Best Movies by Farr
The Andersonville Trial Poster
Released Runtime Category
1970 141 Drama, War
Director Language
George C. Scott English
William Shatner, Richard Basehart, Jack Cassidy, Cameron Mitchell, Martin Sheen

The Andersonville Trial

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What's it About

During the Civil War, 14,000 Union soldiers perished due to poor conditions at a prisoner-of-war camp in Andersonville, Georgia. This riveting film recreates the trial of Swiss-born Confederate commander Captain Henry Wirz (Basehart) as he defends himself against charges, brought by a zealous army prosecutor (Shatner), that he provided inadequate shelter, medical care, and food to those under his watch. But was he just following orders?

Why we love it

Adapted from the same Broadway play that actor-director George C. Scott (of "Patton" fame) starred in back in 1959, "Trial" is an Emmy-winning drama of the real-life events surrounding the court martial of a Confederate officer for war crimes. Outfitted with a superb ensemble cast including Jack Cassidy, Cameron Mitchell, and a young Martin Sheen, "Trial" is gripping as a white-knuckle courtroom drama. But it also resonates with questions endemic to military tribunals, whether in the age of Nazis, Vietnam, or Guantanamo Bay: when is a soldier merely following his duty, and when should he be held personally responsible for his actions?

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"