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Southern Film

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Hollywood Hates the South: Southern Accents Edition

Where can we hear the worst southern accent of all time? Is it Tom Hanks as the lovable but stupid Forrest Gump? Is it SNL alum Dan Akyroyd in Driving Miss Daisy? How about the mess present in Django? Often, British, Irish or Scottish actors will nail a southern accent before Hollywood even thinks of hiring a southerner (see Vivien…
Sara Sass
November 11, 2022
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Elvis Has Left the Building

The Baz Luhrmann Elvis movie is as good as it is frustrating. The movie might serve as a good introduction for those who don't know much about Elvis (which, sadly, is becoming most people). I say it might because it is more than likely that viewers will come away knowing more about Col. Tom Parker, Elvis' manager, than Elvis himself.…
Aaron N. Coleman
June 29, 2022
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Remembering Gods and Generals

Lest we forget, it has been nineteen years since the film “Gods and Generals” was released to screens across the United States—to be exact, on February 21, 2003—almost ten years after the release of the blockbuster film, “Gettysburg.” “Gods and Generals” was based on the historical novel by Jeff Shaara, while “Gettysburg” was based on a work by his father,…
Boyd Cathey
June 9, 2022
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Adventures in Southern and Confederate Cinema

  Recently a friend of mine asked me to list my ten favorite films about the South and the War Between the States, and to discuss the reasons I would choose them. I had written several columns in the past about cinema that favorably portrayed the Southland and had dealt fairly with the War Between the States, including, most recently,…
Boyd Cathey
February 14, 2022
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When Hollywood Rode Right

Although Hollywood is now considered a monolithic bastion of leftist and “woke” political and cultural sentiment with almost no dissent tolerated, it was not always that way, at least not to the degree that exists today. Go back sixty years ago, and that progressivist uniformity was not as apparent. Certainly, “Tinseltown” was never a haven for conservative and traditionalist cinema,…
Boyd Cathey
December 10, 2021
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Eminent Southrons and Cinematic Slander

This essay was originally published in the August 1995 issue of Chronicles magazine. Some folks have been kind enough to notice my absence from these pages, and a few have been even kinder and expressed regret at it. The fact is that my wife Dale and I are working on a book. It will be called 1001 Things Everyone Should…
John Shelton Reed
October 12, 2021
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When Bing Crosby Sang Dixie

In past columns I have written about some classic films, some of which have been effectively banned or “cancelled” by our contemporary cultural gatekeepers. The case of the immortal Disney hit, “Song of the South,” is perhaps the most egregious. I wrote about it back in July 2019 in an essay published by The Abbeville Institute, also describing a seller who made…
Boyd Cathey
June 30, 2021
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Abundant Acreage Available

Like many traditional-minded people of this era, I have become disenchanted with products of the modern movie industry which are mostly either filth, silliness, or formulaic pablum. To my fortunate surprise, I recently stumbled upon a gem of a movie from 2017 called Abundant Acreage Available. Written and directed by NC native Angus MacLachlan, the entire film takes place in…
Anne Wilson Smith
April 20, 2021
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Firetrail

For some time now I have had a passion for classic films, in particular those films that portray sympathetically and with historical accuracy the Southland, and, more particularly, events of the War Between the States. I can remember going to the old Village Theater in Raleigh and, with my parents, seeing a re-screening of “Gone With the Wind.” And around…
Boyd Cathey
March 17, 2021
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Don’t Watch This Film

“The Burning of Atlanta,” 82 minutes. Produced and directed by Christopher Forbes.  2020. I have written a great deal on the Abbeville Institute site in the past  on the portrayal of the South in films. I have tried to keep up with the subject.  So, I took this from the shelf in fond anticipation. Few times in my life have I…
Clyde Wilson
February 26, 2021
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part XV

21.   Faulkner in Film   Southern viewers must naturally be interested in what Hollywood has done with America’s greatest 20th century writer, William Faulkner of Mississippi. **Intruder in the Dust (1949).  Perhaps the most faithful of all Faulkner’s work on film, and a realistic portrayal of Southern life in the early 20th century.  An old lady (Elizabeth Patterson) and two boys,…
Clyde Wilson
March 26, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part XIV

19.  Our Speech The experts will tell you that there is more than one Southern accent.  This is true, but they all gather together as a marker of Southern that has been widely recognised for a long time---like barbecue.   For Hollywood a Southern accent usually is outre’, a sign of ignorance or villainy as discussed in preceding chapters. On the…
Clyde Wilson
March 19, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part XIII

18.  World War II and Other Wars “To deliver examples to posterity, and to regulate the opinion of future times, is no slight or trivial undertaking;  nor is it easy to commit  more atrocious treason against the great republic of humanity, than by falsifying its records and misguiding its decrees.”      –Dr. Samuel Johnson American wars are started by bankers and…
Clyde Wilson
March 12, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part XII

16.  EXECRABLES. The Worst Movies about the South: A Small Selection The competition here is fierce. We can only provide a sample of some of the worst.  A few examples out of a vast field, many of them presenting a ludicrously distorted South.  (X)  The Southerner (1945). This movie was made by a famous French director while a refugee in…
Clyde Wilson
March 5, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide Part XI

15.  Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Southerners:  Films for the Family The major movie stars of the 1930s through the 1970s came from the East and Midwest.  Nevertheless, there was a strong presence of native Southerners in the top ranks:  Oliver Hardy, Ava Gardner,  Randolph Scott, Joseph Cotten, Jeffrey Hunter,  Miriam Hopkins, John Payne (an almost forgotten Virginian star of film…
Clyde Wilson
February 27, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part X

12.   Southerners in the Late 19th  and Early  20th Centuries **The Yearling (1946).  This is an all-time favourite about family life on the Florida frontier and a troublesome pet deer.  Seldom noticed is that the father, Gregory Peck, is a former Confederate soldier.  The film is based on the novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.  Another fine Rawlings book about her…
Clyde Wilson
February 20, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part IX

11.  Post-bellum and Westerns There  are two  interesting,  important,  and  little  noticed features of films about  the South  in the  period  after the War for Southern  Independence.  First, until recent times they generally portray the mainstream view of “Reconstruction” as corrupt and oppressive that prevailed before the Marxist coup in American history writing.   Carpetbaggers are shown as vicious, greedy, and…
Clyde Wilson
February 13, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part VIII

10. Spielberg’s  Lincoln (X)  Spielberg’s Lincoln.   Life is short.  Although I am a devoted   if amateur student of Hollywood’s treatment of the great American War of 1861-65, I intended to spare myself the ordeal of Spielberg’s Lincoln.   However, the honoured editor of America’s bravest and best journal (Tom Fleming of Chronicles) instructed me to go.  I have always found such…
Clyde Wilson
February 7, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part VII

9. Confederate Hollywood  From the beginnings to rather recent times portrayals of Confederates have been a mainstay of American cinema.  After all, the Confederacy is a rather large and interesting slice of American history.  Given the virulent malice today against everything Confederate, it might surprise many folks to see that during Hollywood’s Golden Age an astounding number of major stars…
Clyde Wilson
January 30, 2020
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A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part VI

8. The War for Southern Independence (continued): Fantasy and Fraud Scorcese’s Gangs of New York (2002) Martin Scorcese, in an interview, candidly described his Gangsof New York, as an “opera.”  He had been asked whether the event s portrayed were true to history.  I took his reply to mean that the events of the movie were selected and organized for…
Clyde Wilson
January 23, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part V

Symbols Used ** Indicates one of the more than 100 most recommended films.  The order in which they appear does not reflect any ranking, only the convenience of discussion (T)   Tolerable but not among the most highly recommended (X)   Execrable.  Avoid at all costs  7. The War for Southern Independence (continued):  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly **Searching for…
Clyde Wilson
January 16, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part IV

Symbols Used ** Indicates one of the more than 100 most recommended films.  The order in which they appear does not reflect any ranking, only the convenience of discussion (T)   Tolerable but not among the most highly recommended (X)   Execrable.  Avoid at all costs  6. The War for Southern Independence **Gone with the Wind  (1939). What to say about this…
Clyde Wilson
January 9, 2020
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part III

5. Spielberg’s Amistad (1997) If Amistad is not yet a household word like ET or Jurassic Park, it soon will be with the power of Steven Spielberg behind it.  (When I started this review awhile back, that was my first sentence, but I may have been wrong.  Late reports indicate the box office is lagging.)  Amistad is really two movies.…
Clyde Wilson
December 19, 2019
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part II

Symbols Used ** Indicates one of the more than 100 most recommended films. The order in which they appear does not reflect any ranking, only the convenience of discussion (T)   Tolerable but not among the most highly recommended (X)   Execrable. Avoid at all costs                                 3. The Colonial and Revolutionary South Colonial and Revolutionary Southern history does not have a…
Clyde Wilson
December 12, 2019
Blog

A Southerner’s Movie Guide, Part I

A man only has room for one oath at a time.  I took an oath to the Confederate States of America.” John Wayne, The Searchers “We are going to hit the Yankees where it’ll hurt him most---his pocketbook.” Van Heflin, The Raid “I’m sure glad I aint a Yankee.” Randoph Scott, Belle Starr “I ain’t never been ‘round no Yankees…
Clyde Wilson
December 5, 2019
Blog

Song of the South and the Assault on Culture

Most of us, even the youngest, have heard of the magnificent Disney film, “Song of the South,” originally released in 1946. And certainly we are familiar with its hit song, “Zip-a Dee Doo Dah.”  Some of us have seen this partially animated classic, or recall seeing it years ago, even though it is officially unavailable at present. Disney refuses to…
Boyd Cathey
July 25, 2019
Blog

The Legacy of D.W. Griffith

None knew it then, but in 1915, Southern agrarian influence on the movies was at its height. The film trade had just left Fort Lee, New Jersey, only to land in the equally piously named Mount Lee, California. Of course, the latter’s new name was Hollywood, due to its Kansas prohibitionist developers, but it was also the same name as…
Norman Stewart
January 7, 2019
Blog

Gator McKlusky

Everyone wanted to be Southern in the 1970s. The rejuvenated interest in Southern music from bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Charlies Daniels, and the Allman Brothers (and the unknown Southern influence in the "Motown" sound) was just one component of a larger pro-Southern, working class, populist movement. Southerners had been made consciously Southern again after over a decade of national attention,…
Brion McClanahan
February 9, 2018
Blog

The Evil South

Not to be outdone by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s brilliant idea for a new post-Game of Thrones show exploring the drama and high-stakes tension of an alternate America where slavery still exists (which can be read here and here), Keltag Hagrinax and J.X. Parnohack of the hit series Shame of Crones also recently unveiled details of their new show at the Galactic Imperium News…
Lewis Liberman
October 27, 2017
Blog

Demonizing the South to Purify the Nation

Victor Davis Hanson is one of the most lauded and applauded historians of the “conservative establishment.” Honored by President George W. Bush, a regular writer for National Review, spoken of in hushed and admiring tones by pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, Hanson is rightly regarded as a fine classicist and military historian, especially of ancient warfare. But like…
Boyd Cathey
October 19, 2017
Blog

Hollywood Before the “Hate Confederate” Movement

From the beginnings to rather recent times, sympathetic portrayals of Confederates have been a mainstay of America cinema.  An astounding number of major stars without any Southern background have had no objection to favourably portraying Confederates (and other Southerners).  It might be noted that two of the major figures of early American film, D.W. Griffith and Will Rogers, were the…
Clyde Wilson
September 27, 2017
Blog

The New Guns of Honor?

Most of the world knows of the Hollywood Celebrity “Martin Sheen,” (born and baptized Ramon Antonio Gerardo Estevez). Much of the world knows that he portrayed General Robert E. Lee in the film “Gettysburg.” I am even on record mildly complimenting his performance. Of course, nobody today can possible represent Lee, but I thought Sheen did better than Robert Duvall…
Clyde Wilson
August 14, 2017
Blog

Films from the South

Like it or not, movies are the main art form of our time, the story-telling medium that reaches the largest audience and captures the attention of us all, high and low, wise and foolish. It is also true that movies, like literature and architecture, reflect something of the soul of the particular nation that produces them. If so, we indeed…
Clyde Wilson
March 6, 2017
Review Posts

The Free State of Jones: History or Hollywood?

Hollywood has struck again with another “Civil War” movie that, unsurprisingly as it may seem, does not do justice to the real Southland or the Confederacy.  The latest episode is an epic by director Gary Ross, “Free State of Jones,” starring Matthew McConaughey as the film’s hero, Newt Knight. “Free State of Jones” tells the story of a Knight-led rebellion…
Ryan Walters
July 12, 2016
Podcast

Podcast Episode 7

The Week in Review at the Abbeville Institute, December 28, 2015-January 1, 2016. Topics: Southern literature, the year in review, John C. Calhoun, slavery, the Confederate Flag, Southern film, California. https://soundcloud.com/the-abbeville-institute/episode-7
Brion McClanahan
January 3, 2016
Blog

So Red the Rose

You might not find Stark Young's So Red The Rose in current recommendations of novels set during the civil war era, but Young's novel, published in 1934, was a record-breaking best seller, so popular with the reading public that it was made into a Hollywood film. It differs from most novels in that it doesn't have a protagonist, nor is…
Gail Jarvis
December 31, 2015
Blog

Questions for Hollywood? Inquiring Minds Want to Know.

Why in the recent “The Factory” does a serial killer from Buffalo, New York, have a Southern accent? Come to think of it, why do serial killers and vicious gang leaders in movies and TV always have Southern accents? When you make movies about Ted Kaczynski, Timothy McVeigh, and Ted Bundy,   will they have Southern accents? The alpha of the…
Clyde Wilson
July 13, 2015
Blog

It Could Have Been Worse, Probably

Review of the new film Field of Lost Shoes: I have written before here and here about the treatment of the South in film. A new entry into that dubious field is the recent “Field of Lost Shoes.” It purports to tell the story of the Virginia Military Institute cadets who at great sacrifice participated in driving back the invading…
Clyde Wilson
February 13, 2015
Clyde Wilson Library

The War Lover

The American Enterprise magazine, a slick-paper, coffee-table arm of the neocon publishing empire, has recognized the premiere of the Civil War film epic "Gods and Generals" by devoting its March issue to the Late Unpleasantness. TAE brings out some deep thinkers to examine American history 1861 – 1865 under the rubric "Just War." (Shouldn't there be a question mark in…
Clyde Wilson
February 11, 2015
Review Posts

Twenty Million Gone: The Southern Diaspora, 1900—1970

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yKesnaFYUw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DkcQ09h2Vo That is Bobby Bare on Detroit and Dwight Yoakam on Los Angeles. Sometimes there are significant movements in history that go unnoticed because they take place slowly over a long period of time and are marked by no major event. The Southern Diaspora of the 20th century is such a movement. Twelve million white and eight million black…
Clyde Wilson
November 10, 2014
Blog

Classic Confederate Hollywood

Recent releases of four classic films should gladden the hearts of patriotic Southerners and those viewers not yet infected by the currently-raging virus of political correctness and multiculturalism. A few years back Warner Brothers inaugurated an Archive series and began releasing hundreds of classic films that had, in most cases, never shown up previously in any commercially released video format.…
Boyd Cathey
July 30, 2014
Blog

Hollywood’s South: Family Night Down Home

Last in a six part series. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. As we all know, in recent times, Southerners, so far as Hollywood is concerned, are subhuman. A Southern accent or a Southern flag is a sure sign of murderous and/or stupid character. Yet it has not always been so, as we tried to show…
Clyde Wilson
July 10, 2014
Blog

Hollywood’s New South

(Part 5 of a 6-part series on the South in cinema) Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. As you know, the folks who dominate the American movie industry regard the South only as the weirdest and most dangerous part of that unknown territory between the JFK runways and L.A. International. Besides, Yankees since the 17th century have regularly…
Clyde Wilson
June 24, 2014
Blog

Who Should Play Hank?

Tom Hiddleston, an English actor best known for playing Loki in the Thor and Avengers movies, has been cast to play country music icon Hank William Sr. in an upcoming movie about Williams’ life. Hank Williams’ grandson, Hank Williams III, recently made waves when he panned the selection of Hiddleston and suggested that the American icon should be played by…
Dan E. Phillips
June 23, 2014
Blog

Hollywood–South by West

Part 4 in a 5 part series. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. In 1902 the Philadelphia aristocrat Owen Wister published what has been called “the first true Western novel.” It was set in Wyoming and entitled The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains. Think about it. What is “a Virginian” doing in Wyoming? In fact, Wister was right on…
Clyde Wilson
June 20, 2014
Blog

Hollywood’s South — 20th Century Wars

(3rd in a 5-part series) Hollywood’s treatment of Southerners in the vast output of World War II movies is a mixed bag. There is a fair amount of favourable portrayal of Southerners. This doubtless reflects the good will with which the American public entered the war and its recognition that we were needed and doing our part or more. On…
Clyde Wilson
May 30, 2014
Blog

Hollywood’s South — 20th Century Wars

(3rd in a 5-part series) Hollywood’s treatment of Southerners in the vast output of World War II movies is a mixed bag. There is a fair amount of favourable portrayal of Southerners. This doubtless reflects the good will with which the American public entered the war and its recognition that we were needed and doing our part or more. On…
Clyde Wilson
May 30, 2014
Blog

Confederate Hollywood Part 2

In Part 1 we demonstrated how during Hollywood’s Golden Age nearly every Northern-born major star willingly portrayed a sympathetic and admirable Confederate character. That phenomenon has continued up to the present. Admirable Confederates still appear played by major actors. What has changed in recent times is that there have been evil Confederates appearing more often on the screen and the…
Clyde Wilson
May 28, 2014
Blog

Confederate Hollywood Part 2

In Part 1 we demonstrated how during Hollywood’s Golden Age nearly every Northern-born major star willingly portrayed a sympathetic and admirable Confederate character. That phenomenon has continued up to the present. Admirable Confederates still appear played by major actors. What has changed in recent times is that there have been evil Confederates appearing more often on the screen and the…
Clyde Wilson
May 28, 2014
Blog

Ron Maxwell’s Civil War Classics

Dear Civil War enthusiasts, students, re-enactors, historians, friends, Over a lifetime of reading and research, I've accumulated an amazing collection of short stories written about the war, a priceless treasure trove of Civil War fiction written by both obscure and famous American authors over the hundred and fifty years since the war was fought. These stories are ideal for films…
Ronald F. Maxwell
May 27, 2014
Blog

Ron Maxwell’s Civil War Classics

Dear Civil War enthusiasts, students, re-enactors, historians, friends, Over a lifetime of reading and research, I've accumulated an amazing collection of short stories written about the war, a priceless treasure trove of Civil War fiction written by both obscure and famous American authors over the hundred and fifty years since the war was fought. These stories are ideal for films…
Ronald F. Maxwell
May 27, 2014
Blog

Confederate Hollywood—Those Were the Days!

Having passed my allotted three score and ten, I realise that I have spent too much time watching movies. I can only hope that come judgment a merciful Lord will forgive my frivolous wasted hours. My excuse is that cinema has been the major literary form of my time, a powerful influence on the ideas, attitudes, values, and behaviour of…
Clyde Wilson
May 16, 2014