This mini series covers 60 years in the lives of the Cleary family, brought from New Zealand to Australia to run their aunt Mary Carson's ranch. The story centers on their daughter, Meggie,... See full summary »
Some of the filming took place at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park in Arkansas. The film crew built a false side onto one of the historic buildings there and then blew it off for a special effect - assuring the State park officials that no harm would come to the building. The explosion was rather larger than promised and caused some damage to the structure of the historic house. See more »
In the Civil War the primary infantry weapon was the muzzle-loading musket. For close up shots most of the soldiers use the British made .577 Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifle Musket, which was imported in large quantities during the Civil War by both sides. However, in many scenes (especially the Vicksburg scene with victorious Union troops) many of the soldiers can be seen carrying the .45-70 U.S. Model 1873 Trapdoor Springfield rifle, a shortened breech-loading version of the U.S. Model 1861 Springfield Rifle Musket. See more »
Totally engrossing, well acted and beautifully photographed...
I'm not going to nitpick this film because the wrong number of buttons are on a Civil War jacket nor am I going to criticize the fact that certain battles are presented out of chronological sequence, as some others have already pointed out.
But taken as a Civil War drama, THE BLUE AND THE GRAY ranks with the very best movies made about this era of American history and all of the performances are splendid. The human drama, both on the home front before the war and during the various battles, is portrayed very realistically, as are the graphic battle scenes.
The cast assembled does a wonderful job with characters that come alive. GREGORY PECK does well as Abraham Lincoln, although his make-up is a bit disconcerting and he was a bit too mature to play the role in the first place. But STACY KEACH and JOHN HAMMOND carry much of the film as the two leading characters who witness various aspects of the Civil War, seen through their eyes and experiences, and they are excellent.
The supporting cast includes vivid performances from LLOYD BRIDGES, COLLEEN DEWHURST, RORY CALHOUN, GERALDINE PAGE, RIP TORN, STERLING HAYDEN, DIANE BAKER. BRIAN KERWIN is excellent as the Hale brother facing battle for the first time, and the sequence with the balloon to observe the enemy from the air is full of tight suspense.
It may not be a perfect history lesson, but it is photographed beautifully in color (all of it filmed in Arkansas), has a fine musical score and is well worth the time it takes to unwind a very compelling story with characters any viewer can relate to.
I consider it one of the finest made-for-TV miniseries ever made.
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