"Bravery at its Finest"
What You Need To Know:
FIELD OF LOST SHOES takes some time to get going due to the plethora of characters, but once it does, it’s actually powerful. There’s a very strong biblical worldview with some Christian elements in the story. The boys exhibited bravery, courage, honor, and selflessness throughout. While they fight on the side of the Confederates, neither side is demonized as is commonly done these days. The complexity of the situation is shown, and FIELD OF LOST SHOES balances itself by honoring not just the brave boys from VMI, but all those who died during the war. There’s battle violence and foul language, but nothing gratuitous, so caution is advised.
(BBB, CC, LL, VV, N, A, M) Very strong biblical worldview with strong Christian elements, the boys exhibit kindness, courage, selflessness and bravery with several mentions of God, a prayer before battle, and Jewish boy reads the New Testament to a dying soldier; five light obscenities and five profanities (including two strong uses of God’s name); some battle violence with boys and men dying from shooting, stabbing, punching and canon fire, some blood seen, but not much, many dead bodies and injured men seen after battle, a woman is stuck under a cart; no sex, a young boy and girl kiss passionately a few times; upper male nudity, boy jokes by asking artist friend to draw a portrait of a women without clothes next time; light drinking; men smoking pipe; and, a slave auction is seen in a negative light and a mother is separated from her family, one boy wants vengeance on the Union.
FIELD OF LOST SHOES is a war drama based on a powerful true story set during the Civil War. The movie begins with modern day footage of Virginia Military Institute cadets. It prefaces that every year, the VMI holds a parade in honor of those that died in the Battle of New Market, a fight where seven young friends went into the battle, and only four left alive.
Cut back to the mid-1864, where the brutal Union General Ulysses S. Grant reassures President Lincoln that he’ll do anything to defeat the enemy. John C. Breckinridge (Jason Isaacs) of the Confederate Army, a similarly competent leader to Grant also realizes the direness of the war, and the Shenandoah County in Virginia could be the key to victory for both sides. The difference, the Confederates lack the force and numbers necessary to take and hold Shenandoah.
Meanwhile at the Virginia Military Institute, a seven young boys and friends are being trained to join in the fight eventually. John Wise, son of a former Southern Governor is among them. Though John will fight for his brothers and family, he is opposed to Slavery and states that “if God grants us victory, we must change.” Also among them is Moses, the only Jew in their group, Sam, Benjamin, Jack, Garland and Robert, the youngest of the group. The boys aren’t the most skilled in the Institute, but they’re the kindest and most honorable, even towards the slaves.
When battle becomes immanent in Shenandoah, Breckinridge of the Confederates is convinced to enlist the boys of the Virginia Military Institute as reserves, just in case they need them. Much to Breckinridge’s horror, the boys will be needed in battle, but their legacy will inspire generations to come.
FIELD OF LOST SHOES takes some time to develop due to the plethora of characters, but once it does, it’s very powerful. The sets, costumes, cinematography, and great performances by the more seasoned actors make this movie no less enrapturing than a major Hollywood war drama. The main productions flaws reside in the battle sequence which wasn’t edited or choreographed particularly well and some of the young boys overdramatize their roles. It’s no GOD’S AND GENERALS, but otherwise, the movie is highly entertaining and inspiring.
There’s a strong biblical worldview with some Christian elements in the story. The boys exhibited bravery, courage, honor, and selflessness throughout. While they fight on the side of the Confederates, neither side is demonized as is commonly done. The complexity of the situation is shown, and the movie balances itself finely by merely honoring, not just the brave boys from VMI, but all who died during the war.
There’s battle violence and foul language, but nothing gratuitous, so caution is advised. It’s worth noting that most of the profanities uttered are by one general played by Jason Isaacs. The movie would have been much improved without this offensive language in an otherwise clean and uplifting movie.