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Top 5 American Civil War Movies

The American civil war was the turning points for the American Nation, the outcome of that war are the United States as we know them today. Here follows the top 5 greatest American civil war movies. Are they truly the best? Well, according to the critics and most of the fans YES.


It seems as most of the people can’t get enough of the idea that the US was actually divided in two, and that the Americans fought bloody, destructive and long civil war against their countrymen. Even though that some of the movies about the civil war in America feature combat scenes, many of them focus on individuals and the impact that the war had on their lives. That is why it’s bit hard to make a list of movies that mainly revolve about the war itself; the battles and the events that took place at that period, rather than around anything else. Here follow a short list of what it should be the greatest American civil war movies ever made.

5. Ride with the Devil (1999)

Ride with the devil is the story of two friends and their lives throughout the civil war. The director Ang Lee is a brilliant storyteller, something that has succeeded to accomplish with this movie as well. Tobey Maguire and Skeet Ulrich put up great performances in their respected leading roles, great job by the supporting actors as well.

4. Gods and Generals (2003)

This epic drama is the prequel to Gettysburg. Producer Ted Turner and the director Ron Maxwell return to the tragedy and glory of the American civil war. There are no villains in this movie, only perhaps the politicians who are far away from the battlefield.

3. The Red Badge of Courage (1951)

For 1951 it was truly revolutionary movie, in any sense of the word. In spite that MGM “butchered” the movie in the re-editing process, this is still an incredible movie. Directed by the famous John Huston, the Red Badge of Courage shades a light on the fragile psyche of the foot soldiers faced with the horrors of war. This movie is a testimony of man’s ability to preserve in those moments. Audie Murphy who is a real life war hero plays the young foot soldier that has to deal with its fear while serving in a union regiment.

2. Glory (1989)

Glory is very powerful, moving and complicated movie. This is the story about the first all-black volunteer company that fought in the American Civil War. The heroism of the soldiers that fought in this unit was pretty much hidden from the public, mainly due to racism. However, the movie tells the story about the bravery of those soldiers and the humiliation that they need to endure from both sides. 

1. Gettysburg (1993)

Gettysburg is an adaptation to the best seller novel “Killer Angels” written by Michael Shaara with Jeff Daniels, Tom Berenger and Martin Sheen in the main roles. The movie tells the true story of the battle of Gettysburg, from the perspective of the key participants on the two sides. Many people regard Gettysburg as the greatest American Civil War movie ever made. Some would agree and some would disagree with that, but almost everyone will put this movie in the best American civil war movies ever made list.

If you feel that some great movie was left out or it deserves to be on this list don't hesitate to comment or write us about it! 
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June 23, 2013 at 7:22 AM

There aren't a lot to choose! Why is that? You have a good list with the exception of "Gods and Generals" which is a horrible movie. I waited for that prequel to the outstanding "Gettysburg" and saw it in a theater and was extremely disappointed. I root for the South in my reading on the Civil War and in the movies, but that movie went beyond what I could stomach. "Gettysburg" was pro-South, but G&G goes off the cliff. The condoning of slavery was despicable.

I would switch Glory and Gettysburg.

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