The extraordinary true story of Oliver Woodward. It's 1916 and Woodward must tear himself from his new young love to go to the mud and carnage of the Western Front. Deep beneath the German ... See full summary »
Steve Le Marquand
During the war in Afghanistan a Soviet tank crew commanded by a tyrannical officer find themselves lost and in a struggle against a band of Mujahadeen guerrillas in the mountains. A unique ... See full summary »
Set during World War 2. After the Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, Russia attacked Finland in November 1939. Finnish reservists leave their homes and go to war. The film ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The scene where the 20th Maine reaches the summit was actually filmed on Little Round Top. The actor with the binoculars behind them is playing General Gouverneur Warren, who was not on Little Round Top at the time the 20th Maine moved into position. The man is in the same pose as the famous Warren statue and is blocking the camera from seeing the actual statue which is right behind him. Warren is credited with having seen the Confederates under John Bell Hood massing in the woods across from Little Round Top before the battle started, and sent an officer to find reinforcements. The officer Warren sent for help was Lieutenant Washington Roebling, who later built the Brooklyn Bridge. See more »
Early in the fight by Buford's cavalry the camera pans past a U.S. flag behind a group of cavalry men. This is odd, as cavalry did not normally carry a full sized U.S. flag. Further, the flag itself is the size carried by infantry, not the smaller cavalry standard. See more »
With a few notable exceptions Schindler's List, Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan and Glory, history based movies usually die quick and quiet in the movie theater (The Messenger, Ride with the Devil, Cobb) History flicks cost a bundle to make with the costumes and the challenge of finding a place to shoot that's nowhere near highways, bridges, and cities, and they don't always appeal to mass audiences.
So it's not that often that really good historical film comes around. As a result, it's good not to be too fussy when one does. Both Gettysburg and the Killer Angels, the book it was based on, were stuffed with historical inaccuracies, the grossest of all being the presence of the 20th Maine regiment anywhere near Pickett's charge (this happens in both the movie and the book).
For all the lengthy soliloquies, historical misses, whitewashed violence, and the fact that only about 30% of the battle of Gettysburg is shown on film, Gettysburg remains as the best effort to capture the sprawling battle of July 1863 on film. Where the movie lacks in realism, it makes up for it's dialogue, and in the scope of the battle scenes, which are on a scale so grand, that the bloodless body count and the inaccurate tactics can be forgiven. The sheer numbers of soldiers taking part in Pickett's charge was breathtaking. Kudos to the reenactors.
Martin Sheen and Tom Beringer were they're usual excellent selves as Lee and Longstreet and for me, their ongoing debate of the strategy of Gettysburg helped make the movie. Other highlights include the disenchantment of Union soldiers at this stage of the Civil War, and the personal trauma Richard Jordan's Lewis Armistead felt at having to fight his friend Winfield Hancock not only in the same war, but in the same sector of the same battle of that war.
Much of Gettysburg has to be viewed with a grain of salt, but until a Stephen Speilberg or other directing genius with a knack for war footage comes along, it's one of the best we have. And it's pretty good.
53 of 67 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?