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The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made

Updated January 11, 2021 21.4k votes 3.2k voters 105.2k views72 items

List RulesMovies must take place during the US Civil War.

A list of the best films about the US Civil War. The Civil War remains the bloodiest war in American history, resulting in the loss of 620,000 soldiers and many many more civilian casualties. Naturally, the conflict - which still echoes in contemporary US culture and politics - has provided source material for a rich variety of different films, including the iconic Gone With the Wind and numerous other award-winning, undisputed "classics," such as Glory and Dances with Wolves.

Many of these films also have books and classic literature as their source material, including The Red Badge of Courage and Gods and Generals, based on the non-fiction book The Killer Angels.

If you're looking for some good Civil War movies to watch with your friends, or want to learn a little something about American history by watching famous films based on that historical period, this list of the best movies about the Civil War is a great place to start. This list is open, so if your favorite Civil War film has been left off, please add it at the bottom of the page. And don't forget to vote for your favorite Civil War films, so they get to the top of the list.
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  • Gettysburg1
    1,460
    203

    Gettysburg

    Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger

    Released1993

    Directed byRonald F. Maxwell

    Gettysburg is a 1993 epic film written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, adapted from the... more on Wikipedia
  • Glory2
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    Glory

    Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington

    Released1989

    Directed byEdward Zwick

    Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick,... more on Wikipedia
  • The Red Badge of Courage3
    530
    183

    The Red Badge of Courage

    Audie Murphy, James Whitmore

    Released1951

    Directed byJohn Huston

    The Red Badge of Courage is a 1951 war film made by MGM. Directed by John Huston, it was... more on Wikipedia

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    #16 of 28 Civil War Movies List#125 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

  • Shenandoah4
    536
    247

    Shenandoah

    James Stewart, Katharine Ross

    Released1965

    Directed byAndrew V. McLaglen

    Shenandoah is a 1965 American film starring James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett,... more on Wikipedia
  • Andersonville5
    414
    139

    Andersonville

    William H. Macy, Thomas F. Wilson

    Released1996

    Directed byJohn Frankenheimer

    Andersonville is a 1996 American television film directed by John Frankenheimer about a group... more on Wikipedia
  • Lincoln6
    856
    295

    Lincoln

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis

    Released2012

    Directed bySteven Spielberg

    Lincoln is a 2012 American epic historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring... more on Wikipedia

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    #21 of 275 The Best Movies Based On True Stories#11 of 82 The Best Movies Based on Non-Fiction Books

  • Gods and Generals7
    911
    361

    Gods and Generals

    Robert Duvall, Mira Sorvino

    Released2003

    Directed byRonald F. Maxwell

    Gods and Generals is a 2003 American film based on the novel Gods and Generals by Jeffrey... more on Wikipedia

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    #24 of 81 The Most Patriotic Movies of All Time#34 of 75 The Best Movies About Historical Battles

  • The Horse Soldiers8
    484
    219

    The Horse Soldiers

    John Wayne, William Holden

    Released1959

    Directed byJohn Ford

    The Horse Soldiers is a 1959 film that was directed by John Ford and starred John Wayne,... more on Wikipedia
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly9
    534
    307

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

    Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach

    Released1966

    Directed bySergio Leone

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by... more on Wikipedia

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    #5 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made#231 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • North and South10
    664
    331

    North and South

    North and South is the title of three American television miniseries broadcast on the ABC... more on Wikipedia

    More 

    #149 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#136 of 152 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

  • Dances with Wolves11
    679
    441

    Dances with Wolves

    Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell

    Released1990

    Directed byKevin Costner

    Dances with Wolves is a 1990 American epic western film directed, produced by, and starring... more on Wikipedia
  • Gone with the Wind12
    789
    515

    Gone with the Wind

    Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh

    Released1939

    Directed bySam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret... more on Wikipedia

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    #10 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#13 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books

  • Cold Mountain13
    551
    357

    Cold Mountain

    Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman

    Released2003

    Directed byAnthony Minghella

    Cold Mountain is a 2003 epic drama film written and directed by Anthony Minghella. The film is... more on Wikipedia
  • Ride with the Devil14
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    Ride with the Devil

    Mark Ruffalo, Tobey Maguire

    Released1999

    Directed byAng Lee

    Ride with the Devil is a 1999 American film directed by Ang Lee. The storyline was conceived... more on Wikipedia
  • The Undefeated15
    262
    268

    The Undefeated

    John Wayne, Merlin Olsen

    Released1969

    Directed byAndrew V. McLaglen

    The Undefeated is a 1969 American Western film directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and John Wayne... more on Wikipedia
  • Major Dundee16
    217
    205

    Major Dundee

    Charlton Heston, Richard Harris

    Released1965

    Directed bySam Peckinpah

    Major Dundee is a 1965 Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Charlton Heston,... more on Wikipedia

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    #33 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s#30 of 46 The Best 60s War Movies

  • Rio Lobo17
    208
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    Rio Lobo

    John Wayne, Jennifer O'Neill

    Released1970

    Directed byHoward Hawks

    Rio Lobo is a 1970 American Western film starring John Wayne. The film was the last film... more on Wikipedia

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    #30 of 45 The Best Western Movies of the '70s#26 of 98 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked

  • The Andersonville Trial18
    166
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    The Andersonville Trial

    William Shatner, Martin Sheen

    Released1970

    Directed byGeorge C. Scott

    The Andersonville Trial is a 1970 drama TV movie directed by George C. Scott and written by... more on Wikipedia
  • The General19
    154
    204

    The General

    Boris Karloff, Mike Donlin

    Released1926

    Directed byBuster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman

    The General is a 1926 American silent comedy film released by United Artists. Inspired by the... more on Wikipedia

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    #538 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#319 of 925 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films

  • The Great Locomotive Chase20
    151
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    The Great Locomotive Chase

    Fess Parker, Slim Pickens

    Released1956

    Directed byFrancis D. Lyon

    The Great Locomotive Chase is a 1956 Walt Disney Productions CinemaScope adventure film based... more on Wikipedia

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    #21 of 34 The Best '50s Kids Movies#11 of 23 The Best Disney Western Movies

  • The Hunley21
    250
    135

    The Hunley

    Armand Assante, Donald Sutherland

    Released1999

    Directed byJohn Gray

    The Hunley is a 1999 television movie directed by John Gray. The film is based on the true... more on Wikipedia
  • They Died with Their Boots On22
    170
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    They Died with Their Boots On

    Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn

    Released1941

    Directed byRaoul Walsh

    This film is a 1941 American western film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Errol Flynn and... more on Wikipedia
  • Field of Lost Shoes23
    229
    123

    Field of Lost Shoes

    Werner Daehn, David Arquette

    Released2014

    Directed bySean McNamara

    Field of Lost Shoes is a 2014 American war drama film directed by Sean McNamara and written by... more on Wikipedia
  • Ironclads24
    185
    106

    Ironclads

    Virginia Madsen, Reed Diamond

    Released1991

    Directed byDelbert Mann

    Ironclads is a 1991 made-for-television movie produced by Ted Turner's TNT company about the... more on Wikipedia
  • Gettysburg: Three Days of Destiny25
    120
    64

    Gettysburg: Three Days of Destiny

    Michael Riley, Andy Redmond

    Released2004

    Directed byRob Child

    Gettysburg: Three Days of Destiny is a 2004 drama film written and directed by Robert Child.