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Ozzy

Shiloh Feature Film

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Ran across this reference the other day: The 12 Best Civil War Movies

http://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/civil-war-movies/245328/the-12-best-civil-war-movies  Dan of Geek, Best Civil War Movies

and realized that Battle of Shiloh is rarely mentioned in Hollywood films (and when it is, that film is "forgettable.") 

But it got me thinking... when I envision the multitude of personalities engaged at the Battle of Shiloh, I find myself "assigning an appropriate actor" as a surrogate: mentally visualizing a character I am familiar with (from their performances in films from 1930s through today.) Does anyone else do this?

For example, here are six Shiloh personalities, and how I envision them (the actor who could best portray them):

  • General Benjamin Prentiss                                                      Kevin Spacey
  • Mother Bickerdyke                                                                   Bea Arthur
  • Mrs. WHL Wallace                                                                    Ingrid Bergman
  • Major Powell, 25th Missouri                                                     Steve McQueen
  • General Leonidas Polk                                                             Burl Ives
  • Colonel Everett Peabody                                                          William Holden

Agree?  Disagree?  Any others you can think of?

Ozzy

 

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Jim

I like your choice of surrogate for W.T. Sherman... could see a slightly-off-kilter Penn haughtily proclaiming "No Rebels within coo-ee of here!"

My selection for General Bull Nelson:  Telly Savalas.

Ozzy

 

 

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Can you think of a better choice for General Henry Halleck than Raymond Burr?

Ozzy

 

 

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I would see a younger and very abrasive John Goodman as Bull Nelson. Interesting to consider an actor that would have the gravitas to pull off a convincing Sherman or a Grant.

As a three year old How the West was Won made a major impression on me , it was filmed in ultra wide screen format to capture the grandeur of the west. My parents took me to the Cinarama Dome in Hollywood to see it. The artillery barrage was quite spectacular. They don't make em like that anymore. 

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Trying to compile a top ten civil war films would be a daunting task. A film that is missing from the list but I would recommend is The Conspirator. Also missing is Gods and Generals which has a spectacular recreation of the battle of Fredericksburg, and also offers up doses of southern sentimentality so thick you can cut them with a knife. A newer film starring Matthew McConaughey is The Kingdom of Jones. A great book, I would like to see it again before making final judgments.

 

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Roger

The Red Badge of Courage was the first novel on the Civil War I encountered (concocted by a news reporter too young to have first-hand experience, yet who somehow captured the essence of the horror, uncertainty, chances for redemption provided by armed conflict.) And of the Civil War movies that made Dan of Geek's list, I am fond of Glory; believe it has the power to "bring the viewer 150 years into the past and participate in the experience" ...especially the scene with the regiment lined up on that beach, preparing to charge.

I had not considered John Goodman (perhaps because of all of his comedy roles) and I do not feel Bull Nelson possessed a sense of humour. Still, it could be interesting, seeing John Goodman perform in the role ...if he played it "straight" ...tough, no-nonsense, bit of a bully.

As for the important role of Grant's Assistant Adjutant General, the man who springs to mind for me is Val Kilmer (due to his performance in Tombstone.)

Cheers

Ozzy

 

 

 

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I find myself going back to Glory in which Matthew Brodrick plays a convincing Colonel Robert Gould Shaw with a great cast. Shaws letters are contained in the book Blue Eyed Child of Fortune. The music soundtrack is one of the greatest of any film ever.  I listen to it out on the road. So maybe number one. 

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Roger

As for Sherman and Grant, I believe Jim's selection of Sean Penn is pretty good (because I do not believe W.T. Sherman possessed much gravitas in the lead-up to Shiloh. Perhaps getting shot was Sherman's wake-up call?) 

Ozzy

 

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I believe Nelson had an extremely dry and abrasive sense of humor, and that to me is funny. His account of his brigades arrival at Pittsburg Landing shows he was educated and had a good vocabulary that could be very cutting. Its not a stretch seeing him getting shot by a fellow officer. Goodman is great in the HBO series Treme which takes place in his hometown of  New Orleans. 

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Ride with the Devil would be on the list.

A contender would have to be The Long Riders, yes I know it takes place in the aftermath of the war. The participants however saw it as a continuation of the war. Worth seeing. 

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Roger

Most of the actors-to-represent Shiloh personalities "popped into my head" without much difficulty (for example: I cannot dismiss the image of Stacy Allen portraying General Albert Sidney Johnston... so I finally just accept that he portrays the role well; possibly better than anyone else.)

US Grant, though, was a challenge: understated toughness, determination, resolve. Strictly business. Personable to family and friends, but aloof and enigmatic to everyone else... I finally hit on Russell Crowe (Master and Commander portrayal of naval leader.) 

Any thoughts?

Ozzy

 

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Hey Ozzy, Russell Crowe I'm sure he could pull it off, so that's a great idea. Master and Commander was great and unfortunately was never made into the sequels that were originally envisioned. A modern audience too dumbed down to fully appreciate the story and too costly a production for the available audience to justify continuing.

 

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Roger

Attempted to find a fitting role for one of the most popular actors of his day -- John Wayne -- but aside from a possible cameo appearance as Jefferson Davis (or Jacob Ammen or C.F. Smith), was unable. Was able to find more suitable actors in every other situation (for example, I considered John Wayne as representing General Daniel Ruggles; but believe Walter Brennan would "own" that role.)

Ozzy

 

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yes one would have to find a role for john wayne..what about matthew mcconaughey as cleburne? imstill struggling for beauregard ,johnston and chalmers(i have an actor in mind but cant think of his name at this time..later) patrick swayze i would have to find a role for him also. do yall remember the john wayne movie.."The Undefeated" it was post was but it was good.

 

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Mona

I'll have to track down "The Undefeated" ...been a while since I've seen it.  As for Patrick Cleburne, I agree: Matthew McConaughey would suit that role. I also envision John Travolta as John C. Breckinridge; and Sean Connery as James Chalmers (with unrealized potential at the conclusion of Day 1). General Beauregard's AAG, Colonel Thomas Jordan, could be well represented by Alec Baldwin.

For the tragic Lew Wallace, my pick is Kevin Costner (the flawed every-man.)

Cheers

Ozzy

 

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Braxton Bragg was a difficult proposition... initially considered Humphrey Bogart, but couldn't really see Bogart possessing the required ruthlessness. Then remembered Ben Kingsley: he looks like you'd expect Braxton Bragg to appear. Just connect the eyebrows. And Kingsley portrayed Fagin in Oliver Twist.

Ozzy

 

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