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 <email@example.com>
In a rare departure from his rigid authentic style, director Ronald F. Maxwell had the Col. Fremantle character wear a bright red uniform and carry a cup of tea. He did this so the audience wouldn't be confused; Fremantle's actual British uniform would have been dark blue and similar to that of a Union officer. The real Fremantle never wore a uniform during his American trip; he was dressed in the civilian clothes the character wears during the poker game on the first night. See more »
As Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain is walking past the violins on his way to go talk to confederate captives, a contrail from a jet is clearly visible in the sky above. See more »
At four hours-plus, this is one of the longest movies I own but is well-made and worth owning, and I'm not a "Civil War buff," either. I would probably appreciate this movie even more if I did know more about that horrible conflict. Being familiar with all the small towns surrounding Gettsyburg wouldn't hurt.
The movie is well-acted, nicely filmed and has some memorable scenes. My only complaints are that some of the action scenes go on too long and I didn't appreciate the plug for Darwin's evolutionary theories, which had no place in this film. However, this is a Turner Pictures film and the "Turner" is outspoken atheist Ted Turner, it's no surprise we get this thrown in our faces.
Otherwise, they stuck to the war story. It was interesting how they portrayed Robert E. Lee. They make him look a little stupid in his strategy but also gave him a compassionate look, and you couldn't help but feel sorry for the man. Actually, all the officers on both sides were portrayed fairly as nothing but good and brave men.
Jeff Daniels, as Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, had the best role and came off looking the best. It may be Daniels' best work ever, too. Martin Sheen was outstanding as Lee. Kudos to Tom Berenger (Lt. Gen. James Longstreet) and Richard Jordan (Brig. Gen. Lewis Armistead) for their performances, too.
It's a quality show, filmed on the Gettysburg sites, too. Although there are a few long fight scenes, this is not a bloody film. Language-wise, this probably holds the record for the most usage of the word "damn" but that's it, profanity-wise.
I wouldn't let the length of this movie prohibit you from watching it. You can always break it up into segments over a couple of days.
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