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John_C
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Best Civil War Movies

Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:01 pm

I highly recommend:

Gettysburg http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107007/
God's and Generals http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0279111/

Both are same director. Fantastic !

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Heldenkaiser
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Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:23 pm

I like them both, however, Gettysburg is mainly four hours of re-enactment, plus it gives the story through the eyes of Shaara (his novel "The Killer Angels" provides the plot for the movie) and without much attempt to relate the overall story of the battle (quite like my favorite war movie, "Waterloo" by Bondarchuk). And Gods and Generals would be much more aptly titled "Stonewall Jackson". BTW what happened to Antietam?

I would recommend considering "Glory" with Broderick, Freeman, Washington.

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:33 pm

Gettysburg came out in 1993 when I was 11 and was the main catalyst for my intererest today. So when alot of the reenacting community had a chance to be in Gods and Generals we were absolutely stoked about it. It was so hyped up in the our community and this movie was going to again bring the Civil War into the mainstream spotlight like Gettysburg did, and blah blah blah. They filmed the 140th Manasses Reenactment and my unit also took part in Stonewall's farewell speach to his brigade.

I went on the premier night, and I have never been so dissapointed in my entire life. The movie itself fails miserably to keep a straight story line, and is very confusing for anyone with no knowledge of the war itself. That may have to do with the fact that it has to cover a larger time table than Gettysburg so I'll give Maxwell a pass as he has alot to do in such little time. Added scenes with the "families" try to reach out to the non-warmovie crowd but instead provide embarassingly brutal dialouge and over-acting. The addition of dialouge between Jackson and the slave try to bring uneeded political correctness, and Jackson has seemingly endless prayer lines (yea we get it, he was religious). The mainactors have gotten older (especially Hancock) and Jeff Daniels needed to do alot of sit ups before going back into the Chamberlin role. The computer generated animations are terrible, especially during Fredricksburg where you are left saying "Didn't I just see those guys going up that ridge the past 5 clips? :8o: "

Whew...so yea. I had to leave the movie theater with my girlfriend after intermission. I was terribly embarrassed that a good war movie series was ruined by an attempt to overdue every little detail and add uneeded political concessions (many southerners felt that Gettysburg was too "pro Union". Watching Gods and Generals would make you feel like the Union was akin to Hitler going into Poland, those evil northern blue coated opressors).

Ive honestly never brought myself around to watch the 2nd half yet, which I hear is actually better than the first. There is no way that the mainstream movie goer can enjoy or even understand this movie. Gettysburg was plain, simple, and to the point, with good lines and perfectly delivered drama (with alot of historical errors but thats another story :siffle: ).

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:36 pm

Glory and Gettysburg's soundtracks are second to none! I'd reccomend them to anyone

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John_C
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Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:36 pm

Well, you are probably right. But i must say taht enjoyed God and Generals throroughly, perhaps because I wasn't so knowledgeable of the real story. But I find the battle scenes quite good.
Gettysburg was also good, but prefer the former.

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:37 pm

soccercw wrote:Glory and Gettysburg's soundtracks are second to none! I'd reccomend them to anyone


Yes, at least Gettysburg's main theme is a masterpiece and very inspiring. Glory also caught my attention, very good.

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:42 pm

One of these days when I take a break from gameing and testing :nuts: I'll will take a look.
Wonder if there is any movie about Forrest? That would be one hell of a movie. Let say Clint Eastwood as Nathan B. Forrest. :king:
Forrest said something about killing a Yankee for each of his horses that they shot. In the last days of the war, Forrest had killed 30 of the enemy and had 30 horses shot from under him. In a brief but savage conflict, a Yankee soldier "saw glory for himself" with an opportunity to kill the famous Confederate General... Forrest killed the fellow. Making 31 Yankees personally killed, and 30 horses lost...

He remarked, "I ended the war a horse ahead."

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:18 pm

not that i know of...only eastwood/civil war movie is the outlaw josey wales...great movie, but a western, with a civil war tie in...not a civil war movie

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:27 pm

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly was a Civil War movie

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:27 pm

What about "The Red Badge of Courage". it's an oldie, but never got to see it?

Right now I'm seeing again this old series called North and South which is a good Civil War based TV series, although it does involve a lot of soap too.

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:28 pm

yea if you want a good laugh watch the "civil war" scenes from The Good the Bad and the Ugly. those scenes made the dead vets roll over in their graves :bonk:

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:29 pm

frank7350 wrote:not that i know of...only eastwood/civil war movie is the outlaw josey wales...great movie, but a western, with a civil war tie in...not a civil war movie


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a civil war movie...

Okay, so umpteen zillion of ya beat me to it while I was typing...

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:31 pm

soccercw wrote:yea if you want a good laugh watch the "civil war" scenes from The Good the Bad and the Ugly. those scenes made the dead vets roll over in their graves :bonk:


Why?

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:36 pm

Heldenkaiser wrote:I would recommend considering "Glory" with Broderick, Freeman, Washington.


I thought Glory an inept, absolutely miserable application of contemporary social correctness that has no relevance to history (other than the blatant insults it delivered to the very concept of entertainment ostensibly based on historical events).

But, maybe that's just a cranky old curmudgeon talking...

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 9:45 pm

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


Now I remember. I did watch it few times.

North and south series as well.
Funny thing happend with the book North and South. I did borrowed it from library and I read volume 1 then went on volume 2 (most of it about some love and stuff) and then in 3rd volume should be all about the war and I was, like, really excited and all and then... They didn't have 3rd volume :grr: .
Searched all over the country, on library exchange and such but no luck...
This was some 10 years ago but I still remember :8o:

And, now that there are more of you here I'll repost one of my favorite links. It is about animated campaigns of ACW. That counts almost as movie :niark: .
Enjoy

http://www.historyanimated.com/CWindex.html
Forrest said something about killing a Yankee for each of his horses that they shot. In the last days of the war, Forrest had killed 30 of the enemy and had 30 horses shot from under him. In a brief but savage conflict, a Yankee soldier "saw glory for himself" with an opportunity to kill the famous Confederate General... Forrest killed the fellow. Making 31 Yankees personally killed, and 30 horses lost...



He remarked, "I ended the war a horse ahead."

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:40 pm

pasternakski wrote:Why?



Because the representation of the "Civil War" is downright humorous. The uniforms are completely inaccurate. The story takes place in the west where I hardly doubt the call "Long live Robert E Lee would be heard". It certainly shouldnt be called a Civil War movie...more like a 'movie that has some war scenes that are intended to represent the Civil War but whoever did the researcho uniforms/tactics/history fell in line with the budget conscious film', lol

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:43 pm

"Ride With the Devil" is pretty decent....I just watched it for the first time a couple weeks ago. Apparently it came out 7-8 years ago. It has to do with Confederate bushwackers in Missouri. There is also a good part of the movie that deals with Quantrill's sack of Lawrence, Kansas.

I was also really dissapointed with "Gods and Generals". Both the movie and the book suffer from the same problem of literally skipping just about a whole campaign season of the war during 1862. (And the other problems mentioned in the previous posts) I suppose the more any of us learns about the subject, the easier it is to pick apart a movie, and the harder it is to enjoy.
If there was enough of a budget for realistic entrenchment sets, I've always thought "The Last Full Measure" would have turned into a pretty good movie to finish up the trilogy. However, the last one was such a flop, I doubt they'll ever make it.

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 10:48 pm

pasternakski wrote:I thought Glory an inept, absolutely miserable application of contemporary social correctness that has no relevance to history (other than the blatant insults it delivered to the very concept of entertainment ostensibly based on historical events).

But, maybe that's just a cranky old curmudgeon talking...



I agree with that partially on the social correctness end. To say that it has no relevance to history may be a bit harsh. I think the movie does a fine job of showing how radical the idea was at the time. Robert G Shaw is revered as a hero in New England, and I think Broderick takes a huge leap in as serious role from other movies like Ferris Bueller. There are many historical inaccuracies and its "based on a true story", but with the exception of Band of Brothers (most of the episodes and events), everything in the theatre gets a little creative interpretation.

One thing the movie does well that others have not, is it portrays how a unit comes together in training camp. Everything from enlistment to their first fight in shown, and the struggles that the unit has to overcome to become one fighting force. Just recently serving in the US Air Force I can now appreciate even more the effort they put into the training camp scenes.

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:38 pm

You know, I did enjoy the movie Glory. One of the things that surprized me in it was to see the fighting style of the Civil War. When the black unit has its first engagement with the enemy, they form a line , and the enemy just in front of them too, and then they start shooting at each other. But it seems as if they were really close to each other.

Always wonder why they used those forms of fighting, taking into account that already in the American Revolutionary War the American side had learned that is is easier to fight in skirmish style against orderly formations like the British had.

Whose bright idea was it to go back to that style of close packed formation lines, easy to shoot at, in the Civil War?

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:44 pm

The musket.

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Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:48 pm

John_C wrote:You know, I did enjoy the movie Glory. One of the things that surprized me in it was to see the fighting style of the Civil War. When the black unit has its first engagement with the enemy, they form a line , and the enemy just in front of them too, and then they start shooting at each other. But it seems as if they were really close to each other.

Always wonder why they used those forms of fighting, taking into account that already in the American Revolutionary War the American side had learned that is is easier to fight in skirmish style against orderly formations like the British had.

Whose bright idea was it to go back to that style of close packed formation lines, easy to shoot at, in the Civil War?


In the American Revolution the Americans mostly fought using the same tactics as the British.

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Sun Apr 22, 2007 12:47 am

John_C wrote:You know, I did enjoy the movie Glory. One of the things that surprized me in it was to see the fighting style of the Civil War. When the black unit has its first engagement with the enemy, they form a line , and the enemy just in front of them too, and then they start shooting at each other. But it seems as if they were really close to each other.

Always wonder why they used those forms of fighting, taking into account that already in the American Revolutionary War the American side had learned that is is easier to fight in skirmish style against orderly formations like the British had.

Whose bright idea was it to go back to that style of close packed formation lines, easy to shoot at, in the Civil War?



Weapon technology and communication of the period result in the same fighting style that had been used for centuries. Even though the new rifled muskets were much more effective than smoothbores, the were still single shot muzzle loaders. The old theory of "massing your fire by massing your men" still was the style of the day. As stated before, the decisive victories in the American Revolution were fought in the exact same style. Much credit is given to the guerilla warfare tactics of the Americans, but that alone never defeated an entire English army.

Now with a much larger scale war with numbers never seen in North America before, communication was vital. This also forces armies to be closer together. Until the radio was developed, the only means were by voice or bugle and drum, all of which can easily be drowned out by the sounds of battle. An attempted attack by a scattered group of 1000 would never take a hill from a tight knit unit of the same number. And with a GOOD soldier getting off 3 shots a minute, its counter productive to be spread out

But yes, that first battle scene in Glory gives you a GREAT feel of what it was like. That battle scene is very much what the 24th Michigan and 26th North Carolina did at the first day at Gettysburg. The 2 monuments are no more than 20 yards apart

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Sun Apr 22, 2007 4:11 am

rickd79 wrote:I was also really dissapointed with "Gods and Generals". Both the movie and the book suffer from the same problem of literally skipping just about a whole campaign season of the war during 1862. (And the other problems mentioned in the previous posts) I suppose the more any of us learns about the subject, the easier it is to pick apart a movie, and the harder it is to enjoy.
If there was enough of a budget for realistic entrenchment sets, I've always thought "The Last Full Measure" would have turned into a pretty good movie to finish up the trilogy. However, the last one was such a flop, I doubt they'll ever make it.


For those of you disappointed by G&G because it skipped around, there's a good reason for that...mainly because nearly half the film was cut in editing to get it to a somewhat reasonable time frame. It should have been released as two movies, but the studio said one movie, and they had to cut the beejezus out of it to get it in timewise. That leads to a pretty disjointed story. There was supposed to be a directors cut DVD with all of the extra footage, which will probably not get released unless the director wins the lottery or gets a lot of private donations, because the studio won't fund it. Never been a fan of Ted Turner, but I wouldn't mind seeing him drop some money into this. Hell, if he can drop a ton of money into a pit like the UN, he can afford to get that movie out in the condition it should have been released in. :)

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Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:53 am

Soccercw,
Yes, the Mad Minute game also shows the style of fighting, all based on close knit lines.
But still, I can't help but think to myself, when I see two lines facing each other at close range, doing volley fire, that if one of the lines were to drop to the ground and fire from there, they'd probanbly suffer much fewer casualties.

Then again, maybe the enemy line left standing up would take advantage to do a quick bayonet charge catching the other guys laying on their stomachs on the ground.

The other question that comes to mind is, how did the officers manage to MAKE their men stand in the line? Did they give them plenty of whisky before each fight or what? Because it really takes guts to face an enemy line shooting at you only a few yards away !

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Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:28 am

John_C wrote:Soccercw,
Yes, the Mad Minute game also shows the style of fighting, all based on close knit lines.
But still, I can't help but think to myself, when I see two lines facing each other at close range, doing volley fire, that if one of the lines were to drop to the ground and fire from there, they'd probanbly suffer much fewer casualties.

Then again, maybe the enemy line left standing up would take advantage to do a quick bayonet charge catching the other guys laying on their stomachs on the ground.

The other question that comes to mind is, how did the officers manage to MAKE their men stand in the line? Did they give them plenty of whisky before each fight or what? Because it really takes guts to face an enemy line shooting at you only a few yards away !


You can't reload most Civil War weapons while lying down.

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christof139
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Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:35 am

Chris0827 wrote:You can't reload most Civil War weapons while lying down.


Sure you can load muzzle loaders lying down, including flintlocks, and it was done, it was just difficult to do especially with fouled barrels but it was done quite frequently. You roll on your back or side to do it, and it is a pain to do, but doable all the same.

Chris

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Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:54 pm

John_C wrote:Soccercw,
Yes, the Mad Minute game also shows the style of fighting, all based on close knit lines.
But still, I can't help but think to myself, when I see two lines facing each other at close range, doing volley fire, that if one of the lines were to drop to the ground and fire from there, they'd probanbly suffer much fewer casualties.

Then again, maybe the enemy line left standing up would take advantage to do a quick bayonet charge catching the other guys laying on their stomachs on the ground.

The other question that comes to mind is, how did the officers manage to MAKE their men stand in the line? Did they give them plenty of whisky before each fight or what? Because it really takes guts to face an enemy line shooting at you only a few yards away !


Well remember that units usually began with volleys, for effect. But most of the firing done is at will, or by the ranks (front rank fires while rear reloads, etc). This provides a steady supply of lead, and prevents units from "laying down" before a volley, as you stated. Realistically, most of the fighting was done at a range over 100 yards. The accuracy of the rifle spread the battle lines further from each other than they had been previously.

MAKING men stand in line wasnt that big of a task. Its the only known style of fighting the world has known, and its how these men are trained. Also, unlike modern militray, these units were formed together in the same areas, with most companies being men all from the same town. This also had a huge factor on that aspect, because if one or two guys ran, everyone back home would be sure to hear from it. Also, not many wanted to leave their friends and many times, their family in the line. Obviously at times under the stress and horror of war, men did eventually break off the line, both individually and by the numbers.

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Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:23 pm

Glory and Gettysburg hands down. Gettysburg is the greatest, though. I had a bit part in it as a reenactor. I've got two close-ups during Pickett's Charge. :D

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John_C
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Tue Apr 24, 2007 10:25 pm

Stonewall wrote:Glory and Gettysburg hands down. Gettysburg is the greatest, though. I had a bit part in it as a reenactor. I've got two close-ups during Pickett's Charge. :D


Congrats, that must have been fun !

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Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:55 am

Stonewall wrote:Glory and Gettysburg hands down. Gettysburg is the greatest, though. I had a bit part in it as a reenactor. I've got two close-ups during Pickett's Charge. :D


Did you get to have a glorious death scene? :cool:

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