Tag Archives: U.S. Civil War

Little Women

SAVE A PLACE IN YOUR HEART FOR THE UNFORGETTABLE STORY OF THESE LITTLE WOMEN. Gillian Armstrong’s most successful Hollywood project is one of the best adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s novel, portraying a Massachusetts family of four sisters during and after the Civil War, primarily focusing on Jo (Winona Ryder) who wants to be a … Continue reading Little Women

Little Women: Life with the Marches

A NEW SENSATION OF SHEER LOVELINESS GLORIFIES THE SCREEN! The most famous of the many adaptations of Louisa May Alcott’s classic, semi-autobiographical Civil War-era novel wasn’t the first. The story had already been filmed as two silent dramas, in 1917 and 1918. There has always been something appealing about the novel for each new generation. … Continue reading Little Women: Life with the Marches

Gone With the Wind: Fall of the Old South

THE GREATEST ROMANCE OF ALL TIME! Last August, news came that a cinema in Memphis, Tennessee had decided not to screen Gone With the Wind because of numerous complaints. Ever since its premiere the film’s rosy portrait of life in the South before the Civil War has been criticized. The poor treatment of African-Americans has … Continue reading Gone With the Wind: Fall of the Old South

The General: Spies, Trains and a Girl

LOVE, LOCOMOTIVES AND LAUGHS.  One has to wonder if critics and audiences were blind in 1927 when The General premiered. Admittedly, Buster Keaton had made several comedies that were audacious, but lack of thrills was not the reason why people seemed indifferent to the film. Some critics found its earnest intentions confusing and considered the … Continue reading The General: Spies, Trains and a Girl

Birth of a Nation: Fighting for the White Man

MIGHTY SPECTACLE. After the premiere of The Birth of a Nation in 1915, director D.W. Griffith was furious. Then (and now) considered a landmark film, it was nevertheless hopelessly racist, sparking widespread protests in Boston among African-Americans. Griffith, as a Southern man with a father who had fought for the Confederacy in the war, obviously … Continue reading Birth of a Nation: Fighting for the White Man

Lincoln: Calamity in Congress

On a visit to Washington D.C. last October, I made the obligatory visit to the Lincoln Memorial and found the experience of first taking in the huge marble statue of the 16th President and then reading the words from his second Inaugural Address and the Gettysburg Address that are engraved onto the walls of the … Continue reading Lincoln: Calamity in Congress

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Three Men and a Grave

THEY FORMED AN ALLIANCE OF HATE TO STEAL A FORTUNE IN DEAD MAN’S GOLD. When Clint Eastwood was offered the lead in the third part of Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western trilogy, he had to be talked into it. In the end, money sealed the deal, but it’s clear that Eastwood was beginning to see a … Continue reading The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Three Men and a Grave

North and South: Book II

When we meet the Mains and Hazards again, the Northern and Southern families are pitted against each other as the Civil War unfolds; the miniseries takes us through it. Elaborate, vivid and very entertaining, this first-rate soap offers extravagant battle sequences, thoroughly dedicated leading actors (as well as a few glorified cameos from the likes … Continue reading North and South: Book II

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

PRESIDENT BY DAY. HUNTER BY NIGHT. In 1827, young Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) tries to kill the vampire who murdered his mother; it is the start of the future President’s secret career as an axe-wielding slayer of bloodsuckers. How can you go wrong with a set-up like that? The movie may be choppily edited and … Continue reading Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

The Conspirator

ONE BULLET KILLED THE PRESIDENT. BUT NOT ONE MAN.  Shortly after the assassination of President Lincoln, 27-year-old war hero Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) agrees to defend Mary Surratt (Robin Wright) who owned the boarding house where John Wilkes Booth planned the attack. The story of the first woman ever to be executed in a federal … Continue reading The Conspirator

North and South

In the 1840s, George Hazard (James Read) from Pennsylvania and Orry Main (Patrick Swayze) from South Carolina enroll at West Point and become friends for life… but the increasing tension between North and South threatens to tear them and their families apart. One of the most expensive (and popular) miniseries of its time turns the volatile … Continue reading North and South