Inspired by James Warner Bellah's "The Valiant Virginians," a 1953 book that had previously been serialized in "The Saturday Evening Post," this series focuses on the impact war has on the ... See full summary »
Inspired by James Warner Bellah's "The Valiant Virginians," a 1953 book that had previously been serialized in "The Saturday Evening Post," this series focuses on the impact war has on the young men fighting it. Bellah's stories were about the smaller incidents that impacted the regular soldier, not just the officers, and "The Americans" reflected this sensibility. Written by
1961 was the much-promoted Centennial of the Civil War. There were all sorts of specials, and docu-series, and articles in LIFE magazine, etc. This TV drama was excellent with a brother against brother theme. The fact that it lasted one year says a lot about the audience rather than the show. This was quality TV - and cross-reference "Arrest and Trial" (the precursor of "Law and Order") to see how long some quality shows last. I even remember in grade school trying to get classmates to watch "The Americans" with no luck. Their loss. And in this age of gutter, juvenile, and vicious humor a thoughtful drama like this won't ever be rerun or even on video. Too bad. With the right marketing there are enough Civil War enthusiasts to make video sales feasible. It was a memorable series showing how the war tore America apart.
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