decent turn by Jacques Berthier as Colonel Smith.

Eagles Over London is a cracking yarn directed with skill by Enzo G. Castellari. The middle section is rather dull but the film is bookended by a series of riveting and well executed action scenes. 8/10.
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9/10
Great spaghetti-war action flick
jvetrau29 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A really great WWII spy action flick from the Italian spaghetti master Enzo Castellari. Its about German saboteurs trying to infiltrate British radar systems before massive air strike.

The movie starts with an instant action and keeps it up until the very end. A bunch of varied battles between infantry, tanks, aircrafts, commandos etc are done with a quite large scale and without artistic stupidity like it is in Battle of the Bulge. Its also great they've used scale model technique to portray air battles instead of awkward animated background — it looks much more real especially with bombings.

Yep, actors are plastic. But come on, its a spaghetti genre and its great because of cool comic book characters not stunning actor performances! And leading characters are really cool (BTW it seems Mike Myers character in Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" is inspired by Sgt. Mulligan).

What is really stunning here is production designer's work — a lot of well- crafted scenes and interiors. I've liked command center the most — all its equipment is pretty awesome and looks very real. A great variety of cars, tanks, planes, ships and other vehicles is also can be seen here. Its pretty refreshing after the same three cars, two trucks and one tank that is used in most 60s war films.

Although I've liked Castellari's own "Inglorious Bastards" more, this movie is pretty awesome. Just don't try to find great acting here and watch it for non- stop action.
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7/10
"Me name ain't 'ermann
Bezenby22 July 2013
Enzo Castellari strikes again with a distinctly sixties flavoured war film starring Luigi Pistilli, Francisco Rabal, and some guy named Van Johnston. You know what to expect from our Enzo, right? Loads of action, flashy camera-work, no boring parts, and everything is alright with the world.

This time, instead of the Americans heading through enemy territory in Inglorious B*stards, we've got Gerry taking the fight to Blighty. The Germans use the Dunkirk evacuations to sneak some troops into England, in order to destroy the British Army's radar equipment, led by Luigi Pistilli and Franciso Rabal, who, in disguise, quickly makes friend with dashing Hungarian (?) officer Van Johnston. Van's no fool, though - he knows something's amiss as he's just found a pile of dead British soldiers with their ID missing.

The Germans are all jacked up after gaining France and now preparing to invade Britain (this is all leading up to the Battle of Britain), and as Van is trying to be taken seriously with his spy theory (you'd think they would have taken it seriously, but we're talking Italian movies here so just let it slide), the German spies are conspiring together to hit the radar stations, with their big prize in sight: The radar command centre. Can Van, some Air Marshall guy, his cockney sidekick who says 'arse' a lot, and some French pilots stop them in time? Although tame by later Enzo films (Bronx Warriors, The Big Racket etc), in this particular film he seems to have a very large budget to work with. Check out the scenes in Dunkirk! There's plenty of action here, from dogfights to gun battles between the British and Germans (the number of which who have actually sneaked into the UK is kept vague, which makes sense in respect to the action). Some stock footage, clever model work, and our Enzo goes berserk with the split screen, as well as filming scenes from the most unusual angles. Po-faced military fact people will have an aneurysm upon viewing this film, but who cares about that? I just want to be entertained after a hard day's work. Both Pistilli (The Devil's Obsession) and Francisco Rabal (Nightmare City) hold their own here. Van Johnston's a bit stiff though. Good old Enzo hasn't let me down yet.
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6/10
One of the best "spaghetti war movies"
scheelj15 May 2012
See it – Like the many spaghetti westerns that were made during the 70's, there were also a slew of Italian-made WWII movies. The only reason to see this film is that it is possibly the best spaghetti war movie ever made. That being said, this is far from a great movie. It has a fictitious plot (although it takes place during historic events), it is poorly dubbed, and there's no Clint Eastwood. But the action scenes are pretty decent, including exciting opening and ending combat sequences. It's the story of German spies who disguise themselves as British soldiers during the evacuation from Dunkirk in order to destroy radar installations during the Battle of Britain. The only actor you're likely to recognize is Van Johnson, who, although a great actor, is pretty badly miscast in a limited role as a British air marshal. 3 out of 5 action rating
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