Tom Hanks' "News Of The World"

Rusk County Avengers

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
I just saw "News of the World" on HBO yesterday - I don't agree with Tom Hanks' politics but I think he is a good actor; his portrayals are believable. I thought the movie was quite entertaining.

The movie is set in the midst of the Reconstruction in Texas and there are some interactions between ex-Confederates and Federal occupation troops. Hanks has to demonstrate that he has taken the oath of allegiance to the government and explain his activities and business when questioned by the Federals.

There are some scenes that seem to portray that ownership of firearms by ex-Confederates was prohibited. I know that ex-Confederates were disenfranchised from voting and in some places their land and property was confiscated but don't think I have heard of a firearms prohibition. Were firearms prohibited during Reconstruction?

Yes, in a lot of areas firearms were prohibited for former Confederates, as well as freed blacks oddly enough, by the Federal Government and in more cases the carpetbagger State Governments in the former CSA.

But the prohibition of firearms didn't work at all in the South, for former CS soldiers or freed slaves, especially in Texas. Many lessons there many could learn today....
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
There are some scenes that seem to portray that ownership of firearms by ex-Confederates was prohibited.
Not true.

Throughout the War, many surrender agreements ensured Confederate Officers would be permitted to retain their sidearms.
At the end, some Confederate enlisted men were permitted to keep non military issue long arms such as shotguns and squirrel rifles.

Although the detailed links seem to be harder to find these days, one valid source states:

Grant proposed that the Confederates, with the exception of officers, lay down their arms, and after signing paroles, return to their homes. Lee agreed with the terms, and Grant began writing them out.
https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2015/spring/cw-surrenders.html
One issue that Lee brought up before the terms were finalized and signed was the issue of horses. He pointed out that unlike the Federals, Confederate cavalrymen and artillerymen in his army owned their own horses. Grant stated that he would not add it to the agreement but would instruct his officers receiving the paroles to let the men take their animals home.

https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2015/spring/cw-surrenders.html

Lee made a valid point and Grant understood that fact.

After the War was over, a man's horse was much more valuable than an imported British 1853 Enfield rifle.
( Plus most of the Southern guys still had quite a few firearms hidden back at their homes).

I know that ex-Confederates were disenfranchised from voting and in some places their land and property was confiscated

That is true.

But it was not a part military agreements, but post War U.S. Federal Government "Reconstruction" economic policies imposed to punish former Confederates ... that no longer had the means to pay taxes.



 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
I never inquired about Tom Hanks' politics. Never had any reason to.
Agreed.

I didn't think about such either, until celebrities decided to start
spouting their personal opinions about every topic under the Sun.

They don't want to hear my opinions, I don't care about theirs.

:smoke:

Can these people just work on what they are good at ... acting, music ... or whatever ?
 

John Hartwell

Major
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 27, 2011
Location
Central Massachusetts
Agreed.

I didn't think about such either, until celebrities decided to start
spouting their personal opinions about every topic under the Sun.

They don't want to hear my opinions, I don't care about theirs.

:smoke:

Can these people just work on what they are good at ... acting, music ... or whatever ?
Everyone has a right to "spout his personal opinions" any time, any where. And everyone else has a right not to pay attention.
 

RedRover

Corporal
Joined
Dec 16, 2019
I prefer real Confederate movies...
Confederate POW: Stereoview Movie, 1864

I vote best "actor" to the chap tipping forward/or back his hat...

belle plain pows.gif
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
Everyone has a right to "spout his personal opinions" any time, any where. And everyone else has a right not to pay attention.
Absolutely !

The First Amendment is paramount to our freedoms.

Thus I can "spout my opinions" as well.
While ... as you said ... those that may disagree with me ... can always ignore me.

But to clarify my point, celebrities would make much more money if they avoided controversial topics.
But Tom Hanks and crew haven't had to worry about income for many years.
 

SandiD

Private
Joined
Aug 18, 2021
Location
Somewhere in the Hudson Valley
Take it from someone who's tagged along on of those scout trips.

IT SUCKS!!!!!!!

Worse part is, you can get begged or hired to do it, put a ton of time and miles into it, then a studio axes it deciding to not make the movie. In the world of Independent films its a real problem.
Take it from someone who has been an extra. I had a couple of 12 hour days on a set, for in my case a total of about 25 seconds of screen time. It does require some creature comforts - a place to sit down, get off your feet, have a bite to eat, a cup of tea, etc.
 

Jim-Jammi

Private
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Location
Western Washington State
I saw News of the World a little while ago, it was ...meh.🤷‍♀️ I felt like the plot wasn't strong enough to make up for the lack of dialogue, and at the end I wasn't sure what the viewer was supposed to take away from it all, it just seemed a little lost. Maybe thats what it was going for? Since I didn't like the movie much, I decided to buy the book and see if that was better...guess who still hasn't read the book? As a PNWesterner its fun to see the passionate opinions regarding the inaccuracies of scenery in these movies. Overall, I wouldn't have a clue if the filming locations looked accurate. When watching True Grit, News, Cold mountain... etc. all I thought was "yep! that sure looks southwestern or southern enough to me" 🤦‍♀️ This just means I have to get out and see some different places in the U.S. in person, instead of relying on movies to depict the scenery accurately.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Location
Southwest Mississippi
Take it from someone who has been an extra. I had a couple of 12 hour days on a set, for in my case a total of about 25 seconds of screen time. It does require some creature comforts - a place to sit down, get off your feet, have a bite to eat, a cup of tea, etc.
I've never been an "extra", but I know quite a few people who have.

They say the exact same thing !

I don't think any of them were trying to become a "star", they all said they thought it would be fun.
Then they were bored to death and worn out from just sitting around the sets every day.

Actually, I only learned a few days ago ... it's improper to call these masses of people "extras".
Background Actors seems to be the new term.

:unsure:

Anyway, looking back, they now have stories from an unique
part time job.

Not one of them ever saw a famous "movie star" "movie director" or " movie producer".
They all beeeched about that back then, but now they all seem to love having been an extra.

:bounce:
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2008
Location
iowa
"to avoid fainting, keep repeating to yourself: it's only a movie, it's only a movie.."

it is make believe
it is not real
it is a profit seeking enterprise
the producers, director, writers, actors are the dancing bears in the circus of life
it is like the outlaw Josie Wales, Birth of a Nation, the General, the Lonely Trail, the Tall Target
sometimes fantasy is substituted for reality, I try to recognize the border between
does anyone feel bad for the castaways on Gilligan"s Island or angry that the professor can make a radio out of coconuts but cant patch a hole in the boat
 

SandiD

Private
Joined
Aug 18, 2021
Location
Somewhere in the Hudson Valley
I've never been an "extra", but I know quite a few people who have.

They say the exact same thing !

I don't think any of them were trying to become a "star", they all said they thought it would be fun.
Then they were bored to death and worn out from just sitting around the sets every day.

Actually, I only learned a few days ago ... it's improper to call these masses of people "extras".
Background Actors seems to be the new term.

:unsure:

Anyway, looking back, they now have stories from an unique
part time job.

Not one of them ever saw a famous "movie star" "movie director" or " movie producer".
They all beeeched about that back then, but now they all seem to love having been an extra.

:bounce:
I was a background actor in a scene with RuPaul on the show "Ugly Betty" It was pretty hysterical. I was part of a "middle aged couple" in the audience at a drag show. The guy that was my "husband" and I worked together in a previous show. The other show was called Mercy (a hospital drama) and I actually found myself on IMDB for that one. That in itself is pretty funny that I have an IMDB page. I had fun, it was boring at times but we were fed well, met some interesting people too.
 

Tom Hughes

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
Tom Hanks' new western News of The World is yet another contemporary semi-political diatribe with a tenuous connection to the Civil War and Reconstruction. Hanks portrays a character named Captain Kidd - but obviously no relation to the legendary pirate of the same name! - who is a veteran of the 1st Texas Infantry who is now "getting by" reading semi-current newspapers to audiences of settlers on the Texas frontier in 1870, hence the title. I don't know just how authentic this mode of support might have been, but since various lecturers, evangelists, and hucksters performed in a similar manner, it is at least plausible. Among his travels from community to community he encounters many rough "frontier" types, among whom many are former Confederates who are, other than the Captain himself, almost universally portrayed as racists at best and outright pedophiles at worst who naturally get what's coming to them.

The best thing about the film is Hanks' co-star, a presumably twelve year-old actress named Helena Zengel who plays a German immigrant captive rescued from the Kiowa and whom Kidd takes on a long journey to reunite with her relatives in the Texas Hill Country. The worst thing - other than the mangy ex-Confederates, that is - is that like both movie versions of True Grit the makers of this made NO effort at all to accurately portray the topography where it allegedly takes place, North and Central Texas in 1870. It begins in a reasonable facsimile of Wichita Falls along a much-too-large and flooding river that I suppose is supposed to be the Red where Kidd first encounters the girl, who is much too clean-looking to have been a captive of the Kiowa. From there they go first to Dallas, complete with a cattle drive passing through it and MOUNTAINS off in the distance! He has taken her there to find the nearest Federal Reconstruction troops to turn her over to. Failing that, he decides to take her to her relatives in Castroville in the Hill Country. Along the way they follow some river through the desert with those same mountains still off in the distance; on their trip they encounter more Kiowa. Naturally Castroville looks NOTHING like the Hill Country; San Antonio comes off a little better, though there's no sign of the Alamo anywhere. I stayed through the credits to see where this was in fact filmed: NEW MEXICO, which as we all should know looks little like North Texas, especially the mountains!

The story itself isn't bad, assuming you can pretend it's happening somewhere else, and Hanks and especially the girl are very good, believable and ultimately likeable characters. After my recent reading about conditions on the Texas frontier during Reconstruction and desperadoes like Ben Bickerstaff, Bob Lee, and John Wesley Hardin it makes some of the characters they meet seem more plausible, though as usual for a movie they're far too exaggerated. Also, the stupidity of bringing them to Dallas - what happened to Fort Worth, where the cattle drive belongs; or even better and more correct, Fort Griffin, which I doubt the novelist who wrote the book this was taken from had even heard of. There is also a Hell-roaring camp of buffalo "hide skinners" that might've also not been too out-of-place in the Fort Griffin area, though once again the shenanigans that occur there strain credulity a bit too much. I won't bother you with any more details of the plot in case you decide to check it out for yourself, but you get the idea; surprisingly, I enjoyed it overall and recommend it for the acting and characterizations of the principals, but with the obvious reservations I've mentioned here.
I hate when they stereotype the Confederates as evil, mangy social ills too......I saw the movie and agree with your assessment. Tom Hanks and Helena did a great job in their portrayals.
 

danny

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Hattiesburg
"to avoid fainting, keep repeating to yourself: it's only a movie, it's only a movie.."

it is make believe
it is not real
it is a profit seeking enterprise
the producers, director, writers, actors are the dancing bears in the circus of life
it is like the outlaw Josie Wales, Birth of a Nation, the General, the Lonely Trail, the Tall Target
sometimes fantasy is substituted for reality, I try to recognize the border between
does anyone feel bad for the castaways on Gilligan"s Island or angry that the professor can make a radio out of coconuts but cant patch a hole in the boat
Speaking of Josey Wales, and the making of movies, here is a you tube showing that might be enjoyable.

 

Kurt G

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 23, 2018
I watched the movie last week and I agree that the portrayal of ex-Confederates was over the top . I think they should have toned down the hide skinners camp or eliminated it completely . The girl's attempt to live with her only surviving relatives was interesting . It seemed like a realistic portrayal of what could have happened . Abducted children and even adults often found it hard to adjust back to their old lives and some wanted to stay with their captors . I'd give it 2 1/2 stars out of 4.
 
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