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Once an Eagle
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Once An Eagle is the epic story of America in the 20th Century, told through the lives of two career soldiers, spanning the tumultuous years from WWI to the Vietnam Era. Based on the best-selling novel by Anton Myrer, Once An Eagle is one of the most acclaimed mini-series of all time, alongside "Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance." Sam Elliott takes on the role of Sam Damon, a courageous and compassionate man who finds his caling leading his men in war and in peacetime. Cliff Potts, on the other hand, plays Courtney Massengale, a ruthless achiever who will let nothing stand in his way to the top. The eve of America's entry into WWI finds the men friends, but as events unfold, the vast difference in their personalities leads to a face-off in a life and death struggle of good versus evil.
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Top Customer Reviews
As a result, this adaption of "Once An Eagle" is top-notch. The production values are outstanding and, to use a cliche, it features an all-star cast. Sure, the story of the two officers (once admirable, one despicable) is a little black and white, but it's still a whale of a story. The WWI and WWII periods are really entertaining, even if the story may drag a little in the middle. [Note to purists: the story ends in World War II, while the book continues on to the verge of the Viet Nam War, but it's much more dramatic this way.]
I can't believe that over seven hours of great entertainment is priced so reasonably, much less than a lot of mediocre 90 minute movies. This item is a great value. I've already ordered two and will probably be buying many more as gifts.
I purchased the “Once an Eagle” miniseries on DVD, and found it disappointing on many levels. The acting is generally stilted and overly melodramatic – sometimes cartoonishly so. The carefully crafted plot of Anton Myrer’s beautifully written book is frequently twisted in such a way that it muddles much of Myrer’s anti-war message. Worst of all, the miniseries seriously dilutes the main theme of Myrer’s novel. The Sam Damon-Courtney Massengale relationship is portrayed as less of a contrast between Damon’s good leadership qualities and Massengale’s bad ones, and more of an ordinary clash between two bitter enemies.
I suppose many of the flaws in the “Once an Eagle” miniseries were inevitable, considering the TV network’s need for commercial success at the expense of artistic integrity. But it truly is a shame that Anton Myrer’s literary masterpiece fell victim to screenwriters, producers, directors, and actors who may not have necessarily been interested in faithfully translating Myrer’s story or his message to television audiences.
“Once an Eagle” is strictly pedestrian entertainment, worth watching once. (2½ Stars ^ 3)
But both Damon and Massengale eventually become generals, both find themselves in savage battle..both men must make decisons that will cost men their lives and one man his career..