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Other wartime epics have turned up on both the big and the small screen. On television, the source is often sprawling novels. Herman Wouk's The Winds of War, which follows the Henry family through the events leading to World War II, mixes historical characters in cameo-type appearances with fictional ones, and it requires the reader to accept that this one family knew quite a few luminaries in the corridors of power. The 1983 mini-series based on the book runs to 900 minutes and stars Robert Mitchum, Ali McGraw, Ralph Bellamy, Polly Bergen, Jan-Michael Vincent, John Houseman, and Peter Graves. Wouk's fictional sequel, War and Remembrance, continues the story after Pearl Harbor and also generated a television sequel (and then a sequel to the sequel called War and Remembrance: the Final Chapter) with many of the same cast members. Novelist John Jakes is, if anything, more accustomed to soap-opera historical fiction than Herman Wouk. His three novels about the Civil War, beginning with North and South, produced two mini-series in 1985 and 1986, both running over 500 minutes. With Patrick Swayze and James Read as the two friends on opposing sides tested by the war, the series and its sequel also featured Lesley-Anne Down, Parker Stevenson, Lloyd Bridges (as Jefferson Davis), Olivia de Havilland, Hal Holbrook (as Lincoln), and Anthony Zerbe (as Ulysses S. Grant). The third installment did not follow until 1994 and was much less popular.

From the big screen, other wartime epics include Otto Preminger's In Harm's Way (1965), which concerns the American navy in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor. The film is one of many war epics that collect a gallery of famous names (like Henry Fonda) in some of the smaller parts as perhaps compensation for a long running time, the use of miniatures in the special effects, and black-and-white film stock. Robert Wise directed The Sand Pebbles (1965) with Steve McQueen and Candice Bergen. Though set in China in 1926, this story of the crew of an American gunboat and their growing respect for the Chinese was apparently meant as an ironic comment on the Vietnam War.

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