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Picks and Pans Review: Class of '61

Posted on

ABC (Monday, April 12, 9 p.m. ET)

B-

Oh, mine eyes have seen the glory, and mine nostrils smelted teen spirit! Can a bunch of good-looking West Point dude-cadets, class of 1861, maintain their friendships once Fort Sumter has been fired upon? This TV movie only goes as far as the battle of Bull Run, and Virginia’s Dan Futterman, who has joined the Confederates, is staring across the battlefield at Maryland’s Clive Owen, now a Yankee. (Owen, a British newcomer with presence, is the one standout in the cast.)

Historian Shelby Foote is listed as a consultant, but the script seems slanted to the South. Much is made of Northern racism and Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, while the South is represented by halcyon glimpses of Futterman’s life with parents Len Cariou and Dana Ivey.