history The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
12.4k votes 2.1k voters 79.3k views 67 items

List Rules Movies 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.

1
987 261
Ranker Video
Glory Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick Glory is a 1989 American drama war film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, ...more

2
998 139
Ranker Video
Gettysburg Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott Gettysburg is a 1993 epic war film written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, adapted from the novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, about the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil ...more

3
501 268
Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Gone with the Wind Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American epic historical romance film adapted from Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning 1936 novel. It was produced by David O. Selznick of Selznick International ...more

4
603 188
Gods and Generals is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Gods and Generals Robert Duvall, Mira Sorvino, Jeff Daniels Gods and Generals is a 2003 American film based on the novel Gods and Generals by Jeffrey Shaara. It depicts events that take place prior to those shown in the 1993 film Gettysburg, which was ...more

5
451 202
Ranker Video
The Outlaw Josey Wales Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, John Vernon The Outlaw Josey Wales is a 1976 American revisionist Western film set during and after the American Civil War. It was directed by and starred Clint Eastwood, with Chief Dan George, Sondra ...more

6
430 152
North and South is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
North and South North and South is the title of three American television miniseries broadcast on the ABC network in 1985, 1986, and 1994. Set before, during, and immediately after the American Civil War, they ...more

7
542 159
Lincoln is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
VisualSubterfuge added Lincoln Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field Lincoln is a 2012 American epic historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. The ...more

8
325 118
Shenandoah is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Shenandoah James Stewart, Katharine Ross, George Kennedy Shenandoah is a 1965 American Civil War film starring James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett, Patrick Wayne, and, in her film debut, Katharine Ross. The picture was directed by Andrew V. ...more

9
429 251
Dances with Wolves is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Dances with Wolves Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Charles Rocket Dances with Wolves is a 1990 American epic western film directed, produced by, and starring Kevin Costner. It is a film adaptation of the 1988 book of the same name by Michael Blake and tells ...more

10
312 109
The Red Badge of Courage is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
The Red Badge of Courage Audie Murphy, James Whitmore, Andy Devine The Red Badge of Courage is a 1951 war film made by MGM. Directed by John Huston, it was produced by Gottfried Reinhardt with Dore Schary as executive producer. The screenplay is by John Huston, ...more

11
281 96
Ranker Video
Andersonville William H. Macy, Thomas F. Wilson, William Sanderson Andersonville is a 1996 American television film directed by John Frankenheimer about a group of Union soldiers during the American Civil War who are captured by the Confederates and sent to an ...more

12
361 194
Cold Mountain is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Cold Mountain Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law Cold Mountain is a 2003 epic war drama film written and directed by Anthony Minghella. The film is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Charles Frazier. It stars Jude Law, Nicole ...more

The Best War Movies Ever

13
269 95
The Horse Soldiers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
The Horse Soldiers John Wayne, William Holden, Althea Gibson The Horse Soldiers is a 1959 film set during the American Civil War. It was directed by John Ford and starred John Wayne, William Holden and Constance Towers. John Lee Mahin and Martin Rackin ...more

14
296 163
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Clint Eastwood, Viggo Mortensen, Mark Strong The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone, starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the title roles respectively. ...more

15
171 129
The Undefeated is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
The Undefeated John Wayne, Merlin Olsen, Rock Hudson The Undefeated is a 1969 American Western film directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and John Wayne and starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson. The film portrays events surrounding the French Intervention ...more

16
184 120
Ride with the Devil is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Ride with the Devil Mark Ruffalo, Tobey Maguire, Jewel Ride with the Devil is a 1999 American Civil War film directed by Ang Lee. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by James Schamus, based on a book entitled Woe to Live On, by ...more

17
105 95
Major Dundee is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Major Dundee Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, James Coburn Major Dundee is a 1965 Western film directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Jim Hutton, and James Coburn. Written by Harry Julian Fink, the film is about a Union ...more

The Best Military Movies Ever Made

18
118 111
Rio Lobo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Rio Lobo John Wayne, Jennifer O'Neill, Jack Elam Rio Lobo is a 1970 American Western film starring John Wayne. The film was the last film directed by Howard Hawks, from a script by Leigh Brackett. The film was shot in Technicolor with a ...more

19
111 98
They Died with Their Boots On is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
They Died with Their Boots On Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, Anthony Quinn They Died with Their Boots On is a 1941 American western film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. Written by Æneas MacKenzie and Wally Kline, the film ...more

20
79 118
The Beguiled is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
The Beguiled Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Pamelyn Ferdin The Beguiled is a 1971 American drama film directed by Don Siegel, starring Clint Eastwood and Geraldine Page. The script was written by Albert Maltz and is based on the 1966 Southern Gothic ...more

21
88 22
Field of Lost Shoes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Jim_In_Texas added Field of Lost Shoes Werner Daehn Field of Lost Shoes is a 2014 American war drama film directed by Sean McNamara and written by Dave Kennedy and Thomas Farrell. The film stars Luke Benward, Lauren Holly, Jason Isaacs, Tom ...more

22
112 43
The Hunley is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Kaka Kiki added The Hunley Armand Assante The Hunley is a 1999 television movie directed by John Gray and starring Armand Assante, Donald Sutherland, Alex Jennings, Michael Dolan and Christopher Bauer. The film is based on the true ...more

The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

23
98 96
The Great Locomotive Chase is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
The Great Locomotive Chase Fess Parker, Slim Pickens, Harry Carey The Great Locomotive Chase is a 1956 Walt Disney Productions CinemaScope adventure film based on the real Great Locomotive Chase that occurred in 1862 during the American Civil War. The film ...more

24
115 146
Ranker Video
Birth of a Nation Jim Broadbent, Robert Stephens, Bruce Payne Birth of a Nation is a 1983 television play starring Jim Broadbent as teacher Geoff Figg. It was written by David Leland and directed by Mike Newell. It was originally broadcast on ITV on 19 ...more

25
74 92
The Andersonville Trial is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
The Andersonville Trial William Shatner, Martin Sheen, Alan Hale The Andersonville Trial is a 1970 drama TV movie directed by George C. Scott and written by Saul Levitt.

26
92 100
The General is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
The General Boris Karloff, Mike Donlin, Glen Cavender The General is a 1926 American silent comedy film released by United Artists. Inspired by the Great Locomotive Chase, which happened in 1862, the film stars Buster Keaton who co-directed it with ...more

27
82 39
Ironclads is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Kaka Kiki added Ironclads Virginia Madsen, Reed Diamond, E. G. Marshall Ironclads is a 1991 made-for-television movie produced by Ted Turner's TNT company about the events behind the creation of the CSS Virginia from the remains of the USS Merrimack and the battle ...more

The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made

28
39 91
Alvarez Kelly is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Alvarez Kelly William Holden, Richard Widmark, Scatman Crothers Alvarez Kelly is a 1966 war film set in the American Civil War starring William Holden and Richard Widmark. The film was based on the historic Beefsteak Raid of September 1864 led by Confederate ...more

29
22 8
The Blue and the Gray is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Randal Greenwood added The Blue and the Gray

30
29 17
Free State of Jones is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Randal Greenwood added Free State Of Jones Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mahershala Ali Free State of Jones is a 2016 American film inspired by the life of Newton Knight and his armed revolt against the Confederacy in Jones County, Mississippi, throughout the American Civil War. ...more

31
19 10
Wicked Spring / Virginia 1864 ... is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
billthekid added Wicked Spring / Virginia 1864 Bruderkrieg - 2002

32
12 6
Civil War - Ein Krieg kennt ke... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
billthekid added Civil War - Ein Krieg kennt keine Helden

Great Movies Set in the Civil War Era

33
11 7
The Gray Ghost - John Singleto... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
billthekid added The Gray Ghost - John Singleton Mosby

34
11 8
Mosbys Marauders - Kurt Russel... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
billthekid added Mosbys Marauders - Kurt Russell ganz jung 1967

35
9 7
Johnny Shiloh is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Randal Greenwood added Johnny Shiloh Brian Keith, Regis Toomey, Edward Platt Johnny Shiloh is a 1963 television film that originally aired as two episodes of The Wonderful World of Disney based on the life of John Clem, who was called "Johnny Shiloh"

36
13 12
Copperhead is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Randal Greenwood added Copperhead Peter Fonda, Billy Campbell, Angus Macfadyen Copperhead is an independent Canadian/American film directed by Ron Maxwell. It stars Billy Campbell. Shot at Kings Landing Historical Settlement in New Brunswick, Canada and set in upstate New ...more

37
12 11
The Colt is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Bluemx added The Colt Steve Martin, Ryan Merriman, Steve Bacic The Colt is a 2005 television movie made for Hallmark Channel. The film is set during the American Civil War, and is based on the short story by Nobel Prize winner Mikhail Sholokhov.

Things That Are Not As Cool As People Think They Are

38
10 10
The Last Confederate: The Stor... is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
billthekid added The Last Confederate: The Story of Robert Adams Mickey Rooney, Tippi Hedren, Lee Majors The Last Confederate: The Story of Robert Adams is a 2007 film starring Julian Adams, Amy Redford, Gwendolyn Edwards, Eric Holloway, Joshua Lindsey, and Mickey Rooney, Tippi Hedren about the ...more

39
9 9
Friendly Persuasion 1956 is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Randal Greenwood added Friendly Persuasion 1956

40
5 5
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bri... is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Valdave added An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge Pierre Danny, St├ęphane Fey, Roger Jacquet As a Confederate spy is about to be hanged, the rope breaks and he falls to the water below. He dodges bullets and heads off for home. He finally reaches it, but as his wife hugs him he ...more

41
5 5
Santa Fe Trail is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Valdave added Santa Fe Trail Ronald Reagan, Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn Santa Fe Trail is a 1940 American western film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Raymond Massey and Ronald Reagan. Written by Robert Buckner, the film is ...more

42
5 5
The Birth of a Nation is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Valdave added The Birth of a Nation Lillian Gish, John Ford, Raoul Walsh The Birth of a Nation is a 1915 American silent epic drama film directed by D. W. Griffith and based on the novel and play The Clansman, both by Thomas Dixon, Jr. Griffith co-wrote the ...more

The Best Vietnam War Movies

43
8 9
The Littlest Rebel is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
billthekid added The Littlest Rebel Shirley Temple, John Boles, Jack Holt The Littlest Rebel is a 1935 American dramatic film directed by David Butler. The screenplay by Edwin J. Burke was adapted from a play of the same name by Edward Peple and focuses on the ...more

44
11 13
The Conspirator is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
George Bielby added The Conspirator Evan Rachel Wood, Alexis Bledel, Kevin Kline The Conspirator is a 2010 historical drama film directed by Robert Redford based on an original screenplay by James D. Solomon. It is the debut film of the American Film Company. The film tells ...more

45
4 5
The Day Lincoln Was Shot is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Valdave added The Day Lincoln Was Shot Wil Wheaton, Lance Henriksen, Donna Murphy The Day Lincoln Was Shot is an 1998 American television film based on the book by Jim Bishop. It is a re-creation of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, co-written and directed by John Gray, ...more

46
8 10
Sein letzter Verrat - mit Rona... is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
billthekid added Sein letzter Verrat - mit Ronald Reagan 1951

47
4 6
Raintree County is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Valdave added Raintree County Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift, Lee Marvin Raintree County is a 1957 American Technicolor melodramatic film set during the American Civil War, directed by Edward Dmytryk. It stars Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Eva Marie Saint, and ...more

48
3 5
In the Electric Mist is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Valdave added In the Electric Mist John Goodman, Tommy Lee Jones, Mary Steenburgen In the Electric Mist is a 2009 Franco-American drama/mystical film based on the novel In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead by James Lee Burke. It is directed by Bertrand Tavernier, written ...more

49
6 9
Land der Verfluchten - Errol F... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
billthekid added Land der Verfluchten - Errol Flynn & Ronald Reagan

50
9 13
Journey to Shiloh 1968 is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best US Civil War Movies Ever Made
Randal Greenwood added Journey to Shiloh 1968