Gifts of an Eagle (1975)

107 mins | Documentary | 12 December 1975

Director:

Rex Fleming

Writer:

Dale Myers

Producer:

Kent Durden

Cinematographers:

Ed Durden, Kent Durden

Editor:

Steve Bradfield

Production Company:

C. B. Bartell, Inc.
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HISTORY

The Summary for this partially viewed film is based on a review in the 24 Dec 1975 Var, a synopsis from executive producer and distributor C. B. Bartell, and a couple of film clips.
       Principal photography ended 21 Jul 1975 at the Childs Estate, a wild animal park near Santa Barbara, CA, according to the 28 Jul 1975 Box. The 24 Dec 1975 Var noted that the film contained home footage taken in the 1960s.
       Ed Durden’s son, Kent Durden, first brought the story of “Lady” to public note with his 1972 book, Gifts of an Eagle, which described Lady’s training and her appearance in many Hollywood films, particularly for Walt Disney Studios.
       The 17 Dec 1975 HR reported that Gifts of an Eagle opened that day in seventeen CA cities. Aside from singing the film’s theme song, “Lady Of The Wilderness,” Burl Ives gave an on-camera introduction. Kent Durden provided the film’s narration.
       In a later filmed interview, sound man Nick Vincent said that since some of the Durdens’ early 16mm film had no sound, he created various sound effects, including the flapping of Lady’s wings.
...

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The Summary for this partially viewed film is based on a review in the 24 Dec 1975 Var, a synopsis from executive producer and distributor C. B. Bartell, and a couple of film clips.
       Principal photography ended 21 Jul 1975 at the Childs Estate, a wild animal park near Santa Barbara, CA, according to the 28 Jul 1975 Box. The 24 Dec 1975 Var noted that the film contained home footage taken in the 1960s.
       Ed Durden’s son, Kent Durden, first brought the story of “Lady” to public note with his 1972 book, Gifts of an Eagle, which described Lady’s training and her appearance in many Hollywood films, particularly for Walt Disney Studios.
       The 17 Dec 1975 HR reported that Gifts of an Eagle opened that day in seventeen CA cities. Aside from singing the film’s theme song, “Lady Of The Wilderness,” Burl Ives gave an on-camera introduction. Kent Durden provided the film’s narration.
       In a later filmed interview, sound man Nick Vincent said that since some of the Durdens’ early 16mm film had no sound, he created various sound effects, including the flapping of Lady’s wings.

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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
23 Jun 1975
---
Box Office
28 Jul 1975
---
Box Office
8 Sep 1975
---
Box Office
16 Feb 1976
---
Daily Variety
18 Dec 1975
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Dec 1975
---
Variety
24 Dec 1975
p. 16
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Starring the golden eagle
in
Special appearance by
Co-starring:
[and]
With:
Randy Bartell
+

NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Starring the golden eagle
in
Special appearance by
Co-starring:
[and]
With:
Randy Bartell
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
C. B. Bartell Presents
A Wilderness Releasing Corporation production
In association with Summit Pictures International, Ltd.
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
WRITERS
Narrative ed
Narrative ed
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
Addl photog
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Music cond and arr by
Songs
Songs
SOUND
Re-rec mixer
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book Gifts of an Eagle by Kent Durden (New York, 1972).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
SONGS
"Song For A Lady," words by Alex Noble, music by Clark Gassman; "Lady Of The Wilderness," words and music by Randy Sparks, sung by Burl Ives.
PERFORMED BY
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
12 December 1975
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 12 Dec 1975
Production Date:
ended 21 Jul 1975 near Santa Barbara, CA
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
C. B. Bartell Presents, Inc.
26 June 1978
PA23644
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
107
Length(in feet):
9,600
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In the mid-1950s, with a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department, wild bird trainer Ed Durden and his eighteen-year-old son, Kent Durden, capture a young golden eagle on a mountain near Santa Barbara, California. They name her “Lady” and house her in a specially constructed mountaintop aerie. Lady adapts to semi-captivity and accepts Ed as her companion, but she dislikes Kent because he once held her down to trim her talons. Every time she sees Kent from the air, she dive-bombs him. Meanwhile, Ed tests Lady’s intelligence and memory, and is surprised how quickly she learns to use a line of string attached to a piece of meat. Ed also teaches her to make aerial maneuvers on command, so that she can be used in several Hollywood films. One day, Lady lays two eggs, but since they are infertile, Ed replaces them with a fertile goose egg. When the gosling is born, Lady raises him as if he were her own, even though she would have normally made a meal of him. Afterward, Ed brings Lady the eggs of other birds to hatch, in order to eventually prepare her to handle two fertile eagle eggs from the wild. When the eaglets are born, Lady allows Ed to share the parental duties of feeding them and guarding the nest when she is off in the sky. While filming a movie in Arizona, Lady and her eaglets are attacked by a wild eagle, but she drives off the intruder and returns to Ed, battered but victorious. When Lady is sixteen years old, another wild eagle comes to court her, and Ed decides it is time for her to go ...

More Less

In the mid-1950s, with a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department, wild bird trainer Ed Durden and his eighteen-year-old son, Kent Durden, capture a young golden eagle on a mountain near Santa Barbara, California. They name her “Lady” and house her in a specially constructed mountaintop aerie. Lady adapts to semi-captivity and accepts Ed as her companion, but she dislikes Kent because he once held her down to trim her talons. Every time she sees Kent from the air, she dive-bombs him. Meanwhile, Ed tests Lady’s intelligence and memory, and is surprised how quickly she learns to use a line of string attached to a piece of meat. Ed also teaches her to make aerial maneuvers on command, so that she can be used in several Hollywood films. One day, Lady lays two eggs, but since they are infertile, Ed replaces them with a fertile goose egg. When the gosling is born, Lady raises him as if he were her own, even though she would have normally made a meal of him. Afterward, Ed brings Lady the eggs of other birds to hatch, in order to eventually prepare her to handle two fertile eagle eggs from the wild. When the eaglets are born, Lady allows Ed to share the parental duties of feeding them and guarding the nest when she is off in the sky. While filming a movie in Arizona, Lady and her eaglets are attacked by a wild eagle, but she drives off the intruder and returns to Ed, battered but victorious. When Lady is sixteen years old, another wild eagle comes to court her, and Ed decides it is time for her to go free in the wild. He opens Lady’s cage and lets her join her new mate. However, Ed cannot stop worrying about Lady. He wanders the mountains where he last saw her, and eventually he sees two eagles circling in the distance. He returns to the mountaintop in his airplane, flies near their aerie, and sees that Lady is safe and free.

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GENRE
Genre:
Sub-genre:
Animal


Subject

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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