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Once an Eagle

george john william damon

(NBC, 12/2/1976 to 1/13/1977, 7 Parts, 9 hours). Sprawling saga of two soldiers one compassionate, one ruthless from 1918 through World War II was adapted from Anton Myrer’s sweeping 1968 best seller for a nine-hour (later six hour) serialization that juggled wartime action with assorted romantic interludes. Veteran Glenn Ford was the stabilizing influence for his four younger costars, with all the others in the huge cast “guest starring” in alphabetical order. Cinematographer J. J. Jones received the film’s lone Emmy Award nomination for his photography of Part 1 (of seven). Subsequently it was shown in three two-hour segments.

Production Company Universal Television. Directors E.W. Swackhamer, Richard Michaels. Executive Producer William Sackheim. Producer Peter S. Fischer. Teleplay Peter S. Fischer. Based on the Novel by Anton Myrer. Photography J. J. Jones. Music Dana Kaproff, Elmer Bernstein. Editors Chuck McClelland, Howard Deane, John Elias. Art Directors Lou Montejano, William L. Campbell.

Cast Sam Elliott (Sam Damon), Cliff Potts (Courtney Massengale), Darlene Carr (Tommy Caldwell), Amy Irving (Emily Pawlfrey Massengale), Glenn Ford (George Caldwell), Ralph Bellamy (Ed Caldwell), Dane Clark (Harry Sheppard), Andrew Duggan (General McKelvey), Lynda Day George (Marge Krisler), Gary Grimes (Jack Delvin), Clu Gulager (Alvin Merrick), Robert Hogan (Ben Krisler), Kim Hunter (Kitty Damon), David Huddleston (Earl Preis), Juliet Mills (Joyce), Harriet Nelson (Columbine Crawford), Albert Salmi (Sen. Bert McConnadin), John Saxon (Captain Townsend), James Shigeta (Lin Tso-Han), Barry Sullivan (General Bannerman), Phyllis Thaxter (Alma Caldwell), Forrest Tucker (Colonel Avery), David Wayne (Colonel Terwilliger), William Windom (Gen. Duke Pulleyne), Anthony Zerbe (Dave Shifkin), John Anderson (George Varney), Andrew Robinson (Reb Rayburne), Jeff Cotler (Sam as a boy), Tracie Savage (Peggy Damon), Lynne Marta (Celia Harrodson), Dennis Burkley (Krazewski), Will Seltzer (Brewster), Jane Elliot (Cheryl Logan), Patricia Stitch (Nurse Pomeroy), Patti D’Arbanville (Michele), Hayden Rorke (Paul Sinclair), Ron Masak (Maynard Lambert), James Cromwell (J.L. Cleghorne), George Wyner (Dr. McCabe), Cathey Paine (Mae Lee Cleghorne), Kip Niven (Ryetower), Kario Salem (Joe Brand), Carmen Argenziano (Adam Brand), Tom Reese (Sergeant Stoner), Lee deBroux (Bill Nickerson), Andrew Stevens (Donny Damon), Jim Antonio (Captain Lasovitch), Melanie Griffith (Jinny Massengale), Ben Piazza (Captain Jerome), Kent Smith (General Jacklyn), Jordan Rhodes (Sergeant Ives), George Murdock (Sergeant Chepenek), Frank Michael Liu (Captain Nagasay), Randall Carver (Lee McConnadin), Anne Bellamy (Helene McConnadin), Bert Kramer (Colonel Peterson), Simon Scott, Jenifer Shaw, Rick Podell, George Loros, Chick Vennera, Lew Brown, Gary Springer, Rod Porter, Rori Gwynne, Geoffrey Binney, Rod McCary, Shelley Morrison, Richard Forbes, John Waldron, Sari Price, John Fujioka, Frank Farmer, Jan Burrell, William Bryant, William H. Bassett, Suzanne Horton, Clint Ritchie, Smith Evans, Sean McClory, Stacy Keach Sr.

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