The Blue and the Gray centers around a young artist named John Geyser (John Hammond), who grows up on a Virginia farm along with three brothers and one sister. John leaves home to work as an artistic correspondent for his uncle's newspaper in the North, where he gets to attend the trial and execution of John Brown (Sterling Hayden). While he's home on a visit, one of his friends, a former slave named Jonathan Henry (Paul Winfield), is lynched for harboring runaway slaves. John Geyser renounces his Southern ties, breaks with his parents (Lloyd Bridges and Colleen Dewhurst), and leaves home for good.
|John Geyser and Jonas Steele|
|Gregory Peck as Abraham Lincoln|
Andrew V. McLaglen directed the whole miniseries. According to imdb.com, it was originally more than 6 hours long, but all you can get on DVD is a recut version that's about 5 hours long. I saw it many times on VHS, and I honestly can't tell what they cut out, and, so either it was recut for VHS also, or what they cut out was entirely unmemorable. If you like Civil War movies, family dramas, and epics that follow around a couple characters and watch them change (what Deb Koren calls my Rambley Movies), you'll dig it. I like it better than North & South -- it's less soap-opera-esque, for one thing . And Stacy Keach more than makes up for the absence of Patrick Swayze, in my opinion.