Watching Johnny Shiloh again for the first time in 50 years I couldn't help but wondering that this debuted on television in January of 1963. Had it been done a few years later after the Kennedy assassination and us being hip deep in the Vietnam War there would have had an entirely different reaction to the production.
Kevin Corcoran plays young John Clem who wants very much to get into the Civil War, but he's a little too young even to be a drummer boy. But that deters him not the slightest and he leaves his father Regis Toomey and the family farm where no doubt Toomey could use help and joins the volunteer regiment formed from his area with his friends Captain Skip Homeier, Lieutenant Darryl Hickman, and Sergeant Brian Keith.
Let's just say that young Corcoran proves to be more than a company mascot or even more than a drummer boy and General George Thomas gives him his new name of Johnny Shiloh at said battle.
Johnny Shiloh retains a certain amount of pre-Sixties innocence about it and Corcoran who can sometimes be annoying is fine in the part. Brian Keith is at his scene stealing best even with a beard. It's also nice to see Skip Homeier in a nice guy role for once.
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