Eagle's Wing

Eagle's Wing
Directed by Anthony Harvey
Produced by Ben Arbeid
Written by Michael Syson (story)
John Briley (screenplay)
Starring Martin Sheen
Sam Waterston
Harvey Keitel
Stéphane Audran
Music by Marc Wilkinson
Cinematography Billy Williams
Edited by Lesley Walker
Peter Shaw Productions
Distributed by The International Picture Show Company
Release date
  • 1 May 1980 (1980-05-01)
Running time
111 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Eagle's Wing is a Euro-Western Eastmancolor film made in 1979. It stars Martin Sheen, Sam Waterston and Harvey Keitel. It was directed by Anthony Harvey,[1] with a story by Michael Syson and a screenplay by John Briley. It won the British Society of Cinematographers Best Cinematography Award for 1979.


The story has three plot strands that run concurrently through the film: a stagecoach carrying a rich widow home to her family's hacienda, a war party of Indians returning to their village, and two fur traders waiting to meet a different group of Indians with whom they trade. The war party attacks the other Indians and kills their leader, who owns a magnificent white stallion. White Bull (Waterston) attempts to capture the horse, but it is too quick and makes off carrying the dead chief. Pike (Sheen) and Henry (Keitel) wait in vain for the traders and are then attacked themselves by the war party. Henry is killed, the Indians take the trader's horses, and Pike is left alone with only a mule.

Travelling alone, he comes across the funeral of the dead chief. He saves the white stallion from ritual slaughter, abandons his mule, and continues his travels. The Medicine Man conducting the ritual is accidentally killed while Pike is taking the horse. The war party finds the stage coach, attacks it, kills the driver, guard, and one of the passengers, and then leaves White Bull to ransack the coach and passengers of all valuables. White Bull gathers a hoard of jewels and other valuable items, takes a white girl for himself, and leaves the other survivors standing in the desert. One of the survivors, a priest, takes a coach horse and rides off to alert the hacienda.

The story then becomes a four-way chase. After gaining the white stallion from Pike, White Bull, the girl, the treasure and the stallion continue towards the native's village; Pike goes after the stallion; a posse from the hacienda sets out to recover the coach passengers and the girl, and members of the Medicine Man's tribe seek to avenge his death. After a series of to-and-fro adventures, the film ends as White Bull rides off alone with the stallion while Pike, utterly defeated, stands and watches him go; the girl is still behind Pike, waiting to be rescued.



The film was not a success at the box office although it received some good reviews, The Observer calling it "dazzling"[2] and The Guardian saying it was "well worth seeing".[3]

It was one of the last movies financed by the Rank Organisation.[4]


  1. "Eagle's Wing". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  2. Milne, T. (29 July 1979). The battle for eagle's wing. The Observer (1901- 2003). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/476517313
  3. Jockeying for possession. (26 July 1979). The Guardian (1959-2003). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/186174482
  4. John Huxley. "Losses of £1.6m sound the knell for cinema production." Times [London, England] 7 June 1980: 17. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 16 April 2014.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.