Tag Archives: historical movies

Downright uncanny

Take a look at the photo, and then click here.

Taken at Brady’s studio on Jan. 8, 1864. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

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Yet another Lincoln movie

This one is apparently about Abe’s boyhood, with Diane Kruger as Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln.  This carries on a long, proud tradition of filling Lincoln movie roles with actresses who are far more attractive than the historical figures they play.

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The Rev War on the silver screen

Daniel Eagen considers the state of American Revolution movies and doesn’t see much cause for optimism.

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Speaking of Spielberg’s Lincoln, you can see Daniel Day-Lewis in Abe mode

…by clicking here.  Could use some latex to build up the facial protrusions, and the hair’s combed a little too neatly, but it’s not a bad visual impression.  I just hope they don’t try to water down the dialect.  The man didn’t sound like a newscaster.

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Spielberg finds a general

Jared Harris is going to be playing Ulysses S. Grant in Spielberg’s Lincoln, according to Empire.  I’m not really familiar with Harris. Apparently he’s in Mad Men, a show I’ve never watched.

I’ve always said that if somebody put me in charge of casting a Civil War movie and gave me an unlimited budget, I’d want Russell Crowe to play Grant.  He’s a dead ringer.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (LC-B813- 6371B)

If you’re going to cast an A-list actor like Crowe, though, it would probably be in a starring role, meaning you’d need some Grant-centric subject matter.  So who’s up for a Shiloh movie?

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Let’s have some historical biopics

I ran across a post suggesting some possible subjects for historical biopics. The LBJ idea is especially intriguing; I wouldn’t mind seeing a miniseries adaptation of Robert Caro’s work.

I’d also propose Frederick Douglass (great story), John Brown, Joseph Smith, and Daniel Boone as interesting film subjects.  Boone’s life in particular is full of dramatic material; the deaths of his sons, the rescue of his daughter, his captivity, and his court-martial would all make for powerful scenes, and then you could wrap it up in melancholy fashion with his abandonment of the Kentucky for which he gave up so much and migration to Missouri.

Personally, though, what I’d really like to see is an Andrew Jackson biopic along the lines of Patton, depicting both his greatness and his faults. I’d start out with his boyhood in the Revolutionary Waxhaws and the beating he took for defying a British officer, and then flash forward to the War of 1812.

Either that, or just adapt David Nevin’s novel 1812 as a miniseries.  I rarely read historical fiction—I don’t read much fiction at all, actually—but that was a genuinely great book, and anybody who could play Jackson the way Nevin managed to flesh him out would deserve a Golden Globe.

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead on Mary Todd Lincoln

You can read her remarks about playing Lincoln’s wife here.  She seems to have done more historical research than you’d expect for a vampire movie.  This is going to be a strange film.

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