Thus, a number of the best movies set during the Civil War are really set “around” the Civil War. The most recent Steven Spielberg film is also one of the most deliberate and thoughtful in his catalogue. Top 10 American Civil War Movies | Military Insider - YouTube The result is a big budget opera that is as messy as the cultural melting pot it idolizes with nostalgia and disdain—it is also just as undeniably fascinating. Get the best of Den of Geek delivered right to your inbox! Don’t worry Rhett, you still got the last word. It was guerrilla warfare between Americans. But with Day-Lewis’ performance and Spielberg’s heartstring pulling, it makes him all the more monumental. In what I consider to be the most underrated film on this list, and certainly its director’s most overlooked picture, Ang Lee studied an American conflict from an outsider’s perspective for Ride with the Devil. This African American unit fought bravely in an effort to win freedom for themselves and all slaves. There are few precious war films about Africa. It’s worth following over that wall. There’s our list. He has long been proud of his geek credentials. Movies about The American Civil War: 8 movies, sorted by rating. A dense drama, it deserves more recognition than it has known. Ray Winstone also wonderfully embodies the viciousness of the Confederate Home Guard in the picture, an organization not known for its mercy toward deserters or their families. If you disagree let me know in the comments or on Twitter. A British-made film about the War of Independence was never likely to succeed with American audiences, but the box-office failure of this expensive, high-profile film did not necessarily stem from nationalistic prejudice. Lincoln correctly points out that as the war was winding down, the president recognized this and used his political clout, and some less than honest sausage making, to end slavery once and for all. Based upon Daniel Woodrell’s Woe to Live On, Lee and screenwriter James Schamus turned the camera on the oft-forgotten about border wars of Missouri and Kansas. Instead, neighbors slaughtered neighbors based upon political persuasions. In the following century and a half, the effects of the war, and the original sin that propagated it, are still felt every day in the news, and with every election cycle that sees familiar lines of division amongst the states that participated in America’s bloodiest conflict. The Girl Spy: An Incident of the Civil War; Glory (1989 film) Gods and Generals (film) Gone with the Wind (film) The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Grand Canyonscope; Grandma's Boy (1922 film) Great Day in the Morning; The Great Locomotive Chase; The Guerrilla While the film is mostly a comedy about staying above violence and familial life bearing many similarities in all generations, be it the 1950s or 1860s. With a cast that included Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger at the height of their awards darling fame, and from director Anthony Minghella (The English Patient, The Talented Mr. Ripley), Miramax wanted this saga of a North Carolinian deserter and the woman he left behind to be a modern day Gone with the Wind, even if it was shot in Romania. The top 30 films, all appearing on 3 or more “Best Civil War” movie lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. Crane’s narrative instead focused on the psychological effects of the war from the perspective of a universally poignant young soldier, who is depicted as a human and not a Yankee carpetbagger. From peacetime to frontlines, from coming home to left behind: Rotten Tomatoes presents the 100 best-reviewed war movies of all time, ranked by Adjusted Tomatometer with at least 20 reviews each. But for its era, Gone with the Wind featured major progress from Hollywood and even earned Hattie McDaniel an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, the first time an African-American was ever recognized (though she was not allowed to attend the film’s earlier Atlanta premiere due to segregation laws). Not exactly John Ford’s best film, Horse Soldiers is one of the few times the legendary director ever directly dealt with the Civil War. 100 Best War Movies of All Time. The second aspect that makes Lincoln rise above any inclinations toward hagiography is its basis on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Rather than attempting to chronicle Lincoln’s entire life, or even his whole presidency, which Goodwin meticulously researched for her biography, Spielberg and Tony Kushner zeroed in on a narrow window between Lincoln’s reelection and his second inauguration. As the most utilized era for American literature in the 20th century, the Civil War has captured the imagination in many a book and story. The Civil War is arguably the most trying time in American history: 600,000 men lost their lives during the five-year engagement, our country was almost divided, and a president assassinated. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. Another 19 wins & 101 nominations Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) . For a movie about war, it is in two moments away from the fighting that most linger. But it takes on a horrific, bloody visage when the protests turn to violence, and African-Americans are lynched in the street by a community meant to be on the side of Our Better Angels. Set in Indiana during the Civil War, the film centers on a family of Quakers overseen by a doting and deeply religious mother/minister (Dorothy McGuire) and her slightly more worldly and apprehensive husband (Gary Cooper). Pic credit: TriStar/Paramount. As the most utilized era for American literature in the 20 th century, the Civil War has captured the imagination in many a book and story. She even finds time to pine for her supposed best friend’s husband during all these years. Yes, like the much more abhorrent Birth of a Nation (1915) before it, Gone with the Wind rewrites the history of the Civil War to be one of Southern aggrievement, whitewashing the horrors of slavery along the way. This is also the basis of Edward Zwick’s wistful Glory, a film about this heroically doomed charge. Day-Lewis gives another tour de force performance—in ironically a historic personage his Gangs of New York character despised—as a folksy and elaborately researched rendering of the president that preserved the Union and ended the institution that threatened it so greatly. More a general commentary on the stupidity and pointlessness of war during the era when America was just ramping up its Vietnam madness, the Civil War in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly does not bear broad similarities to any specific event. The 1895 novel by Stephen Crane is considered iconic by many, not least of all because it was published before Southern revisionism transformed the conflict for several generations as a Lost Cause romance between Southern gallantry and Northern aggression. The film didn’t live up to such lofty aspirations, but it did net Zellweger her much sought-after Oscar. And one of the most fascinating wars to explore on film is the American Civil War. Unfortunately, one of the more famous ones is this 1966 Italian documentary which is nothing more than an exploitation film, showing the filmmakers transversing the African continent, visiting a perpetual stream of civil wars and genocidal conflicts. Hence why this 1951 film is considered a mutilated classic in some circles. Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. It could even be argued that Civil War-based classics like “Glory” or “Gettysburg” are outliers. War movies have attracted audiences since the earliest days of filmmaking. The Civil War is the central event in Americas historical consciousness. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. Still, William Holden is terrific in the film, and it shines a light on the Vicksburg campaign where a Union cavalry unit led by Wayne and Holden disrupt Confederate supply lines. It is a nuanced account of the war where the “heroes” are shown early to slaughter unarmed family men, but the opposing Union antagonists will also murder Jake’s pro-Lincoln German father simply because he was Jake’s father. Focused on Lee’s first and only effort to invade the North, which ended in ruin after three days of battle near the Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg, the four-hour picture was originally intended to be a miniseries. Robert Gould Shaw commanded the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry into only one full-fledged battle before he lost his life (and the 54th lost over half their numbers). Don't forget the war wasn't about slavery, that's just the modern popular myth, it was about being controlled by people who lived 100's and sometimes 1000's of miles away, who didn't understand a certain way of life and tried to impose their ideas on others, much like the War of Independence. 9:30 AM 6/23/2016. North Carolina, one of the last states to join the Confederacy and one of the least loved by its Virginian capital, was relatively poorer than its neighbors and the leader in deserters. “What are the best movies about the American Civil War?” We looked at 236 of the top Civil War films, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question! A multitude of experiences led to that fateful day outside of Fort Wagner, both for escaped slaves and free men, and all are explored and viscerally felt here. Nonetheless, the film captures the tenor and philosophy of the Union and Confederate leaders very well (save for Martin Sheen’s strangely enfeebled Lee), and has moments of true transcendence, such as the Union bayonet charge led by Chamberlain at Little Round Top, and moments of agony, like the Confederate decimation on the third day during Pickett’s Charge. Such Southern revisionism is ironically why Hollywood shied away from the subject years later, but it served as a monument to it here. The American Civil War (1861-65) was a catastrophic moment in US history. Genre: Drama, Romance, WarAbout: Love, The American Civil war, Genre: Adventure, Drama, WesternAbout: The American Civil war, Indians, Genre: Drama, History, WarAbout: The American Civil war, African americans, Genre: Drama, History, WarAbout: The American Civil war, War, Genre: Drama, Romance, WarAbout: The American Civil war, War, Genre: Action, Drama, HistoryAbout: Submarines, The American Civil war, Genre: Action, Drama, HistoryAbout: Generals, The American Civil war, Genre: Drama, History, WarAbout: The American Civil war, Prisons. But whatever reservations I have about Gone with the Wind’s politics, there is no ignoring that it is a masterpiece of cinema. You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy a good Civil War movie. The American Civil War was fought between the north of the United States and the south. Dir: Hugh Hudson, UK, 1985. However, his best friend is Jack Bull Chiles (Skeet Ulrich), a man from a family with gentry pretensions, albeit only George Clyde’s (Simon Baker) family is rich enough to own slaves—including Daniel Holt (Jeffrey Wright). Ergo, Jake must be a Bushwhacker. Share movies about the american civil war. After the film tested poorly with early screenings, MGM cut the film down to a barebones running time of 69 minutes, stitched together only by voiceover narration lifted straight from Crane’s prose. It’s now been over 150 years since the sureender at Appomattox Court House, which was the first step toward the end of the Civil War (May 10, 1865 marked the final march with the capture of Jefferson Davis). Eventually, the banality of violence is brought to a tipping when William Quantrill leads all of the above on his infamous ride to Lawrence, Kansas where stationed Union soldiers, free black citizens, and just about any male old enough to pick up a rifle is executed. Set in the South during the Civil War, the sweeping historical film is widely regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made. With Al Pacino, Sid Owen, Nastassja Kinski. Washington won the Oscar, but all bring an A-game that swells with James Horner’s career best score, heightened even further by the ethereal voices of the Boys Choir of Harlem. As the first generation forced to deal with the draft, the working poor were understandably galvanized to frenzy when they’re youth are conscripted at gunpoint to join the Union army while the sons of New York’s rich and elite could buy their way out of the draft for $300 (about $5,000 by today’s standards). While the greater American conflict is mostly a stage for a blood and tears passion play between a young Irish immigrant (Leonardo DiCaprio) and the contradictory, bigoted father figure he swore to assassinate (Daniel Day-Lewis), it comes crashing into the overall narrative in fitting fashion. With so many rural young men sent to die for an institution they could not afford, the state’s futile suffering was only compounded. Granted, much of it had to do with the dwindling supplies and resources in the southern states as the war dragged on than it did with any sort of pure malevolence, but Leone (with heavy revisionism) imagined that the better-funded Union was just as cruel to prisoners out of spite. As it stands, Horse Soldiers is mostly a “men on a mission” adventure film that sugarcoats bloodshed as something closer to John Wayne pageantry. It tears the family apart, and forces a father to find his son after he is injured on the frontline. Over 150 years after the end of America's bloodiest conflict, we count down the 12 best Civil War films that have been released. The result is a fascinating, frustrated mess. Nonetheless, it represents an interesting reason as to why there are so few true blue Civil War movies in the latter half of the 20th century: a genuine distaste for the subject. Inman, a fleeing soldier that will cross his devastated homeland to find his lady love. Forget Sherman, the biggest scorched earth left in this Technicolor wonder is Scarlett’s pleas for “Ashley Wilkes” behind a misty-eyed, backward-looking Max Steiner score. Most films about the Civil War try to appear realistic, however much they bend the truth to dramatic effect. Gone with the wind – this is again one of the finest films made during the American Civil War and was adapted from the novel by Margaret Mitchell.. Gone With the Wind opens in April of 1861, in the home named Tara, where Scarlett O’Hara the spoiled daughter of a well to do plantation owner, who wants to come out of the poverty she sees herself in during the civil war. It was mainly fought on grounds of the fact whether it was okay to boycott slavery. Named after its central hero’s greatest desire, Red Badge follows a young private in the Union army that wishes to wash away his shame with a crimson gush after fleeing the field of battle in an act of cowardice. With quotes such as "you have a face that only a mother could love," it's very easy to fall in love with … Raised on cinema classics that ranged from…, Watch The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly on Amazon, Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes Will One Day Cross Paths in AEW, Goldberg's Return on Raw Highlights WWE's Legends Problem, The Jane Doe Murders Review: Compassionate True Crime Doc Provides Closure, Captain America: Civil War Blu-ray Special Features Reveal Where Thor Was, Marvel's Civil War: 12 Versions of the Story, Introducing A Brand New FREE Quarterly Magazine From Den of Geek, How EVE Online Is Changing Players' Lives for the Better. RELATED: 15 Best War Movies … The movies I’ve listed contain all or most of the issues listed above, and are in no particular order. More than in the scenes of Kidman and Zellweger, this is embodied by Jude Law’s moody performance as W.P. A good place to start with any study of Civil War films is with the one that adapted arguably the definitive Civil War novel: The Red Badge of Courage. The Civil War is a central focus of American history and American historical scholarship, and yet our image of the time is of Scarlett O’Hara as much as it is of Abraham Lincoln, and the pictures in our heads of Abraham Lincoln come from movies more than history books. Share movies about the american civil war? Also, I actually think despite its more cynical elements, it is still a wonderfully harrowing tale that, much like Frazier’s novel, recounts another side of the Civil War. The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. Expand . Hollywood’s big grand love letter to the mythology of the West (note: not history), How the West Was Won is a hodgepodge pastiche of conflicting ideas, daydreams, and an all-star parade that includes Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, Jimmy Stewart, Debbie Reynolds, Lee J. Cobb, Carolyn Jones, Richard Widmark, and many more. … And it has lived on in our fiction and our art. It is also in the people he meets on his odyssey that make this truly stand out, such as a new mother and fresh widow played by Natalie Portman. It also allowed Scorsese to showcase a major incident during the Civil War that is often overlooked due to its ugliness: the Draft Riots of 1863. Cold Mountain: (2003) IMDb score: 7.2 Winner of 1 Oscar. By adapting Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the same name, producer David O. Selznick labored to make the most sweeping epic ever realized, and quite frankly succeeded with a film that still holds the record for the most tickets ever sold to a moving picture (sorry, Avatar and Avengers fans). The irony of this being only a few years after Wayne played Yankee-hating Texan hombre Ethan Edwards in The Searchers is alone worth the price of admission. However, war finally comes to town when Confederate Bushwhackers and Johnny “Rebs” slaughter a nearby community, incentivizing the family’s oldest son, a pre-Psycho Anthony Perkins, to pick up a gun and fight back. Long before the sleep-inducing, Stonewall Jackson-worshipping Gods & Generals, Ronald F. Maxwell had much better success at recreating a Civil War saga with Gettysburg, an epic version of the battle that turned the tides of the Civil War. Both men are united in that wonderful common cause, as seen in the final frame when they’re buried in a mass grave together. Public Domain "Glory" is a Civil War movie that chronicles the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts. Enjoy, for an excellent Civil War oriented binge watch (or re-watch) over your favorite American holidays. The Worst! The legendary story of Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh), a Georgian Southern belle forced to survive the Civil War by any means necessary, Gone with the Wind transcends its potential melodramatic underpinnings and nightmarish cycling through directors to achieve a vision of plantation gentility, Northern carpetbagging villainy, and Southern apology. As a result, it had no real teeth and was (partially) designed to force anti-slavery Britain from intervening on the South’s behalf. The most famous film about the Civil War, Gone with the Wind also represents why there are so few quality ones being made. I am not sure how accurate the Bushwhacking/Jayhawking is to Indiana in this era (please let me know if you are well versed), but whatever the historical accuracy, this is a wonderfully poignant family dramedy that makes great use of its setting. So when Clint Eastwood’s good anti-hero and Eli Wallach’s not-so-good, ugly bandit are captured by Union troops, they are tortured within an inch of their lives. Class of '61 is a 1993 television film produced by Steven Spielberg as a projected television series about the American Civil War. As they try to outdo each other, the violence of the American Civil War proves to be a major obstacle. The Civil War 1861-1869. Other Union soldiers are depicted better when feuding over a bridge with a Confederate army commanded by Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley—who incidentally really did engineer a failed campaign from Texas into the American Southwest in 1862 in an attempt to take Santa Fe, gold resources along the Rockies, and cut off California—but all parties are ultimately presented as moronic, fighting over a bridge that neither side truly needs. The film was filmed in Charleston, South Carolina and Atlanta and was the first collaboration between Spielberg and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. It is heavy handed, and not the film’s best segment, but like so much else with the Civil War, it feels torn between its loyalties. Despite its light-hearted title and often even lighter frivolity, Friendly Persuasion is in many respects about how persuasive the call to violence and war tends to be. Votes: 287,621 | Gross: $198.68M. 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