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North and South: The Complete Collection (Books 1-3)
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The miniseries is reasonably faithful to the novels, and where it departs, the changes are generally benign. The story is also quite faithful to history, and both North and South are portrayed with respect, although the story harshly indicts the institution of slavery, and reminds Americans of the incredible fact that this evil was a basic fact of our country for a very long time.
Book one of North and South is superb. It spans the period from about 1840 through the outbreak of the Civil War. The portrayal of the Mexican War is quite good, and the story of George and Orry graduating West Point and fighting together in the Mexican War makes for a fine story. The film does very well at recreating the attitudes of Northerners and Southerners during this period--conflicting attitudes which ultimately could not be reconciled by the normal political institutions of the American republic and which instead culminated in the Civil War. The battle scenes are very good and surpass what we normally expect of a miniseries.Read more ›
I also read all three books a long time ago, and am currently in the process of reading them again, also more than a decade later. Given my familiarity with both the books and the filmed version, I am of the opinion that this is one of those rare instances ("Lolita" being another example) in which, notwithstanding substancial differences between the filmed and written stories, both are classics in their own way. Producers of the mini-series decided, with Jakes' consent, to make the following changes in the story, among many others:
1) Do away with Orry's brother Cooper and "merge" him with Orry. This was a mistake, I feel, inasmuch as Cooper was a crucial character who represented the more moderate Southerner;
2) Not have Orry lose an arm. This probably owed to Hollywood sensitivities, which would not have borne watching Madeline be intimate with a man who lacked one arm;
3) Not have Orry die, and give the series a "Hollywood Ending".Read more ›
Led by an all star cast, Patrick Swayze and James Read are two friends who meet at West Point prior to the Mexican-American war, and the series chronicles their friendship between them and their familes during the next twenty years until the Confederates fire on Fort Sumter in 1861.
This is a DVD that must be released and seen by all, so that future students of history may be educated in the most turbulent period of our nation's history.
Fans of North & South will be very excited to hear that on October 5th, 2004 Warner Brothers will be releasing the COMPLETE set (books 1, 2 AND 3):
North & South (1985)--Building up to the Civil War
North and South: Book II (1986) --During the Civil War
Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III (1994) --Post Civil War Reconstruction
Book 3 was NEVER available until now--not even on VHS, and Books 1 and 2 were only available (until now of course) on VHS. So it's GREAT to hear that ALL 3 will be DVD in a 5 disc set (1392 mins). The set will feature a retrospective documentary, entitled "The History of North and South", featuring interviews with Patrick Swayze, David Wolper, John Jakes and other cast members.
In that documentary you'll find these subjects:
Focusing on: An Epic Story: John Jakes and David Wolper discuss the story and mini-series.
The Hazards: James Read and Kirstie Alley talk about their roles and the Hazard family.
The Orry's: Patrick Swayze talks about his role.
A Time and Place: look at the period and the South.
An Epic Production: Civil War recreations and the scope of production.
Memories: Final thoughts from cast and crew.
Anyways, I'll be one of the many to pre-order the series. ENJOY EVERYONE! LIKE THEY SAY: GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE THAT WAIT.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good story of the Civil War, Full of action, love and great actors.Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
I have been searching all over for this. One of the best miniseries to ever hit ABC! Looking also for the Thornbirds!Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
I like this movie. I have watched it time and again. It's the "Gone with the Wind" of television.Published 13 days ago by Kenneth Crossland