Does the music make the movie?

I was just listening to bits of one of my favorite movie soundtracks, The Last of the Mohicans and it got me thinking about some Civil War films and series with great soundtracks. We all are likely familiar with the music from Gettysburg, Glory, and North and South, but all this begs the question: does the music make the movie? I believe that it does in a sense. While all three examples of Civil War movie making are known for their cinematography, I also feel that the beauty of their scores sets them apart and helps build the scenes.

Who can forget the rising crescendo of the score in Gettysburg as the men involved in Pickett’s Charge are marching across the field, with the cameras panning across the long line of Confederate soldiers? Or the climactic ending of the music from Glory when the men of the Fifty-fourth have just lost Col. Shaw and charge into Fort Wagner only to meet Southern cannon? The theme from North and South was used to set many a scene in the series, including the parting of friends before the war. Music is a powerful force in movies and Civil War movies are no exception.

With that in mind, I pose the question to you, what other Civil War movies have good soundtracks?

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3 thoughts on “Does the music make the movie?

  1. Burns choice of Ashokan Farewell for “The Civil War” was an excellent pick. It sounded like it could have been a period piece and it was both beautiful, haunting, and distinctive all at once. It’s hard to hear the music and not think of the series.

    My only trouble with “Gettysburg” is if you listen to the CD on an upper end sound system, you can hear the whine of a synthesizer. I would have preferred a real orchestra, but it’s a minor quibble. :)

  2. One of the redeeming qualities of “Gods & Generals” is its soundtrack. Though it is a bit on the sentimental side. Mary Fahl’s song “Going Home” playing over the opening credits is a masterpiece. And even the raspy voiced Bob Dylan has a song “Across the Green Mountain” which, if I remember correctly (It’s been a while since I watched the entire movie) plays over the end credits.

    And who can forget the granddaddy of all Civil War movies… “Gone With The Wind.” The sweeping, sentimental theme of the lost cause is instantaneously recognized the world over.

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