The Civil War (1990)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Documentary, History, War
9.4
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Ratings: 9.4/10 from 4,624 users  
Reviews: 65 user | 13 critic

A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.

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1990  
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 President Abraham Lincoln (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Mary Chestnut (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Ulysses S. Grant (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Frederick Douglass / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
Paul Roebling ...
 Joshua L. Chamberlain / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Walt Whitman / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
George Black ...
 Robert E. Lee (9 episodes, 1990)
David McCullough ...
 Himself - Narrator (9 episodes, 1990)
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 William Tecumseh Sherman (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Pvt. Elijah Hunt Rhodes (9 episodes, 1990)
Charles McDowell ...
 Pvt. Sam Watkins (9 episodes, 1990)
Horton Foote ...
 Jefferson Davis (9 episodes, 1990)
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 George Templeton Strong / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Horace Greeley / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
Terry Courier ...
 George McClellan (9 episodes, 1990)
Jody Powell ...
 Stonewall Jackson / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Benjamin F. Butler (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Jerome Dempsey ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
Betsy Apple ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Carol Craven ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Marissa Copeland ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Halo Wines ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
David Marks ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Ronnie Gilbert ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
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 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
John Hartford ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Walt MacPherson ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Various / ... (9 episodes, 1990)
Bradford Washburn ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Jesse Carr ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Wendy Tilghman ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Joe Mattys ...
 Various (9 episodes, 1990)
...
 Himself - Writer / ... (8 episodes, 1990)
Ed Bearss ...
 Himself - Historian (6 episodes, 1990)
Barbara Fields ...
 Herself - Historian (5 episodes, 1990)
James Symington ...
 Himself - Former Congressman (4 episodes, 1990)
Stephen B. Oates ...
 Himself - Historian / ... (4 episodes, 1990)
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Storyline

This highly acclaimed mini series traces the course of the U.S. Civil War from the abolitionist movement through all the major battles to the death of President Lincoln and the beginnings of Reconstruction. The story is mostly told in the words of the participants themselves, through their diaries, letters, and Visuals are usually still photographs and illustrations of the time, and the soundtrack is likewise made up of war-era tunes played on period instruments. Several modern-day historians offer periodic comment and insight on the war's causes and events. Written by Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It divided a country. It created a nation.


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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az amerikai polgárháború története  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shelby Foote became a sudden celebrity after the success of this series. Foote's phone number was listed in his local phone book and he received frequent calls from fans. He never removed his number from the phone book and received calls whenever the series aired for the rest of his life. See more »

Quotes

[Reacting to the Confederate Government's move to have African American Slaves serve as soldiers in the Army]
Senator Howell Cobb: You cannot make soldiers of slaves, or slaves of soldiers. The day you make a soldier of them is the beginning of the end of the Revolution. And if slaves seem good soldiers, then our whole theory of slavery is wrong.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in South Park: The Red Badge of Gayness (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Kingdom Coming
Written by Henry Clay Work
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Broke new ground, still unsurpassed.
2 January 2005 | by (Connecticut) – See all my reviews

Contrary to the only other comment so far, I found this inspiring and elevating. I understood the civil war in a way nothing else in 17 years of formal education did. Burns was trying to tell what is perhaps the most compelling story since this country was founded. He had no footage, and was not interested in dramatizing the battles (which is notoriously difficult to to without boosting one side). Instead, he found a way to take the still images and remnants of the war and the stories of individuals and make them more real than any movie could do. Eleven hours of reenactments would have been interminable - and silly - as vaunted as the reenactors are, they get away with it because they are romanticized - can you imagine reenacting Ardennes or Khe Sanh? In a world where TV viewership is measured in 5-minute chunks if you're lucky, Burns kept viewers' attention for 11+ hours - and with no commercials - quite a feat.


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