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Once an Eagle (miniseries)

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First episode date  December 2, 1976
Number of seasons  1
Country  United States
8.4/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama, War
Final episode date  January 13, 1977
Language  English
Once an Eagle (miniseries) movie poster
Director  Richard Michaels E.W. Swackhamer
Release date  December 2, 1976 (1976-12-02) (United States)
Directors  E. W. Swackhamer, Richard Michaels
Cast  Sam Elliott (Sam Damon), Cliff Potts (Courtenay Massengale), Amy Irving (Emily Pawlfrey Massengale), Glenn Ford (George Caldwell), Darleen Carr (Tommy Caldwell), Ralph Bellamy (Ed Caldwell)
Similar movies  Related E W Swackhamer movies

Once An Eagle is a 1976 nine-hour American television mini-series 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.


Once an Eagle (miniseries) movie scenes Laura Marling Once I Was An Eagle ALBUM REVIEW

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.

The story of two Army officers, one a ruthless, career-obsessed schemer, the other his exact opposite, and their personal and professional lives from the end of World War I to the beginning of Vietnam.

once an eagle 1a television miniseries introduction


Sam Damon (Sam Elliott) is a virile and praiseworthy warrior.

Once an eagle 1

Courtney Massengale (Cliff Potts) is the opposite—an impotent, self-aggrandizing conniver.


  • Sam Elliott as Sam Damon
  • Cliff Potts as Courtney Massengale
  • Darleen Carr as Tommy Caldwell
  • Amy Irving as Emily Pawlfrey Massengale
  • Glenn Ford as George Caldwell
  • Ralph Bellamy as Ed Caldwell
  • Dane Clark as Harry Sheppard
  • Andrew Duggan as Gen. McKelvey
  • Lynda Day George as Marge Krisler
  • Gary Grimes as Jack Devlin
  • Clu Gulager as Alvin Merrick
  • Robert Hogan as Ben Krisler
  • Kim Hunter as Kitty Damon
  • David Huddleston as Earl Preis
  • Juliet Mills as Joyce
  • Andrew Stevens as Donny Damon
  • Melanie Griffith as Jinny Massengale
  • Background

    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 Myrers 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 Armys 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.

    Filming locations

    Some of the scenes of the film were filmed in Napa Valley, California.

    DVD release

    Timeless Media Group released the complete television series on a two-disc DVD set on August 31, 2010.

    Origin of title

    The title is derived from a Persian poem:

    And so in the Libyan fable it is told,


  • Emmy Awards: Emmy; Outstanding Cinematography in Entertainment Programming for a Series, J.J. Jones; for part I; 1977.
  • Golden Globes: Golden Globe; Best Supporting Actress - Television, Darleen Carr; 1977.
  • References

    Once an Eagle (miniseries) Wikipedia
    Once an Eagle (miniseries) IMDb Once an Eagle (miniseries)

    Similar Topics
    Amy Irving
    Cliff Potts
    Darleen Carr