At about the halfway mark of the Civil War, Abe Lincoln takes the bold step of issuing an Emancipation Proclamation. A truly great moment in U.S. history. So it is now 150 years since that most important time. The film, LINCOLN, is about that moment. Since it stars Daniel Day-Lewis, there wasn’t, and could not possibly have been, suspense concerning who would get the Best Actor Award. ARGO, a very exciting potboiler, won Best Movie award for its false portrayal of a Middle East incident. It didn’t deserve awards, but what the hell.
Here is a list of the best Civil War movies. Culled from over one thousand pretenders.
1. GLORY – stars Matthew Broderick and Denzel Washington. Great and horrifying battle scenes. From this movie, you really learn why war is hell.
2.THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE – Everyone has read the book; now see the movie. All about courage and cowardice.
3. GONE WITH THE WIND – The epic of epics. You can’t argue with it. You might as well say you read Hamlet and didn’t like it. Visually stunning and the winner of exactly 35 trillion awards and honors. I’m a fan.
4. An OCCURRENCE AT OWL CREEK BRIDGE – It has no competition in the category of greatest very short movie ever made. A disquisition on time. A work of genius. A philosophical masterpiece. visually stunning. You cannot say enough or too many good things about it.
5. BIRTH OF A NATION - If you feel you must make a ranking of best Civil War movies of all time, leave this one out. It is downright stupid to compare other Civil War films to this one. It is not just that it is in a class by itself but it is a serious contender for greatest movie of all time, regardless of its category. It is not a movie you watch to enjoy; in fact, it is nearly impossible to enjoy it. Viewing this film is part of your education as a human being.
Oh, and of course, the aforementioned LINCOLN. Best movie of 2012.