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Gettysburg (1993)

PG | | Drama, History, War | 8 October 1993 (USA)
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In 1863, the Northern and Southern forces fight at Gettysburg in the decisive battle of the American Civil War.

Director:

(as Ronald F. Maxwell)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) (as Ronald F. Maxwell)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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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 ...
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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:

Fate made them soldiers. Courage made them heroes. 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 scene where Tom Chamberlain converses with the Confederate POWs is adapted from the painting "Prisoners at the Front" by Winslow Homer, a sepia-toned shot of which is also included in the opening credits, although the Union officer depicted in the painting is actually Brig. Gen. Francis C. Barlow. See more »

Goofs

When General Lee tells his aids that he "wants to have a look around" after hearing cannon fire, he asks to have Traveler saddled up. In the next scene Lee he is riding Lucy. See more »

Quotes

[on Pickett's charge]
Lt. Gen. James Longstreet: You know what's gonna happen? I'll tell you what's gonna happen. Troops are now forming behind the line of trees. When they come out, they'll be under enemy long-range artillery fire. Solid shot. Percussion. Every gun they have. Troops will come out under fire with more than a mile to walk. And still, within the open field, among the range of aimed muskets. They'll be slowed by that fence out there, and the formation - what's left of it - will begin to come apart. When they...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Making of 'Gettysburg' (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady and music by Thomas Hastings
Played outside the Confederate headquarters
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Long, But Worth The Effort Of Watching
1 November 2001 | by (Durham Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

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.

6/10


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So many things to hate about this movie chip92114
Sheen or Duvall; who played Lee better? dcwitzke
Confederacy plan for Day 2 codjohn
Another question about Lee's strategy fountaincap
Any reenactor/background artists still out there? yinduffy
Hated how Longstreet was portrayed in Gods and Generals jswhalen1
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