I was, of course, disappointed when the US film studio Focus Features decided to shorten the film title to The Eagle from The Eagle of the Ninth, the full and proper title of Rosemary Sutcliff‘s novel. I chose to believe that the studio knew its business and its market, although the subsequent relative failure of their marketing in the US might lead one to wonder a little more … (For those of you interested, the contract for the book rights – a standard 0ne – gave those of us responsible for Rosemary Sutcliff’s book no veto or locus in the decision).
I have been tracking down the international titles of the film, and it is interesting that in much of Europe the title is still The Eagle of the Ninth (in translation). A shame we here in the UK have to go with the US title, which was chosen, it is said publicly by the director, partly because Amercians’ who were market tested were confused that this might be a film about golf – as in a bogie at the eighth! And I note that The Eagle in Russia (see full title below) has knocked True Grit into a cocked hat in the money taken stakes.
Орел Девятого легиона Russia
9. legion Poland
A Águia da Nona Legião Portugal
A sas Hungary
Acvila legiunii a IX-a Romania
Der Adler der Neunten Legion Germany
Devintojo legiono erelis Lithuania
Dziewiaty legion Poland
El águila de la novena legión Spain
L’ Aigle de la Neuvième Légion France
O aetos tis aftokratorias Greece