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Field of Lost Shoes is a 2014 American war drama film directed by Sean McNamara and written by Dave Kennedy and Thomas Farrell. The film stars Nolan Gould, Lauren Holly, Jason Isaacs, Tom Skerritt, Keith David and David Arquette. It is based on the true story of a group of cadets at the Virginia Military Institute who participated in the Battle of New Market against U.S. forces during the American Civil War. The battle was fought in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia on May 15, 1864. The film's title refers to the large number of soldiers' boots left on the battlefield due to the muddy conditions during the battle.

Field of Lost Shoes (Battlefield of Lost Souls in Europe)
Directed by Sean McNamara
Produced by Dave Kennedy
Thomas Farrell
Written by Dave Kennedy
Thomas Farrell
Starring Luke Benward
Lauren Holly
Jason Isaacs
Tom Skerritt
Keith David
David Arquette
Music by Frederik Wiedmann
Cinematography Brad Shield
Edited by Jeff Canavan
Release date
  • April 13, 2014 (2014-04-13)
Country United States
Language English




The film's shooting locales include Powhatan, Virginia, Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and Lexington, Virginia.[1] The film's world premiere was held on May 19, 2014 at the GI Film Festival.[2]


In a review of the film, one historian criticized how the VMI cadets in the film were portrayed as being opposed to slavery. The reviewer stated that such a portrayal was historically inaccurate, as the majority of white Virginian men in the 1860s supported slavery.[3]


  1. ^ "Battle of New Market brings Hollywood to Lexington, VMI". June 8, 2013. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Reel Stories! Real Heroes!". GI Film Festival. Retrieved May 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ Brooks, Jeffrey Evan (June 25, 2015). "Review: Field of Lost Shoes". Blog of Jeffrey Evan Brooks. BlogSpot. Retrieved March 4, 2016. [H]erein lies a problem for the whole movie and, indeed, for Civil War fiction in general these days: audiences apparently want 19th Century characters to adhere to 21st Century values. John Wise and the other cadets can't be seen as heroes by the audience unless they are opposed to slavery. This is a problem for the rest of the movie... [T]hese VMI cadets like black people just as much as they like white people. If we're honest with ourselves, we must admit that these are not attitudes that would have been commonly held by mid-19th Century white male Virginians. I understand why the filmmakers did this... But it robs the film of authenticity and makes the characters harder to take seriously. 

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