An English woman and her daughter enlist the aid of a cowboy to try and get their hardy hornless bull to mate with the longhorns of Texas, but have to overcome greedy criminals and the natural elements.
In Shenandoah, Virginia, widower farmer Charlie Anderson lives a peaceful life with his six sons - Jacob, James, Nathan, John, Henry and Boy, his daughter Jennie, and his daughter-in-law and James' wife Ann Anderson. Charlie does not let his sons join the army to fight in the Civil War that he does not consider their war. Jennie marries her beloved Lieutenant Sam, but they do not have a honeymoon since Sam has to return to the front. Charlie's youngest son Boy is mistakenly taken prisoner by soldiers from the North so Charlie rides with his sons to rescue Boy, while James and Ann stay on the farm. It is time of violence and war, and tragedy reaches the Anderson family.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Stewart is Phenomenal in this anti-war Vietnam era drama
A leisurely, somewhat by-the-book movie, directed by a television veteran, Andrew V. McLaglen. The story, of a family who resisted the Civil War by sheer stubborn principles (like objecting to war), is interesting, and a bit different. This has the feel of a Western, but it's set in Virginia, so is closer to "Drums Along the Mohawk" in depth and intention.
But more to the point--James Stewart is the patriarch, and he brings an older, deeper, wiser sensibility to the film than all the other actors combined. It's a great performance top to bottom, and he pulls it off with complexity and rare conviction. The plot is absorbing because of Stewart, and that's the final word, really.
It doesn't hurt to note this is 1965, and the Vietnam war is getting going on a large scale, making the front of Life Magazine. Whether or not this is a comment on that war, or on war in general, it's hard to know from here, but the audience must have seen it that way. There is a conflict of innocence and sheer naiveté that doesn't always wash well with common sense, and this large family is nothing if not smart. The large crisis that marks the halfway point was avoidable by paying attention to the hat a little more.
But these men and women still show the power of passive resistance to a war that seemed, to them, to be nonsense.
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