Inarguably one of the best films on this list, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly also is quite arguably a Civil War film. The most famous film about the Civil War, Gone with the Wind also represents why there are so few quality ones being made. 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. This is also the basis of Edward Zwick’s wistful Glory, a film about this heroically doomed charge. 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. With so many rural young men sent to die for an institution they could not afford, the state’s futile suffering was only compounded. 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. He has long been proud of his geek credentials. 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. Indeed, it was also a nigh suicide mission issued to the first African-American infantry by the U.S. military, and they executed with valor and distinction. Inman, a fleeing soldier that will cross his devastated homeland to find his lady love. The most interesting character in the film is Holt, who fights alongside these boys even after Clyde dies, providing an enigmatic figure that despises the Bushwhacker cause but shows a kinship with the ones who set him free. For a movie about war, it is in two moments away from the fighting that most linger. 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. The term became more eminent when the Americans started to slave the black people during the American Civil war. Most films about the Civil War try to appear realistic, however much they bend the truth to dramatic effect. 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. 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. Gone With the Wind (1939) Genre: Drama, Romance, War About: Love, The American Civil war. Cold Mountain: (2003) IMDb score: 7.2 Winner of 1 Oscar. And one of the most fascinating wars to explore on film is the American Civil War. It was guerrilla warfare between Americans. As a North Carolinian myself, it is admirable to see a Southern Civil War experience far from the plantation life that is reminisced or mocked in so many other narratives. The most recent Steven Spielberg film is also one of the most deliberate and thoughtful in his catalogue. Turning Lincoln’s life and the Civil War into a monster hunting story, it uses vampirism as a metaphor for … As they try to outdo each other, the violence of the American Civil War proves to be a major obstacle. Share movies about the american civil war. He knows where his fate lies. 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. And it has lived on in our fiction and our art. Rating: R; Available on Netflix; This film was nominated for five Oscars and won three of them Votes: 287,621 | Gross: $198.68M. You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy a good Civil War movie. Enjoy, for an excellent Civil War oriented binge watch (or re-watch) over your favorite American holidays. 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. 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. 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. IMDB: 8.2/10. This African American unit fought bravely in an effort to win freedom for themselves and all slaves. 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. 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. The war movies Glory and Enemy at the Gates on Netflix. If not the course of the war, their sacrifice changed the way the U.S. government viewed many of its citizens and altered the destiny for a nation. Instead, neighbors slaughtered neighbors based upon political persuasions. 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. These are the Best Movies on American Slavery, Hollywood Films on American Slavery is … Director Sergio Leone fancied himself as something of a history buff and had studied with great enthusiasm the horrors of the Andersonville camp years before the third part of his “Dollars Trilogy” came about. With quotes such as "you have a face that only a mother could love," it's very easy to fall in love with … The American Civil War (1861-65) was a catastrophic moment in US history. 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. Hard-living John Huston had returned from the great war of his lifetime, of the WWII variety, and his cynical outlook crystallized in films like The Maltese Falcon (1941) became only bitterer, such as in The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948). Like so much in life, petty squabbles and small-minded racisms are laid bare for their pointlessness when history and political realities are confronted, as seen in the film’s closing moments when the riots and reacting Union army obliterates petty gang rivalries. 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. The dialogue in this movie is extremely enjoyable. Public Domain "Glory" is a Civil War movie that chronicles the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts. There's not really any good or bad in the American Civil War, it's just 2 sides of the same coin. Ultimately, a Union private (George Peppard), who is the son of a previous generation of characters from earlier segments, saves his commander by being forced to kill a spy. Divided over three days between three points-of-view, (primarily John Buford, Joshua Chamberlain, and James Longstreet respectively), Gettysburg is either the most faithful rendering of a battle onscreen or the greatest effort at a reenactment ever assembled. The film is led by a competent Matthew Broderick as Shaw, but the real power comes from its cast of volunteers that includes Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Andre Braugher, and Jihmi Kennedy. To be sure, Civil War re-enactors from around the country assembled in Pennsylvania for the first film ever shot on the actual battlefield/National Park it is set in—and the results are a little too clean and beautiful with surprisingly aged soldiers (re-enactors) bravely dying without an ounce of fear or hesitation. The film succeeds on both fronts thanks to two secrets, Daniel Day-Lewis and Doris Kearns Goodwin. Dir: Hugh Hudson, UK, 1985. In this vein, we have assembled 12 of the best Civil War movies right here. As a result, it had no real teeth and was (partially) designed to force anti-slavery Britain from intervening on the South’s behalf. Rotten Tomatoes: 91%. 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. Adapted from Charles Frazier’s 1997 book of the same name, Cold Mountain was a prestige picture intended to bleed Oscar gold. She even finds time to pine for her supposed best friend’s husband during all these years. Hence why this 1951 film is considered a mutilated classic in some circles. 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). Glory: 1861-1863. 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. The conflict informed characters from many of his classics, including Stagecoach (1939), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), and The Searchers (1956), but Horse Soldiers is the rare instance he addressed the war head-on for a full feature length film. Get the best of Den of Geek delivered right to your inbox! Netflix:-Dances With Wolves (1990) Genre: Adventure, Drama, Western About: The American Civil war, Indians. The first is when Washington’s Silas Trip stares down his colonel for having him whipped due to abandoning his post to find shoes. Movies about The American Civil War: 8 movies, sorted by rating. 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. Expand . 9:30 AM 6/23/2016. The movies I’ve listed contain all or most of the issues listed above, and are in no particular order. Until now my top Civil War series was the ubiquitous Ken burns production but I think this series it better if you actually want to understand the war rather than just look at old photos. Thus, a number of the best movies set during the Civil War are really set “around” the Civil War. Here are a few movies based on American slavery that … But for a film that attempts to narrate the entire 19th century American experience, it could not skip the Civil War, which appears as a segment directed by John Ford, and features Harry Morgan as Ulysses S. Grant and, of all people, John Wayne as William Tecumseh Sherman. With Red Badge, Huston utilized “crime picture” (film noir) techniques with his black and white photography and vision, creating a darker chaotic atmosphere for hardly vainglorious war. David Crow is the movies editor at Den of Geek. From the moment Confederate troops opened fire on Fort Sumter to its conclusion four years later, almost a million young Americans lost their lives, often to friends, family or neighbours. A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods. Top 10 American Civil War Movies | Military Insider - YouTube 13 of 21 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) 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). Both men are there when a Confederate soldier attempts to gun down Grant after the Battle of Shiloh. 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). 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. The film was filmed in Charleston, South Carolina and Atlanta and was the first collaboration between Spielberg and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. 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 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. 97 Metascore. 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. 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). It was mainly fought on grounds of the fact whether it was okay to boycott slavery. But whatever reservations I have about Gone with the Wind’s politics, there is no ignoring that it is a masterpiece of cinema. Image: Amazon. The second is when Shaw looks out at the South Carolina coast toward the sea, and then back again towards the oblivion of war and hellfire above Fort Wagner. 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. Naturally this is fertile ground for cinema, and here are eight of the best. There is something about the brutality of battle and the bravery of the soldiers that fascinates us. At least that was the project’s reputation when Harvey Weinstein gave the Goodfellas filmmaker carte blanche (save for final cut) to make whatever picture he wanted. The film’s central hero of Jake Rodel (Tobey Maguire) isn’t even an American; he’s a German immigrant who traveled with his father as a boy to Missouri. Hollywood has been engaged in producing African American slavery movies for a quiet long time. 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. 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. Don’t worry Rhett, you still got the last word. But with Day-Lewis’ performance and Spielberg’s heartstring pulling, it makes him all the more monumental. Set in the South during the Civil War, the sweeping historical film is widely regarded as one of the greatest movies ever made. 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. Pic credit: TriStar/Paramount. 1. “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! 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. Over 150 years after the end of America's bloodiest conflict, we count down the 12 best Civil War films that have been released. These films show the problem of slavery in America and how humanity was at stake that time. African Region: All of Africa. 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. 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. 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). It could even be argued that Civil War-based classics like “Glory” or “Gettysburg” are outliers. 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. With Al Pacino, Sid Owen, Nastassja Kinski. 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. By joining the Bushwhackers (Confederate sympathizers) they fought as insurgents against their Jayhawk neighbors (Union ones). 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. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. Such Southern revisionism is ironically why Hollywood shied away from the subject years later, but it served as a monument to it here. The top 30 films, all appearing on 3 or more “Best Civil War” movie lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. War movies have attracted audiences since the earliest days of filmmaking. After it got the axe mid-production at ABC, Ted Turner picked it up initially for TNT, but eventually persuaded a distribution deal out of New Line. The film didn’t live up to such lofty aspirations, but it did net Zellweger her much sought-after Oscar. 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. 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. Either too long or too short (again, the editing is chaotic), Gangs of New York is still a marvelous film that allows Scorsese to explore the immigrant experience that is mostly forgotten about when it was the Irish who endured Nativist prejudice and violence, as opposed to the filmmaker’s own Italian roots from the more cinematically represented early 20th century (or what Hispanics are facing today). Thus, he claimed to understand the American Civil War, but scoffed at the concept that only the “losers” of the conflict committed such mistreatment to prisoners of war. 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. Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) . For each, it’s a victory over the war’s original root cause. If you disagree let me know in the comments or on Twitter. 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. However, The Red Badge of Courage film remains mostly a curiosity now given its visual style but undeniably slight influence. A dense drama, it deserves more recognition than it has known. Robert Gould Shaw - Civil War Colonel who led the 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Army that is featured in the movie Glory. 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. 50. 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. by Stephen Dalton As Matthew McConaughey starrer 'Free State of Jones' hits theaters, THR's film critic ranks the top movies about the bloodiest battle in U.S. history. 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. Despite taking place during the Civil War, Spielberg is content with rarely visiting the battlefield here, and instead focuses on Lincoln’s genius in a Capitol submerged in discontent and disdain. 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. The Civil War is the central event in Americas historical consciousness. RELATED: 15 Best War Movies … Another 19 wins & 101 nominations It’s worth following over that wall. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) is no such film. 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). It tears the family apart, and forces a father to find his son after he is injured on the frontline. Set in a New York that was only beginning to fall into the clutches of Boss Tweed, most of the film takes place during the height of the Civil War in 1863. 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. 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. Ergo, Jake must be a Bushwhacker. There are few precious war films about Africa. 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. 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. More than in the scenes of Kidman and Zellweger, this is embodied by Jude Law’s moody performance as W.P. There’s our list. Share movies about the american civil war? 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. 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. 100 Best War Movies of All Time. Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil. The Civil War 1861-1869. 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. The Worst! During this period, Lincoln outmaneuvered the pro-slavery Democrats in Congress and incalculably passed the 13th Amendment. Gangs of New York was the masterpiece that Martin Scorsese never got to make. It has even occasionally found its way to the big screen. 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. It has even occasionally found its way to … 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. Class of '61 is a 1993 television film produced by Steven Spielberg as a projected television series about the American Civil War. The result is a fascinating, frustrated mess. Both men are united in that wonderful common cause, as seen in the final frame when they’re buried in a mass grave together. In this bloodbath, the filmmakers study teenage rebels, who like so many other young men “enlist” for the adventure. Scarlett goes from apathetic reveler to destitute survivor to triumphant schemer. 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. 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. 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