|Once An Eagle|
|Directed by||Richard Michaels|
|Screenplay by||Peter S. Fischer|
|Story by||Anton Myrer|
|Produced by||Peter S. Fischer|
|Edited by||Howard Deane|
|Music by||Dana Kaproff|
|Distributed by||MCA TV|
Once An Eagle is a 1976 nine-hour American television miniseries directed by Richard Michaels and E.W. Swackhamer. The picture was written by Peter S. Fischer and based on the 1968 Anton Myrer novel of the same name.
The first and last installments of the seven-part series were each two-hour broadcasts, while the interim episodes were 60 minutes.
The mini-series concerns the thirty year careers of two military men, from the outbreak of World War I to the aftermath of World War II.
Sam Damon (Sam Elliott) is a virile and praiseworthy warrior.
Courtney Massengale (Cliff Potts) is the opposite—an impotent, self-aggrandizing conniver.
The story tracks their journey over 40 years, between the First and Second World Wars, as their lives, and the lives of those around them, change along with the world.
Once An Eagle was the second of four story subseries of the NBC anthology series Best Sellers; it was preceded by Captains and the Kings, and followed by Seventh Avenue and The Rhineman Exchange.
Anton Myrer's book, on which the series is based, is a military novel written in the United States. The novel is noted for its stark descriptions of men in combat and in its analysis of human and technical challenges and the moral dilemmas of command. It is one of only two novels on the US Army's recommended reading list for Officer Professional Development; the other is The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. A coincidental element to both novels is that Sam Elliott had a starring role in the film adaptation of each one, playing a US Army general officer.
Some of the scenes of the film were filmed in Napa Valley, California.
Timeless Media Group released the complete television series on a two-disc DVD set on August 31, 2010.
The title is derived from a Persian poem: