Recommended for ages 12 and over
Theatrical Release: 6/28/2013
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter
Writer: Bill Kauffman
Producer: Ron Maxwell
Director: Ron Maxwell
Runtime: 120 min.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring: Billy Campbell, Angus Macfadyen, and Peter Fonda
Limited Theatrical Release - Upstate New York, 1862 - inspired by actual events. Dairy farmer Abner Beech despises slavery - but just as passionately opposes this war that President Lincoln is waging, all in the name of "union," hundreds of miles away. Abner is neither a Yankee nor a Rebel. He is what is known as a Copperhead. A local anti-slave zealot named Hagadorn stirs up the town against him, first with pamphlets, then with rumors that prompt shopkeepers to boycott Abner's dairy products, next by coaxing the community to shun his family. Worse, Abner's son falls in love with Hagadorn's daughter - marching off to war to please her, and goes missing in action. Hagadorn's wild-eyed rhetoric ignites a torch-bearing mob to descend upon Abner's farm, placing all that both men love in mortal danger. American political issues may have evolved since 1862, yet the uncertainty and violence with which we deal with them has not - as Copperhead vividly demonstrates time and again. Copperhead is a parable of the Civil War and perhaps for our own time
This is a tense and gritty movie about the Civil War and how it split not only two armies apart, but next door neighbors as well. In fact, in one scene the minister is confronting certain people regarding their convictions and the war, and one man as he is walking out asks, "Blessed are the peacemakers--is that still in the Bible?" He makes a great point as even a father named Abner and his son Tom are on opposing sides and Abner is not happy when Tom joins the Union army. Abner believes that slavery is wrong but that war and killing is more wrong. There is a lot of tension among characters in this film due to their beliefs. Tom hates to leave the young school teacher Esther behind, but plans to return to her.
This movie speaks of liberty and that all men are created equal. It has some language in it, but thankfully no Biblical profanities. The theme of loving your neighbor and getting along despite differences is to be commended. We are happy to award this movie our Dove Seal for ages twelve plus. This film celebrates the fact that God didn't make people carbon copies of each other!
Sex: A few couples are seen kissing.
Language: M/G-1; Good Lord-2; H-5; H (as a place)-2; D-5; S-1; B-1; A-2; Jackass-1; Idiot-1; Fool-1; Hussies-1
Violence: Men fight; people use torches and burn a house down; a quick scene of a man who has hung himself and he is seen hanging from behind; talk about a man's eye being shot out.
Drugs: A few drinking scenes including the drinking of moonshine; several scenes of pipe smoking; cigar smoking.
Other: A minister preaches that he believes God would not like a lightning rod on top of the church; tension and disagreement between people over the war and slavery; a few characters die.