10 Civil War Movies for $7.49!!!

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John Hartwell

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This isn't much of a "review" (yet), because I've only watched one. Consider it a "heads-up" for those of us who love old movies and are obsessed with the Civil War.

Amazon has available a boxed set entitled "Divided We Fall," consisting of ten (count 'em) ten full length movies for the grand sum of $7.49 (plus shipping). Now, they're not blockbusters, but mostly solid 'B' features, dating from 1930 to 1958.

Just get a load of this cover:
91EJKN0yeuL._SL1500_.jpg

[Love that CBF!]
I've seen most of them in years (long) past, but the only one I've watched recently is D.W. Griffith's 1930 'biopic' (hate that word!) Lincoln, with Walter Huston in the title role. It's a decent film, acting a bit "stylized" and stilted -- about what you would expect for the time. And, about as "accurate" as you would expect from Hollywood in the reverential '30s.

The other films are:
Hearts in Bondage, with James Dunn and Mae Ckarke, a 1936 romance culminating in the engagement between the Monitor and the Virginia. Honest Abe, of course makes an appearance towards the end to help bring the estranged lovers together again.

The Arizona Kid (1939) starring Roy Rogers and (my hero!) George 'Gabby' Hayes. In Missouri just before the war, Roy and Gabby try to maintain order between opposing troublemakers.

Colorado (1940) Here's Roy and Gabby again. During the war, those dastardly (but somehow sympathetic) rebs are trying to stir up trouble in the Rockies.

Santa Fe Trail (1940) This is probably the "biggest" of these films, with Errol Flynn as J.E.B. Stuart, and Ronald Reagan as his best buddy George Armstrong Whatshisname, sent to Kansas to preserve the peace just before the war (should have asked Roy and Gabby for help).

Renegade Girl (1940) This is one I've never heard of. Ann Savage as a good southern girl in Missouri (again) stirring up trouble (again). And, ... well, I'll see what happens when I watch it.

The Proud Rebel (1958) has Alan Ladd as a confederate veteran looking for a peaceful life, but having trouble finding it. Excellent cast, including Olivia de Havilland and Dean Jagger

Drums in the Deep South (1951) James Craig and Guy Madison. The blurb says: "In a classic tale of torn loyalties, the movie tracks the tale of two friends from West Point, who are now officers on opposing sides in the Civil War." Been there. Done that.

Kansas Pacific (1953) Sterling Hayden. "Set prior to the start of the Civil War but after the South has seceded" -- don't quite know how that works out. Railroad building across Kansas.

Yellowneck (1955) I saw this years ago, just impressed me as being unnecessarily violent. Didn't like it. Actors I don't know portraying rebel deserters trying to escape to Cuba via the Everglades.
 

John Hartwell

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I wonder why there haven’t been more films made recently.
There were rather few real "Civil War movies" back then. Most of these are simply formula shoot-em-up Westerns set about the time of the ACW. You're likely to see more Indians than uniforms.

I just watched Colorado , I think there were 2 or 3 uniforms -- one of them on a stereotypical cigar-chomping U.S. Grant ("If we lose Colorado we might loose Texas as well!" he tells Stanton-- err, general, you've already lost Texas, just have to win it back again). Then there was the trooper (love those bright yellow bandannas!) from "the 95th Cavalry"! The movie was really the familiar story of a corrupt Indian Agent (Nooo, really?), selling guns to the Arapahos (you see 4 of them!). Only this time the guns were being furnished by the Confederacy, to force the Union to keep troops there rather than sending them East. It was a fun flick, Roy gets the girl, and (still my hero!) Gabby Hayes is his old cantankerous self ("Confounded females, always tryin' to confuse a feller!")

Same with Kansas Pacific. I think there was only one uniform there, on a wonderfully svelte Winfield Scott, who sent his "best man" (an engineer lieutenant) to help the railroad against rebel-inspired outlaws (their leader is "Bill Quantrill"). The girl was at first hostile, but, of course, wound up in the end as "Mrs. Lt.") It was OK, but Sterling Hayden's stilted acting didn't help (he got much better as he got older ... he was great as "Gen. Jack D. Ripper").
 
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Irishtom29

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"Hearts in Bondage" is an interesting little picture, you can watch it on youtube.

"Santa Fe Trail" is a much reviled movie full of absurd inaccuracies--BUT--I think it's worthwhile for Michael Curtiz's crisp direction, a magnificent action sequence in which the arrest of John Brown is made to look like theZulu assault on Rorke's Drift combined with the Charge of the Light Brigade (Curtiz also made the famous Errol Flynn movie "The Charge of the Light Brigade" during which Curtiz, an immigrant from Hungary, supposedly ordered "Bring me an empty horse!".) but most importantly for Raymond Massey's superb portrayal of John Brown's speech on the scaffold.

 
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O' Be Joyful

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Massey was Canadian, by the way. His daughter Anna was in "Peeping Tom", the lurid and controversial (and IMO great) picture that severely damaged director Michael Powell's career.
And for those that know anything about farm tractors and equipment, he was the scion of the owners of Massey-Ferguson Inc. as well as a great actor.
 
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