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The Blue and the Gray (1982)


Based on noted historian and journalist Bruce Catton’s Pulitzer Prize-winning works, this blockbuster miniseries was filmed totally in the state by Arkansas native Harry Thomason. Set during the Civil War, it focuses on two sisters -- Maggie Geyser and Evelyn Hale -- and their families and how the war affected them. Most of the three-part-installment production is seen through the eyes of John Geyser, who becomes an artist correspondent for a Pennsylvania newspaper. Some of the stars include Stacy Keach, Colleen Dewhurst, Lloyd Bridges, Julia Duffy, Sterling Hayden, Gregory Peck, Paul Winfield, Rory Calhoun, Robert Vaughn, Geraldine Page and Rip Torn.

Major locations used in the move include the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railway for President Lincoln’s “train scene,” battle re-enactments and encampments were staged at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park, and a bar scene set in what is now The Inn at Carnall Hall on the University of Arkansas campus (photo shows film being shot in front of Old Main) in Fayetteville. Judge Isaac C. Parker's courtroom at the Fort Smith National Historic Site was used as the site of the John Brown trial in the epic. The historic downtowns and vintage homes in Fort Smith and Van Buren are also featured.

Internet Movie Database


Former long-time University of Arkansas athletic director Frank Broyles plays the role of the doctor who pronounces President Lincoln dead.

Tons of dirt were spread over the streets of the downtown historic districts of Fort Smith and Van Buren (pictured right) to cover the asphalt.