This CD arrived too late to include in our special Lalo Schifrin feature
on this site last month.
The Eagle Has Landed (1976) starred Michael Caine, Donald Sutherland and
Robert Duvall. It was a World War II adventure caper about a Nazi attempt
to kidnap Winston Churchill from an English country house. Schifrin created
a powerful, tense score which considerably helped the rather plodding direction.
His music is built around a one-note motif, always the same, repeated several
times throughout most of the cues, sometimes, individually or together, by
cymbalom, the drums, even the entire orchestra in a fortissimo statement.
The Main Title introduces most of the material; swooping, oscillating high
strings and woodwinds play against views of the Bavarian Alps and the one
note obsession theme is pronounced against a military-style background. This
is a richly textured cue that even accommodates some romantic material. 'Eagle
Falls in Love' begins with a jaunty theme that is given to a whistler and
proceeds to fresh out-of-doors, Irish folk-tune type music. There are one
or two calmer episodes such as 'The Swan' in which the cymbalom plays the
romantic theme and occasionally the music evokes, quite well, the English
landscape. However, the music is predominantly Boys-Own-Paper adventure stuff:
sinister, stealthy and tenser and tenser culminating in screaching, screaming
strings in cues like 'Eagle versus Fox' in which the use of the snare drum
echoes Ron Goodwin's even tenser music for Where Eagles Dare (1969).
The final cue is the End Credits March which has a determined tramp, tramp,
tramp quality that can be quite catchy. An above-average score for an action