I think this movie is longer than the actual battle. At over four hours, this is one the longest American films ever made. Based on Michael Shaara's Pulitzer winning novel "The Killer Angels," it's clearly made for the Civil War buff, as it's essentially a very expensive version of those re-enactment battles. It's possibly the most iconic battle in American history, but there's not a whole lot of context if you're history is a bit sketchy. What it does have going for it is some impressive battle sequences, even if everyone with their facial hair looks the same (It did win best performance by a beard in a leading role). The acting, with exceptions of Jeff Daniels and Sam Elliott, is about as static as a Matthew Brady photograph. Tom Berenger is Longstreet, Martin Sheen is Robert E. Lee, and Daniels is Joshua Chamberlain, a Maine professor who defended Little Round Top and would later be president of Bowdoin. The soundtrack by Randy Edelman is incredibly distracting and bombastic. There was a related film (from a novel by Shaara's son) called "Gods and Generals." This was actor Richard Jordan's last film.
I am a huge Civil War buff, but this is the first movie about that conflict I actually could not finish. So tedious and all over the place, I had to turn it off. I have a high boredom tolerance, but this one strained even what I can tolerate. The greatest battle on American soil, one of such legendary proportions, that people in Africa know it, and I was more interested in what the cat was doing. It suffers the same problem as Flags of our Fathers: the inability to pick a story line and develop it.
Errors are reported in other reviews posted:
Jeff Bridges is not in this film. The role of Joshua Chamberlain is played by Jeff Daniels.
Stonewall Jackson was not at Gettysburg because he had died the year previous to the battle.
Robert Duvall is not in this film.
I only mention these errors so as fans of Bridges and Duvall wouldn't be disappointed.
The movie is a well intentioned working of the most excellent Civil War novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara . This is the best Civil War novel ever written in my view. Jeff Shaara, his son wrote the prequel novel Gods And Generals.
good history not so good movie > stiff acting and terribly fake beards. But I love civil war stuff so I watch `420
Excellent and very enjoyable. There is more than one review here that is not for this movie. Stonewall Jackson is not in this movie. Also, one reviewer only saw half the movie when he stated that the movie concludes with the Battle of Little Round Top. The other half of the movie is on the flip side. He missed Pickett's Charge and other stuff. Some people are mixed up with Gods and Generals which is far far inferior to Gettysburg.
This is a 1993 American Civil War docudrama written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, adapted from the historical novel "The Killer Angels (1974)" by Michael Shaara.
Little Round Top is the smaller of two rocky hills south of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
It was the site of an unsuccessful assault by Confederate troops against the Union left flank on July 2, 1863, the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Considered by some historians to be the key point in the Union Army's defensive line that day, Little Round Top was defended successfully by the brigade of Col. Strong Vincent.
This battle is the finale of this movie, culminating in a dramatic downhill bayonet charge that is one of the most well-known actions at Gettysburg and in the American Civil War.
It is an amazing and fascinating war drama.
Well-made: the actual re-enactors add incalculable value as impassioned players. Martin Sheen is a surprisingly elegant General Lee, while Stephen Lang, as General Pickett, captures the bravado and intensity of The Lost Cause. Jeff Bridges is very believable as an abolitionist college professor who doesn't give up and wins a crucial battle via an old-fashioned bayonet charge, with Kevin Conway as Kilrain, his right-hand man, the Irish "outsider" who adds both a comic note and scathing commentary on class structure/elitism. I found it most interesting when I watched the story first, then went back and turned on the commentary---learning why generals were clearly marked with a flag, for example, and recognizing that the soldiers answered to their states first, then the larger cause (deadpan commentary: "You can't return to Maine if you shoot [the Maine mutineers]." "I know. I wonder if _they_ know that.") Not as lyrical as Ken Burn's "Civil War" series but worth watching.
Quality movie about the American Civil War.
Are these reviews for Gettysburg or Gods and Generals?
I visited the Gettysburg battlefield last year which made the movie doubly interesting. I thought it did a great job of delineating the separate characters, doing so in enough detail to enable me to think of these historical figures as real people. The film is also very even handed, making it clear that the combatants on both sides felt they were fighting for a just cause.
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