Lucky 13 Film Club: November topic


The United States Civil War has inspired filmmakers for a century and turned it into a genre of its own. Are you a traditionalist preferring military reenactments like Gettysburg (1993)? Is it the story about the band of brothers like Glory (1989) which resonates? Perhaps it’s about the periphery, the story of the people other than the generals and their strategies who move you like Gone with the Wind (1939)? Please join my good friend, Pete from Beetley, England, as we talk about the evolution with our respective favorites and why we think they’re great. 

Pete will review Ang Lee’s Ride with the Devil (1999) and I will review Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain ( 2003). We recommend you revisit these two stellar examples in the next two weeks and join the discussion on November 13.

22 thoughts on “Lucky 13 Film Club: November topic

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  1. I re-watched “Birth of a Nation” recently. That film really tests out your capacity not to condemn people for having the attitudes of their time! Civil War-wise, I love the beginning of “Dances with Wolves” but it obviously isn’t a Civil War film.

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  2. I too recently re-watched Birth of a Nation. It is such a tremendous movie in many regards but unquestionably unsettling with certain perspectives it holds. Personally I think it is a phenomenal cinematic accomplishment and if viewed through the right lens it enlightens us to the perspectives of the period and to how we have evolved over time. It can also spur a healthy self-examination of our present day perspectives.

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    1. Well said, Keith. I remember reading your review for the recent Birth of a Nation. You handle delicate topics with grace. I admire that.
      If you are free on the 13th, I’d love for you to partake in the discussion. I adore ‘Cold Mountain’ and I have not seen Pete’s choice, ‘Ride with the Devil’.

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  3. I’m Canadian, but I’ve always felt a strong pull / kinship from the American Civil War. Past life? (Don’t recall one).
    A war that carved deep and still visible wounds. Blood doesn’t dry very fast. A war where you’re fighting on your own soil against your own countrymen … leaves a bitter pool.
    There’s some good movies up there, but I never really felt IT in Josey Wales. Cold Mountain would be my favorite, though I haven’t seen Shenandoah or the Horse Soldiers for a while. Mostly I feel unqualified to comment without brushing up a bit.

    Lincoln? I think this man’s Spirituality was immense. Assailed on all sides, this is what made him a giant. I didn’t feel that was captured.
    A tough watch for me too.

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    1. Hi JC! Well, you have 10 days to rent something. I haven’t seen ‘Run with the Devil’ — I’m looking forward to watching Pete’s favorite Civil War film.
      Come back on the 13th!


    2. Outlaw Josey Wales had a good stab at the Redlegs/Jayhawkers involvement in the border wars, but was mainly a film about his character, with some excellent performances by Native American actors. I enjoyed it a lot, and it is my favourite Eastwood western.
      Ride With The Devil looks at the same theatre of the war, but with a much harder edge, and with more authenticity..
      Regards, Pete.


  4. Hi, Cindy and Beetleypete:

    You’ve got some great choices!

    Shenandoah is a well executed family epic. Though, I kind of lean more towards the 1968 NBC made for television film, Journey To Shiloh . With James Caan, Michael Sarrazin, Harrison Ford, Jan-Michael Vincent, Don Stroud and Paul Petersen as Texans riding cross country to join the Confederate Army.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have seen ‘Journey To Shiloh’. Part of my lifelong quest to watch every Civil War film ever made. I liked the fact that it didn’t settle for a happy ending, and it tried to address issues about the innocence of so many who set out to fight in that terrible war.. However, I thought the TV movie feel let it down a little in parts. If you liked that one, I can recommend ‘The Field of Lost Shoes’, about the students at the VMI, leaving military school to fight in a major battle.
        I look forward to hearing your opinions on the 13th.
        Best wishes from England. Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jordan! I hope so, too. I think you would love ‘Cold Mountain’. Philip S Hoffman is hysterical. Natalie Portman’s performance will make you tear up. Renee Z. deserved her Oscar.


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