Five Opinions on Civil War Based Films

Gettysburg and Gods and Generals

Jeff Daniels as Colonel Joshua Chamberlain during the Battle of Little Round Top in "Gettysburg".
Jeff Daniels as Colonel Joshua Chamberlain in “Gettysburg”.

Two film epics, with Gods and Generals being a prequel, that features men on each side of the battlefield. Showing friends that take opposite sides due the war and fighting against each other. For me, Jeff Daniels’ portrayal of Colonel Joshua Chamberlain in both Gettysburg and Gods and Generals is my favorite part of these films, showing the heroics of a Medal of Honor winner and decorated officer of the Union Army. Another great performance is that of Sam Elliott as the admirable Brigadier General John Buford, who selects where the battle shall take place and who valiantly holds his position for as long as he can. Perhaps my favorite scene is the Battle of Little Round Top, showing Chamberlain’s Medal of Honor-winning victory.


Denzel Washington as Private Silas Trip in "Glory" during the storming of Fort Wagner.
Denzel Washington as Private Silas Trip in “Glory”.

Starring Matthew Broderick as Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and Denzel Washington Private Silas Trip (in his first Academy Award winning role), with Morgan Freeman as Sergeant Major John Rawlins and Cary Elwes as Major Cabot Forbes, this film, filled with admirable courage and sad moments, shows the story of the first formal unit of the Union Army to be made up entirely of African-American men during the American Civil War, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. Showing a group of heroes from their training to their most courageous battle, it shows their sacrifices and their strength in this film based on inspirational actual events.


A film with only one scene showing a battle during the Civil War, yet, still a great Civil War film. With comedic events and emotional elements, the film tells an amazing story. Focusing on President Abraham Lincoln and his determination to pass the Thirteenth Amendment  to abolish slavery, the film shows President Lincoln’s working with his cabinet, as well as members of the House of Representatives on opposing sides in regards to the Amendment. In his third Academy Award-winning role, Daniel Day-Lewis portrays President Lincoln and conveys his strength, humor and leadership in this historical epic featuring an important time in history.

Field of Lost Shoes

I was able to watch some of this film for the first time over a month ago, having seen a trailer and photos for the film about a year ago and had hopes for the film to be great, like Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, with great and memorable scenes featuring the Union, but the film takes a main focus on the Confederacy. Though the film features great actors such as Tom Skerritt, as well as featuring Michael Krebs, a known portrayer of Abraham Lincoln, I was hoping that the Union Army would be shown more and did not expect the film to put the focus on the Confederacy and featuring one of the battles that the Union lost, something that I don’t like to see, as I am someone who always roots for the Union.

Kale Slade

Kale Slade has written for Movie Vine and Entertainment Vine for four years. Striving to do what he can to aid filmmakers in promoting and crafting their projects, he enjoys lending a hand when he can. He also enjoys horseback riding, photography, writing poetry and novels and spending time in nature, experiencing the beauties of life.
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