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Gettysburg (1993)

 -  Drama | History | War  -  8 October 1993 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 20,025 users  
Reviews: 250 user | 22 critic

In 1863, the Northern and Southern forces fight at Gettysburg in the decisive battle of the American Civil War.

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Title: Gettysburg (1993)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Maj. Gen. Isaac R. Trimble / Narrator (as Morgan Sheppard)
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Maj. G. Moxley Sorrel
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Col. E. Porter Alexander (as Patrick Stuart)
Tim Ruddy ...
Maj. Charles Marshall
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Ivan Kane ...
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Storyline

The four and 1/4 hour depiction of the historical and personal events surrounding and including the decisive American civil war battle features thousands of civil war re-enactors marching over the exact ground that the federal army and the army of North Virginia fought on. The defense of the Little Round Top and Pickett's Charge are highlighted in the actual three day battle which is surrounded by the speeches of the commanding officers and the personal reflections of the fighting men. Based upon the novel 'The Killer Angels'. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Same Land. Same God. Different Dreams. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and epic battle scenes | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Killer Angels  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$10,769,960 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The mentioned scene of the Catholic Priest giving blessing to the Irish Union troops is performed to the (army band) music of "The Minstrel Boy", a popular Irish patriotic tune. See more »

Goofs

In one of the sequences in front of a farmhouse, an air conditioning unit is clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Thomas D. Chamberlain: I don't mean no disrespect to you fighting men, but sometimes I can't help but figure... why you fightin' this war?
Confederate prisoner: Why are you?
Lieutenant Thomas D. Chamberlain: To free the slaves, of course. And preserve the Union.
Confederate prisoner: I don't know about other folk, but I ain't fighting for no darkies one way or the other. I'm fightin' for my rights. All of us here, that's what we're fighting for.
[pronounces it 'rats']
Lieutenant Thomas D. Chamberlain: Your what?
Confederate prisoner: For our rights. The right to live my life like I see fit. Why can't you just live the way you want to live, and let ...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

The Minstrel Boy
Words by written by Thomas Moore, tune traditional
Played at the Union church service on the morning of the second day
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Long, but Powerful Epic, Filmed on Location...
14 March 2004 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

GETTYSBURG, based on Michael Shaara's bestseller, "The Killer Angels", is a truly remarkable film, in it's clear, if long, presentation of the Civil War's bloodiest, best-known, yet least understood battle, in it's 'humanizing' of the almost legendary characters of the period, and, most amazingly, for being filmed at the actual locations where the actions took place, in Gettysburg, itself. From Little Round Top to Seminary Ridge, you see the events where they actually occurred, 140 years ago. It is a singular achievement, and Ted Turner deserves credit for making it happen.

Two characters dominate the film; Jeff Daniels, in one of his finest performances, is a likable, totally believable Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the Maine ex-schoolteacher who would win the Congressional Medal of Honor; and Tom Berenger, sporting a huge, bushy beard, is a sympathetic 'voice of reason' as Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet, successor to "Stonewall" Jackson as Robert E. Lee's field commander. Chamberlain and Longstreet provide the film it's focus, as honorable men attempting to fulfill their duty, while the carnage builds around each of them.

Other memorable performances include Sam Elliott, in a brief but memorable cameo as Brig. Gen. John Buford, the battle-hardened cavalry commander who initiates the battle after guessing the Confederates' objectives at Gettysburg; Richard Jordan, in one of his last appearances before his untimely death, as Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead, facing his best friend in battle; Kevin Conway, as Chamberlain's gruff but likable Irish First Sergeant, Sgt. 'Buster' Kilrain; C. Thomas Howell as Lt. Thomas D. Chamberlain, Joshua's brother, who creates a sense of familial concern for Daniels; and Stephen Lang (who would go on to play Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in GODS AND GENERALS), as an ever-confident, ebullient Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett.

In the pivotal role of Robert E. Lee, Martin Sheen is less effective, lacking Lee's well-documented charisma, and substituting constant world-weary gazes for characterization. Robert Duvall, who assumed the role in GODS AND GENERALS, would be far more credible as Lee.

The sheer numbers of the battle are staggering; over 150,000 combatants, with 53,000 dead, more in a single three-day engagement than were lost during the entire war in Vietnam. The armies of actors, extras, and recreators could not nearly match those numbers, yet the film effectively conveys the immensity of the conflict. The tactical errors (Lee's decision, on the third day of battle, to order Pickett's suicidal charge into the Union guns; Meade's decision, drawing the fury of President Lincoln, to allow the Southern survivors to return home without further slaughter, while a humane gesture, probably lengthening the war) are presented within the context of of the overall conflict, providing the viewer with justification for their decisions.

Director Ronald F. Maxwell presents a complex, fascinating tapestry in GETTYSBURG, and it is not a film you will soon forget!


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