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Eagles Over London

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Eagles Over London

Eagles Over London
DVD cover art
Directed by Enzo G. Castellari
Produced by Edmondo Amati
Starring Frederick Stafford
Van Johnson
Francisco Rabal
Ida Galli
Luigi Pistilli
Music by Francesco De Masi
Cinematography Alejandro Ulloa
Edited by Vincenzo Tomassi
Release dates 1969
Running time 104 minutes
Country Italy
Language Italian

Eagles Over London, also known as Battle Squadron and Battle Command (Italian: La battaglia d'Inghilterra), is a 1969 Italian "macaroni combat" war film directed by Enzo G. Castellari.[1]

Plot

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.

Production

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. 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 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".[2]

It should be noted that the film is entirely fictional and historically inaccurate. For instance, the RAF never shot down 94 German planes in one day; London was never "blitzed" in one sortie by "1,000 planes"; and the RAF Control Centre was never attacked in any way. It is also interesting to note that the director uses Me-109s (or near-replicas of them) as RAF "Hurricanes", and Spitfires as Luftwaffe "Me-109s". There are also interesting fictional "bombers" that are supposed to be He-111s.[3]

Releases

Severin released the film for the first time ever in America on Region 0 DVD in 2009.[1] The film is out on Region 2 on 11 January.

Footage reused in other films

Roughly thirty percent of the film Eagles Over London was cut into the macaroni combat film From Hell to Victory. Castellari said that he and his wife went to go see From Hell to Victory in theatres and it made him extremely upset that footage he shot was reused in another film.[2]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Severin Films DVD Case, 2009. Last accessed: September, 2009.
  2. ^ a b "A Conversation with Enzo Castellari and Quentin Tarantino Part 2", Severin Films DVD, 2009. Last accessed: September, 2009.
  3. ^ Eagles Over London (Hong Kong edition), Severin Films DVD, 2011(?). Last accessed: April 2011.

External links

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