Charlie Anderson, a farmer in Shenandoah, Virginia, finds himself and his family in the middle of the Civil War he wants nothing to do with. When his youngest boy is taken prisoner by the North the Civil War is forced upon him.
What do you do with dead soldiers?
Shenandoah is directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and written by James Lee Barrett. It stars James Stewart, Patrick Wayne, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett, Rosemary Forsyth, Phillip Alford and Katharine Ross. Music is by Frank Skinner and Technicolor photography is by William H. Clothier.
As the American Civil War rages, a Virginian patriarch keeps his large farming family in the act of isolationism. But will the war leave them alone?
A superbly acted and written Civil War Oater, Shenandoah is moving and poignant without over doing the anti-war message. First half of the pic lets us into the lives of the Anderson family, their beliefs, their loves and losses, and decisions that will shape their futures. Circumstances will of course come knocking at the door, which shifts the film into darker territory, where it is here that McLaglen and his team brilliantly show the emotional and physical hardships of the war between the North and the South. Story and the characters are consistently compelling, all while the locations envelope the dramatics with a beauty that is realised by the legendary Clothier. And then there is Stewart, a class act and the axis, the fulcrum of everything that is great about the pic, his character brought vividly - and crucially believably - to life, one of the best father portrayals in classic film.
Battles rage, of the war, the heart and of the mind in one of the 1960s best American Oaters. 9/10
Universal Pictures by Andrew V. McLaglen, James Lee Barrett.
Stars: James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett.
Genres: Drama, War, Western
Keywords: widower virginia
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