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Eagles Over London


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During the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940, a team of German saboteurs assume the identities of dead British soldiers and are transported to England. Their first objective is to cripple British air defences by destroying radar stations. Though the identities and whereabouts of the saboteurs are unknown, a team of British soldiers is set up to track them down and abort their mission. While the Battle of Britain rages overhead, the final confrontation takes place as the German team are about to blow up the RAF Fighter Command control centre.


When Enzo G. Castellari finished the film Kill Them All and Come Back Alone, he asked the producers what their next film would be. They replied a war epic about the Battle of Britain with the Harry Saltzman version yet to be released. Enzo thought that was a great idea but the producers had their sights on Alberto De Martino directing. The producers stipulated that stock footage of the actual Battle of Britain needed to be used in the film and that it should be used in a split-screen method. They asked Enzo if he would direct the special effects sequences and cut it with the stock footage using a split-screen method. Enzo had never heard of "split screen" so he was shown the American films The Thomas Crown Affair and The Boston Strangler. He shot the effects sequences and mixed it using a triple split screen method. An example is having a British plane shoot on the left side, having a German plane getting hit on the right side, and having stock footage in the middle. When shown this split-screen footage, the producers were so impressed they decided to have Enzo direct the entire picture. After this, Enzo sat down with a writing partner for a week to rewrite the overlong script to make it more action-oriented and less of a "soap opera".[3]


A group of German saboteurs infiltrates the Dunkirk evacuation to enter the UK unnoticed and disrupt British air defences. During the Battle of Britain, a squad of soldiers is assigned the task of identifying the enemy agents and preventing them from changing the course of the conflict overhead. Second World War drama, starring Frederick Stafford and Van Johnson


Enzo G. Castellari is best known for his 1978 Macaroni Combat movie The Inglorious Bastards, which inspired Quentin Tarantino to the similarly titled Inglourious Basterds. In 1969 he made Eagles over London. It was a smash hit in Europe, but remained virtually unknown in the US until Tarantino introduced it to American audiences. It tells a complicated spy story set in wartime, placed against the background of major historic events such as the Dunkirk Evacuation, the Blitz and the Battle of Britain. It was a co-production with France and Spain, obviously made with a decent budget; in some scenes hundreds of extras are used and the modern editing techniques - notably the split screen - give the film a sophisticated look.


The story begins in May 1940, at Dunkirk. Large numbers of British, French and Canadian troops are cornered on the Dunkirk beaches by the German army. They are saved by a hastily assembled fleet in what is known to history as 'Operation Dynamo'. One of the British officers, Captain Paul Stevens, discovers that a group of German saboteurs have infiltrated the British ranks: they have murdered a group of British soldiers and made the crossing by assuming their identity. After he has convinced (not without difficulty) his superiors that the country is in danger he is allocated the assignment to track the saboteurs down, not realizing that his roommate, a 'British' officer he has met at Dunkirk, is one of the men he is looking for ...


Quentin Tarantino described this movie - one of his favorites - as: "It's like Guy Hamilton's Battle of Britain except, instead of dull airplanes and soap opera stuff, there's battle action and infiltrating Nazi saboteurs!" (*1). The lukewarm reception of Hamilton's big budget movie (reportedly it had a budget of $17 million) may have helped Castellari; his




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