The Sunday Question (part one) March 20, 2011March 14, 2011Brooks D. Simpson What’s your favorite Civil War movie? Why? Stay tuned for part two later today. Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like Loading... Related
Glory. Hands down.
It successfully encapsulates the meaning and experience of the war in a consumable and engaging fashion. It’s not so focused on historical accuracy and stitch counting that it becomes downright boring. (*cough* Gods & Generals *cough*)
Gods and Generals is the JFK of Civil War movies, but it’s beautiful to look at. The First Manassas sequence captures the gung-ho amateurness of both sides pretty well. Otherwise, the movie’s a real Lost Causgasm, hitting just about every moonlight-and-magnolias trope. I need to double-check, but I think it may have taken Stonewall Jackson longer to cark onscreen than it did in real life.
I still like Glory,, though, despite its small inaccuracies and its fairly heavy-handed approach. These things generally go with a big-name, popular productions, and you could do much, much worse when it comes to introducing the general public to some of the issues in the war.
I do see the movie differently now, though, than I did when it first came out. I’ve really come to appreciate the dialogue in the scene between Col. Shaw and Trip, the angry, rebellious former slave played by Denzel Washington:
I think one could build a full classroom discussion around that one, short scene.
Ive been labeled as a southern romantic, so I like Gods and Generals.
I would choose GLORY. It has powerful performances and a fine, if not always accurate, script.
Glory for the script, as well as bringing USCTs to the front (and possibly leading the USV to invent BCs).
As the 1951 “Red Badge of Courage,” starring Audie Murphy and Bill Mauldin.
My favorite is Gods and Generals for sure. I like it because it shows on a more personal level the lives and personalities of some of the more famous characters from the Civil War.
Glory is my favorite. It’s probably the best CW movie made, yet anyway.
Ride With the Devil is very good as well. I love the attempt to have the characters speak as 19th century people would have.
I like Gettysburg a lot, but that’s the Civil War nerd in me. It’s about four hours too long and marred with bizarrely amateur performances.
My favorite is Shenandoah, with Jimmy Stewart.
Nothing shows the absurdity and massive denial by most of the US, quite like this movie. It’s real focus is to absolve everyone of blame — no one was a bad guy in this film, except deserters.
This 1965 movie was heralded as “true history.” The studio sent thousands of “study guides” to high schools, with wall posters, claiming “In learning history, nothing beats a good Hollywood film” (quoted from The Reel Civil War: Mythmaking in American Film By Bruce Chadwick)
Jimmy Stewart played Charlie Anderson, a man who hated slavery but was caught up in the Civil War. The movie seemed to literally take turns, showing bad guys on both sides, then good guys on both sides. More politically correct you can not get. Eventually Northern deserters did some dastardly deeds, but there were bad Southerners too – deserters of course.
Not one word about the insane Southern demands to spread slavery, not one child being sold, not one burning to death of men who fought back against slavery, not one clip of women being tortured, of dogs ripping apart the flesh of those who would flee.
Not one insane sermon on God’s will to spread slavery, not one mention of the Southern leaders consistent history of violence and terror to spread slavery. Not even a hint at the violent suppression of free speech and free religion.
But then — what US movie has ever dared “go there”?
I like this movie as well.
Though not quite a straight out Civil War movie, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly has always been one of my all-time favorite westerns with the Civil War in New Mexico as its backdrop. Even though the big battle scene is fictional, the film’s mention of characters such as General Sibley and others seems to be historically accurate.
I have to vote Glory. Probably the first film that presented the Civil War with some accuracy as far as set design and cinematography.
For sentimental reasons, “The Horse Soldiers”. Know it is very inaccurate historically, but was the first CW movie I saw when I was a kid, and got me interested in studying the CW.
Loved “Ride With The Devil”. Filmed on the ground where the story takes place and showed a side of the CW that most folks did not know about.
Favorite Civil War movie (strictly-defined): Gettysburg, as you can’t beat the drama and passion.
Favorite Civil War movie (loosely defined): BBC’s “North and South”. An adaptation of an Elizabeth Gaskell novel set in England during or just before the American Civil War, and dealing with many of the same fascinating issues of mid-nineteenth century industrialization faced by the American North and South. A very high quality film.
“Glory,” for reasons already mentioned. I also like “Horse Soldiers,” for all its flaws.
“Birth of a Nation,” and Huston’s “Red Badge of Courage.” Both iconic, and superb examples of film-making.
I think Glory is an amazing movie…from both a talent and historical standpoint. I also really like Cold Mountain, although I may be in the minority…kind of a different, albeit fictional take on things
I guess I’m with the majority here in saying Glory.
Ride With The Devil and Horse Soldiers
How come no one said Ironclads?
I’m surprised no one said Gettysburg. That resonated with me at the time more than any other flic has.
Ride With the Devil.
Also a film about the Confederate Choctaw soldiers and the poison spring massacre would be interesting..