Kevin Costner interview on the set of ” Hatfields and McCoys” ,Romania
I have really enjoyed watching the film series on the History Channel about this feud. It appears to me that the movie did follow the historical details pretty close.
There is something about portraying grimy men shooting one another in the woods that speaks to many actors of a certain, let’s say, experience.
The History Channel’s “Hatfields and McCoys,” a six-hour miniseries about the 19th-century folk legend, airing on the basic cable channel through Wednesday night, is chock full of some of Hollywood’s top frontier-lovin’ hombres. Star Kevin Costner won an Oscar for his Civil-War-era “Dances with Wolves,” and Powers Booth may have set a high-water mark for portraying gritty outlaw life in HBO’s “Deadwood.”
But this is not a feature film or even HBO. This is the History Channel debuting its first scripted series, coming out of the gate with the somewhat lofty goal of illuminating some of history’s lesser-known corners. While most Americans may know the reference to the 19th-century Appalachian blood feud, few know more than the gun-toting, cartoon cowboy characters who shoot at each other and miss.
And so, this largely unfamiliar but profoundly foul-mouthed, violent depiction of frontier justice and family revenge may be just the ticket for a channel trying to shed its somewhat stuffy legacy, says Josh McMullen, chairman of the Government, History, and Criminal Justice Department at Regent University’s School of Undergraduate Studies.
“The History Channel’s ‘Hatfields and McCoys’ is in keeping with the station’s recent trajectory towards popular culture rather than rich, historical analysis,” he says via e-mail, adding that much of the programming on the channel – such as “American Pickers” and “Pawn Stars” – is “more akin to reality television than it is to a historical documentary.”
These shows focus on Americana as much as they do on American history, notes Professor McMullen. The History Channel’s “Hatfields and McCoys” continues the theme, as it has been a long-standing American folk legend, he adds.
As with any program trying to separate the threads of a little-documented historical period, he says, the difficulty is separating fact from fiction when discussing the famous feud. One major problem anyone faces in attempting to explore history’s overlooked, disenfranchised, or maligned is that often these are individuals with little desire – or little capacity – to tell their own stories. “These were not regions of the country where people were keeping careful track of their own stories,” says Thomas Flagel of the History Department at Columbia State Community College in Franklin, Tenn.
Many participants in this story lived in isolated areas where it would be difficult to trace events accurately, he says. This was not helped by the yellow journalism of the time. If the sketchy events emerging from news accounts as the bodies piled up were not sensational enough, he adds, “newspapers of the day often had no problem with simply making things up.”
Nonetheless, the show’s producers were at pains to point out in press materials that while not actually filmed in Appalachia – the incentives are better in Romania, where it was shot – the miniseries “tries to capture accurately details of the family fight that eventually involved the US Supreme Court, made international headlines, and nearly pushed Kentucky and West Virginia to the brink of war.”
Historians and educators were also brought in to vet the story, according to the show’s producers, though writers “took such traditional liberties as compressing characters and the timing of events.”
How far is too far often depends on whose views are offended, says Bob Thompson, founder of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University in New York. He points to the ruckus raised over recent programs such as “Game Change,” about the 2008 election, noting that criticism often had as much to do with politics as history. Beyond that, “drama has no obligation to be historically accurate,” he says with a laugh, pointing to such august precedents as Shakespeare’s history plays.
But, notes McMullen, the miniseries also raises larger questions for the History Channel itself. Does the show do justice to its historical claims, he says, “or is it simply content to entertain its viewers?” he asks. With other cable television shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “True Blood” pushing the envelope in terms of sex and blood, he says, “it appears that the History Channel is simply following suit.”
The question is, he says, “whether or not the History Channel has a different mission than an HBO or Showtime.” As the Hatfields and McCoys slug it out on the station, “perhaps the History Channel needs to have some of its own internal feuding over its identity.”
d Added by: Hank Cox Birth: Jan. 30, 1844 Morgantown Butler County Kentucky, USA Death: May 30, 1904 Lexington Fayette County Kentucky, USA Adjutant General of Kentucky: 1887 – 1891. He was assigned to this position on October 1, 1887 and served under Governor Simon Bolivar Buckner. What in Sam Hill … [...]
Believe it or not there is an Arkansas connection to the Hatfield McCoy feud. Take a look at this article from 501 Life Magazine of Conway: Greenbrier family details fact/fiction in Hatfield-McCoy Feud | Print | by Renee HunterThe Hatfield-McCoy Feud captured the public imagination, resulting in newspaper stories, books and movies.All of these treatments have been [...]
Kevin Costner interview on the set of ” Hatfields and McCoys” ,Romania I have always wondered how the feud got started and it seemed that it started over the ownership of a pig. Below is an interesting article on the Hatfield McCoy fued: Close Me! The Hatfield McCoy Feud Mine Wars The largest armed conflict [...]
Hatfield and McCoys Here is an article from Yahoo on the Hatfield and McCoy film series: Y! Big Story: The real story behind the Hatfields and the McCoys Trending Now – Fri, 1st Jun 2012 09:20 PM Everything you need to know to get up to speed on the story of the day The History [...]
Kevin Costner interview on the set of ” Hatfields and McCoys” ,Romania ____________ I have really enjoyed watching the film series on the History Channel about this feud. It appears to me that the movie did follow the historical details pretty close. How much of History Channel’s ‘Hatfields and McCoys’ is fiction? Gloria Goodale [...]
The Hatfields and McCoys_ Extended Version – CBN.com Hatfield and McCoys I used to travel to Pikeville, Kentucky on a regular basis and I was amazed at the rugged people that lived in that coalmining area. It is the back drop of the Hatfield and Mccoy feud. However, it was filmed in Europe. I have [...]
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