Shenandoah

1965

Action / Drama / War / Western

5
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 79%
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 6633

Synopsis


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Cast

James Stewart as Charlie
George Kennedy as Col. Fairchild
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
723.83 MB
1280*694
English
25 fps
1hr 45 min
P/S 3 / 8
1.52 GB
1920*1040
English
25 fps
1hr 45 min
P/S 0 / 12

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Maurice Gull 8 / 10

Well done 'tragedy' superbly piloted by Jimmy

After reading, on Kindle, Jimmy Stewart's bio, I ran out & got a few movie titles on DVD, some of which I saw in their early release so many years ago. Shenandoah offers Jimmy as firm, but kind Patriarch, Charlie, to a large, grown family in 'neutral' Virginia. The story begins just before a historical Civil War battle in 1864. He resists pressure to see his boys conscripted by the Confederate side, and physically fights Rebel agents who attempt to 'acquire' his horses.

Pressure begins to mount, however, and the youngest lad (gruffly called 'boy') is arrested by Union Soldiers, forcing Charlie & family to mount up & find the 16-year old amongst thousands of P.O.W.s being shipped North to internment camps. There are some great battle scenes, all with the same sobering theme: the war is lost. Young lives are being ruined for nothing other than the unwillingness of the South to quit. Tragedy befalls, and Charlie loses some family members. There is a positive turn at the end, however.

I saw similarities between Shenandoah and Gone With the Wind. The Civil war brings unhappy consequences, esp. to the South, and there are villains on both sides. Is Shenandoah an anti-war film? No more so than Gone with the Wind. It is, perhaps, anti-Civil war, in that peaceful, productive folks like Jimmy's family would not be left alone to pursue their own livelihood, which, Charlie points out, his family cultivated with hard work and no handouts from the Authorities.

I was surprised to note that this was released in 1965, same year as 'Flight of the Phoenix', making that a good year for Stewart. However, Shenandoah strikes me as more suited to the era of Westerns made 10 years earlier. I liked it, but rate it 8/10 (I rated Winchester 73 a 9).

Reviewed by Richard Chatten 8 / 10

Late-Blooming Traditional Western

Having worked his way up from second features and through television to the 1963 John Wayne brawler 'McLintock!', this was plainly Andrew V. McLaglen's attempt to make a enduring classic western for grown-ups. Beautifully produced and acted, James Stewart is obviously having a whale of a time in the showy lead role.

James Lee Barrett's script is lovingly crafted, but the care he has put into it is rather too obvious and his contrivances too contrived (like the 'surprise' ending unlikely to have surprised anyone who had been paying attention), while the film's vaguely liberal anti-war position is one of many potentially provocative themes - such as Stewart's disdain for religion - that don't really lead anywhere (too bad Barrett's later hawkish screenplay for 'The Green Berets' couldn't have been as ambiguous).

Many of the film's attitudes inevitably reflect the early 1960s rather than the early 1860s, while Jennie (Rosemary Forsyth) just happening to prove a crack shot is one of many elements that are a bit too good to be true. Ironically it's usually the women that look too modern in such films, but it's Stewart's boys that here look far too much like square-jawed, floppy-haired sixties hunks.

Reviewed by elvircorhodzic 7 / 10

"...I don't even know what to say to you any more, Martha..."

SHENANDOAH is a war western drama film that sends a family anti-war message from a dark and bloody environment. Mr. McLaglen made strong relations between the topics and melodrama. Therefore, the dialogues and actions, even the soundtrack, are very well focused around a harrowing family story.

Charlie Anderson and his six sons run the family farm, while his daughter and his daughter-in-law take care of the housework, in the Commonwealth of Virginia during the Civil War. The family has no slaves. Charlie goes to church on Sundays, together with members of their families, out of respect for his late wife Martha. He internally blames God for taking his wife from him. Charlie's oldest son Jacob wants to join the war, but Charlie repeatedly tells his family that they won't join the war until it concerns them. However, the war will soon knock on their door...

The warmth of a family story and bloody war interests are emphasized in detail. A lively and working family is faced with wartime circumstances. Their confrontation and loss deliver a realistic power to this film. Since one character dominates in almost all scenes, the characterization is not so bad.

James Stewart as Charlie Anderson is a head of his family, which on its back bears a thematically burden of this film. He tries to keep his family at all costs, while war neatly sends its bills. Mr. Stewart, despite his age, doing a very good job. Although, I think he's got too much space in this film.

All the other actors are in his shadow. Here we can mention Doug McClure (Sam) as a clumsy son in law and determined soldier, Phillip Alford (Boy) as Charlie's youngest son and character which has got a little more space next to his father, two beauties Rosemary Forsyth (Jennie) as as brave Charlie's daughter and Katharine Ross (Ann) as more braver daughter-in-law.

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