During the 1864 battle of the Wilderness, three Union soldiers and three Confederate Soldiers get seperated from their units as twilight engulfs the ravaged battlefield. The men wander ... See full summary »
The true love story of the conflict between Capt. Robert Adams' dedication to the south and his love for Eveline McCord, his beloved from the north. Produced, written and directed by the descendants of Robert and Eveline, this American Civil War tale is an explosive, richly detailed saga of fierce combat, honor and the will to risk all that's precious for love or country.
A. Blaine Miller,
34-years after his death, Airman William H. Pitsenbarger, Jr. ("Pits") is awarded the nations highest military honor for his actions on the battlefield. One of the great untold stories of the Vietnam era.
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>
Tom Berenger has often cited this as being one of his favorite pieces of work, as well as the film he's watched the most out of all of his other movies. See more »
During Lee's planning session at the beginning of the second day he shows a map with obvious modern printing. Of particular note are the neatly printed double lines of red rectangles representing the position of the Confederate troops (this is a convention which originated with maps produced for printed works during the war). There was no time during a battle for such neat printing, and such markings would deface a map, making is less usable in the future. See more »
Brigadier General Lewis A. Armistead:
The last time I saw Winn he played that song. That very song. Back in California, we were all together for the last time. Before we broke up. Spring of '61. Almyra Hancock. You remember Almyra, Hancock's wife? Beautiful woman. Most perfect woman I ever saw. They were a beautiful couple. Beautiful. Garnett was with me that night. A lot of fellows from the old outfit. People standing around singing in the blue uniform. We were leaving the next day. Some going north, some going south. Splitting up...
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A very interesting take on the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, which is unfortunately marred by its excessive length (well over four hours), which could easily have been cut by at least an hour if unnecessary marching scenes were cut out. (I timed one point in the movie when a full six minutes went by showing nothing but troops marching. This was absolutely tedious!)
There isn't much "drama" involved in this. How can there be? Everyone knows the Battle of Gettysburg, we all know that the North won, and serious students of the Civil War know most of the military manoeuvres that were used, as well as the fates of the major combatants. So, it was up to the director (Ronald F. Maxwell) and the various actors to give us something of a unique spin to hold our attention through the long story. For the most part, they were successful.
I was quite intrigued by Martin Sheen's portrayal of General Robert E. Lee. Lee comes across almost in a mystical way - a man of vision and courage, and yet also very human. The debates between Lee and General James Longstreet (played by Tom Berenger) over strategy were realistic, and the fact that Longstreet was proved for the most part to be right demonstrate the fact that Lee - while a great General - was subject to human failings as well. Sheen portrays a Lee who is coming to terms with his hero status among his troops, but also shows him subtly uncomfortable with it.
Also interesting was the constant hearkening back to the pre-war relationship between Union general Winfield Hancock (Brian Mallon) and Confederate General Lewis Armistead (Richard Jordan). Good friends before the war (almost brothers, as both describe the relationship) they now find themselves on opposite sides of this great battle, wanting to see each other because they are friends and yet not wanting to see each other as enemies. Tears well up in both as they speak to fellow officers about the relationship. A believable portrayal of how many Americans must have felt in this conflict which divided friends and families.
Most interesting of all, though, was the portrayal of General Joshua Chamberlain (by Jeff Daniels), the colonel of the 20th Maine Infantry. I was only vaguely familiar with Chamberlain when I first saw this movie, and was motivated by it to become more familiar with a truly fascinating individual. Hardly a classic soldier (he was a university professor of English and Religion back in Maine) Chamberlain displays a solid grasp of tactics, and comes across as the great Northern hero in this account of Gettysburg.
So, there are a lot of good things in this movie. Don't let the length of over four hours put you off. Although there are a few tedious scenes (such as the marching scene I described earlier) it's worth hanging in through them to get a very realistic and largely historically accurate picture of perhaps the greatest battle of the US Civil War.
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