Author Topic: "Fall Of Eagles" (1974)  (Read 158 times)

Mark Steels Stockbroker

  • Lost in the former West
"Fall Of Eagles" (1974)
« on: March 07, 2015, 06:44:44 PM »
13x50 minute episodes, charting the decline of the royal houses of Hapsburg, Romanov, and Hohenzollern, from the mid 19th century to the end of WW1. Featuring Curt Jurgens as Count Otto von Bismarck, and Patrick Stewart as Vladimir Lenin, and a load of other faces you recognise from BBC drama of the past 50 years, playing lots of other historic people.

Perfect example of something that wouldn't get made nowadays because:

1. Far too didactic: many scenes are essentially some actors in costume in a wooden studio set, delivering chunks of detail from an A-level European History 1789-1945 textbook, with Michael Hordern adding a voiceover for extra backdrop that can't be easily conveyed that way.

2. No effort made to reconstruct big action scenes: battles, riots and massacres get portrayed with sounds of gunfire etc. overlaying contemporary engravings of the events; as we get in to the 20th century there is some old film footage to fill in with.

If anything like this was done today they'd put 75% of the budget on recreating the Franco-Prussian war and the Russian Revolution, whilst everything else would be trimmed right back with barely any expository dialogue. But they wouldn't do it today - like The Onedin Line, it's a whole category of period drama that doesn't exist any more.