Jun 022016
 
Turn-Season One

Realizing that the British have a spy in the rebel army, Major Benjamin Tallmadge (Seth Numrich) recruits childhood friends Abraham Woodhull (Jamie Bell), Anna Strong (Heather Lind) and Caleb Brewster (Daniel Henshall) to form the Culper Ring in order to smuggle information from British-controlled New York to the rebel army. The show is an interesting look at the American Revolution but it would have worked better if it focused more on the spy ring and less on Woodhull’s romantic entanglements. Read More…

Apr 032014
 
Turn Season One Trailer

AMC’s Turn is the newest entrant into the crowded field of historical dramas, although it is unlikely that AMC’s other show Hell on Wheels will last another season, since it was barely renewed last year, so AMC undoubtedly hopes that Turn, which starts this Sunday, will work. The series is set in 1778, when the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) had reached a stalemate following the surrender of a British army at Saratoga the previous fall. By that stage of the war, the British were stuck inside New York City, while the rebel army could not force its way inside. Turn presents the exploits of the Culper Spy Ring, which was organized by Major Benjamin Tallmadge, after General George Washington, commander of the Revolutionary army, asked him to recruit spies to gather information about the British. Read More…

Jan 162014
 
The Scarlet Coat

Rating: ★★½☆☆
In 1780, the war between the British and the American rebels is five-years-old, and has reached a stalemate. The chief intelligence officer for George Washington and the head of the Culper Spy Ring, searches for the agent who is sending the British vital military information, but learns too late that it is the famous hero, Major General Benedict Arnold. While the balanced treatment of both sides is praiseworthy, and the examination of the early intelligence service is worthwhile, it is not director John Sturges’ best film. In fact, everyone is too stiff, aside from Michael Wilding, who plays Major John Andre, a British army officer and Arnold’s contact, who was hung as a spy. Although the movie is worth watching for Wilding’s performance, it is regrettable that the script focuses on the tragic death of Andre, not the vanity and character flaws that drove Benedict Arnold to betray his country. Read More…

Aug 242011
 
John Paul Jones

Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Although John Paul Jones (1959) gets the basic facts right, Robert Stack’s portrayal of the famous captain in the rebel navy during the American Revolution is a two-dimensional stock hero who has John Paul Jones’ bravery but otherwise bears little resemblance to the real man. Read More…