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"Gone With the Wind" (1939): The 500-pound gorilla of Civil War movies, this hugely successful and much beloved film is spectacular in every respect, but its racial stereotyping and benign view of plantation culture now seems dated and reactionary.

Best Civil War movies

Here are some of the best cinematic depictions of the Civil War:

'The Birth of a Nation' (1915)

Racist to the core, but also a cinema
(Credit: AP )

Racist to the core, but also a cinema milestone, D.W. Griffith's astonishingly accomplished film glorifies the Ku Klux Klan, and vilifies freed slaves and Northern carpetbaggers. A real curio, this is a classic piece of revisionist history, justifying Southern myths.

'Gone With the Wind' (1939)

The 500-pound gorilla of Civil War movies, this

The 500-pound gorilla of Civil War movies, this hugely successful and much beloved film is spectacular in every respect, but its racial stereotyping and benign view of plantation culture now seems dated and reactionary.

'The Red Badge of Courage' (1951)

Director John Huston's film, starring real-life World War
(Credit: AP)

Director John Huston's film, starring real-life World War II hero Audie Murphy, is probably the finest depiction of what it was like to be a common soldier during the war. Based on Stephen Crane's classic novel.

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'Friendly Persuasion' (1956)

Gary Cooper's Quaker family tries to maintain its
(Credit: Lorimar)

Gary Cooper's Quaker family tries to maintain its ideals during the chaos of the war. Director William Wyler's film is a four-star winner.

'The Horse Soldiers' (1959)

Union cavalry led by John Wayne slashes deep
(Credit: AP )

Union cavalry led by John Wayne slashes deep into the South in John Ford's action-filled drama. Along the way, macho Wayne clashes with pacifist doctor William Holden.

'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' (1966)

The classic spaghetti Western uses the war as
(Credit: AP )

The classic spaghetti Western uses the war as a backdrop, as three lowlifes search for stolen Confederate treasure.

'Glory' (1989)

Outstanding story of the first unit of black

Outstanding story of the first unit of black soldiers fighting for the Union. A multiple Oscar winner, featuring Denzel Washington's best supporting actor performance.

'Gettysburg' (1993)

The title says it all. Long, monumental and
(Credit: TNT)

The title says it all. Long, monumental and utterly mesmerizing film about the battle that turned the war. Fantastic combat sequences.

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'Ride With the Devil' (1999)

Director Ang Lee's film about Southern guerrilla fighters
(Credit: Universal Pictures)

Director Ang Lee's film about Southern guerrilla fighters raiding Union farms and towns along the Kansas-Missouri border. Top-notch cast includes Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich and Jeffrey Wright.

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