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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shamefully Ignored.
"Eagle's Wing" is an intriguing and shamefully ignored film. Few people have heard of it, and even fewer have watched it. It has often been described as a British western in a disparaging manner, largely by American critics because it was financed by the Rank Organization and directed by Englishman Anthony Harvey. America can quite rightly be proud of the fact that they...
Published on 12 Jan 2010 by Bob Salter

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dissapointing.
The actors in this film are all very convincing (except the indians), with an excellent performance from both Martin Sheen and Harvey Keitel (in particular). However, the film itself does not have a satisfactory ending, and leaves you feeling a bit hollow afterwards -storey line is a bit weak, with a poor ending...otherwise if you like senery then this film might be for...
Published 11 months ago by RICHARD CALVER


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Shamefully Ignored., 12 Jan 2010
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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"Eagle's Wing" is an intriguing and shamefully ignored film. Few people have heard of it, and even fewer have watched it. It has often been described as a British western in a disparaging manner, largely by American critics because it was financed by the Rank Organization and directed by Englishman Anthony Harvey. America can quite rightly be proud of the fact that they are the home of the western, and that the vast majority of the great westerns have been made by that country. This is a heritage they should naturally feel protective of. But there are a couple of notable exceptions to the rule. Sergio Leone's grandiose epic ballet of death "Once Upon a Time in the West"(69), is one of those, and so is "Eagle's Wing".

The film concerns the story of two traders/ trappers in 1830's New Mexico, played by Harvey Keitel and Martin Sheen. The two have an unfortunate brush with Kiowa Indians, one of whom is played passably well by Sam Waterston. This leaves Sheen who is the more inexperienced to fend for himself in the wilderness. This is reminiscent of Sydney Pollock's "Jeremiah Johnson". Sheen then has the good fortune to come into possession of a magnificent white stallion from a dead Comanche chief, a horse that can fly like the "Eagle's Wing". But the horse is also coveted by the cunning Waterston. The two begin a long duel for the horse over endless plains and a burning sun. Only one man can win.

The story although simple enough, is enlivened by sub plots involving the kidnap of a young girl by Waterston, and her subsequent pursuit by Spanish Americans. There are further complications when Comanche braves once led by the dead chief, also set off in pursuit of Sheen. The script by the American writer John Briley, who was also responsible for "Ghandi", can be best described as spare, which is in keeping with the film. So spare in fact, that Waterston does not have to utter a single word. The director Harvey marshals his cast with authority, and for a man with no experience of westerns does a very good job indeed. He is probably best known for the historical drama "The Lion in Winter". The filming was made on location in Durango Mexico, a place much beloved of American film makers. As a result of this the cinematography is simply stunning for most of the films running time. A special mention should also be made of the very beautiful and haunting musical score.

This is not a British western in the vein of "The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw" or "Carry on Cowboy". Yes, I can hear you laughing! This was filmed with a mainly American cast, on location in an area much used by American westerns. This gives it more of an international flavour than a British one. It is not a masterpiece by any means, but it is certainly unique. There is not another western like it in feel and atmosphere. It is this and the sumptuous visual feast that lift it above so many others in the genre. I enjoyed the film from beginning to end. It is one that deserves to be much better known. A very comfortable and deserved four stars. Given the high price and the scarcity of DVD versions the VHS is still a very good bet. Some are very reasonably priced at the time of this review.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pure cinema., 14 Sep 2011
This review is from: Eagle's Wing [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
I will not go into detail about the plot of this film, since other reviewers have already done so. I want to celebrate it as a magnificent visual experience. The cinematography is outstanding! Stunningly beautiful in every aspect: lighting, colour, camera angles and movement. And movement is a key word here. Film is by definition movement, and in Eagle's Wing, every scene and image is alive with movement: The movement of people and horses within the frame; the effect of the constant wind that sets clothes and hair, feathers, grass, branches and leaves of trees, and clouds of dust in motion. Combine all this with superb costume and makeup design and breathtakingly beautiful locations, and you are in for a visual feast. I love this film, but there are a couple of things which disappoint me: First of all: the original aspect ratio of 2.35 : 1 has been cropped, and the film is presented in 1.85:1. I think that is a shame, because it is very evident that image composition suffers severely. I think it is a violation of a work of art! In my opinion, all films on DVD or Blu-Ray should be presented in their original aspect ratio. My second complaint concerns casting: Why is the role of White Bull played by Sam Waterston instead of being played by a Native American actor? Sam Waterston does a great job, but the fact that I know he is white, distracts me. It would probably not have been done today. Nevertheless, I recommend this film wholeheartedly. Sit back, and enjoy!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great feeling, 3 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Eagle's Wing [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
This epic movie has a simple but wonderful story about an indian and a white man fighting over a white horse. The story also handles a bi story about a woman, some mexicans and breathtaking scenes with added wonderful music. I can only recommend western fans to buy this flick. A great movie from a great era...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A film which settles once and for all the question of who (or what) is the true love of every man in the Wild West..., 10 Sep 2014
By 
Darth Maciek "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eagle's Wing [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
I always liked this atypical 1979 British western and I was glad to discover that it didn't age at all. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

Somewhere in the 1850s, certainly well before the War Between States, on USA-Mexico border four separate groups of people are travelling through the wilderness, each minding their own business:

- two white fur traders, Pike (Martin Sheen) and Henry (Harvey Keitel), are looking for a group of Kiowa Indians they are supposed to make business with

- a group of Kiowa Indians, led by a great war chief who I believe is called Red Sky; the Kiowa are on their way to meet white fur traders; Red Sky rides a precious and beautiful white horse called Eagle's Wing; this splendid animal can outrun any other horse...

- a middle aged stunningly beautiful and clearly very rich Mexican widow (Stephane Audran, fabulous) travels by coach in company of her brother in law, her two handmaidens, an American Catholic priest (John Castle) and the sister of the latter, a cute young girl named Judith (Caroline Langrishe), who is kind of a spoiled brat. Following the coach rides a hearse carrying the body of her deceased husband...

- a Comanche war party looking for trouble, murder and loot; amongst the Comanche "bravos" is an exceptionally tall and strong half-breed named White Bull (Sam Waterston, of "Law and Order" fame); he clearly is respected for his abilities but disliked because of his origins...

That covers like first 5 minutes of the film. Those four groups will of course meet and interact in various interesting ways and then some other players will also appear, but I will say no more about the story. It is worth to be discovered by yourself.

Being a British western, this film is of course an atypical and even exotic treat, but against all odds quite tasty indeed. Visually it is splendid. Scenario is not half bad. Lot of attention was given to details of costumes, weapons and vehicles. There is a lot of nice chasing, tracking and tricking in this film. All actors did a great job too - I was particularly impressed by Stephane Audran, who is amazing in this film, even if her screen time is very short.

I must however warn you here that Harvey Keitel appears for only a limited amount of time. In 1979 he still played second roles, but of course he became a major star since and therefore when this DVD was released, well, they put him on the cover next to Martin Sheen for commercial reasons. In fact Sam Waterston and young Caroline Langrishe should replace him on the cover...

It is also fair to warn you that there is NO subtitles of any kind and that includes the moments when people speak Spanish (a lot) or Indian langauges (not so much) - so parts of conversations are quite cryptic...

Another fair warning - there is no heroes in this film, as two main characters (Pike and White Bull) are both really kind of @holes. The only characters I could really relate to were Judith (in the second part of the film) and the horse...

All those points notwithstanding I really like this atypical but quite charming film. It is not a masterpiece, but a very honest watch. ENJOY!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars flawed, but the greatest western ever, 13 Feb 2009
By 
P. J. Legg (southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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Bizarre and bonkers and with a long central section that*s all over the place, but this western*s beauties are so powerful they make you forgive all its imperfections. Its biggest beauty is its theme music which kicks in at the start and near the start and near the end and at the end - the final shot with the end credits rolling is extremely moving, a kind of bereavement. It*s just one of those odd films (a British western - blimey) which will be disliked by a large proportion of its viewers, but there are some of us who truly adore it and are amazed that it*s still not on DVD
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars dissapointing., 18 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Eagle's Wing [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
The actors in this film are all very convincing (except the indians), with an excellent performance from both Martin Sheen and Harvey Keitel (in particular). However, the film itself does not have a satisfactory ending, and leaves you feeling a bit hollow afterwards -storey line is a bit weak, with a poor ending...otherwise if you like senery then this film might be for you? It also would be a good film if you like horses. It is not a gun-ho western, so if gun fights and colt '45's are your thing, then this film probably isnt for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Great Eagle's Wing!, 19 Jan 2010
By 
Catherine Kennedy "Kit K" (South Molton Devon England) - See all my reviews
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What a wonderful film this is. I have watched it so many times.... Two men, one white one native American vying for possession of a wonderful white horse. Great stuff I loved it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good tale., 12 May 2014
By 
Jeannette Byrne (New Zealand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eagle's Wing [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
I really enjoyed this film with a difference. Well acted through out.. Recommended for Indian lovers and big open spaces.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I like a good western sadly this is not one of them, 9 May 2014
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K. Williams "KEEF" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eagle's Wing [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
I like a good western sadly this is not one of them
jumped about all over the place and difficult to follow and in some places just plain daft.
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1.0 out of 5 stars OH DEAR!, 6 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Eagle's Wing [DVD] [1979] (DVD)
Harvey Kietal makes an early exit (he was lucky), Martin Sheen is unlikeable and I should have known that Sam Waterston as an American Indian would never work!
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Eagle's Wing [DVD] [1979]
Eagle's Wing [DVD] [1979] by Anthony Harvey (DVD - 2011)
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