Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Andersonville (1996)

Director: John Frankenheimer

Writer: David W. Rintels

Composer: Gary Chang

Starring: Jarrod Emick, Frederic Forrest, Ted Marcoux, Carmen Argenziano, Jayce Bartok, Frederick Coffin, Cliff De Young, Denis Forest, Justin Henry, Tony Higgins, William H. Macy, William Sanderson, Thomas F. Wilson

More info: IMDb

Plot:  The story of the most notorious Confederate prisoner of war camp in the American Civil War.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

After watching the very disappointing GETTYSBURG (1993) (both films made under Ted Turner's command) I was hesitant about seeing this one but I wasn't going to give up on it before it started just yet.  And boy am I glad I didn't.  It's fantastic.  At nearly three hours, I was glued to the screen.  The performances are very good and the characters well-defined and easily recognizable (which is important when you've got thousands of people in a small location all of which are filthy). There are very few big names in the cast (three that I can see) but everyone puts in their all.  The set is an exact replica (down to the size) of the original camp.  The number of prisoners is astounding and the conditions are appalling.  Frankenheimer did a masterful job juggling such a large group of mostly non-actors.  It's so good that I was surprised at how quickly it was over.  The Warner Bros. DVD presents the film in anamorphic widescreen and the extras include two commentaries (one with Frankenheimer and the other with misc production folks) and a deleted scene with optional commentary.  I'd like the Blu-ray on this one but there isn't one. 

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