Movies on the American Civil War: A List

Quite a long time ago I have written a post with a list on the American Indian Wars, now is finally the turn of the American Civil War. In a few weeks you can expect a list of movies on the war of Independence. Like with most of my earlier lists, I haven’t seen all of he movies and I may very well have forgotten some. Do, as always, tell me which are the ones you like best and add those I have forgotten. I still need to review Ride With the Devil, which is together with Glory my favourite. I had a hard time watching Gettysburg and really needed the subtitles. I could hardly understand the accents. Gone with the Wind is an epic I’ve seen more than once as a child. It was one of those movies that was always on TV around Christmas. I’m curious to know whether Gods and Generals and Andersonville are any good. If you have seen them, let me know.

  • The Battle of Gettysburg (US 1913) directed by Charles Giblyn, starring Willard Mack, Charles K. French, Herschel Mayall
  • Birth Of A Nation (US 1915) directed by David W. Griffith, starring Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall
  • The General (US 1926) directed by Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman, starring Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Charles Henry Smith
  • Gone With The Wind (US 1939) directed by Victor Fleming, starring Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Olivia de Havilland
  • They Died with Their Boots On (US 1941) directed by Raoul Wals, starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Anthony Quinn
  • The Red Badge Of Courage (US 1951), directed by John Huston, starring Audie Murphy, Bill Mauldin
  • The Great Locomotive Chase aka Andrews’ Raiders (US 1956) starring Fess Parker, Jeffrey Hunter
  • Friendly Persuasion (US 1956) directed by William Wyler, starring Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins
  • The Horse Soldiers (US 1959) directed by John Ford, starring John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers
  • Major Dundee (US 1965) directed by Sam Peckinpah, starring Charlton Heston, James Coburn, Richard Harris
  • Shenandoah (US 1965) directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, starring James Stewart, Doug McClure
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (US/IT/SP 1966) directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach, John Bartha
  • Alvarez Kelly (US 1966) directed by Edward Dmytryk, starring William Holden, Richard Widmark, Janice Rule, Patrick O’Neal
  • The Undefeated (US 1966) directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, starring John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Antonio Aguilar
  • The Andersonville Trial (US 1970, TV) directed by George C. Scott, starring William Shatner, Cameron Mitchell
  • The Beguiled (US 1971) directed by Don Siegel, starring  Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, Jo Ann Harris
  • The Outlaw Josey Wales (US 1976) directed by Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke
  • The Blue and the Gray (US 1982, TV mini-series) directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, starring  Stacy Keach, Lloyd Bridges, John Hammond, Rip Torn, Warren Oates, Gregory Peck
  • North and South (US 1985–1986 mini-series)  starring Patrick Swayze, James Read, Kirstie Alley
  • Glory (US 1989) directed by Edward Zwick, starring Matthew Broderick, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington
  • Dances with Wolves (US 1990) directed by Kevin Costner, starring Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnel, Graham Greene
  • Ironclads (US 1991, TV) directed by Delbert Mann, starring Virginia Madsen, Alex Hyde-White, Reed Diamond, Philip Casnoff
  • Gettysburg (US 1993) directed by F. Maxwell, starring Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang
  • Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III (US 1994 TV mini-series) directed by Larry Peerce, starring Philip Casnoff, Kyle Chandler, Terri Garber, Lesley-Anne Down, Jonathan Frakes, Genie Francis, Terri Garber, Mariette Hartley
  • Andersonville (US 1996, TV) directed by John Frankenheimer, starring Jarrod Emick, Frederic Forrest, Ted Marcoux
  • The Hunley (US 1997, TV) directed by John Gray, starring Armand Assante, Donald Sutherland
  • Ride with the Devil (US 1999) directed by Ang Lee, starring Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, James Caviezel
  • Gods and Generals (US 2003) directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, starring Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels
  • Cold Mountain (US 2003) directed by Anthony Minghella, starring Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renée Zellweger, Ray Winstone, Brendan Gleeson, Natalie Portman
  • The Battle of Gettysburg (US 2008, TV) directed by Michael S. Ojeda, starring Allen Brenner, Michael L. Colosimo

Something which really surprised me when I linked the titles to the IMDb page was the fact that none of these movies has a rating which is lower than 7+. That’s quite amazing. Most movies are rated 7.5 – 8.2. Usually when I compile such lists I have quite a few with 5* ratings. Are they really all that good or were some die-hard Civil War fans voting?

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War Movies Set in Ancient Greece: A List

While I was compiling this list I realized that I have seen more war movies set in Roman times than movies set in Ancient Greece. Maybe it isn’t surprising as there has not been a proper “Ancient Greece Wave” yet. Most of the movies I found depict the story of Helen of Troy. Surprising. The most famous one is certainly Troy, closely followed by 300. I don’t mind them but they are not among my favourites either. In any case I prefer 300, I must say it is quite special and I included it on my List of 15 Most Original War Movies. My problem with Troy is the fact that I don’t like some of the actors (Who? Guess!).

  • Helen of Troy (US 1956) directed by Robert Wise, starring  Rossana Podesta, Jacques Sernas, Cedric Hardwicke
  • Esther and the King  (IT/US 1960) directed by Raoul Walsh, starring Joan Collins, Richard Egan, Denis O’Dea
  • The 300 Spartans (US 1960) directed by Rudolph Maté, starring Richard Egan, Ralph Richardson. Persian wars.
  • The Trojan Horse aka La guerra di Troia (IT/FR1961) directed by Giorgio Ferroni, starring Steve Reeves, Juliette Mayniel, Edy Vessel, Lidia Alfonsi, John Drew Barrymore
  • The Trojan Women (GB/ US/GRC 1971) directed by Mihalis Kakogiannis, starring Katharine Hepburn, Vanessa Redgrave
  • Helen of Troy (US 2003, TV series ) directed by John Kent Harrison, starring  Sienna Guillory, Matthew Marsden, Rufus Sewell, John Rhys-Davies
  • Troy (US/MLT/GB 2004) directed by Wolfgang Petersen, starring Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger
  • 300  (US 2007) directed by Zack Snyder, starring Gerard Butler, Lena Headey. Persian wars. (see my review)

Have you seen any of these movies? Which ones do you like? And which are others that need to be included?

Movies on the Crusades: A List

Kingdom of Heaven

It was high time for another list. The Crusades are a fascinating theme and there is nothing to infuriate me more than to watch a bunch of fanatic Christians (or any other zealots for that matter but during the Crusades the Christians were disreputably active) causing mayhem.

Of the movies on the list I have only seen Kingdom of Heaven and Arn The Knight Templar. While I almost fell asleep during the first one, I really liked Arn as you can read in my review. I have a feeling that my list is far from complete, so feel free to add/comment should you know other movies.

As you may have noticed there are two Arn’s on the list. The reason for this is that there is a longer and a shorter version available but the longer one seems to be in Swedish only.

Movies on the War in Algeria: A List

The War in Algeria, or the war that was officially no war, is a particularly dark spot on French history. For all the parties invloved, the French and the Algerians alike. Some of the movies on this list have been prohibited in France for a long time. I have only seen and reviewed Intimate enemies aka L’ennemi intime which is a very good movie but I know that a few of the others on the list, first of all La battaglia di Algeri aka Battle of Algiers and Chronique des années de braise are very good movies as well. I got L’honneur d’un Capitaine which, like some of the others, is only available in French. Lost Command has quite an interesting cast but I have my doubts whether the movie is any good and the first one on the list is decidedly a B-Movie.

Movies on the Falklands War (1982): A List

To be honest, I am ashamed to have to admit that I know hardly anything about the Falklands War. Lucky I know where it is located but that is about it. No idea why it happened or what was going on. I remember the name of Margaret Thatcher somehow tied to it. That’s it. I wasn’t any less surprised that there had been a few movies on the war in the Falklands and I have made the resolution that I will at least try to watch one of those that I have collected for my list. If anyone knows the one or the other, let me know and advise, which one I have to watch. Without knowing any better, I think I would go for either Resurrected or This is England. The latter seems to be more about the fallout of the war than the war itself.

  • Los Chicos De La Guerra, directed by Bebe Kamin, (ARG 1984) mit Carlos Abbate, Luis Agustoni
  • An Ungentlemanly Act, directed by  Stuart Urban, (GB 199, TV) starring Ian Richardson, Rosemary Leach
  • Tumbledown, directed by  Richard Eyre (GB 1988, TV) starring Colin Firth, Paul Rhys, David Calder
  • Resurrected, directed by Paul Greengrass (GB 1989) starring Tom Bell, Rita Tushingham, David Thewlis, Rudi Davies
  • The Falklands Play, directed by Michael Samuels, (GB 2002) mit Patricia Hodge, James Fox, Michael Cochrane
  • Blessed by Fire aka Iluminados por el fuego directed by Tristán Bauer (ARG/ ESP 2005) starring Gastón Pauls, Pablo Riva, César Albarracín
  • This Is England, directed by Shane Meadows (GBR 2006) starring Thomas Turgoose, Stephen Graham, Jo Hartley, Andrew Shim

My Favourite Air Combat/Aviation Movies

I generally enjoy air combat movies. Like sniper and bomb squat movies. They are among my guilty pleasure war movies. Can´t help it. That is why there are some air combat movies in my little list that  experts would never allow in theirs. But as I just said, I can´t help it and I also like an occasional bit of pure entertainment. Here are my six favourites:

6. The Blue Max (1966): WWI. Centered on a German fighter pilot who strives for the Blue Max, the highest possible decoration for a German fighter pilot. As he is not an aristocrat like the “normal” fighter pilots he is not accepted by his comrades. (see review)

5. Memphis Belle (1990): WWII. Yes, yes, it is a bit corny and glorifying. So what? I enjoyed it. Story of a tight-knit group of pilots. Friendship, camaraderie and courage.

4. Battle of Britain (1969): WWII. A hymn to British heroism. The use of original languages makes it very authentic. Great and realistic aviation scenes. (Here is my review)

3. The Red Baron (2008): WWI. The story of the Red Baron. German movie. Gorgeous cinematography. Maybe he is shown as too much of a hero. I think we see how he becomes aware of how different the battle in the trenches is from the one high up in the air.

2. The Dam Busters (1955): WWII. I love this one. So exciting. The true story of British pilots on a secret mission to attack German dams. The first part is dedicated to the inventor of the bombs.

1. Dark Blue World aka Tmavomodry svet(2001) : WWII. I consider this to be  the most beautiful air combat movie. It´s a Czech movie and should be much more known. Great story. Czech pilots fly for the RAF. Wonderful pictures. Really moving from the idyllic beginning to the tragic end.

I have seen many more but find them a tad too corny to be included here ( Top Gun, Flight of the Intruder, Pearl Harbor, Flyboys…to name but a few) and there are a lot I have not seen yet.

Which are your favourites? And which are the ones you think I have to watch absolutely?