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30 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Fabulous Series----One of the first Mini-Series released!

Author: overthemoon-2
13 July 2004

This series was really great. The cast was wonderful and acting superb! I'm surprised it hasn't already been released! I agree with the comment made by the other fan that this mini-series is better than the "Winds of War." It is better!!

This was filmed back in the '70s when the T.V. mini-series first came about and is one of the reasons that mini-series are still popular. To the "powers that be"----please release this to DVD so that those of us who have seen this series can be entertained again. Those who have yet to see it have a nice surprise awaiting them!! Thanks!

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27 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

one of the best miniseries of all time

Author: jayandbutton2 from lytle creek california
26 February 2004

sam elliott in the best role of his entire career. awesome supporting cast including amy irving, glenn ford, ralph bellamy. terrific adaptation of anton myror's classic book required at west point. also required reading at most war colleges. almost every exising vote a perfect ten. why would one person throw the lowest score, a one, just to skew a masterpiece? ranks up there with roots as one of the greatest miniseries of all time.

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27 out of 27 people found the following review useful:


Author: james swartz ( from southern california
30 August 2001

This miniseries is the mystery of the ages. It rightfully enjoys one of the highest ratings--if not the very highest reviewer rating on record--of any product on film, yet for some inexplicable reason nobody has managed to release it commercially for a quarter century. Does anyone know why? A new generation of viewers never have seen this masterpiece, and to compare it to inferior products as The Winds of War led by the ever sleepy Robert Mitchum is like making an analogy of Lawrence of Arabia to Ishtar.

The cast was incredibly deep for television and included early roles for such actors as Melanie Griffith and Amy Irving and late ones for the likes of Ralph Bellamy and Glenn Ford. And at center stage was the steady work of Sam Elliott, who seemed tailor made for his interpretation of Anton Myror's straight arrow soldier Sam Damon. Truly, it ranks with his John Buford character in Gettysburg as among his best roles.

If anyone knows any way to locate a dub of even a part of this epic please email me. I have been trying to use it for a course on leadership that I teach at a California university. This drama, for our purposes, ranks above such acclaimed films as Hoosiers, Twelve O'Clock High, and Wall Street for lessons to be learned. A must see for anybody who can--and the number seems to be near zero today. What a tragedy.

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28 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Old Movies are to Die For

Author: Jack ( from Junction City, Oregon
1 December 2002

I have for several years kicked me for not having a VCR in the late 1970's when I was stationed at the Military Academy and the Mini-series "Once An Eagle" first was on TV. The comments about the story and the actors who played the parts were pretty much true to life. The Massengales of the world said the book and now the TV series are not correct, that the director used his actors to show his political views. The Sam Damon's, said that the mini-series was true to life and True Soldiers really did take care of their men. I have recently been able to view the series again , and it reminds me of the men I served with and the true soldiers our country was very fortunate to have. The book is now being used as a text at the U S Army War College and at West Point. The U S Army College has a new version out with forwards from active and retired officers. Sam Damon as written in the book and to some extent in the TV series should be a guide to young and old officers a like. Take care of your soldiers and they will take care of you.

I agree with Airborne Mike, when he said " I used to be troubled by the movie and book having different endings, not anymore. They are best viewed as ALTERNATIVE ENDINGS, a positive or a negative one. The people who adapted the best-selling book to TV did an excellent job of understanding the book's true meaning---which is to fight evil when you see it immediately!---regardless of the cost".

To those of you that have been lucky enough to record the series and still have a copy, I salute you. You have a piece of history the movie world has not seen fit to rebroadcast or release on VHS/DVD for the rest of us. I rank it up there with Sam Elliott's best work. Maybe he or his agent (The William Morris Agency) will be able to get Universal to re-release it to the Sam Elliott and good film fans every where.

Smiling Jack (U S Army Retired)

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23 out of 24 people found the following review useful:


Author: hipshot49 from Alaska
6 May 2004

I note that the book this was based on was republished a couple of years back to "rave" reviews. I reread it and it was as good as I remembered it.

The series, which, due to the type of work I was doing at the time, I only saw parts of, was also marvelous. Of course, I have to admit, I've seen very few movies with Sam Elliot that I didn't like.

A synopsis of the plot traces the lives of two Army officers; one (Elliot) an enlisted Medal of Honor winner in World War I who was given a battlefield commission and the other a rich West Point graduate staff officer who never heard a shot fired in anger; as their careers and lives moved forward through World War II and beyond.

I see that practically every other miserable excuse for a mini-series has been released on video or DVD, I would say it is long past time that this quality piece of work received its due.

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22 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Better than "The Winds of War"

Author: Varlaam from Toronto, Canada
16 April 1999

That's the way I remember this mini-series anyway, although it's been ages, and it was never rerun, was it?

Sam Elliott was the star. Cliff Potts was the villain. Darleen Carr was the one everyone had a crush on.

I stumbled on this title in the database by accident. What are the chances of seeing it again, I wonder? About as good as assembling a cast this well-rounded again, I reckon.

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17 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

The first mini-series I can remember seeing

Author: charles emery ( from Aiken, SC
6 May 2004

Quite possibly my favorite movie/mini-series. I can remember watching it in the dorm room at the University of Michigan my Freshman year. Later, after I had enlisted in the Army and been accepted to West Point, I purchased the book and read it several times. Later the book became required reading at the Military Academy (though I'm not sure to what effect). The Point wanted its cadets to become more like the character of Sam Damon and less like Cortney Masengale. I do wish that ABC (or NBC, I can't remember the network) would bring the series back or offer it in a DVD set for those of us who are rabid fans. The entire series was well filmed, well acted, and the interpretation of the novel was very accurate. It was sort of a shame that they couldn't finish the mini-series the same way the book ended, but that would have taken another couple of weeks and Vietnam was still a raw nerve.

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16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

A stunning movie of choices and consequences.

Author: brwhite ( from Ft. Wayne IN
4 July 2000

Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf reviewed the book, Once an Eagle, on the NBC Today Show (7/4/00), and I had to research this film after not having seen it for over twenty years. It left that powerful an impression, a story of two career officers spanning almost four decades, and how their choices affected their careers and the lives of those around them. Can't say anymore other than Sam Elliot's character left a lasting impression concerning life choices, and how those principles are still so important in our lives today...

Anyway, I have been unable to find a copy of the mini-series, so if anyone out there can provide any advice on how to obtain a copy, please e-mail me. It would be great to see it again sometime. Thanks...

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14 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Why has this not been released?

Author: seghers from United States
10 August 2005

This is a stunning movie. I saw it when I was very young, with my Father. Sam Damon represented to me what it meant to be a man. Sam Elliot's performance is understated and nuanced, and is remarkable for its restraint... what he Doesn't say is shown in his eyes, and smoking under the surface. He is a man of few words but very powerful obligations which people can either understand or not, he doesn't care. He is not driven by what others think, but by what he knows is right.

I spoke to a gentleman a few years back who said there were political reasons why this series would "never" be released. Having seen it again recently, I think I understand why it won't be released at least for a few years. I would NOT call the movie anti-war, but I would call it anti-stupidity. I would say it stands for war as a last resort, showing the loss and reality of war, and how even when a cause is just, stupid men are put in positions of authority sometimes, and lo and behold, give stupid orders for good men to follow and be killed. Regardless of, and sometimes ignorant of, the big picture and rationale behind the war.

Good men understand their cause, and fight for that cause together. Through a common purpose they find strength and camaraderie. Weak men use the war to justify their own petty purposes, regardless of their attained rank, and sometimes this puts their men in direct contradiction to the more noble and publicy marketed reasons for the conflict. Good men must sometimes follow weak men and stupid orders, if they are to be considered good soldiers. That's a tough position to be in... and it kind of flies in the face of what the military pushes... you must follow orders or you risk your life, and the lives of everybody in your company. Where would the military be if people were allowed to question orders, or question the character and motivations of the people giving those orders? Yet, where would the world be if we all blindly followed leadership despite what we knew was right or wrong?

This contradiction is what this miniseries meant to me, then, as a 12 year old, and again to me today as I write this. From what I understand, the rights to this are still owned by a major network who is being told not to release it. I don't know if that is true or not... it might be just a fancy and/or self-serving lie. But the more I think about it, the more I realize it just might be true. If it is true, it's a damn shame. If it's not true, then, I tell you one thing:

It's pretty bizarre that given the quality of the mini-series, and the star power of some fine actors in their prime, that this has never been released, isn't it?

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:


Author: sites4u from Woodland, CA
11 November 2003

-The Horatio Hornblower of War (mini-series) Movies. Up thru the ranks. Gosh, it's been so long ago it's hard to remember many details but I loved it then (a few years after returning from Viet Nam) and have tried to find a way to purchase it since the invention of VCR's.

I sure wish they would re-release it. Hello to all the War Movie buffs. If there are any war movies I don't own it's because they are not for sale!

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