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Most accurate Civil War film

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by Sam Grant, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. Sam Grant

    Sam Grant Private

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    What is, in your opinion, the most historically accurate depiction of the Civil War era to appear on the 'silver screen'?

    I'm inclined to give a vote for Glory. Gettysburg would be my second choice, but the soldiers looked way too well-fed and hygenic.
     

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  3. FrazierC

    FrazierC First Sergeant

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    Interesting thread. I really don't know what movie is the most accurate: after watching them all a hundred times, you start to find more and more errors. Although The Killer Angels (which is almost word for word the script for Gettysburg) was one of my favorite books, one begins to wonder if Michael Shaara did any research whatsoever before he wrote the book. You read parts of the book or watch parts of the movie and say, "Geez, where did they get that?"
    Despite inaccuracies, it has to be my choice for favorite Civil War movie.
     
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  4. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Ride with the Devil. Bar none.
     
  5. AUG351

    AUG351 1st Lieutenant

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    I'll say the Battle of the Crater scene in Cold Mountain and Ride with the Devil.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  6. Gandycreek

    Gandycreek Sergeant Major

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    Without a doubt.
     
  7. TerryB

    TerryB Major

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    Totally!
     
  8. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    I preferred "Wicked Spring." And "The Colt."
     
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  9. pamc153PA

    pamc153PA Captain Forum Host

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    The Colt--I thought I was the only one who saw that one, and liked it.
     
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  10. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

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    I'd like to see "The Colt" I'll check Netflix.

    My choice: "Lincoln."

    Glory is probably the best movie, as a movie. I loved Gettysburg but the appearance of the actors was uneven, as noted above, too old and too fat. Gods and Generals visually was much more accurate, but otherwise unbelievable. Ride tried to sound like the 19th century.
     
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  11. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    "The Colt" is a feel-good movie with some moving moments and a stinky ending. But that's what movies are for, isn't it? Tug atcha.
     
  12. 101combatvet

    101combatvet 1st Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    I thought Pit Beef was pretty good.

    I still say Glory is decent.
     
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  13. Tin cup

    Tin cup 2nd Lieutenant

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    Wicked Spring was great, uniform/equipage was good, battle scenes good, but the story line was a bit hard to believe.

    AUG351 is correct about the "Crater" battle scene in Cold Mountain, though I don't know of the Yanks lying down before the explosion, and throwing bayonet fixed Enfields like spears into the bunched up Yanks.

    Glory just about tops them all, take away the scenes of issuing Enfields with serial numbers, trouble with Quartermaster folk, and the flogging of Denzel Washington.

    Kevin Dally
     
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  14. Jace Beleren

    Jace Beleren Private

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    Agreed aside from the spear, and other side stuff I believe the Crater showed the war truly bloody very well, but the rest of the film was really just ehhh.
     
  15. dvrmte

    dvrmte Major

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    Regarding chucking bayoneted muskets as spears:

    http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Crater_Battle_of_the#start_entry
    "Little Billy" Mahone was a Virginia Military Institute graduate and a veteran of all the major Army of Northern Virginia campaigns since the Seven Days' Battles (1862). His Virginians, who were busy firing down into the Crater and in some instances even hurling bayonet-fixed muskets in the manner of spears..."
     
  16. tmh10

    tmh10 Major

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    My favorite is Gettysurg. There were some mess ups on the casting Iwill agree. They could have got better matches for Ewell and Hill. Also Fremantle did not have a pretty uniform. After his trip to Gettysburg he was lucky to have the clothes on his back. All things concerned they did a good job and it is my favorite. Haven't seen Lincoln yet, waiting for it to come out on bluray.
     
  17. Mark F. Jenkins

    Mark F. Jenkins Major Forum Host

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    I'm not expert enough on the battle of Gettysburg to detect historical inaccuracies myself, though I've heard others talk of them. (Unsurprisingly, I'm a lot better at catching mistakes relating to waterborne stuff.) My primary beef with Gettysburg's battle scenes is that you can clearly see in a number of places where the extras were doing their best to not actually hurt one another. The opening (Antietam) sequence of Glory is more representative in that respect.

    It was also interesting to see the video posted elsewhere on this board of the Napoleon firing canister shot, and to note how significant the recoil was (as opposed to the little jolt in Gettysburg's artillery scenes where the cannons are clearly firing blanks).
     
  18. Mark F. Jenkins

    Mark F. Jenkins Major Forum Host

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    I would say that Lincoln is more of character study than it is a documentary. There are clearly some things that were shortened (for instance, Stephens' conference with Lincoln), some things that were pure invention (the first scene with Lincoln talking to the black and white troops), and some things where, if it actually happened, nobody knows what was really said (such as the 'front porch' conversation with Grant or the arguments with Mary Lincoln). It follows history closely enough that you get a good idea of the man and the events around him, but it's not "C-SPAN 1865." :D
     
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  19. shanniereb

    shanniereb Sergeant Major

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    Wicked Spring, very nicely done!
     
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  20. Mark F. Jenkins

    Mark F. Jenkins Major Forum Host

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    I tend this way too... but with a strong mark against it for having the sea on the wrong side at "Fort" Wagner! :furious:
     
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  21. Tin cup

    Tin cup 2nd Lieutenant

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    It was a Chick Flick. but good Crater Battle scenes that I doubt will ever be recreated as realistically again.

    Kevin Dally
     
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