Andersonville

Tagline : The great untold story of the American Civil War.

Runtime : 167 mins

Genre : War Drama TV Movie History

Vote Rating : 6.6/10

Plot : This lengthy docudrama records the harrowing conditions at the Confederacy's most notorious prisoner-of-war camp. The drama unfolds through the eyes of a company of Union soldiers captured at the Battle of Cold Harbor, VA, in June 1864, and shipped to the camp in southern Georgia. A private, Josiah Day, and his sergeant try to hold their company together in the face of squalid living conditions, inhumane punishments, and a gang of predatory fellow prisoners called the Raiders.

Cast Members

Reviews

And what do you call this little piece of heaven? The American Civil War, and Union soldiers are imprisoned at Andersonville, a crude stockade establishment presided over by the inept and cruel Captain Henry Wirz. It would prove to be a another dark and soul destroying chapter from the war. Lets get it out there right away, Andersonville was not the only hell hole prison operating during the American Civil War. Information from both sides of the coin is available on line for those wishing to explore further. That said, Andersonville is a story that deserved and is needed to be told, and this John Frankenheimer directed two - parter brings it vividly into the viewers' lives. In filmic substance terms it has all the standard POW movie cliche's. We follow a group of prisoners and a group of "convict bullies", with those in authority observing menacingly and proving desperately carefree as to the conditions of the prison and of humane traits in general. But as formulaic as it ultimately is, there's a determination by the makers to keep the characterisations real and viable, and they achieve this in spades. Pic is also boosted by superb period detail, costuming is grade "A", while the production and art design for the prison is harrowingly effective. Frankenheimer's tracking shots brings home the enormity of the misery, while Gary Chang's score is thankfully never bombastic. Cast are a mixed bag - to be expected in such a large ensemble piece - and you can't help but yearn for more of William H. Macy. Yet even though 30 minutes could easily have been shaved off of the run time, Andersonville is a production that should stay with you. The coda serving to remind us that that should be the case. 7/10

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