Fall of Eagles
DVD | Box Set
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
In the latter half of the 19th century, three ruling houses dominated Europe: the Hapsburgs of Austria-Hungary, the Romanovs of Russia and Hohenzollerns of Germany. Centuries of despotism, a continued lack of social reform and the advent of the devastating First World War caused the vultures of revolution to start circling. This 13-part epic drama features an all-star cast including Patrick Stewart, Gemma Jones, John Rhys-Davies, Gayle Hunnicutt and more!
- Interviews with director and cast
- Still gallery
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
30 plus years ago, British television had tiny budgets with which to work. Austere sets, limited costumes, minimal trappings to flesh out the look, and yet they created masterpieces still fondly remembered. I, Claudius, The Pallisers, and The Forsytes, and many others, all remain in the mind long after their closing credits. This series, new to me, joins that august company. The difference between then and now (and between British and American) is superlative scripts and splendid acting. Familiar faces abound throughout these tales, as we see and hear a supporting cast that has appeared in many BBC and British films. No weak spots, no boring or inept performances, just skilled artisans who deftly and completely capture what these famous names must have been like. Patrick Stewart is probably the most recognizable actor from this set, and his Lenin is absolutely believable. But he is by no means alone in inhabiting his character.
The recent film The Illusionist takes place during the same time, and concerns a fictional Austrian Prince; the suicide of the real prince is wonderfully portrayed in the episode "Requiem for a Crown Prince". What a difference we see between a tale told about people with emotions, desires, and beliefs, who are allowed to grow, sputter, and ultimately be what they are, and a contemporary film with a beautiful look, stunning and opulent sets, marvelous clothes, swords, trains, carriages and hats, but blessed with cartoon good and evil and devoid of soul. Garish and silly, sterile and dead, no matter how much gorgeous decoration is heaped upon it.
I only wish they had filmed another 20 or 30 episodes. A gripping, riveting story, wonderfully told that, after the somewhat sluggish first episode, holds your imagination and your intellect. Historical knowledge is certainly helpful, but not required, and I bet you'll be pulling out your atlas and reading your encylopedia after.
I have to disagree with another reviewer's opinion of Wilhelm's father, Kaiser Frederick. He was not weak - he was a principled man of integrity who unfortunately came up against Bismarck and lost. Fritz and Vicky were high-minded liberals who wanted better living and working conditions for their people. Unfortunately, while they 'played the game' honorably, their opponents did not - so they were chewed up and spit out by the existing power structure.
I spent some time in Vienna last summer and visited the Sisi Museum - Empress Elizabeth as she is shown in the first and fourth episodes. Someone said that Sisi was Austria's Princess Diana - different time frame, but beautiful young woman almost crushed by the royal system who dies tragically. Go look her up - in some paintings, she has a Liv Tyler look, in others, she sort of looks like Julia Roberts.
Russia's Nicholas and Alexandra are rightly portrayed as flawed personalities who can't stay out of their own way. One sees the inevitability of SOME other system - ANY other system - taking over in Russia.
There's a screen on the third DVD of a conversation between Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II and Austria Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand which is almost comical - the haughty/clueless talking to the haughty/clueless. Ironically, Wilhelm comes off as the MORE level-headed of the two. If this portrayal of Franz Ferdinand is anywhere near the truth (and I'm inclined to think it is, based on the truthfulness of the rest of the series), perhaps Europe was better off without Franz Ferdinand, although, of course, his assassination in Sarajevo was the trigger to the bloodiest war in history, WWI. This scene shows that Europe might have been worse off had he lived.
Another reviewer mentioned something about Queen Victoria and Prince Albert being the only contemporary monarchs who saw their position and duty as a public trust. After watching this series, you will no longer wonder why the others - Romanov, Hapsburg, and Hohenzollern - all fell apart. The leaders of Russia, Austria, and Germany are shown for what they were - dull (not just unintelligent but BORING), limited men and women who can't help but bungle their way into WWI.