Produced by the History Channel, this series of reenacted battles gives the viewer a very clear idea of what the actual Civil War soldiers experienced.
Note: Although all of the movies listed below deal with the American Civil War in one respect or another, it always has be taken into account that they are dramatic works that often contain fictionalized events and characters.
Directed by D.W. Griffith.
Starring Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall
Starting with Thomas Dixon's "The Clansman", much of which was eliminated, Griffith created a controversial masterpiece that still can enthrall a viewer. However, many prefer not to view it because of its handling of race relations--thus one should be prepared for some scenes that most viewers find highly objectionable today (as many did when the epic production was first screened.)
Directed by Buster Keaton
Starring Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender
Inspired by an actual event, a Southern train engineer has his engine stolen by Northern soldiers disguised as civilians. Keaton's character uses all of his ingenuity--and acrobatic talents--to recover the stolen property.
Produced by David O. Selznick, Directed by Victor Fleming (Also George Cukor, Sam Wood)
Starring Clark Gable, Vivian Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia deHaviland
Based on Margaret Mitchell's best selling novel, this is the famous romantic melodrama with the Civil War and Reconstruction as the external forces that effect the characters and their beloved Old South.
Directed by Edward Sedgwick
Starring Red Skelton, Brian Donlevy, Arlene Dahl.
Not a serious movie by any means, Red Skelton as a Yankee spy in the South clowns it up as only he can do. (Silent star Buster Keaton helped create the many funny bits.)
Directed by John Huston
Starring Audie Murphy, Bill Mauldin
Stephen Crane wrote the original novel thirty years after the war
ended, but he captured much of the "feel" of battle despite his own lack of actual war experience. This movie version--shortened by the studio before release--succeeds in transferring much of the main character's anguish and final "redemption" to the screen. Especially interesting for its casting of the most decorated GI of WWII in the lead part.
Directed by William Wyler
Starring Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins
A Quaker family does its best to keep to its non-violent beliefs even though the Civil War has encroached upon its land. Warm, touching performances by all the players.
Directed by Francis D. Lyon
Starring Fess Parker, Jeffrey Hunter, Jeff York, John Lipton
The factual story of Andrews' Raiders is again told--this time by the Disney Studio. An exciting pursuit occurs after a Confederate train is stolen by a Union group.
Directed by Edward Dmytryk
Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift, Eva Marie Saint, Lee Marvin
Not the blockbuster that MGM hoped for, this overlong film does have some bright spots that make it worth watching. (Clift's face was terribly damaged in an car accident during filming and his re-constructed visage never was the same.)
Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Starring Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Jim Hutton, James Coburn
A Union Major is sent on a mission into Mexico--accompanied by a motley group of Confederate prisoners of war etc.--to punish the Apache for misdeeds done on U.S. soil.
Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
Starring James Stewart, Rosemary Forsyth, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett, Katherine Ross
Stewart portrays the patriarch of a Virginia family who tries to ignore the Civil War until he--and his children--must become involved.
Directed by Marvin Chomsky, John Erman, David Greene, Gilbert Moses Featuring John Amos, Maya Angelou, Edward Asner, Lloyd Bridges, Georg Stanford Brown, Lavar Burton, etc.
This is the miniseries that mesmerized the country when it was shown over eight nights in 1977. Based on Alex Haley's Pulitzer prize winning book of the same name, it tells the story of an African--Kunta Kinte--who is enslaved and sent to the American Colonies in 1767. We follow his and his descendants' story through the Reconstruction era.
Directed by Andrew V. McGlaglen
Featuring Julie Harris, Sterling Hayden, Gregory Peck, Stacy Keach, Paul Winfield, John Hammond, etc.
This television mini-series shows many aspects of the War Between the States--in dramatic form, of course.
Directed by Richard T. Heffron
Featuring Patrick Swayze, Kirstie Alley, James Read, Georg Stanford Brown, Morgan Fairchild, Hal Holbrook, David Carradine, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Mitchum, Jonathan Frakes, etc.
Based on John Jakes' bestseller, the first "Book" of three miniseries (Book II also available) that cover the tensions building up to the Civil War, the War itself, and the aftermath. Two friends--North and South--and their families are portrayed as they deal with the changing world around them.
Directed by Edward Zwick
Starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman
Outstanding film about the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts--the first black regiment of the Union Army. Winner of three Oscars: Best Supporting Actor (Washington), Sound, and Cinematography.
Directed by Ronald F. Maxwell
Starring Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen, Sam Elliott
A movie adaptation of Michael Sharra's The Killer Angels, this film tells the story of General Robert E. Lee and his Army bringing the war to the North with the intent to destroy the Union Army commanded by General Meade.
Directed by John Frankenheimer
Starring Jerrod Emick, Frederick Forrest, Ted Marcoux
Made for cable movie about the infamous Confederate prisoner of war camp. A serious film about a serious topic--it definitely is not a movie for the squeamish.
Directed by John Gray
Starring Armand Assante, Donald Sutherland, Alex Jennings, Christopher Bauer
Cable movie tells the true story of famous Confederate submarine and the men who championed the use of such craft to sink enemy ships.
by Bruce Catton (Narrator) and James M. McPherson (Editor)
The classic one volume book by Bruce Catton has been updated by James
M. McPherson to include recent scholarship about the War Between the Sates.
Text by Bob Zeller
As a long-time 3-D photography enthusiast, I always find it a pleasure to view examples of stereo photography from the past. This fine book with its included viewer is highly recommended.
by Webb Garrison and Cheryl Garrison
Thirty years of research went into this volume that enables the present generation as well as future generations to know the common terms and slang of the Civil War era.
by Don Troiani, Earl J. Coates, and Michael J. McAfee
This very thorough book includes 130 paintings by the renowned Mr. Troiani as well as 250 full color photographs of the actual uniforms etc. of the American Civil War soldiers.