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One of the best! As being a fan of the civil war, I was very pleased with the first installment of the North and South trilogy. Patrick Swayze gives and extraordinary performance, as well as James Reed and Leslie Ann Down. In watching this fabulous story unfold into a time never forgotten, the subjects of love, passion, grief, shame, harmony, and cruelty come to life. I was first introduced to this series when I was in the eighth grade. Being a young boy, you would think that I wouldn't have been interested in this civil war soap. To be honest, this story stole the hearts of every one in my class, and this is just the first book. I bought the novel and studied the likes and differences and it was awesome. I am 17 now and still enjoy the story, characters, subject, and remember the times of the civil war. As a movie director of the future, I will always enjoy North and South: Book One.
"North & South" the television mini-series is to the 80's what "Rich
Man, Poor Man" (the first-ever TV mini-series) was to the 70's.
It's a fabulous adaptation of the first classic novel in the trilogy from author John Jakes. The story itself covers the two decades leading up to the years of the election of President Abraham Lincoln and the imminent proclamation of the Civil War - North versus South. The intertwining stories evolve around the families of the Hazards (the 'North' in the title) and the Mains and their two central figures of George and Orry who form a friendship whilst embarking on their West Point training in 1842.
"North & South" is a wonderful historic timeline and as I have grown older (and wiser!) it very much interests me to learn about the contrasting attitudes to such controversial aspects as 'Slavery' and 'Abolitionists', and how these attitudes originated.
The series also portrays some great characterisation development as we get to know about the friends and enemies in George and Orry's lives, and also the women that stole their hearts as young men. This aspect of the story also uncovers a romantic tale that is set to the turbulent backdrop of the American Civil War.
"North & South", along with "Rich Man, Poor Man" is overshadowed by 1977's "Roots" as the greatest mini-series of all-time. However, it does come a close second/third and also shares the same kind of timeline and themes as "Roots". But, don't let this one get away, even if it's just to see the great scenery, costumes, and brilliant all-star cast including Gene Kelly, Johnny Cash, Elizabeth Taylor, James Stewart, Olivia De Havilland, Lesley-Anne Down et al.
The series is beautifully crafted and is firmly tied to actual historic events and it's a pity the Emmys and Golden Globes didn't honour a lot more of the actors and actresses for their portrayals. Patrick Swayze and James Read, the two virtual unknown lead actors at the time, turn in compelling performances as Orry Main and George Hazard respectively. However, it's Kirstie Alley's riveting performance as George's 'Abolitionist' sister Virgilia that steals the show many times. Plus, Terri Garber, David Carradine and Philip Casnoff as Elkanah Bent are the delicious villains of the piece you just love to hate.
"North & South" Books 1 & 2 are now available on two DVD sets.
I am a history teacher and overall I was pleased with the movie. My
teen-agers enjoyed it over the holidays. Is it 100% accurate and is it
a little sappy in places? Yes..but it took my kids away from the
computer and play station to spend four nights watching it all.
The battle scenes were impressive and we met plenty of historical characters throughout. Lloyd Bridges as Jefferson Davis and Hal Holbrook as Abraham Lincoln stand out. We all thought Phillip Casnoff as Bent was evilly and charmingly brilliant. We all thought Charles stole the show from Orry and George.
We will enjoy the movie again!
This was the one movie to see about the Civi War. My aunt actually played in this movie as an extra in the Justin and Madeline wedding scene, and my uncle was an extra on a horse. The script was genuine, and accurate. The costumes were tastefully done, the seqence was in order and even the accents were good. I dearly love Patrick Swayze and James Ried. They were the best 2 choices, and it even had a great supporting cast. The Civil War is my favorite thing in American History, and I love movies about it. I have seen quite a few, and this movie and it's sequal North and South Book 2 took the cake. If you haven't seen it, rent it. As soon as possible. It's quite an eduation.
I was 13 when this mini-series (and its sequel North and South, Book II)
first aired. I had already been captivated by the personal interest
in/around our American Civil War, which is what interested me in watching
this made-for-tv program.
I loved it. And now I'm 29 years old and I only love it more. It is full of history, beautiful costuming, real-life characters woven in and out of the lives of fictional characters, all of whom you come to care deeply about. There is intrigue, love, loyalty, betrayal, family, extended family, lust, battles, victory, defeat and reconstruction.
Even though I had the full set of episodes on tapes I recorded back when it originally aired, I purchased the full set of both N&S and N&S II from Columbia House some years ago when they became available. Once every few years I'll take a whole weekend and watch all the installments back to back - and am sad when the last episode rolls to an end, because I find myself wanting to continue watching the story of the lives of these characters.
I cannot recommend this mini-series more highly.
A story about love and hate, tragedy and happiness, and most of all,
friendship set in the very interesting time of the American Civil War.
Gets you interested in history, gets you emotionally involved and makes you feverishly wait for the next episode.
Moreover, the casting was splendid. Many superstars appear in short cameos, the leading roles are played by a big array of talented mimes - Kirstie Alley and Terri Garber should be mentioned here - this is simply a superb example for a TV production as it should be.
Not to forget the sheer loveliness of Wendy Kilbourne portraying Constance :-)
I saw this movie when I was a lot younger but it captured me. I loved Orry and George's relationship so much. I was so enraptured in Orry and Madenline's love story. I am a hopeless romantic so it really got to me. I especially liked it when he first met her. I just wish he had more time with her and their baby. So you know in Book three I was so hurt that he died. I didn't really understand that because they had little time together. I just loved Patrick in this movie. I just bought all three books together and I can't stop watching them. My 12 year old son is stuck on it. He likes the fighting in the war. I cry every time. I wish I could meet Patrick and Madeline in person! It was a wonderful movie and cast!
The 1985 miniseries 'North and South' is a great depiction of the
events leading up to the Civil War. 2 young men, Orry Main from South
Carolina and George Hazard from Pennsylvania, meet at West Point and
quickly become friends.
Each member of the Main and Hazard Families represent an actual viewpoint that was held during the turbulent political climate of antebellum America, such as the abolitionist Northerner, The Southern sympathizing Northerner, The sadistic Southern slave owner, The Southern Loyalist, just to list a few.
There are many differences between the miniseries and the 3 volume books by John Jakes (North and South, Love and War, and Heaven and Hell). Unlike their literary counterparts, the actors and actresses who portray these historic figures are all very good looking and bigger than life on screen. The dresses worn by the women are impeccable.
I highly recommend the "North and South" miniseries.
I watched this series on TV in 1990 and absolutely loved it (I was nine
years old). I bought the first DVD box about six month ago and got the
second a couple of days ago (thanks to my dear husband). Gosh...It was
hard to get any sleep with all the thoughts in my head...what was gonna
happen to Madeline and George etc. Slave issues and civil war has
always fascinated me (a 25 year old Finn).I advise to read Slaves in
the family by Edward Ball for those who want to take a peek in the past
and try to understand what really happened.
I'm not sure if I want to see Heaven and Hell after so many people have told here that it wasn't really that good.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I absolutely ADORED this movie as a child and still do as an adult. To
say that is even an understatement. My sister, brother and I watched it
one year at our grandparents' house during Christmas vacation. They had
taped it from TV. Our parents were glad it kept us occupied for the one
night but they thought we would tire of it and be ready for outdoor
activities the next day. Not so! We became mesmerized. They could not
have unglued us if they tried. It became a cherished yearly tradition.
We loved everything about it: the time, the romance, the battle scenes,
the villains etc.
Come on, who can resist hating that psycho Bent with his constant SIR!? Classic! Moreover, who can resist cheering wildly when Justin falls off the balcony?! What a triumphant moment! I always had a special place in my heart for Orry and Madelaine. They were so romantic. The theme song alone can get me to tear up a little. This movie is incredibly moving and I challenge anyone to stick with it until the very end. It's worth it!!
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