The American Civil War (1861-1865) was one of the bloodiest wars in history, with the death toll resulting to about 750,000 soldiers and some undetermined number of civilians. It was also one of the most pivotal wars in terms of abolishing slavery and shaping America to the beautiful country it is now.
While a trip to Gettysburg, Penn. can further educate you on the details of this deadly war, you can also learn from these 3 important movies set during the same period of the war.
Starring Martin Sheen as Gen. Robert E. Lee, this highly-acclaimed film based off the book The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, centers around the events of the Battle of Gettysburg. While the movie seemingly flopped in theaters (probably because it’s almost 4 hours long!), its sales for home entertainment soared as it became a preferred teaching tool in schools and earned fans for its engaging storyline. The movie was so favored in fact, that a video game Gettysburg: Multimedia Battle Simulation was even created with cut scenes from the movie itself.
The Red Badge of Courage (1951)
Just like Gettysburg, this film earned high rating and was too based off a novel of the same name by Stephen Crane. Audie Murphy, WWII veteran-turned-actor, plays Henry Fleming, the protagonist of the film. This movie flopped in theaters as well, actually losing money, but earned high ratings via IMDB, with almost a score of 7.3/10 stars.
Out of the three listed here, this was the only film to achieve financial success early on in theaters. On top of that, thanks to the wonderful direction of Spielberg and the acting chops of Daniel Day-Lewis, the movie went on to earn nominations from many prestigious awards like the Golden Globes. While the storyline is not focused on the frontlines of the war, we get a behind-the-scenes detailed account of the influential President as the war is about to end, and his fight to ensure the abolishment of slavery