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Pharaoh's Army

83 customer reviews

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(Jul 20, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Kris Kristofferson, Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson. A Union cavalry troop foraging for food discovers a remote farm in Kentucky. A married woman tends it while her husband fights for the Confederacy. Things become complicated when she develops feelings for the enemy captain in this dramatic love story that illustrates the complexities of war pitting countrymen against one another. 1995/color/90 min/PG-13/fullscreen.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Kris Kristofferson, Robert Joy, Richard Tyson
  • Directors: Robby Henson
  • Writers: Robby Henson
  • Producers: Robby Henson, Doug Lodato, Elizabeth Rodgers, Melissa Weisenberg, Tracy Kristofferson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: July 20, 2004
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00028G7IO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,738 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pharaoh's Army" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Mercy Bell on October 16, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
"Pharaoh's Army" defies formula. Instead of selling out for cliches and big stars, it relies completely on the excellent acting from a strong cast, the strength of a well written script, and a fascinating and bitter story. The result is a raw and realistic film that moves along fast, with a heavy emotional current. One of the best I've ever seen about the Civil War, and I think it can owe that to the pleasure of being an independent film (if you like this film, try to see the brilliant indie Civil War film "Wicked Spring" as well).
"Pharaoh" simply tells the true story of a small expedition/forage team of Union men who ride into a Confederate farm to take provisions, but end up stuck there because of an accident of one of the men. Tensions broil and relationships are made and broken. Nothing happens the way Hollywood would write it; this movie comes from the mind of someone who actually cares about quality film and the telling of history. Superb dialogue and plot exposition move along a film that looks highly professional, but often doesn't feel like you're watching a movie, more along the lines of hearing a story.
The film boasts an incredible performance from Chris Cooper who shows an amazing versatility in the exploration of his role. He transforms, but is always at the height of believability and is easy to emotionally relate to. Patricia Clarkson is equally as stellar and realistic in a role that many actresses would crumble in. She shares an interesting chemistry with Cooper's character and where she's the more severe of the characters, is still as easy to identify with. The rest of the cast is quite capable, and fill their roles in well.
The art design and the set are wonderful, and personally I love the cinematography.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By John Brandon on November 1, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I saw this film in 1996 and can still remember every scene. Since then I've been waiting for it to become available on VHS. It's a story that compells you to think about the horrors of war and the difficult moral choices both soldiers and civilians in the path of war must frequently face. Like the film "All Quiet On The Western Front" it doesn't force you into taking sides (in this case with the North or South in the American Civil War) but merely makes you ask yourself "What would I do if I were that character?" A film can't go much deeper than that. This film was done on a somewhat low-budget and it relied heavily on an excellent cast, perfect costumes and location, and remarkable direction from Robby Henson. IT IS BY FAR THE BEST AMERICAN CIVIL WAR FILM YET MADE!
I hope to see much more from Director Robby Henson. He truly has the potential to become one of middle America's great movie storytellers.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Theo Logos on May 12, 2005
Format: DVD
The Civil War is the most ironically named of wars, for there was no civility to it. It was a ghastly, vicious, blood feud between countrymen and neighbors where decency was among the first casualties of war. That fact has often been lost in big sweeping dramas about the Civil War where we can focus on the grandeur of great armies in motion and the big concepts of honor and cause. Director Robby Henson forces our attention back to the ugly truth of the war by focusing on a much smaller story. No great armies clash in `Pharaoh's Army'. Instead, we see only a tiny rural community in the bitterly divided boarder state of Kentucky, where neighbors rein terror on each other according to their allegiances, and where a small group of Yankee soldiers comes foraging; stealing chickens instead of fighting Rebels.
The film opens with the funeral of a little girl, who is later that night exhumed and hurled without ceremony out of the cemetery; Union neighbors would not have the body of a Secesh's child resting with their kin. A later scene shows an old farmer and his wife who were murdered and thrown into their well as their house burns for the simple reason that they sent two sons to fight for the Union. Into this bitter savagery rides a small band of Yankee soldiers foraging food from Rebel's farms. They have not yet been in battle, and are more than a little chagrined to be stealing chickens rather than fighting Rebs. An accident to one forces them to hold up at the farm of Sarah Anders (Patricia Clarkson) a Rebel's wife who burns with a barely contained righteous rage against all Yankees, yet has no choice but to submit to their demands to protect herself and her boy.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Knight on December 7, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is the story of the wife of a Confederate soldier who is alone with her eleven year old son in the Cumberland Mountains of southern Kentucky during THE war. Basic survival is their daily task. Five Union soldiers descend upon their home seeking food and supplies. Due to events beyond anyone's control, the soldiers end up staying for an extended period of time.
The best thing about this movie is that it does not play up to modern stereotypes nor political correctness. This movie portrays each and every person as unique individuals with hopes, dreams, and quirks all of their own. As everyone in modern times should try to understand, no matter what group of people under consideration, there have always been good, bad, and indifferent in each and every group. All Yankees were not arson-rapists like Sherman and some of his soldiers. All Confederates were not sadistic torcherers who sat up during the midnight hour beating all their slaves within an inch of their life. People of the past were humans, plain and simple-some were good, some were bad--JUST LIKE TODAY. This movie brings a portrayal of the past back to reality.
Each character, even though they have flaws of varying degrees as compared to one another, has redeeming qualities and unfulfilled good potentials.
Not only is this a great historical portrayal of an extremely difficult time of hardship, it is a great study of human character. This movie should get more attention and acclaim.
Wonderful and riveting from the especially moving and emotional opening scene all the way through to the unexpected end. Buy this, watch it, enjoy it, and remember it for years! You will not be sorry.
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