Recent showings on Film 4 in the UK of ‘The Eagle’ film, based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth, have reminded me of my frustration and disappointment that the film was not itself called The Eagle of the Ninth. For many months during filming and productionthe it had the full title, but after test-marketing in the USA, the US film studio Focus Features insisted on shortening the title – because US audiences seemed to think The Eagle of the Ninth might be about golf! (I am not joking).
At the time I wrote that I chose to believe that the studio knew its business and its market, although the subsequent failure of their marketing in the US lead me to wonder a little more. The (standard) contract for the book rights gave those of us responsible for Rosemary Sutcliff’s book no veto or locus in the decision.
In many, but not all, countries the title was a full translation of the original title. In others, of ‘The Eagle’. So far I think I have found:
Brazil: A Aguia da Nova
France: L’ Aigle de la Neuvième Légion
Germany: Der Adler der Neunten Legion
Greece: O aetos tis aftokratorias
Hungary: A sas
Japan: 第九軍団のワシ /
Lithuania: Devintojo legiono erelis
Poland: Dziewiaty legion
Portugal: A Águia da Nona Legião
Romania: Acvila legiunii a IX-a
Russia: Орел Девятого легиона
Spain: El águila de la novena legión
4 thoughts on “The Eagle or The Eagle of the Ninth? | International titles of 2011 film of Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth”
I personally am also relieved that it did not have the same title, as the movie does not do justice to the book. I personally hope that someday it will be remade under the original title under a screenwriter that understands that RS’s story should not be utterly changed. I would love to see all of her books made into movies, though they would never be able to capture the depth of each book.
I especially would love to see a better dynamic between Esca and Marcus. Though the story is completely changed throughout the movie, I believe that this was the biggest change from the book. The ending was different and I hated it, however, they missed the mark on the relationship between the two, completely changing the face of the story.
Thanks for all of your posts as of late!
Thanks for your comment. And Yes, maybe that is a positive way to look at the title not being The Eagle of the Ninth.
Yes, disappointing, but, perhaps inevitable. Maybe it s a consolation that the film and book are indeed two separate works: the former necessarily not having the depth of the latter, decent though it is.
I personally missed the iconic moment at the Beacon.. A simple but brilliantly effective emotional staging point..so typical of RS… I m trying to imagine her at a modern film awards ceremomy, and failing!!!
Keep up the great work Anthony!
thanks Steve. Actually, I can imagine her at modern film ceremony, in bold colours, especially made outfit, looking splendid!