Movies About the Civil War

Everyone loves a great war movie, but for an American history buff, nothing beats an epic Civil War film. Ball gowns, plantations, and plenty of cannon fire have made for American cinematic magic. Here’s a rundown of some of the best North v. South showdown flicks out there.

Gone With the Wind

No Civil War movie list would be complete without paying homage to the movie who pitted Scarlet’s fiddle-dee-dee against Rhett’s not giving a damn, my dear. While the movie itself doesn’t actually have any battle scenes, it does portray the burning of Atlanta, and deeply delves in the effects of the war on Southern life. Oh, not to mention, it’s one of the greatest romantic movies of all time. Don’t forget to pick up Margaret Mitchell’s classic book on which the novel is based as well.


This movie feature Denzel Washington as a free slave serving in the Union army. I was about 10 when I saw this movie for the first time, and I wept, well, like a little girl. The movie also features cutie pie Matthew Broderick, who volunteers to lead a company of black soldiers, and deals with racists of both the blue and grey persuasions. It’s a good show, but don’t blame me if it makes you cry.

Red Badge of Courage

This 1951 classic stars Audie Murphy as the cowardly young man struggling to find his — .courage on the Civil War battlefield. It’s main redeeming quality is that it has spared countless students from actually having to read the Stephen Crane novel.


This film is a must see for Jimmy Stewart fans. Jimmy plays a Virginia pacifist farmer who refuses to engage in the war, until his son is killed. It’s like The Patriot, only no Mel Gibson, about 100 years later,and really great acting. It is not to be missed.


This is the first movie I ever saw in the theatre with an actual intermission. This movie gives a painstakingly detailed account of one of the most famous battles in the Civil War. It was filmed on location in Pennsylvania and is painstakingly accurate. The problem is, that it times, it can be quite boring. Until the fields run red in their depiction of one of the most famous battles in American History.

So next time you’re in the mood for a historical cinema, check out one of these flicks about what Texans still refer to as the “War against Northern Aggression.” You won’t be disappointed.

References: Internet Movie Database; 


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