Today’s Parade magazine is largely devoted to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War which begins this Tuesday (April 12, the day that Fort Sumter was fired upon). Turner Classic Movie host Robert Osborne lists his “five top Civil War films.” Among them are three that are to be shown at this year’s Lowell Film Festival, which will be held from Thursday, April 28 through Saturday, April 30, at various locations throughout the city.
Among Osborne’s top five picks, the festival will be showing the following (listed with Osborne’s commentary):
The General (1927) This Buster Keaton comedy is one of the most accurate re-creations of the era. The story is based on fact — in 1862, Union spies stole the General, a Confederate train — and it always makes me laugh.
Gone with the Wind (1939) Not a single scene occurs on a battlefield per se, but no other film so fully captures what’s at stake on a personal and social level during war and how much devastation it can cause. Even after 72 years, the movie impresses and overwhelms.
Glory (1989) A moving tribute to the little-recognized freed slaves who served in the Union army. Impressively directed by Edward Zwick, it’s filled with exceptional performances, especially those from Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington who won an Oscar.
Osborne’s two other films are The Red Badge of Courage (1951) and Friendly Persuasion (1956). Although they won’t be shown at this year’s festival, many other great films will. Plus there will be a Civil War Walking Tour of downtown Lowell offered at various times throughout the festival. For a complete schedule, visit the Lowell Film Festival website.