7.5/10
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Andersonville (1996)

The story of the most notorious Confederate prisoner of war camp in the American Civil War.

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jarrod Emick ... Josiah Day
... Sgt. McSpadden
Ted Marcoux ... Martin Blackburn
... Hopkins
... Billy
... Collins
... Sgt. John Gleason
... Mad Matthew
... Tyce
Tony Higgins ... Tucker
... 2nd Wisconsin Soldier
... Tobias
... Olek Wisnovsky
... Col. Chandler
... Ethan
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Storyline

Sort of Civil War version of "Schindler's List" looks at the atrocities that occurred in the 1864 prisoner-of-war camp run by the Confederacy in Georgia. The prison originally planned to house 8000, eventually swelled to 33,000 which left little shelter, food or water for the prisoners and unclean conditions. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

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Drama | History | War

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Release Date:

3 March 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apodrasi ap' tin Kolasi  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At some point during production, several reels of film were lost on the way from location in Georgia, to printing in California. Director John Frankenheimer had to reshoot the lost footage, which was about 40% of the trial sequence, in a new location in North Carolina, rebuilding parts of the original set to the last detail in order to match the coinciding Georgia scenes. See more »

Quotes

Sgt. McSpadden: And what do you call this little piece of heaven?
Capt. Wirz: This? This is Andersonville.
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User Reviews

 
Life In Hell
11 January 2010 | by See all my reviews

This is a sobering, if perhaps a bit too long, recreation of life in the notorious Confederate Camp Sumter (better known as Andersonville after the neighbouring community) which housed almost 50000 Union prisoners of war during the last year and a half of the Civil War. I found it difficult to determine from what perspective the story was being told - which perhaps makes it a fairly balanced movie. There's no doubt that the Confederate guards were portrayed as ruthless, and that Captain Henry Wirtz, the Camp's commander, was portrayed as both ruthless and perhaps a bit insane, but the bulk of the movie really deals with the problem of factionalism between the Union prisoners, as a group known as the "Raiders" establish their own ruthless control over the other prisoners, stealing from them, withholding supplies from them and sometimes murdering them. The first half of the movie dealt largely with this internal conflict, and was very interesting. The point at which the rest of the prisoners rebelled against them and finally, with Wirtz's approval, put them on trial, seemed to mark a transition in the movie. After their trial and the execution of the ringleaders, the movie took on more of an air of hopelessness (and perhaps became a bit less interesting), as the prisoners await a liberation that, in the movie at least, never comes, as the movie ends with the prisoners being transferred to other prisons.

The movie begins somewhat abruptly with Union soldiers captured in battle being sent into the hellhole that was Andersonville, but there was no real historical context given. It might have been more interesting to see the camp from the beginning, and to trace the descent of the camp into what it became. The whole Andersonville issue is historically controversial, and the movie alludes to the controversy, with Wirtz pleading with a Confederate colonel sent to inspect the camp for more supplies, and many today think Wirtz was unfairly condemned after the war for a situation that was largely out of his control. I thought his portrayal in the movie was fair. Others complain that conditions in Union camps were also harsh, but that's neither here nor there for the purposes of evaluating this movie, which certainly presented a sobering enough look at the conditions in this particular camp - which was, after all, its purpose.

The movie features not a stellar cast (there are some fairly well known faces, but no mega-stars) but a solid cast that did a pretty good job with their roles. 7/10


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