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Shenandoah [Import]

James Stewart , Doug McClure , Andrew V. McLaglen    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
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Shenandoah [Import] + 4 Movie Marathon: James Stewart Western Collection [Import] + Classic Westerns: 10 Movie Collection
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Product Details

Product Description


Shenandoah, a film well-liked in its day, recalls Friendly Persuasion and foreshadows The Patriot as it tells of an American clan traumatized by war on native soil. Virginia farmer James Stewart has never owned slaves, owes allegiance to no one beyond his own kin, and adamantly disregards the North-South strife rumbling just over the hill: "This war is not mine and I take no note of it." That changes when youngest son Philip Alford (To Kill a Mockingbird's Jem) is carried off by Yankees, and the family must ride out to reclaim him. Shenandoah has several affecting moments--notably a homefront atrocity--but much of it is lit and played like a television show. Script and direction are formulaic, Stewart falls back on cozy shtick, and the supporting cast is a collection of bland studio contract players. As the closing credit says: "filmed entirely at Universal City." --Richard T. Jameson

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The pacifist view May 28 2004
Format:VHS Tape
Jimmy Stewart (playing Charlie Anderson) is a pacifist who has 500 acres in Virginia during the "civil" war. He also is head of a family including six sons and a daughter, and is trying his best to ignore the war swirling around him. This apparently is set in northern Virginia, which borders Washington D.C. (the north) and the Southern forces.

Doug McClure and Patrick Wayne are two of the lesser lights playing supporting roles. The entire cast is well directed and plays their parts well.

A great job of casting, directing, acting, and a wonderful story. Forget the "allegories, allusions, irony, and metaphors." You ruin a picture like this trying to take it apart, or alluding to the political nuances that it is supposedly portraying on behalf of Hollywood propaganda. It is a moving story, and one of the great ones.

As for being "superficial" or "overacted" (one critic's complaint about old and classic movies), I find just the opposite is true. I find those categories better acted, with more depth and honest acting than most of the trash we get foisted off on us today.

Maybe it's just a generational thing.

Joseph (Joe) Pierre

author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good heartfelt movie for the whole family Jan. 22 2004
While this movie doesn't fit today's tastes for irony, cynicism, and action that is as violent and graphic as possible, I like this movie a great deal. Actually, it is because it isn't like today's movies that I appreciate it more. Some find its earnestness too sweet and the humor a bit ham-bone. But I am willing to transport myself into a time when such things were possible in movies. All movies have conventions and none are "realistic" - not even documentaries. So, if you can accept one set of conventions, you should be able to adapt to another and appreciate the movie for what it sets out to be.
This is not a movie about violence per se. It is about family and loss, and deals with the notion of trying to be in the world but apart from it and how difficult that can be because the world has a way of rolling over you. The Civil War is the backdrop of this question. Jimmy Stewart's character, Charlie Anderson, is a widower who still grieves for his lost sweetheart. He has a bunch of sons and one daughter. He tries to keep them out of the war, but cannot. His daughter is pursued by Lieutenant Sam (Doug McClure) who fights for the Confederacy. (If both armies are bad to Charlie Anderson - the Yankees are the worse army in this movie.)
My two favorite scenes are the family prayer over the meal where Charlie thanks God for the meal and food while noting without their hard work it wouldn't be on the table. The other is when Lieutenant Sam asks Charlie for Jennie's hand in marriage. Charlie asks Sam why he wants to marry Jennie. Sam say's its because he loves her. Charlie says that isn't good enough. Sam is nonplussed. Charlie asks if he likes her. Sam doesn't get it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Nix Pix
Shenandoah is one of a handful of thrilling western epics that James Stewart appeared in during the mid-1950's. It's full of sweeping expanse, wagons-west adventure and stark, beautiful cinematography that makes one wish for a western landscape that, in reality, never truly existed.
Universal Studios has developed a rather nasty track record with their catalogue titles ever since the introduction of DVD. In a nutshell, the powers that be seem to think that "title attraction" alone is enough to guarentee sales, hence rarely does Universal put its best foot forward or, heaven forbid, go all out with a special edition of some of their great classic films. Long story short - if they can give us full frame editions of "Death Becomes Her", "Babe" and "The Sting" they will. If they can slip in non-anamorphic widescreen transfers of "The Deer Hunter" and "Backdraft" they will! Clearly, this is a studio that places profit above integrity and "Shenandoah"'s transfer quality is no exception.
The transfer is riddled with age related artifacts, scratches, faded color and edit match cut lines that pretty much destroy the continuity of this viewing experience. Aliasing, edge enhancement and shimmering of fine details are all present and annoying. There's some minor pixelization that breaks apart background detail as well. The audio is strident, scratchy and uninspiring. Extras - NONE! - What a shock!
BOTTOM LINE: Universal thinks customers won't mind these imperfections, a.k.a. - they don't mind giving them to you. So here's a thought - voice your protests in letters and emails. Because DVD and classic film libraries around the world really aren't benefiting from this sort of shoddy workmanship. In the end we're all losers!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Is It Possible To Remain Neutral May 31 2003
Format:VHS Tape
James Stewart is the irascible but devoted family man and Virginia farmer trying to keep his family together during the dying days of the Civil War. He forbids his boys (and he has lots of them!) from joining the War, despite the pressures being put on them by others. But in the end, despite his best efforts, Stewart can't keep his family from being touched by the tragedies of the War. It's hard to remain neutral when the world is falling apart around you.
The movie starts out in a light-hearted way, with Stewart's stubborness coming across with humour. But the film's tone changes throughout its running time and becomes darker, as his stubborness becomes more like arrogance, and the realities of war penetrate the family's isolation. Stewart learns some hard lessons. He can't control everything and everyone.
James Stewart dominates the film, with a forceful performance that anchors the film. The supporting cast is good, but no one is given enough time to really standout. There is enough action mixed with the human drama to keep the film moving along. Shenandoah isn't a landmark film or a great example of a western, but it succeeds very well in presenting a moment of crisis in a man's and his family's life.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 day ago by adrian walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Jimmy Stewart's best movies.
The story keeps you involved from the beginning to the end. The actors and actresses were great. One of my favourite movies of all times.
Published 6 months ago by Cheryl Ribble
5.0 out of 5 stars My views about this movie:
Good acting; I have seen this before in a theatre and like to have it in my collection. This is excellent.
Published 14 months ago by Victor Scheepe
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon online purchase
This DVD came to me as promised without any hassle. This movie is an American classic, hard to get north of the border. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Randy Plant
5.0 out of 5 stars Centennial
We are just viewing "Centennial" now and haven't viewed the others yet. There is just one spot on one disc so far that has threatened to act up. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Marie Kelleher
5.0 out of 5 stars SHENANDOAH
Published 19 months ago by blues bro#9
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite movie
"Shenandoah" is my favorite film of all times. Jimmie Stewart was sensational in it. I've lost count of how many times I've seen this but I've had to stop watching it because I... Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2008 by Buchen Sage
5.0 out of 5 stars Limited Government
This is a film that is basically about the evils of abolishing limited government. The message is clear. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrenches the heart
I first saw the movie in my English 10 Honors class in high school. We were supposed to look for allusions, allegories, irony, and metaphors within the movie. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2003 by Grace
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Civil War Film for the whole Family
What a film! I really love it. We don't get that many Civil War films when you think about it. This film really aims at the war and how it directly affects those caught right in... Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2003 by gobirds2
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