"The Field of Lost Shoes" DVD

posted Jun 1, 2017, 7:56 AM by Edward Georgen   [ updated Jun 1, 2017, 7:56 AM ]
The Battle of New Market, what a deep story to bury yourself in for a few hours!

Put yourself in the shoes of former US Vice President Breckinridge. What do you do? Outgunned, outmanned. 

Of course Hollywood (weird in my book) didn't get behind this movie! Even with the odd few minutes at the beginning that were added to make the story more socially acceptable in today's PC Culture...  We are too overly sensitive.

The movie does a great job of laying the foundations of the characters. You will genuinely like the young men. Remember the movie makes them look older, but these young men were early teens. Thrust into battle beside hardened Veterans who thought very little of the young'ens...

The movie does a very good job of keeping the modern out of the camera, but for those of us who have a bit more than a cliff-notes understanding of the times and the places the OOPS jump out at us. But, still that is okay in this movie.

The scenes thru field glasses were terrible on my HD tv. When I used my projector to throw this movie up on a BIG concrete wall it was even worse. Honestly, they should have saved those dollars and put them to scenes of the troops moving that folks could SEE and figure out what was happening. 

The acting is very good!

I know it seems like he hams it up a bit but the actor who plays the Rat blew me away. I had no clue Luke Dunphy (Nolan Gould) could really act! He did a great job overall. A few of the looks of terror in his eyes during the battle scenes looked like he WAS afraid but determined. My hat is off to this young man, I pray he has a bright future! 

Filling the shoes of John C Breckinridge would be tough for ANY actor. He was definitely a man of his times. But Jason Isaacs does a decent job. It appears he did some research into the former VP and tried to put some feeling into the lines he spoke. 

Keith David performed yet another work of art bring the Old Judge to life. Of course most of the life he has in this film is made up. The best, and only, period source about Old Judge I can find is in the book "The End of An Era" by John Sergeant Wise, yes the Son of the Governor portrayed in this film and the lead role since the movie follows his growth. 

John Sergeant Wise describes Old Judge as follows:
Judge was a wonderful old negro; he had been there many years. In appearance, he was a black Sancho Panza, fat and puffing and jolly; he was a darkey of moods. Sometimes his mood was religious, sometimes it was profane; but, whether the one or the other, he was always amusing.

Out of the first introduction grew a long friendship with Judge, and when he confronted St. Peter, the pile of bread stacked up against him in Heaven must have been tremendous; for every cadet who was at Lexington in the thirty years of his stewardship received from him at least ten loaves stolen from the Commonwealth of Virginia. Bless his hot, jolly, fat, black, flour-smirched, roguish memory! His portrait, with his baker’s cap jauntily tipped, now adorns the cadet mess-hall in the company of generals and other distinguished departed.

But let's get out of the weeds and back to generalizations. I don't want to fill out too much of the story as I truly want you to see this movie! Then I want you to pick up a book or two about this event.

The biggest take away is this, its a movie.
The event did happen. The Cadets DID save the day at New Market.
It did happen nearly as described. Yes, they DID storm across the field and do what others thought could not be done.
Did all the sideline "stuff" take place? Maybe. Maybe not.

The part that sent chills down my spine, the ending. Modern Day. 

Search Youtube for VMI + New Market. Watch the tradition continue. Listen to the Cadets read the names. Watch the Cadets of today charge across the New Market Battlefield as they did in 1864.

History is real folks. 

So for my ratings:
The Field of Lost Shoes DVD
Watch ability9/10
Attention to detail8/10
Thought provoking9/10
Buy it New or UsedNew, its a keeper
Overall8/10