This is arguably the finest of John Jakes books made into a bestseller miniseries. The tale of two families -( the Hazards from the North and the Maine's from the South) bound by an inspiring friendship and how this is tested to the hilt by the impending civil war and what happens to them during the civil war and after the war. The three compelling books of John Jakes - Book1 -North and South; Book 2 - Love and War; Book 3-Heaven and Hell are brought to life with two dashing leads - James Read as George Hazard and Patrick Swayze as Orry Maine, whose friendship developed on the way to WestPoint military academy, matured into a bond that would surpass any blood ties at WestPoint, and this friendship linked the two families in a way blood relationships linked families. The impending civil war would threaten to tear their friendship and business apart as each must stand up for their way of life.
The account of the civil war is historically accurate and the battle scenes well-done. The book 1 and book 2 stayed faithful to the book with some minor alterations, but in book three the script writers took so much creative liberty that it is almost unrecognisable from the book. I understand availability of cast members had a lot to do with this; all the same book three is somewhat of a let down
This complete edition box set contains the three books on DVD. One of the best things about this miniseries is the Music by Bill Conti, which earned him an Oscar and rightfully so too. The music is unbelievable, one of the best movie music ever written. The all star cast ensemble which included- Elizabeth Taylor, Kristie Alley, Lesley Ann Down, Teri Geber, Hal Holbrooke, David Carradine, Phillip Casnoff, George Stanford Brown, Erica Gimpell, Forest Whitaker, Jonathan Frakes, Genie Francis, Morgan Fairchild, the two leading men above to mention a few, did a wonderful job in bringing to life this wonderfully crafted story by John Jakes. I have watched this series many times and I find that each time, it is refreshing, inspiring and enlightening. You will enjoy North and South if you are new to it, and if you already know it this DVD is a worthy addition to your collection. As we enjoy this movie let us be inspired by this friendship and remember that pure friendship is anchored in true love, love for all mankind. If we all strive for that then there will be no need for war.