Martin Sheen gives a strong, sensitive performance as Ashby Gatrell, a Virginian who refuses to face the possibility of looking down a gunsight at friends or relatives during the Civil War. Instead, he hides out in a cave for the duration of the war, living a primitive existence,
occasionally hearing news of the war and his family from the conversations of passersby he monitors from hiding. Novelist-turned-director Clyde Ware's camera records Ashby's rustic life with much style, using the West Virginia locations nicely, and his well-paced story is never compromised by
effusive sentimentality. In the final analysis, however, it is Sheen's wholly believable performan...