The Eagle

27 Apr

Movie Release Date: February 11, 2011
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Bell and Donald Sutherland
Movie plot:

In Roman-ruled Britain, a young Roman soldier endeavors to honor his father’s memory by finding his lost legion’s golden emblem. –

Book Release Date: 1954
Originally Published as: The Eagle of the Ninth
Written By: Rosemary Sutcliff
Book Description:

In A.D. 119 the Ninth Roman Legion marched north into the wilds of Britain beyond Agricola’s Wall and disappeared without a trace. Fifteen years later, Marcus Flavius Aquila, the son of the unit’s commander, embarks on a quest to recover the lost eagle standard of the Ninth, symbol of a legion’s-and his family’s-honor. – From ‘Square Fish’ book jacket

Other Versions of the Book Cover:

Difference between the movie and the book:

The following was provided by David from “The Warden’s Walk” (Thank you SO much!)

  • In the book, Esca fights in the gladiator arena and loses, before Marcus saves him. In the film, Esca refuses to fight the other gladiator but gets attacked by him anyway.
  • In the book, Marcus frees Esca and both become good friends before journeying north. In the film Esca is a slave until the end and there is much tension and distrust between them. This changes Esca’s motivation from friendship and brotherly love, in the book, to simple oathbound honor.
  • Film’s Marcus is solemn and quiet, whereas the book’s Marcus is warm and personable.
  • The film’s Marcus has no plan for how to find the Eagle beyond going north and does not understand the Celtic languages, but the book’s Marcus speaks many Celtic dialects and uses a disguise as an oculist (eye doctor) to move easily from village to village.
  •  The book’s Seal People are dignified and civil, treating Marcus and Esca with good hospitality and even becoming tacit friends with them, since they don’t know of Marcus’ intention to steal the Eagle. In the book, the Seal People are harsh and savage, even executing a child for little reason.
  • In the book, the story of how the Eagle was lost is much more complicated than the simple explanation given in the movie.
  • There is no final battle in the book, as in the movie.
  • Two important characters from the book were left out of the film: the girl Cottia and the tamed wolf Cub.

Interesting facts about the book and/or movie:

  • The main character’s name is Marcus Aquila. Aquila is the Latin word for “Eagle”.
  • The setting of this novel takes place in the 2nd Centruy AD in Roman Britian, after the construction of the Hadrian’s Wall.
  • This novel is the first in a series. It follows with:The Silver Branch, Frontier Wolf, The Lantern Bearers, Sword at Sunset, Dawn Wind, Sword Song, and The Shield Ring.
  • The author based this novel on two historical facts: the disappearance of Legio IX Hispana (Ninth Legion) from historical documents in 117AD, and the discovery of a wingless Roman eagle at a dig site at Silchester.
  • A BBC TV series was made in 1977, as well as a Radio dramatization in1956.

Please leave a comment if this video does NOT work anymore!


In My Opinion…..

I recommend watching these:

  • “300” (Film – 2006)
  • Centurion (Film – 2010)
  • “Gladiator” (Film – 2000)
  • “Beowulf” (Film – 2007)
  • “Lord of the Rings” trilogy
  • “Troy” (Film – 2007)
  • “Kingdom of Heaven (Film – 2005)

I recommend these books:

  • “300” graphic novel (Frank Miller)
  • “Lord of The Rings” trilogy and other companions books

Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Books - 1954, Movies - 2011


Tags: , , , , ,

7 responses to “The Eagle

  1. David

    April 28, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Have you read the book? It’s a beautiful adventure story, one I highly recommend to everyone.

    The movie was good, especially because it was shot with an artistic eye that yields prettier photography and less sensationalized storytelling than usual. It does end up changing so much from the book that the characters are quite different. Most of the book’s depth is missing also. But overall I found it interesting, and something different compared to the usual glut of period action flicks we’ve gotten the past 10 years.

    • shyangel123

      April 29, 2011 at 1:33 pm

      Thank you for your comment!

      Nope! I haven’t read this book yet! My sister saw this movie and said it was amazing and very action-packed. My sister’s taste can be lacking in some aspects, but I believe her on this count.
      I love it when the author takes some historical period or figure(s) and is able to weave it into good story!
      How is the content of this book? (i.e. Does the author overload the reader with all kinds of facts?)

      • David

        April 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm

        No, that’s one of its beauties! The author is Rosemary Sutcliff, and she is considered by many (including me) to be one of the best historical fiction writers ever. She integrates historical facts whenever they naturally fit into the story, and doesn’t waste your time with things that aren’t relevant to her story. Her focus is storytelling and character, not education, but her research is so well done that you may find you have learned a few things by the end of the book! The book doesn’t have as much action, but it does have more plot and more intrigue, and it’s all beautifully balanced. The ending is quite emotional, too. And another good thing, is that it’s not too long, so you can read through it very quickly.

        Actually, I’ve reviewed both the book and the movie on my site, in considerable depth. If you’re interested, just find them under the categories list on the right-hand side on my page.


        • shyangel123

          April 30, 2011 at 11:11 am

          I think I will pass on reading your review about the movie and book…at least until I read and watch it myself!
          I like to be in my own bubble without any outside influences while reading, which is difficult sometimes because I’m easily swayed by recommendations of others – I fall into the hype that surrounds it!
          But once I’m done I’ll be sure to visit your blog! 😀

  2. David

    April 30, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Fair enough, I tend to avoid advance reviews too. You might want to watch the movie before reading the book, in order to give the movie a fair chance with the changes they made. But as you will!

    • shyangel123

      May 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      If you are interested, did you want to write (in point-form) the difference between the book and movie for this entry? I will credit you (of course!) and link it back to you blog.

      • David

        May 3, 2011 at 9:50 pm

        I suppose I could do that; the last couple paragraphs of my book review compared them, so I could easily put those points in bullet form. Want me to type that up and email it to you? (if so, what’s your email?)


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