The screenplay by Paul Wheeler concerns the need to protect endangered species, in this case the bald eagle.
A breed apart 1984 movie
Obsessive collector J.P. Whittier, determined to obtain specimens of a newly discovered breed of bald eagle, hires rock climber Mike Walker to pose as a photographer and win reclusive conservationist Jim Malden's confidence in order to gain access to eggs from their lofty nest. Before long, Walker is converted to Malden's cause, and with the help of storekeeper Stella Clayton and her son Adam, the two men thwart Whittier's plot.
Rutger Hauer as Jim Malden
Powers Boothe as Mike Walker
Kathleen Turner as Stella Clayton
Donald Pleasence as J.P. Whittier
Andy Fenwick as Adam Clayton
At the time the film was made, the bald eagle was on the brink of extirpation in the continental United States. The bird now has a stable population and was removed from the federal government's list of endangered species in June 2007.
The film was shot on location in Asheville, Biltmore Estate, Chimney Rock State Park, and Lake Lure in North Carolina. After principal filming had finished, the film reels were sent back by plane to Los Angeles. One reel (of 4) never arrived, so the film was substantially reorganized around the missing scenes (shot out of order) in editing. This partly explains why some sub-plots are incomplete and Malden has no back story.
Principal production credits
Producers ..... John Daly, Derek Gibson
Original Music ..... Maurice Gibb
Cinematography ..... Geoffrey Stephenson
Production Design ..... William Barclay
Art Direction ..... Jeff Ginn
Set Decoration ..... Ed Sears
Costume Design ..... John Boxer
Film Editor ..... Chris Lebenzon
Variety said the film "lacks reason, dramatic tension or emotional involvement."