Action / Drama / Family / History / Romance

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 8%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 37%
IMDb Rating 6 10 1218


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August 27, 2014 at 03:13 AM


Jaimie Alexander as Lucy Stubbs
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Christmas Moultrie
Jim Caviezel as Ward Allen
Bradley Whitford as Jack Cay
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
811.42 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 41 min
P/S 1 / 2
1.64 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 41 min
P/S 2 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bi-azh 9 / 10

At the brink of modern age

This is how I understood the film without having read the book. I don't give a summary,that has been done by the other reviewers here, and yes, my review will contain spoilers.

The drama is told about and around the character Ward Allen, a locally renown and remembered local sort of hero. But why was he important and what was his meaning for those who have known him and remember him?

It seems, that he had a way to impress his follow men by his stubborn way of living in a romantic past, that was slowly slipping away and was glorified when he was long gone. The important factor here is "time" because clearly the 1920ies were a turning point, after WW1 and the great war to come that was sweeping away social classes and ways of living not only in Europe but also in America. The beginning of modern times is obvious, there are coaches and horses in the streets but also automobiles. In one scene Ward and Christmas look from their boat to the rising of an industrial building at the horizon and Ward says that the birds are not flying over it.

The story reminded me very much of Ford Madoxx Fords "Parades End", set in the time of WW1. The hero of that story, who was also a creature of a time long gone, was defined as the last gentlemen, because of his unfaltering upkeeping of a moral codex no longer important in a changing society.(Watch Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC miniseries)

The hero of Savannah on the other hand is not so much a gentlemen but a free spirit, a man who doesn't like to be "tamed", not by his family and upbringing, not by his wife and not by the society around him. But he stands no chance,time goes on and everything changes, his lifestyle with living outdoors and sustaining himself by hunting is no longer possible, and industrialization is on the horizon. That is child is stillborn can be a symbol. He has to take this strike of fate and then another and so on until he sees no way of going on and kills himself.

All that is told in a slow and melancholic way with the help of a frame story in the present. The omnipresent birds and the water carry highly symbolic meaning as the flow of time.

Many critics say that the three story lines are not told good enough, one should have concentrated on the friendship between the former slave and white man, that was his friend. But I don't think that is what this film is about, that is only a sideline. From that missunderstanding there might come the critic of using too many clichées,as someone accused the film on the messageboard. But those "clichées" are not what is important here. Ward had the ability to express himself by writing - he was not a writer in the usual sense of the word. Because of his upbringing and education he had the possibility to describe his confusion and the problems he had with the change of the older way of living to the modern age. He couldn't accept it and stayed therefore as a symbolic figure for the turmoil of that age, that many might have felt.

As mentioned in the other reviews the pictures and the filming are excellent and the cast did a very great job, mostly Jim Caviezel who proved that he can also play extrovert characters. His use of his voice and movements are highly entertaining to watch. This is not a film for the big audience but it should have gained more attention. One thing I didn't like so much was the score. The main theme of the music was nice and kind of hypnotizing, but it was used too much, should have varied more.

Reviewed by james-j-tatum 9 / 10

This film may confuse Non-Southerners, but makes sense to me

The story of Ward Allen is not unknown to hunters. THe relationship he shared with freedman Christmas Moultrie seems to confound and confuse people like Roger Ebert. He cannot see how a White man "of the manor born" could befriend a Black man in those times, and therefore assumes that only Southerners would like this film.

This is my first review on IMDb. I want people to know that this film is far more than worth a watch. The complexities of a new world and a new way of life in post Civil War America, more specifically Savannah, are captured honestly here. THere is no scenery chewing, or unnecessary verbosity in the film. The marrow of the film is the story of friendship, family, loss, and inevitable change. THis film succeeds in making a complicated era of American history a simpler issue, one of laws, man, and the spirit of going against the standard of a mans time and station.

I am very happy that I was able to watch this, and I hope that it gets more respect from humble movie goers like myself who are willing to give it a fair shake, and ignore the Roger Ebert's of the world.

Reviewed by Amy Adler 8 / 10

Beautifully lyrical film, about a different drummer man, played by the wonderful Jim Caviezel, very romantic in parts

Ward Allen (Jim Caviezel) likes what he likes. Born into a family of wealth in Savannah Georgia at the turn of the twentieth century, he nevertheless does not become a businessman. Instead, he likes to be on the marshes near the ocean, hunting duck for the fine restaurants of Savannah. With him is his constant companion and partner, Christmas (Chiwetel Efiolor), a former slave. This alone is a cause of gossip at a time when whiles and African Americans didn't socialize in the South. but, in truth, Ward just loves the "wild places" over sitting in an office somewhere. Very handsome, he catches the eye of a lovely woman, Lucy Stubbs (Jamie Alexander) who her stuffy father (Sam Shepherd) has promised to another man. Yet, Lucy is also a lady who walks to a different beat. She shuns her father's choice and pursues Ward. Soon, they are married and living in Ward's opulent mansion. Still, his married state doesn't change Ward, who continues to hunt and get roaring drunk at the local bars, where he tells long stories. From time to time, Ward is also hauled before a judge (Hal Holbrook) for charges of hunting in forbidden waterways. Yet, Ward always gets off easy, for the judge likes him and his strong arguments for his chosen profession. Naturally, this creates some conflict for Lucy, especially when she discovers she is expecting a baby. Will Ward ever change? This beautifully lyrical movie, an homage to the loveliness of Savannah and its surroundings, will charm a certain type of movie fan. Its quiet, unusual story is paired with sumptuous scenery for a visually stunning experience. Also, Caviezel is one attractive and talented man, an actor who tops my list of "men who can make the heart pound". Alexander, Holbrook, Shepherd, Efiolor and all of the supporting cast is very fine, also. Do you consider yourself drawn to artistic, independent flicks? Take a trip to this Savannah soon.

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