A reluctant gunslinger tires of having to defend himself at every cow town he visits, so he adopts an alias and continues his wandering. At an outpost run by a father and young son, he gets... See full summary »
Charles Marquis Warren
An epic portrait of late Sixties America, as seen through the portrayal of two of its children: anthropology student Daria (who's helping a property developer build a village in the Los ... See full summary »
During the Civil War, a Confederate spy takes a job as marshal of a small western town as a cover for his espionage activities. However, he soon finds out that a local businessman is ... See full summary »
During the 1830s white settlers are moving into what is now Florida. An unscrupulous slave trader captures the wife of Indian Chief Osceola, setting off a war between the Seminole tribe and the U.S Army.
Circuit-riding Texas lawyer Timothy Higgins defends a former girlfriend against a murder charge stemming from an extortionist's threat to reveal her shady past. Through adroit courtroom ... See full summary »
Gunslinger Rory Calhoun dispenses his own brand of justice in this action-packed Western adventure costarring Rod Cameron and Ruta Lee. It's been three years since gunfighter Blaine Madden ... See full summary »
Professor John Woodruff is reunited with an Italian orphan Tony he befriended in World War II. They accept work from various police departments where John uses his exceptional criminal ... See full summary »
The music being played at the party/ball is Johann Strauss. The piece was first performed in 1867; after the Civil War ended. See more »
We got a Yank in here?
Sgt. Mercer Barnes:
Now, Texas, there's an old sayin' among soldiers - when the minie balls is flyin' and the artillery is hotter than hell, there ain't no such thing as an enemy. Besides he was here in first - it don't seem neighborly to throw him out now.
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1968's "Journey to Shiloh" was made a couple years too early to be classified as a "counterculture antiwar" film, it was about the same time as John Wayne's "Green Berets", while most of the country was still solidly behind the war and only barely beginning to waiver.
The story and the theme are virtually identical to a 1959 German film "Die Brucken", in which seven just inducted teenage boys watch as cynical Wehrmacht soldiers evacuate their town ahead of approaching American troops. Full of enthusiasm for the "blood and honor" of patriotic ideology, the seven boys stay to defend a useless bridge. Both films are somewhat unusual anti-war pictures because the enemy is essentially faceless and the theme derives more from the tragedy of easily influenced and manipulated young people.
Aside from the obvious California scenery (which cannot even remotely pass for Texas or Mississippi), the absurd physical miscasting of John Doucette as General Braxton Bragg, and a rather weak battlefield sequence; "Journey to Shiloh" is reasonably accurate historically. I'm from Tom Green County, Texas (just west of Concho and Menard Counties- where the characters are from) and the boys' journey to get into the far away war was not uncommon for West Texas; where young men went to war seeking adventure without much clue what the fight was really about.
Calling these actors "boys" requires considerable suspension of disbelief as most of them were in their mid to late 20's. James Caan is the leader, the story is told from his point of view and he gets the vast majority of the screen time. Other sixties notables in the group are Michael Sarrazin, Paul Petersen, Jan-Michael Vincent, and Harrison Ford (who gets the least screen time-yet would become the most famous).
Interestingly, even the remaining two had their claims to fame. Michael Burns played Benjie "Blue Boy" Carter in the all-time camp classic "Dragnet" episode about the evils of LSD; the drug caused him to paint his face blue (years before Mel Gibson). And Don Stroud's portrayal of Lamarr in "Joe Kidd" might be the finest piece of overacting in cinema history.
Other notables in the cast are Rockford's dad and Ann Sothern's daughter Tisha Sterling. Sterling was an extremely promising actress in the late sixties (and my personal favorite) who in an ideal world would have had a lot more good roles. Here she plays a patriotic southern belle named Airybelle Sumner, who in the film's best scene inspires the boys (men) to fight for the noble honor of the south. They soon learn that her view of the south is somewhat at odds with reality.
"Journey to Shiloh" does not deserve its obscurity. It has its faults but is gripping entertainment with an important message. Considerably better than most films from the time period.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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