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Below is a list of my favorite movies and television miniseries about the Antebellum period in the United States:


1. "North and South" (1985) - Based on the first of John Jakes trilogy about two families in the mid-19th century, this six-part miniseries stars James Read and Patrick Swayze as two friends from Pennsylvania and South Carolina who meet at West Point. The two friends and their families become embroiled in the events that overwhelmed the United States during the last twenty years before the outbreak of the Civil War. The best of the three miniseries.

2. "The Chisholms" (1979) - This three-part miniseries tells the story the story of a western Virginia family who emigrate to California during the mid-1840s. Based on Evan Hunter's novel, it stars Robert Preston, Rosemary Harris ("SPIDER-MAN" movies) and Ben Murphy. A big favorite of mine.

3. "A Woman Called Moses" (1978) - This is a two-part miniseries about the life of former slave Harriet Tubman. Starring Cicely Tyson, it tells the story of Tubman's life as a slave in Maryland and her years as a conductor on the Underground Railroad.

4. "Skin Game" (1971) - Released in 1971, this comedy-drama starred James Garner and Lou Gossett Jr. as a pair of antebellum con artists who scam slave owners by selling Gossett's character to them before escaping to split the profits. Things turn serious when they are found out and Gossett's character is sold to Texas.

5. "The Heiress" (1949) - William Wyler directed this adaptation of Henry James' novel, "Washington Square", which starred Oscar winner Olivia DeHavilland, Montgomery Clift and Ralph Richardson.

6. "Race to Freedom: The Underground Railroad" (1994) - Courtney B. Vance and Janet Bailey portray a pair of North Carolina slaves in 1851, who undertake a perilous journey to freedom in Canada. A TV-movie that is a lot better upon repeated viewings.

7. "Westward the Women" (1951) - Robert Taylor portrayed a former frontiersman-turned-rancher, who led a wagon train of women from 1851 Missouri to California for a group of unmarried men eager for matrimony. William Wellman directed this excellent western.

8. "Reap the Wild Wind" (1942) - Cecil B. DeMille directed this love story and adventure about ship salvagers in 1840 Key West. Ray Milland, Paulette Goddard, and John Wayne starred.

9. "The Liberators" (1987) - Disney produced this television biopic about Kentucky-born abolitionist John Fairfield and his friend escaped slave Bill Jackson, who become conductors on the Underground Railroad in Northern Kentucky in 1849. Robert Carradine and Larry B. Scott co-starred.

10. "California" (1946) - Barbara Stanwyck and Ray Milland portray fractious lovers during the California Gold Rush of 1848 and 1849. This movie was Stanwyck's first in Technicolor and it was directed by John Farrow, husband of Maureen O'Sullivan and father of Mia Farrow.



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