Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Band of Angels|
Actors: Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo, Sidney Poitier, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Rex Reason
Director: Raoul Walsh
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, African American Cinema, Military & War
In an attempt to carry on in his great Rhett Butler tradition, Gone With The Wind star Clark Gable once again flexes his muscular charms in another Civil War-era movie about the torrid romance between a plantation owner an... more »
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I don't understand why this film isn't better known
M. C. Crammer | Decatur, GA USA | 06/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Band of Angels is a very well-written screenplay about the oddities of race in America. I would have to compare it with "To Kill a Mockingbird" only I think Band of Angels is more thought provoking. The plot involves a pre-Civil War Southern belle (whose father has sent her to school in the north which should give you a hint) who returns to Kentucky when her father falls ill. She arrives to see him being buried, and immediately afterwards hears first that her father was bankrupt and all the slaves will be sold and then that she herself is the child of a slave woman and therefore she too will be sold. It seems her father had an affair with a mulatto slave and raised the child as if the mother had been white and married to him. He has (somewhat unbelievably) concealed this from his child, who doesn't understand why her mother is buried outside the family cemetery. Our beautifully-dressed belle ends up being literally sold down the river -- she leaves pleasant Kentucky to be sold on a New Orleans auction block. (The further south you got, the worse conditions were: the other slaves are probably going to end up on a mosquito-infested sugar cane plantation and face a much worse fate than she does, but the movie fails to make this point). It's an eye-opener how particularly shocking the slave auction is when an apparently white woman is being auctioned -- which gives a lot of insight into subliminal racism. Although a bit dated at parts (the music at the beginning, for example, and the scenes with the slaves singing like a choir), this is a very thought-provoking and yet entertaining movie. I highly recommend it."
A Film Ahead of Its Time
Robin Smith | Dayton, OH USA | 10/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It would be interesting to know how audiences reacted to this movie when it was first released in 1957. I never knew that African slaves got packed into ships like sardines until I saw the miniseries "Roots," yet in this movie Clark Gable reveals the shameful story of how Africans were captured (sometimes with the help of other Africans) and packed into slave ships, and how cruelly they suffered. It is like seeing the other side of Rhett Butler, a very dark side. I don't consider this movie to be so much a romantic story as it is a story about forgiveness and the hope of a new and better era. I never knew that Sidney Poitier and Clark Gable had been in a film together, and it is a treat to see two such great actors confronting each other. Poitier plays his character superbly--he is rightfully impatient for freedom and justice, yet he knows he has to watch his step or else he will be crushed. "Gone with the Wind" seems very shallow compared to this movie."
The best clark gable movie!
master card | Spring Lake, Mi United States | 01/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is Clark Gable's best movie, aside from "Gone With The Wind". Very sharp acting, great script. A must see! You'll love it every time you watch it. This is one great, great movie!"
Romance, history, pretty melodrama
Margo Carmichael | USA | 07/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The positive reviews are right-on, including great Civil War era costumes, and scenery of New Orleans.
The negative reviewer obviously did not see this movie, because:
The Clark Gable character was not a rapist.
On the contrary, if anything, the Sidney Poitier character said Hamish Bond killed with kindness.
The woman house servant had only good things to say about Bond.
Amantha Starr did not fall in love with a rapist.
Hamish Bond's revelations at the end may have been melodramatic, drums beating in the background, but the pathetic truth is, the slave trade had its advocates in both races and both continents.
And life under the Carpetbagger occupation had certain hazards, especially for women.
For an interesting twist on the subject, read _River Rising_ by Athol Dickson, set in Louisiana bayous in 1927.
Also, _A Country Such as This_ the re-released excellent novel and social commentary by James Webb, former Secretary of the Navy."