The Blue and the Gray (miniseries)

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The Blue and the Gray
DVD cover of the movie The Blue and the Gray.jpg
Genre Historical drama
Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
Produced by Hugh Benson
Harry Thomason
Written by Ian McLellan Hunter
Bruce Catton (story)
Starring John Hammond
Stacy Keach
Lloyd Bridges
Gregory Peck
Music by Bruce Broughton
Editing by Fred A. Chulack
Bud Friedgen
Country United States
Language English
Original channel CBS
Original run November 14, 1982  – November 17, 1982
Running time 381 mins.
No. of episodes 3

The Blue and the Gray is a television miniseries that first aired on CBS in three installments on November 14, November 16, and November 17, 1982. Set during the American Civil War, the series starred John Hammond, Stacy Keach, Lloyd Bridges, and Gregory Peck as President Abraham Lincoln. It was executive produced by Larry White and Lou Reda, in association with Columbia Pictures Television, then owned by The Coca-Cola Company. A novel of the same name by John Leekley, Bruce Catton and Ian McLellan Hunter was published as a companion to the series in 1983. The colors in the title refer to United States Army and Confederate States Army uniforms of the period, respectively.

Synopsis[edit]

The plot revolves around the families of two sisters; Maggie Geyser and Evelyn Hale. The Geysers are farmers from Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Hales own a small newspaper in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Geysers are generally indifferent to the issue of slavery, but are sympathetic to the Southern cause. The lone exception in the family is son John, an artistic young man who becomes sympathetic to the plight of Southern slaves and free Negroes. The Hales are pro-Union and anti-slavery, but, like many Northerners at the time, they hope for a peaceful solution to the nation's problems.

The drama begins in 1859 when John leaves the Geyser family farm for Pennsylvania, where he gets a job as an artist correspondent for the paper owned by his uncle, Jacob Hale, Sr. John's first assignment takes him to the trial of abolitionist John Brown, where he meets and befriends the mysterious Jonas Steele, a former Jayhawker and Pinkerton detective. Jonas returns with John to Gettysburg and falls in love with John's cousin Mary, but is afraid to commit to her, thanks to his troubling dreams that seem to predict the future.

After falling out with his family over the issues of slavery and secession during Christmas of 1860, John returns to Pennsylvania, while John's brothers Matthew, Mark, and Luke join the Confederate Army. John's cousins, Jake and Malachy Hale, join the Union Army. The Hale's youngest child, 16-year-old James, lies about his age to join the Union Army, but contracts an illness and dies before he sees any action. Caught "betwixt and between", John will not fight for the South, but is unwilling to bear arms against his own brothers. After being reunited with Jonas Steele, who has joined the Union Army as a scout, John becomes a war correspondent for Harper's Weekly. John travels with the Union Army and witnesses many of the important events of the Civil War, including First Bull Run, the Peninsula Campaign, the Siege of Vicksburg, Battle of the Wilderness (where his brother Mark is killed in front of him), Lee's surrender at Appomattox and Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

At Bull Run, John meets Kathy, who, despite her higher social standing, proves to be a good war nurse. Jonas overcomes his doubts and marries Mary. John's sister, Emma, and her child are caught up in the Siege of Vicksburg, where her husband, Lester is killed. The Battle of Gettysburg is a prominent focal point of the story; Mary is killed as the battle rages near the Steele home. John reconciles with his family as he, his father, and Matthew join a group of Confederate troops in defending the Geyser homestead against a Union Army attack. The Union Army is driven off, but Matthew is killed in the skirmish. Jonas ingratiates himself with the Geysers by orchestrating Luke's rescue from a Union POW camp, but his strange dream of President Lincoln arrives too late to save the President at Ford's Theater. The Hales and the Geysers come together after the war to celebrate John and Kathy's wedding.

Cast[edit]

Production notes[edit]

The series was filmed entirely on location in Arkansas.[1]

DVD release[edit]

The Blue and the Gray was released on Region 1 DVD in 3- and 2-disc sets. The first was released on November 6, 2001, and the second on July 26, 2005. The 3-disc edition runs 381 minutes, while the 2-disc edition is an abridged 296-minute cut.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Columbia Tristar DVD, 2001, closing credits, and DVD case.

External links[edit]