Film The Eagle, by Kevin MacDonald, based on Rosemary Sutcliff’s best-selling novel of children’s and young adult’s fiction literature and historical fiction shown again on UK Film 4 last night

The Eagle film was much covered in earlier years on this blog. It was shown again in the UK on Film 4. Posts here. Last night I was moved to tweet about it too at

2 film screenplays which Rosemary Sutcliff helped film director Stephen Weeks with


 Ghost Story, a  film directed by Stephen Weeks in 1974, was co-written by Rosemary Sutcliff; or at least she has ‘story’ and ‘screenplay’ credits. Marianne Faithfull was in it.  (Source: IMDb).


In 1984 Rosemary Sutcliff helped write Sword of the Valiant – The Legend of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – starring Sean Connery. It was directed by Stephen Weeks.  The film also starred Trevor Howard.  (Source)

Information on The Eagle film by Kevin Macdonald and Duncan Kenworthy of The Eagle of the Ninth best-selling historical novel by Rosemary Sutcliff

Now that it is several years since the making of the film The Eagle (2011) of the historical novel The Eagle of the Ninth (1954) by Rosemary Sutcliff, Ipost here in a post some of the material I originally gathered as a separate page on this blog.

The Eagle film (initially entitled ‘The Eagle of the Ninth)

The Eagle is the title of the film (movie) based on world-renowned historical novelist  Rosemary Sutcliff’s famous historical novel – The Eagle of the Ninth. Academy award-winner Kevin Macdonald directed it;  Duncan Kenworthy produced it. Channing Tatum (other films before then included G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Dear John) lead the cast,  with Jamie Bell (Defiance, Jumper), Donald Sutherland, Mark Strong  (Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood, Kick Ass) and Tahar Rahim (The Prophet). Jeremy Brock, BAFTA Award-winning screenwriter of Macdonald’s 2006 film The Last King of Scotland, adapted the screenplay of The Eagle  from Rosemary Sutcliff’s classic novel. Read More »

The Eagle (of the Ninth) | A celts-and-centurions film?

Tahar Rahim as a prince of The Seal People in The Eagle film 2011

There is a  brief mention of The Eagle film from Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth in an article by Jonathan Romney about actor Tahar Rahim who played The Seal Prince.

Strangest of all was the Celts-and-Centurions swashbuckler The Eagle, for British director Kevin Macdonald. Rahim played the Seal Prince—shaven-headed, covered from head to foot in loam, and speaking ancient Gaelic.

Prompted by Feona Beoney  on Twitter, I am much taken with the new label ‘celts-and-centurion swashbuckler’, especially the celts-and-centurion phrase (although ‘swashbuckler’ is perhaps not right, since it reeks of pirates and the sea!). Better than sword(s) and sandal.

The Eagle:  Poster of the film of Rosemary Sutcliff's The Eagle of the Ninth

Source: Tahar Rahim: ‘I’ve always refused to play terrorists’ | The Observer.

The Eagle or The Eagle of the Ninth? | International titles of 2011 film of Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth

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

Bulgaria: Орелът 

Croatia: Orao

Finland: Kotka

France: L’ Aigle de la Neuvième Légion

Germany: Der Adler der Neunten Legion

Greece: O aetos tis aftokratorias

Hungary: A sas

Iceland: Örninn

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

Japanese Film poster for The Eagle of the Ninth 第九軍団のワシ :