Please note: We apologize in advance if your favorite film is missing (unless you wanted to vote for Gods and Generals).
If you consider Bleeding Kansas part of the Civil War, then you have to include “Santa Fe Trail.” Ronald Reagan at his finest.
Obviously, Margaret Mitchell’s classic, award-winning epic takes the cake here. They just don’t make ’em like that anymore, folks–such depth and character development! While I’m a fan of most of these films (The Outlaw Josey Wales runs a close second in my book, with Glory fast on its heels), I can’t vote against Rhett, Scarlett, Mammy and Co. Shenandoah is also an oft-forgotten classic featuring the incomparable Jimmy Stewart. But Gettysburg and Cold Mountain?! While both have their moments, the casting catastrophes and dialogue debacles pervasive throughout both put them several rungs below on the ladder of C.W. films, in the humble opinion of yours truly.
Glory? Really? Ferris Bueller doesn’t have a thing on Gettysburg.
That Battery Wagner makes an appearance in Glory gives it the nod. And the Battle of Secessionville outside Charleston also gets extended time. And Martin Sheen as Marse Robert?! Methinks not, sir. Case closed.
Glory > Gettysburg.
Guess you just don’t have any tiger blood? Unfortunate for a Clemson grad.
While I agree with Sir JHW’s observation regarding the casting of Martin Sheen, one cannot deny that Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, and Stephen Lang are quite bloody brilliant! Plus, the historical inaccuracies which abound in “Glory” (they are attacking Fort Wagner from the wrong direction, for goodness sake) cause that film to fall on my list. I must say, though, that Jimmy Stewart carries “Shenandoah” and I know of at least one person (my mother, no less) who would agree with JHW on “Gone with the Wind.”
You know, between Edmund Ruffin and Clemson football, we don’t expect much from SC… but they could have at least attacked from the correct side of the fort? You don’t see Longstreet forcing Hood to attack down the hill from the stone wall do you? Didn’t think so.
I’ll grant you the persistent futility of Tiger football. . . but at least we’re not the chickens from Columbia. But as I know you’re aware, MCH, Mr. Ruffin, while honored with the first shot against Sumter on April 12, 1861, was a born and bred Virginian. So while he may fit the prerequisite profile of a distinguished S.C. politician in rhetoric and behavior, we cannot and do not claim him as our own. And Glory, I also grant, is replete with historical inaccuracies; but Morgan Freeman’s speech and then his testimonial in the pre-battle “ring shout” enhance its status. KAH-tell your mother I’ve got the DVD, I will generally watch it anytime, anywhere, and I appreciate her support. I also find your knowledge of Mr. Stewart in Shenandoah impressive.
If James McPherson can forgive them the direction foul up I would think such esteemed scholars as yourselves could find it in you to do the same. It’s certainly no worse than the monuments that appear in the background of your much vaunted opus, replete with a cloudy-eyed Lee who acts more like a monk than a general, the stereotypical Irish Sargent (who is much more colorful in Glory, I might add), and the unwanted, unnecessary, and unthinkable reappearance of C Thomas Howell, who could have been the most famous actor of his generation had his career just ended with “Red Dawn.” And could Buford please remind me how good this ground is just one more time? Berringer looks more like the Wolfman than Longstreet, and Stephen Lang loses points because he follows his portrayal of Pickett with one of Jackson in the prequel! Curious that he could die at Chancellorsville and yet reappear in time to reach the highwater mark of the Confederacy. If the South doesn’t rise again, at least the actors portraying its Generals do! Outrageous.
JHW and I will disagree personally on the issue of “Cold Mountain” later, which may result in a slap to the face and a meeting outside of town, but suffice it to say that you’ll see I did not vote for it either. Despite its fairly accurate depiction of Appalachian violence–including a stunning cameo by none other than Kirk’s Raiders–I will forever hold against it that neither of the main characters were played by Americans, and the entire Army was played by citizens of Romania, the country in which it was inexplicably shot. Perhaps then, JHW would care to answer how he feels about Clark Gable, a staunch Ohian who refused to even attempt a Southern accent, and Vivian Leigh, who was born in India of all places, playing his paradigms of Southern virtue on a sound stage in California? Does it surprise and disgust you, Mr.III, that should you and Tony Horowitz go searching for Tara you are more likely to find it in LA than Atlanta? At least Lucas and Beauregard Duke had the good sense to film their first eight episodes in Covington, bless their hearts.
In fact, perhaps the Duke boys could have made a movie that had more to do with the Civil War movie than some of those proffered here, as we are including those only tangentially related to the War (for example, Dr. CVH’s chosen favorite). Jefferson Davis Hog, Beauregard Duke, Daisy’s jeep “Dixie,” and of course General Lee himself (portrayed with more accuracy and energy by a 1969 Dodge Charger than by Mr. Sheen, in fact)–Why, yes, The Dukes of Hazzard must be the greatest Civil War Movie ever made!
Ridiculous, all of you.
Well said, RCP, well said. And I prefer pistols at dawn over swords at sunset, regarding our “disagreement” over Cold Mountain. And Clark Gable–foul-breathed Ohioan that he is–proved years ahead of his time in G.W.T.W., as he accurately predicted the modern tendency to shed regional (and sub-regional) accents in favor of some bland and boring midwestern “standard.” While I abhor and despise this contemporary development, I must acknowledge his foresight. I would have been more offended had he attempted to replicate the beautiful cadence of a Charlestonian brogue, indubitably butchering it. And Vivien Leigh a.k.a. Scarlett O’Hara was my first crush–you can’t say no to those green eyes. So I’ll accept her Indian birth as a necessary sacrifice to the beauty and vigor she displayed on screen. India, like Ireland, where the O’Hara’s hailed from, was in the British Empire, after all. . .
Cold Mountain is awful and it pained me to include it as part of the poll. I’d just assume hear more about the ground from Buford than wonder what “IN-man” is doing in a hybrid Australian/butchered southern accent…
How typical. A well argued and thoughtful rejoinder from JHW is followed by a mean-spirited jibe by MCH–obviously a hurt and indignant colleague who has little to cogently argue but a host of epithets to hurl. Congratulations, MCH, by bringing the debate to your level you’ve lowered its substance significantly.
What else am I here for? Debating the facts is for competent academics and scholars–neither title applies to me whatsoever (obviously)!
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