Sherman's March [DVD] [1986]

A hilarious study in the endless quest for romance set against the unlikely backdrop of General William Tecumseh Sherman's tragic Civil War march, director Ross McElwee's arrives on DVD courtesy of First Run Features. Presented in 1.33:1 full-frame, the transfer is clean and relatively free of debris. Though it does show the occasional sign of age, the colors are even and well-balanced, and there is little evidence of artifacting or edge enhancement. The English Dolby Digital Soundtrack is free of distortion or hiss -- providing an excellent medium for the dialogue-based feature. Extra features include a poignant interview with director McElwee in which he discusses the origins of the film as well as a short history of his filmmaking career, a short biography for McElwee, a photo gallery, and, true to the original concept for the film, personal letters from General Sherman.
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Special Features

  • Interview with Ross McElwee
  • Selections from other McElwee films
  • General Sherman's personal letters
  • Photo gallery
  • Biographies
  • Chapters


Sherman's March
A disarmingly engaging personal documentary, Sherman's March is a portrait of a man in personal crisis that is also an often hilarious ode to Southern women. Filmmaker Ross McElwee states in the film's opening shots that, as a native Southerner, he had always been fascinated with the psychological effect that Union General William Tecumseh Sherman has had on the region. To that end, he intended to make a film that would retrace the route of the general's famous march that brought so much devastation to the Confederacy, talking with contemporary Southerners about the Civil War. But just before he leaves his New York apartment to begin the shoot, McElwee learns that his girlfriend has left him, and his journey turns into one of self-examination through the women he encounters. Some are old friends -- the most memorable being Charleen Swansea, a teacher determined to find Ross a good woman -- and some are new acquaintances, including an aspiring actress and a survivalist. McElwee occasionally turns the camera on himself for late-night musings over the day's events. Sherman's March was a sleeper hit when it was released, and its reputation has grown with strong word of mouth. McElwee's next film Time Indefinite was also a personal story, about his own family, though with less of the ingratiating humor of Sherman's March. ~ Tom Wiener, Rovi

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