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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now it concerns us
The Anderson family, a father (James Stewart), his six sons, daughter and daughter in law, try to sit out the war (u.s. civil) on their Virginia farmstead. He won't side with the south because he doesn't agree with slavery etc, but he won't fight against his homeland either.
Others try to entice him and his sons to join the southern cause, leading to some poignant...
Published on 16 Nov. 2008 by Mark Kibble

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars what does it want to be?
Things are going badly for the Confederate forces after Gettysburg, and they need men, and they need horses. Early in the movie, some horse dealers come to a farm and offer to buy the farmer's horses, and they threaten to just take them if he won't sell. The farmer has five strapping sons, and a good old fist fight breaks out, as the farmer and his boys defend their...
Published 11 months ago by Stanley Crowe


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now it concerns us, 16 Nov. 2008
By 
Mark Kibble "Underground man" (Coalville Leics England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shenandoah [DVD] (DVD)
The Anderson family, a father (James Stewart), his six sons, daughter and daughter in law, try to sit out the war (u.s. civil) on their Virginia farmstead. He won't side with the south because he doesn't agree with slavery etc, but he won't fight against his homeland either.
Others try to entice him and his sons to join the southern cause, leading to some poignant and at times humorous moments, but as long as folk stay off his land and leave his family be he's not interested.

Not long after becoming a granddad, his youngest son is taken prisoner by union troops, so leaving his son and daughter in law to care for the farm, the rest of the family set off in pursuit. At this point the film splits, focusing sometimes on the boy, sometimes on the family. Having exhausted all possible leads in his attempts to find the boy, he leads the party home, to catastrophic effect.

The final ten or so minutes of the film are a real mixed bag of emotions, the scene at the family grave, where his wife has now been joined by his two eldest sons and his daughter in law, and maybe the boy is touching, then the church bells ring! "why didn't somebody tell me it was sunday", he rounds up what is left of the family and leads them off to church (late as usual) for a surprise ending.

My favourite J.S. film, which sees him wrestle against not only outside circumstances, but also his conscience.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Cuts!!, 11 April 2006
By 
Louise Casey "lucybittles" (N Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shenandoah [DVD] [1965] (DVD)
We settled down for a nice evening viewing this much loved classic and were very disappointed that scenes have been cut spoiling the whole feel of the story. James Stewart's pain on losing his sons and the emotional hunt for his youngest are all ruined by these cuts.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie, 30 Sept. 2007
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ray dorrity "ray dorrity" (New Forest, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shenandoah [DVD] (DVD)
This one of the best movies made about the War Between the States.
It's about a prosperous Virginian farmer and his family and his attempt not to get drawn into a war he doesn't agree with.
From a historical perspective, everything is correct about the film, from the horses saddles right through to the weapons used.
A great piece of entertainment. The movie ranks alongside "Friendly Persuasion" as the best made about that war.
Buy and enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD quality was good, BluRay even better for superb movie, 30 Nov. 2013
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Recommended for all ages. The earlier issue on DVD was very good quality but this BluRay release is even better especially the sound. The movie itself has never aged and contains many beautiful moments of humour, pathos and family interactions. I especially like the grace that Jimmy (Mr Anderson) says at the first family meal. Other notable moments are the monologues Jimmy speaks at his wife's grave (the final one always brings tears to my eyes) and his dreadful moan when the doctor tells him his married son James and his wife are dead, killed by the local riff-raff.

I agree with the reviewers who note the movies anti-war leaning but think it is not so much anti as exposing the absence of glory from any aspect of war waged even for the best of reasons. I recently watched Band of Brothers again and was struck by the connection between Anderson's (James Stewart) attitude to his family and the similar attitude displayed by the late and much mourned Major Richard 'Dick' Winters when he considered the extent of the loss World War 2 took on many members of his 'family' in Easy Company. How fortunate we were to be rescued from the world's most evil tyranny by so many brave ordinary men like those of Easy Company. I have to add, why no 'Medal of Honor'?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'SOUTHERNER'S' THE 'ANDERSON'S' WANT NO PART OF THIS WAR', 22 Mar. 2015
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shenandoah [DVD] (1965) (DVD)
It's 1864 the brutal and relentless American Civil-War still rages, though the South is on it's last legs.
'Charlie Anderson' (James Stewart) owns a 500 acre spread in Virginia and runs it with the help of his six sons, 'Jacob' (Glenn Corbett)
'James' (Patrick Wayne) 'Boy' (Phillip Alford) 'Nathan' (Charles Robinson) 'John' (Jim McMullan) 'Henry' (Tim McIntire) and daughter
'Jennie (Rosemary Forsyth) and 'Jame's' wife 'Ann' (Katherine Ross)
'Charlie' had brought up his sons and daughter up alone after the death of his wife 16 years past.
'Charlie' is a very principled man, the war is not his or his family's business, he does not believe in slavery, does not support the war,
and has brought up his sons and daughter holding his values.
However the War has got somewhat closer in recent times, Cannon-fire can be heard from his porch, he continues to insist that if it's not
on his land it is not his concern.Many of the locals do not share his views, they have sons fighting and indeed losing their lives out there which on occasions puts him at odds with him.
'Charlie' and his family protect what is there's, fine principles.........
Confederate Officer 'Sam' plucks up the courage finally to ask 'Charlie' for his daughter 'Jennie's' hand, after a string of questions and speech
'Sam' doesn't really understand, 'Charlie' gives his blessing.
There can be no escape from a War that rages so close by as the Anderson's will soon learn when youngest son 'Boy' gets mistaken
for a Confederate Soldier and is taken prisoner by a Union patrol.
The War now involves 'Charlie' and his family, he and four of his sons are to set off to find 'Boy' daughter 'Jennie' insists on riding with
them leaving just 'James' and his wife along with their new-born child to look after things in their absence.
The realities of the war will become all to apparent for 'Charlie' and his family upon their quest to find 'Boy'
This is a powerful story in which screen-legend 'James Stewart' is magnificent in his role as family man 'Charlie Anderson' - This is a
Classic-Western.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Civil and uncivil wars, 5 Jun. 2014
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shenandoah [DVD] (1965) (DVD)
Although I`ve seen this on TV I was mighty surprised, watching it again on DVD, how consistently good it is. Andrew V. McLaglen was a prolific though none too subtle director of westerns and war films, but this, from 1965, must count as arguably his finest film.
The by then universally loved and trusted, impeccable actor James Stewart - perhaps the most fully rounded film actor American movies ever had - plays a Virginia farmer during the Civil War who refuses to get involved, on either side. Stewart had obviously thought a lot about his role (one which he`s known to have loved and wanted to play) and personifies the widowed father to a handful of sons and a daughter so well, the part fits him like his well-worn stetson - the same hat the actor insisted on wearing in every western, and he generally got his way.
Much of the action and talk centres on the ranch and house the family occupy, until the youngest boy is caught by the Yankees and his father finally is forced to decide that "Now we`re involved!"
Doug McLure is very good, and amusing, as the stolid, tongue-tied suitor to the daughter, played well by Rosemary Forsyth in her first film. This was also the debut of already confident-looking Katharine Ross (later The Graduate`s Elaine) as the only married son`s wife.
There are other fine cameos in this good-looking film, including Paul Fix as a coldly efficent doctor, James Best (a cousin of the Everly Brothers!) superb as a rebel soldier, and the ever reliable George Kennedy quietly affecting as a somewhat mournful Unionist colonel, a long way from The Naked Gun.
Stewart`s long search for his lost boy, with his sons and daughter in tow, is nicely paced, and benefits from the increasing frustration and anger Stewart is called upon to display, things at which he was a past master.
The sons are a slightly colourless lot, and Ross is given little to do. There is also a 'comedy fight' in which nobody gets too hurt - I would have quite possibly died from only a couple of punches the burly boys land, but this is Hollywood! The fight and its cause are real enough, but we know it`s being played for laughs since the youngest son (well played by sixteen year-old Phillip Alford) keeps on falling or being pushed into the water trough. Oh dear, directors of westerns should have all signed a written pledge on arrival in Hollywood that they would never try to include knockabout humour in their films - particularly John Ford! It so seldom worked.
With a lesser actor than James Stewart in the lead, this would have been merely a serviceable Civil War western, but he raises it almost to the level of epic.
A grand and surprisingly thoughtful film from a director rarely noted for restraint or reflection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shenandoah - an admirable platform for James Stewart to confirm his talent for Westerns., 31 Mar. 2013
By 
T. F. Martin (Royston. Herts. UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shenandoah [DVD] (1965) (DVD)
This movie had it's share of cold blooded violence and in contrast, in some scenes there won't be a dry eye in the house! As head of the household Stewart plays the part of a firm but fair no-nonsense rancher during the civil war. One wonders how he and his whole family managed to escape participating in the conflicts. However with the numerous losses of family members throughout the film, he is not unaffected! It conveys the stupidity of war and how innocent people get caught-up in the violence. However I consider this movie to be James Stewart's finest western, it carries a message and I would recommend it for your collection.
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2.0 out of 5 stars what does it want to be?, 3 Jun. 2014
By 
Stanley Crowe (Greenville, SC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shenandoah [DVD] (1965) (DVD)
Things are going badly for the Confederate forces after Gettysburg, and they need men, and they need horses. Early in the movie, some horse dealers come to a farm and offer to buy the farmer's horses, and they threaten to just take them if he won't sell. The farmer has five strapping sons, and a good old fist fight breaks out, as the farmer and his boys defend their property -- it's choreographed for considerable comic effect (the youngest boy keeps getting knocked into the horse trough) and is reminiscent of the end of the barn-raising scene in "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers." By the end of the movie, the farmer is standing by his wife's grave, telling her that she has company now -- three members of the family have joined her in the family plot.

So, this movie has all kinds of tonal problems, and the best one can say is that James Stewart, as Virginia farmer Charlie Anderson, is reasonably believable at any given moment, whether he's in his quasi-comic foxy patriarch mode, in his obsessed searcher mode, or in his grieving father/widower mode. But all that doesn't add up to a character. The action takes place late in the Civil War (after Gettysburg). The wholesome family scenes, with their strong comic undertones just don't jive with the consequences of Anderson's decision to go after his youngest son (at whose birth Anderson's wife died) when he has been mistakenly taken prisoner by the Union Army -- he has been wearing a Confederate cap, and the Union captors reasonably assume that he's a Confederate boy soldier. Anderson abhors slavery, but he also abhors war, and in a Confederate state, Virginia, he tries to remain isolated from it and get on with his farming. Even his daughter's marriage to a young Confederate officer resolves itself in his mind to the question of whether the young man likes the girl. He never raises with either the question of the rights and wrongs of the war, or of the implications of fact that the South is clearly losing, or the issue of his son-in-law's feelings about slavery. Are we to see Anderson as a naif, a kind of late-in-life Candide, who thinks that if he doesn't think about history, history won't bother with him? Or is he the obsessed searcher seeking to keep his family together -- and in trying to do so, at least contributing to the violent deaths of three of them? We see Anderson conversing in spirit with his late wife at her graveside, and Stewart does it well, but the questions of his judgment and possible culpability don't seem to enter his mind.

There are some striking scenes -- the strongest might be the one where Anderson and his sons stop a train that is carrying Confederate prisoners so that they can find out if his son is among them. He isn't, but by chance his son-in-law is! The burning of the empty train is well filmed. On the other hand, the following scene in which Anderson prepares a marriage bed in a deserted house so that his daughter's marriage can be consummated (while the rest of the family wait downstairs) is a bit cringe-inducing (the son-in-law had been summoned to report for duty right at the end of the wedding ceremony).

The actors do their jobs, but the writing isn't strong enough to give the sons distinct characters. Rosemary Forsyth is attractively feisty as Anderson's daughter, and Katherine Ross hasn't much to do as his daughter-in-law except have a baby. George Kennedy is a dignified Union General, to balance the son-in-law's decent Confederate officer. The movie resolutely doesn't take sides -- so that the general "war is hell" message can get across in an uncomplicated kind of way. But things aren't really that simple, and the movie avoids too much and sacrifices emotional coherence and credible characterization to boot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Family Movie, 3 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Shenandoah [DVD] (DVD)
I first saw this movie more than 40 years ago when I was just a young woman. I loved it then and love it just as much today. It's a good wholesome family movie with one or two tear-jerker moments but a really feel good movie.

I bought a copy for my 43yr old son, on his birthday, because he watches James Stewart in 'A Wonderful Life' EVERY Xmas Eve, so I knew he would like this too. Highly recommend it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best, 17 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Shenandoah [DVD] (DVD)
truly excellent film ,should be in everybodys top ten westerns.great cast,great scenery, great story,great film,you won't be dissapointed.
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Shenandoah [DVD] (1965)
Shenandoah [DVD] (1965) by Andrew V. McLaglen (DVD - 2011)
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