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Band of Angels

1957

NR CC

Echoes of "Gone With The Wind" are heard in this lavish all-star production, particularly in the performance of Clark Gable and the lush melodies of Max Steiner (who wrote the score for GWTW).

Starring:
Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo
Runtime:
2 hours, 7 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Raoul Walsh
Starring Clark Gable, Yvonne De Carlo
Supporting actors Sidney Poitier, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Rex Reason, Patric Knowles, Torin Thatcher, Andrea King, Ray Teal, Russell Evans, Carolle Drake, Raymond Bailey, Tommie Moore, Roy Barcroft, Larry J. Blake, Marshall Bradford, X Brands, Robert Carson, Miles Clark, Robert Clarke
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. C. Crammer VINE VOICE on June 15, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
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.
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Format: VHS Tape
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.
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Format: VHS Tape
This movie is great. It is amazing to me that few people even know of its existance. The plot of the movie stems from it's main character Amantha Starr portrayed by Yvonne De Carlo. After hearing that her father is ill, she returns home to her plantation in Kentucky to not only finding her father dead and bankrupt, but also finding out that she is a child of the plantation and will be sold like all the other slaves. She is adamant that this is not true until she sees paperwork that proves otherwise. She is then bought at auction by former slave trader and plantation owner Hamish Bond, played wonderfully by Clark Gable. He doesn't want her for a slave, but for his woman which adds to many other complications, such as the jealousy of another slave that from what the movie hints to is the lady of the plantation. Then there is also one of the best performances that I have ever seen him in is Sidney Poitier as Rarou, a slave on Bond's plantation that he has raised like a son. He is very upset that Starr would deny her African roots and "keep on living the white lie," as she states in the movie. Two of the best scenes in this movie is when Gable explains how he came across Rarou and spared his life from the slave catchers and when Poitier and De Carlo are in the abandoned mansion and he is discussing how could she pretend to be something that she is not. That scene had a climatic ending. Also there is a Sgt. Seth Parsons that is sweet on "Manty" and is trailing her because he too wants to marry her and take her away from her "terrible" life. When she was younger and sweet on Seth he was on his way to being a minister and trying not to delve into the ways of man. Oh how things have changed. If you like the drama of the era of the civil war, you will enjoy this movie. It exposes lots of layers that are seldom seen in such cinematic efforts.
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Format: VHS Tape
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!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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