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"The Civil War"
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"The Civil War" (1990) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1990-

Photos (See all 12 | slideshow) Videos (see all 13)
The Civil War -- Clip: Appomattox
The Civil War -- Clip: Frederick Douglas
The Civil War -- Clip: Lincoln Inauguration
The Civil War -- Interview: George Will


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9.4/10   3,943 votes »
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Up 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for The Civil War on IMDbPro.
It divided a country. It created a nation.
A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War. Full summary »
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Broke new ground, still unsurpassed. See more (61 total) »


 (Series Cast [24])

Sam Waterston ... President Abraham Lincoln (9 episodes, 1990)

Julie Harris ... Mary Chestnut (9 episodes, 1990)

Jason Robards ... Ulysses S. Grant (9 episodes, 1990)

Morgan Freeman ... Frederick Douglass (9 episodes, 1990)

Garrison Keillor ... Walt Whitman (9 episodes, 1990)

Arthur Miller ... William Tecumseh Sherman (9 episodes, 1990)

George Plimpton ... George Templeton Strong (9 episodes, 1990)
Horton Foote ... Jefferson Davis (9 episodes, 1990)
George Black ... Robert E. Lee (9 episodes, 1990)

Philip Bosco ... Horace Greeley (9 episodes, 1990)

Derek Jacobi ... Various (9 episodes, 1990)

Jeremy Irons ... Various (9 episodes, 1990)

Hoyt Axton ... Various (9 episodes, 1990)

Colleen Dewhurst ... Various (9 episodes, 1990)

Laurence Fishburne ... Various (9 episodes, 1990)

Shelby Foote ... Himself (9 episodes, 1990)
David McCullough ... Narrator (9 episodes, 1990)
Charles McDowell ... Sam Watkins (9 episodes, 1990)

Christopher Murney ... Elijah Hunt Rhodes (9 episodes, 1990)
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ... Various (9 episodes, 1990)

M. Emmet Walsh ... Various (9 episodes, 1990)
Ed Bearss ... Himself (6 episodes, 1990)
Barbara Fields ... Herself (5 episodes, 1990)
James Symington ... Himself (4 episodes, 1990)
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Series Directed by
Ken Burns (9 episodes, 1990)
Series Writing credits
Ken Burns (9 episodes, 1990)
Ric Burns (9 episodes, 1990)
Geoffrey C. Ward (9 episodes, 1990)

Series Produced by
Ken Burns .... executive producer (9 episodes, 1990)
Series Original Music by
Jay Ungar (9 episodes, 1990)
Series Cinematography by
Ken Burns (9 episodes, 1990)
Series Film Editing by
Paul Barnes (9 episodes, 1990)
Tricia Reidy (9 episodes, 1990)
Bruce Shaw (9 episodes, 1990)
Series Sound Department
Lee Dichter .... sound re-recording mixer (9 episodes, 1990)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Ed Joyce .... animation stand photography (9 episodes, 1990)
Carlos Sanchez .... animation stand photography (9 episodes, 1990)
Ed Searles .... animation stand photography (9 episodes, 1990)
Series Editorial Department
John Dowdell .... hd colorist (9 episodes, 1990)
Series Music Department
Ken Burns .... musical director (9 episodes, 1990)
John Colby .... music producer (9 episodes, 1990)
Series Other crew
James Madden .... title designer (9 episodes, 1990)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:680 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Took six years to make - two years longer than the war itself.See more »
Factual errors: In describing the assassination of President Lincoln, the narrator states the president was 54 years old when he died. He was, in fact, 56 years old. This mistake, however, has been corrected on the DVD.See more »
[On his escape from slavery]
Frederick Douglass:I appear this evening as a thief and robber. I stole this head, these limbs, this body from my master and ran off with them.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Ashokan FarewellSee more »


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34 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
Broke new ground, still unsurpassed., 2 January 2005
Author: jpellino from Connecticut

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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Civil War II 2004RedSox
Ken Burn's 'The Civil War' total greatness john_chris2006
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Which 2 states? crosseyedsheep
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Scenes Cut? floray1
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