Jake Roedel and Jack Bull Chiles are friends in Missouri when the Civil War starts. Women and Blacks have few rights. Jack Bull's dad is killed by Union soldiers, so the young men join the Bushwhackers, irregulars loyal to the South. One is a Black man, Daniel Holt, beholden to the man who bought his freedom. They skirmish then spend long hours hiding. Sue Lee, a young widow, brings them food. She and Jack Bull become lovers, and when he's grievously wounded, Jake escorts her south to a safe farm. The Bushwhackers, led by men set on revenge, make a raid into Kansas. At nineteen, Jake is ill at ease with war. As his friends die one after another, he must decide where honor lies.Written by
According to Jewel Kilcher, Director Ang Lee cast her as Sue, mainly because of her crooked teeth, which he thought looked like the teeth a poor woman living in the 1860s would have. See more »
A wooden country revival style "teddy bear" is seen in "Aunt Wilma's" parlor. The distinctive "teddy bear" was created in honor of Teddy Roosevelt, decades later, however toy wooden bears were common items even before the Civil War. The story of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" was written in 1834, greatly increasing interest in toy bears. Stuffed bear toys started showing up in catalogs as early as 1894, long before Teddy Roosevelt was associated with them. See more »
On the western frontier of Missouri, the American Civil War was fought not by armies, but by neighbors. Informal gangs of local southern Bushwhackers fought a bloody and desperate guerrilla war against the occupying Union Army and pro-Union Jayhawkers.
Allegiance to either side was dangerous. But it was more dangerous still to find oneself caught in the middle.
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As someone interested in 19th century American history I had to get this movie on DVD. It took forever to arrive but was well worth the wait..... I think. The qualification is added because I found it ... odd. Appparently accurate, literate, well acted but most of all unpredictable. I shall resist the temptation to write "spoilers" but suffice it to say there were more obvious "Hollywood" ways of dealing with many of the plot twists. Put another way, this movie is very well written. As "Gods and Generals" dealt with this horrible war at the level of general officers, this movie deals with it at the level of privates and irregulars. Is it too much of a soap opera? Not really. Is it unsatisfying in its dealing with evil? No, but it is unexpected. Is this a great movie? I don't know, but it is a good one.
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