The Eagle and the Hawk

Watch The Eagle and the Hawk

"One a dauntless flyer, the other a relentless killer!"
  • TV-PG
  • 1933
  • 1 hr 13 min
  • 7.1  (1,346)

The Eagle and the Hawk is a 1933 war drama film set in World War I. Directed by Stuart Walker, it stars Fredric March, Cary Grant, and Jack Oakie. The story revolves around the war experiences and psychological breakdown of a German fighter pilot named Ernst Udet (played by March). Udet can't stomach the atrocities of war and struggles to continue to fly even as his comrades are killed around him.

The movie opens with Udet and his fellow pilots flying over enemy lines, scouting the area for enemy planes. They come upon two British pilots, one of whom is injured and they promptly shoot down their enemy. As the war rages on, Udet's experiences begin to take a toll on him, leaving him emotionally traumatized. This leads to a gradual change in his attitude and behavior towards the war.

On one mission, Udet successfully shoots down two British planes, but as he lands his own aircraft, he overhears a conversation that changes his perspective. He hears how his commanding officer, Major Brand (played by Grant) is only interested in furthering his own career and sees the lives of his pilots as dispensable. This revelation leaves Udet feeling disillusioned and frustrated.

As the war nears its end, Udet is given one last mission to accomplish. On this mission, his plane is hit, forcing him to land in enemy territory. When he is captured, Udet is shocked to see that his captor is the same British pilot he had shot down at the beginning of the movie. The two exchange words, Udet apologizes for his actions, and they form a mutual understanding of the futility of war. This encounter is a climax of sorts, which ties all of the movie's themes together and completes Udet's character arc.

Throughout the movie, Udet is supported by his two fellow pilots played by Grant and Oakie. Oakie's character is a comedic relief, providing some lighthearted moments in the otherwise serious movie. Grant's character serves more as a foil to Udet, representing the callousness of war and the dangers of ambition.

The Eagle and the Hawk is not your typical war movie. It doesn't focus on grand battles or showcase heroic acts of soldiers. Instead, it delves deep into the psyche of a lone German pilot who bears witness to the brutality of war and is forced to reassess his notions of patriotism and duty. The movie explores themes such as the effects of war on individuals, the senselessness of conflict, and the frailties of human spirit.

The cinematography is impressive for its time, especially the scenes depicting the aerial combat. The sound design is also noteworthy, with machine guns firing and planes roaring in the background. The movie's score is made up largely of classical music, which adds to the emotional weight of certain scenes.

The Eagle and the Hawk is a movie that has aged well, thanks to its timeless themes of war and its impact on individuals. Fredric March delivers an understated yet powerful performance as Udet, conveying the quiet torment of a soldier struggling with his conscience. Cary Grant also stands out in his role, conveying the necessary arrogance and cold-heartedness of a wartime commander.

Overall, The Eagle and the Hawk is a gripping and emotional movie that is sure to leave an impression on its viewers. It is a must-see for those interested in war dramas, especially those that go beyond the usual tropes of the genre.

The Eagle and the Hawk
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 13 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (1,346)