Civil War

Harriet

In the trailer for Harriet, there is a tease of a visually arresting climactic scene showing abolitionist Harriet Tubman (Cynthia Erivo) cocking a rifle and firmly ordering, “Ready?” to the Union soldiers she is commandeering. On signal, hundreds of slaves flee from the woods toward them on the river, toward the ironclad warships that will …

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The Beguiled (2017)

Spanish moss. Oak-lined plantation roads. Shimmering lazy heat. A white columned mansion. Genteel young Southern ladies in white dresses practicing their French verb conjugation. It seems idyllic, except it is 1864. The two teachers and their handful of remaining young wards can hear the distant booming of cannons and see columns of smoke off over …

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Killing Lincoln

Based on a book by Bill O’Reilly (yes, THAT Bill O’Reilly), Killing Lincoln focuses on the event that has been a pop culture obsession since 1865, and I’m not talking about the 13th Amendment. Narrated by Tom Hanks (whose lineage makes him Abe’s third cousin!), the film is a docu-drama with the pace of a …

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Gone With the Wind

I know plenty of people that consider Gone with the Wind a snooze-fest (for its almost four-hour running length), or find it unwatchable because Vivien Leigh’s Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara is such a despicable heroine. Sure, Scarlett is a bitch, but she is also one of the greatest movie heroines ever to grace the screen. …

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Love and Valor: One Couple’s Intimate Civil War Letters

There are many enduring images of the Civil War–the siege of Vicksburg, Sherman’s burning of Atlanta and his destructive march to the sea, the sickness and starvation, the pillaging of farms by soldiers, the runaway slaves looking for protection, and the brotherly comraderie between the two sides when night fell and they lay down their …

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Lincoln

You need get no further than the opening scene in Lincoln to see a Spielbergism. Abe Lincoln sits on a throne of a chair, on a platform at a battlefield, not-subtly evoking the pose of the famous statue at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Two sets of soldiers come up to Lincoln, the first …

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