Entertainment

Civil War Movies List

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Updated October 3, 2019 161 votes 26 voters 88.7k views 28 items

Here is a list of the best Civil War movies ever made, ranked by film fans' votes. This Civil War movie list is ordered by popularity, so only the greatest movies about the Civil War are at the top of the list. If there are any great films you think we missed, please feel free to add them yourself. 

The films on this list are the most famous Civil War movies of all time, so use it to find some movies that you haven't seen already if you're a fan of the topic.


This list answers the questions, "What are the best Civil War movies?" and contains items like Glory and Gods and Generals.


Various bits of information are included with these popular Civil War movies, such as who directed them, when they were released and who starred in the films. So whether you're watching these movies on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming, these are some good movies about one of the earliest American wars to enjoy.

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Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland

Released: 1939

Directed by: Sam Wood, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

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

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#163 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies The Most Memorable 'Gone with the Wind' Quoteslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
The Good, the Bad and th... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Civil War Movies List
Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef

Released: 1966

Directed by: Sergio Leone

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. The screenplay was written by Age ...more

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#1 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #174 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #45 of 379 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked

3
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Martin Sheen, Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott

Released: 1993

Directed by: Ronald F. Maxwell

Gettysburg is a 1993 epic film written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, adapted from the novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, about the Battle of Gettysburg. The film starred Tom ...more

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#216 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #8 of 56 The Best '90s Western Movies

4
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Jim Broadbent, Robert Stephens, Bruce Payne

Released: 1983

Directed by: Mike Newell

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
5
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Natalie Portman, Nicole Kidman, Jude Law

Released: 2003

Directed by: Anthony Minghella

Cold Mountain is a 2003 epic 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

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#118 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #410 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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James Stewart, Katharine Ross, George Kennedy

Released: 1965

Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen

Shenandoah is a 1965 American film starring James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett, Patrick Wayne, and, in her film debut, Katharine Ross. The picture was directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. The ...more

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#51 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #19 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s #264 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys

7
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Released: 2003

Directed by: Ronald F. Maxwell

Gods and Generals is a novel which serves as a prequel to Michael Shaara's 1974 Pulitzer Prize-winning work about the Battle of Gettysburg, The Killer Angels. Written by Jeffrey Shaara after his ...more
8
Glory is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Civil War Movies List
Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Matthew Broderick

Released: 1989

Directed by: Edward Zwick

Glory is a 1989 American drama film directed by Edward Zwick and starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman. The screenplay was written by Kevin Jarre, based on ...more

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#554 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #74 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
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William H. Macy, Thomas F. Wilson, William Sanderson

Released: 1996

Directed by: John Frankenheimer

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

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#160 of 379 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #136 of 212 The Best Historical Drama Movies of All Time, Ranked #82 of 135 The Best Prison Movies

10
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Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Charles Rocket

Released: 1990

Directed by: Kevin Costner

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

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#247 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #18 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
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Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, John Vernon

Released: 1976

Directed by: Clint Eastwood

The Outlaw Josey Wales is a 1976 American revisionist Western film. It was directed by and starred Clint Eastwood, with Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, Sam Bottoms, and Geraldine Keams. The film ...more

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#88 of 116 The Best Native American Movies #138 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

12
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John Wayne, William Holden, Althea Gibson

Released: 1959

Directed by: John Ford

The Horse Soldiers is a 1959 film that was directed by John Ford and starred John Wayne, William Holden and Constance Towers. John Lee Mahin and Martin Rackin produced the movie and wrote its ...more

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#53 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #65 of 162 The Best Western Movies on Amazon Prime #17 of 99 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked

13
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Brian Keith, Regis Toomey, Edward Platt

Released: 1963

Directed by: James Neilson

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"
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John Wayne, Merlin Olsen, Rock Hudson

Released: 1969

Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen

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

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#30 of 47 The Greatest Western Movies of the 1960s #35 of 99 The Best John Wayne Movies of All Time, Ranked

15
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Mickey Rooney, Tippi Hedren, Lee Majors

Released: 2005

Directed by: Julian Adams, A. Blaine Miller

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
16
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North and South

Released: 1985

North and South is the title of three American television miniseries broadcast on the ABC network in 1985, 1986, and 1994.The 1985 first installment, North and South, remains the seventh-highest ...more

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#102 of 125 Movies That Should Never Be Remade #18 of 40 The Best '80s Western Movies

17
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Olivia de Havilland, Errol Flynn, Anthony Quinn

Released: 1941

Directed by: Raoul Walsh

This film 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 is a highly ...more

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#111 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #13 of 50 The Best 1940s Western Movies

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Ambrose Bierce: Civil War Stories Campbell Scott, Kip Niven, Vivian Schilling

Released: 2006

19
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Mark Ruffalo, Tobey Maguire, Jewel

Released: 1999

Directed by: Ang Lee

Ride with the Devil is a 1999 American 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 author Daniel ...more

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#134 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #9 of 56 The Best '90s Western Movies

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Audie Murphy, James Whitmore, Andy Devine

Released: 1951

Directed by: John Huston

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

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#127 of 379 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #15 of 30 Movies Based On Books You Should Have Read In 7th Grade

21
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Armand Assante

Released: 1999

Directed by: John Gray

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
22
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Fess Parker, Slim Pickens, Harry Carey

Released: 1956

Directed by: Francis D. Lyon

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
23
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Wicked Spring DJ Perry, Aaron Jackson, Terry Jernigan

Released: 2002

Directed by: Kevin R. Hershberger

Wicked Spring is a 2002 American historical-based dramatic war film directed, produced, and written by Kevin Hershberger, as a his first narrative feature film, The fictional portrayal is based ...more
24
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William Holden, Richard Widmark, Scatman Crothers

Released: 1966

Directed by: Edward Dmytryk

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
25
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Boris Karloff, Mike Donlin, Glen Cavender

Released: 1926

Directed by: Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman

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

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