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The Good Fight: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War (1984) (1984)

Studs Terkel , Noel Buckner , Mary Dore  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Studs Terkel
  • Directors: Noel Buckner, Mary Dore, Sam Sills
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Lorber films
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018RNEY8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,023 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The fight for the freedom of Loyalist Spain during the 1936-39 civil war pitted an International Brigade of 35,000 civilian soldiers from more than 50 nations against the well-equipped insurgents of Generalissimo Francisco Franco. Aid to Franco came via Italian fighter planes from Mussolini and from the Nazi Condor Legion of Junker bombers sent by Hitler, who wanted to try out his new weaponry in anticipation of the larger war to come. Spurred by their government s failure to aid Spanish democracy, 2,800 American volunteers fought with distinction in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade within the international volunteer army. Lincoln veterans (over 750 were killed in Spain) returned home after the Loyalist defeat to encounter suspicion as premature anti-fascists. Branded Communist sympathizers, blacklisted for years and unable to get work, many paid dearly for their good fight. Narrated by Studs Terkel, The Good Fight explores a significant gap in our history through its use of newsreels, photographs, interviews with Lincoln veterans and Depression-era music. The eleven surviving veterans of the war who appear in this tough, stirring film share a common pride in their sacrifices of seventy years ago when the rise of world fascism crushed the spirit of democracy in a tragic rehearsal for World War II.


- Interview with the Filmmakers (1988)
- Bill Bailey Stories: Outtakes from The Good Fight
- Homage with Pete Seeger
- Commemoration of Those Who Served
- Newly Remastered for 16x9 TVs

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helping Spain Would Have Prevented WWII February 10, 2005
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
I've always been of the opinion that World War II could have been averted. Now that I watched "The Good Fight" I am convinced that I was right. I don't remember how many times I watched "The Good Fight". I do remember, however, that I have never been able to watch it without crying. I cried because of what Bill Bailey, Milt Wolfe and the many other courageous members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade did to help the Spanish people and the legitimately-elected Spanish government in their fight against Francisco Franco, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). But I also cried because, as this documentary makes it clear, had President Roosevelt and his Secretary of State Cordell Hull done their part by helping Republican Spain I'm convinced that Hitler and Mussolini would have been stopped before they even started thus averting the tragedy of World War II.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homage to Commitment December 13, 2008
I developed a fascination with the Spanish Civil War as a teenager. It may have been the idealistic enchantment of a lost cause, an appreciation of the underside of History, the concept of a prelude to WWII, or the reaction to a series of Hemingway novels. Whatever the reason, I read what I could on the subject with a greater focus on literature than history. There is an unusually large selection of good novels for such a relatively obscure although important conflict. "The Cypresses Believe in God" is my favorite novel mainly because of its' impressive ability to weave a story that illuminates the whole of the various factions involved in the conflict. I read all I could of Cela, Hemingway, and Orwell as well as "One Million Dead" and "Peace After War"; the two subsequent novels by Gironella that completed his trilogy that began with "Cypresses". Throughout my 20's and 30's I would revisit the subject and I was always bothered by the inability to change the outcome of the Civil War. However, as I read more and more, especially "Homage to Catalonia", I was gradually realizing the negative side of the Loyalists. Their dominance by Stalinists could have turned Spain into another Albania; a Stalinist country that outlasted Stalin and had a dictator who ruled almost as long as Franco. I never reached the point where I started cheering for the Nationalists but I certainly had lost the idealism of my Youth.

I caught a sense of that idealism last night when I watched "The Good Fight". As my informed mind tried to keep my emotions in check, I found myself absorbed by the members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and the thoughts and recollections that they shared on film. There was a lot of newsreels of the events in Spain and film of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting movie March 18, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
A very interesting movie about the Lincoln Brigade's participation in the Spanish Civil War. The fact that America was so cruel and discriminatory to them after the war and that it didn't support the war efforts despite the fact that 75% of the people did is sad. Even now, those who went to fight for the Republic in Spain are being incorrectly viewed as fighting for communism when they were just fighting for freedom
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY MOVING! June 3, 2006
Format:VHS Tape
This documentary is about the Lincoln Brigades, the 3200 Americans who volunteered to fight with the Republic during the Spanish Civil War. Half of them were killed. This was a group of Americans who were willing to give their lives for their ideals. However, when they came back to the U.S., many were blacklisted as Communists and had trouble finding jobs. It was interesting to see that American women and African Americans participated in the Lincoln brigades. One of the African American soldiers says that he had never been treated with so much respect as when he was fighting in Spain. Also, the people talk about how moving it was when they had to leave. There was a celebration for them in Barcelona and Spaniards were so thankful to these people for their help. For many, this feeling of solidarity made the whole experience worthwhile. All of them claim that they never regretted going and that it was the best thing they had ever done in their lives. One man says that at times he would become cynical and believe that one could never win the "good fight" (the title of the video) because Spain was the good fight and they lost. Nevertheless, all of the people interviewed seem to have remained politically active throughout their lives. At the end you see some of them marching in Washington D.C. against U.S. aid to the death squads in El Salvador in the 1980's. Very touching!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First Love September 18, 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
As an American who loves Spain, I never quite understood the reasons behind the Spanish Civil War. This movie helps explain it from a Democratic/Republican point-of-view. The characters are young men and women who fought for the freedom that the US of A enjoys. They in turn fell in love with Spain. Great documentary. Excellent editing. When will they put it on DVD?
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Untold History December 8, 2008
Franco, with the help of pro-Nazi Americans and with the full support of Adolf Hitler and the Catholic Church was allowed to overthrow a democratically elected government and replace it with a Fascist dictatorship that lasted for decades. This is one of the most important civil wars fought in this century, yet it's barely mentioned in modern American history books.

The Good Fight is an accurate historical account told by the people (mostly Americans) that risked everything they had to fight and support the free people of Spain.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Very impressed with real video footage !
Published 10 days ago by Vial
5.0 out of 5 stars History repeating itself?
"The Good Fight" depicts a portion of U.S. History (and world history for that matter) that is little known by the vast majority of the people in this country. Read more
Published 3 months ago by James A Wingert
4.0 out of 5 stars roseread
Facinating inside stuff on the war more of the world should have been in attendance to,,,, maybe i would have gone , if id understood and been old enuf.....but prob not.... Read more
Published 5 months ago by drose
5.0 out of 5 stars A stirring documentary of true American hero's
I originally saw, "The Good Fight" in New York during it's initial release. I had the honor of meeting Bill Bailey at the film showing. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Dennis McBee
5.0 out of 5 stars Must-have
No better short history of American volunteers in the Spanish civil war exists. Interviews with participants are remarkable. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bob Ruby
3.0 out of 5 stars From the Commie Point of View
A pretty good portrait of the A. Lincoln Brigade and why they fought. All the people interviewed were American COMMUNISTS ( at the very best socialists)! Read more
Published 6 months ago by pillboxesghost
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for Whom?
The majority of this documentary is superb. Lacking is a better contextualization of what happened in Spain AFTER the Lincoln Brigade left--namely France ruled Fascist Spain for... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Art Dog
5.0 out of 5 stars to tell the truth
A documentary narrated by the volunteers and Studs T.. Studs is the man. He is earthy and down with the truth
of the moment and the reality of the day. No B.S.. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Gary Guddy
5.0 out of 5 stars great flick
The best portrayal of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade I have ever seen. Turkel does a great job as narrator. The live interviews and historical footage make this a very well made film. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Stephen W. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Good History even if biased.
This is a good and sympathetic account of the beautiful people who gave themselves, and many, their lives to help the democracy of Spain. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Harold R. Hite
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