The Blue and the Gray is a television miniseries that first aired on CBS in three installments on November 14, November 16, and November 17, 1982. Set during the American Civil War, the series starred John Hammond, Stacy Keach, Lloyd Bridges, and Gregory Peck as President Abraham Lincoln. It was executive produced by Larry White and Lou Reda, in association with Columbia Pictures Television, then owned by The Coca-Cola Company.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
The plot revolves around the families of two sisters; Maggie Geyser and Evelyn Hale. The Geysers are southern farmers from Charlottesville, Virginia. The Hales own a small newspaper in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Geysers are generally indifferent to the issue of slavery but are sympathetic to the Southern cause. The lone exception in the family is son John, an artistic young man who becomes sympathetic to the plight of southern slaves and free blacks. The Hales are pro-Union and anti-slavery but like many northerners at the time they hope for a peaceful solution to the nation's problems.
The drama begins in 1859 when John Geyser, the primary protagonist, becomes bored with life on the farm and travels to Pennsylvania to work as an artist correspondent for the newspaper of his uncle Jacob Hale, Sr. John's first assignment takes him to the trial of abolitionist John Brown where he meets and befriends the mysterious Jonas Steele, a former Jayhawker and Pinkerton detective.
After falling out with his family over the issues of slavery and secession over the Christmas of 1860, John returns to Pennsylvania for good. John's three brothers Matthew, Mark, and Luke will eventually serve in the Confederate Army. His three male Hale cousins Jake, Malachi, and James join the Union Army. Caught "betwixt and between", John will not fight for the South but is unwilling to bear arms against his own brothers. After being reunited with Jonas Steele, who has joined the Union Army as a scout, John becomes a war correspondent for Harper's Weekly. John travels with the Union Army and witnesses many of the important events of the Civil War including First Bull Run, the Peninsula Campaign, the Siege of Vicksburg, the Wilderness, Lee's surrender at Appomattox and Abraham Lincoln's assassination. The Battle of Gettysburg is a prominent focal point of the story although John Geyser does not witness it firsthand. During the course of the war John meets and falls in love with Kathy Reynolds, a Washington socialite turned battlefield nurse. The two families share a poignant reunion after the end of the war.
Cast[edit | edit source]
|John Hammond||John Geyser|
|Stacy Keach||Jonas Steele|
|Colleen Dewhurst||Maggie Geyser|
|Lloyd Bridges||Ben Geyser|
|Kathleen Beller||Kathy Reynolds|
|Brian Kerwin||Malachi Hale|
|Bruce Abbott||Jacob "Jake" Hale, Jr.|
|Cooper Huckabee||Matthew Geyser|
|Michael Horton||Mark Geyser|
|Julia Duffy||Mary Hale Steele|
|Penny Peyser||Emma Geyser Bedell|
|Warren Oates||Major Welles|
|Sterling Hayden||John Brown|
|Diane Baker||Evelyn Hale|
|Dan Shor||Luke Geyser|
|Gregory Peck||Abraham Lincoln|
|Paul Winfield||Jonathan Henry|
|Robert Vaughn||Senator Reynolds|
|Rory Calhoun||General George G. Meade|
|Gregg Henry||Lester Bedell|
|David W. Harper||James Hale|
|Robin Gammell||Jacob Hale, Sr.|
|Geraldine Page||Mrs. Lovelace|
|Rip Torn||Gen. Ulysses S. Grant|
|Gerald S. O'Loughlin||Sgt. O'Toole|
|John Voldstad||Alvin Mooney|
|Gregg Palmer||Bull Run Colonel|
DVD release[edit | edit source]
The Blue and the Gray was released on Region 1 DVD in 3- and 2-disc sets. The first was released on November 6, 2001, and the second on July 26, 2005. The 3-disc edition runs 381 minutes, while the 2-disc edition is an abridged 296-minute cut.