In terms of the American Civil War, the Friends experienced the same conflicts of brother against brother that infused the North and the South, except for them it was a conflict of beliefs. They had declared their adamant opposition to the importation of slaves as early as 1696 at their Society of Friends (Quaker) Yearly Meeting. As slavery took hold of the South anyway, many became fervent abolitionists willingly breaking the law to aid enslaved people on their escapes via the Underground Railroad.
Nativists in New York City showed particular disdain for being conscripted into the army to fight a war that would free yet another minority group they feared would force them out of their jobs. Likewise, while some newly-arrived impoverished immigrants appreciated the military’s promise of regular meals, others resented when they learned that rich men could buy their way out of the draft for a fee of $300. This number further insulted white working class men who knew enslaved people in the South sold for three or more times that fee so they felt it denigrated their own worth.
Ang Lee and writer James Schamus’s thesis for Ride with the Devil, suggests there was no right and wrong in the Civil War and that both sides were equally violent in their dealings with the other. While the movie is greatly esteemed by persons sympathetic with the Confederacy, viewers and movie critics were considerably less enthusiastic.
Andersonville tells the story of Camp Sumter, better known as Andersonville Prison. Not surprisingly, few Civil War movies explore the prisoner of war experience, probably because the topic is so unremittingly unpleasant. Set in 1864, the film is grimly unpitying and while it contains historical inaccuracies, it gets closer to Civil War prison camp realities than any film before or after.
Realizing the location would be as much a character as any person, Turner negotiated for some of the scenes to be filmed on the actual Gettysburg battlefield itself, an unprecedented National Park Service allowance, though strict federal regulations ruled out any scenes showing opposing fire or combat. In this way, Turner can be compared to David O. Selznick in terms of the way he too obsessed over every detail of the production in ways producers do not always do.
Many historians and critics consider Glory the best American Civil War movie ever made. The film shatters the great taboo of Civil War movies—making race and slavery central to the story and using black characters to do so (Chadwick 2001).
Dr. Welch discussed many highly successful female screenwriters of early Hollywood and explained why they don’t appear in most mainstream histories of the era.
The essays in this book were written by the alumni of the inaugural class of the Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting and come from the stories of the many brilliant female screenwriters studied in our History of Screenwriting courses and collected into When Women Wrote Hollywood.
In the decades before World War II, Civil War films were largely set in the Eastern theater, but as the center for movie making shifted west to California and studios built permanent western sets (so as to make a great number of inexpensive western films), filmmakers began combining the two film genres. The innovation not only expanded the kind of movie stories that could be told, but allowed filmmakers to avoid the contentious issue of slavery.
In honor of World Book Day I wanted to say thanks to all the Readers of all my books — and to all the Librarians who have purchased books to be read!
What would we do without librarians and libraries? Writers need them for our research and readers need them as homes away from home. I can’t count the summer days I spent in the local library gathering a cart of books to take home and read. As an only child, books were my summer companions. Now it’s amazing to me to think books with my name on them sit on shelves beside all the ones I loved.
Read a book today to celebrate a Happy World Book Day!
While many Civil War films cover the Southern perspective, Friendly Persuasion involves the much rarer Northern experience, this one of a devout Indiana Quaker female minister whose family tries valiantly to uphold their pacifist values in the face of Confederate attack.