The Blue and the Gray | 1982
This sweeping Civil War saga that took eight hours to unfold (over three nights), adapted from historian Bruce Catton's book, has an all-star cast winding its way through fact and fiction, covering the period from 1859 to the Lincoln assassination. The two leads are Stacy Keach as the fictional Jonas Steele, a secret government agent who reports directly to President Lincoln (Gregory Peck in his television acting debut), and John Hammond as the real-life Civil War newspaper artist, John Geyster. Among the guest cast are Geraldine Page and Rip Torn, working together (though not in the same scenes) in the same film for the first time; Warren Oates in his final TV appearance (he had died at 53 in April, 1982); and Sterling Hayden (like Peck, making his TV acting debut) playing abolitionist John Brown.
The production garnered four Emmy Award nominations: for photography (part 3), music (part 2), editing (part 1), and sound editing (part 1).