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No Drums, No Bugles - 1972
Character:   Ashby Gatrell
This is a wonderful psychological study of a Civil War draft resister who simply does not want to kill anybody.   Ashby Gatrell leaves his family and spends the Civil War hiding in a cave and living off the land.  He grows close to nature,  killing animals only to survive,  and the film's few light moments deal with Ashby sharing food and living space with four-footed rivals.   The film's most fascinating moments are the ones without dialog which show Ashby in his daily struggle to survive.
The film is truly an acting tour de force for Martin Sheen,  who is effectively the only character in the movie.   Sheen brilliantly evokes Ashby's loneliness and depression during the long years of the war and,  at war's end,  equally brilliantly shows Gatrell's manic happiness that is only a step away from madness.
Written and directed by Clyde Ware.
Next role:    That Certain Summer
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