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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.


(as Ronald F. Maxwell)


(novel), (screenplay) (as Ronald F. Maxwell)
4,614 ( 68)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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


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


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


Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

8 October 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Killer Angels  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)


$10,769,960 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


George Lazenby insisted that he have a real beard instead of a fake one for his role as Brig. Gen. J. Johnston Pettigrew in the film. So his scene was not shot until he had grown a full beard. See more »


General Longstreet says to the British Colonel Freemantle "You English had your own civil war, didn't you?". The English Civil war was had an effect on America as well. Virginia and a few other colonies were already established. Many Britons migrated to America to leave behind the carnage of the war and its aftermath just as many Union and Confederate soldiers migrated to the American West to start fresh after the American Civil war. But few Americans of the 19th century would have been familiar with this, and would have seen the English Civil War as a solely English affair. See more »


General Robert E. Lee: Gen. Longstreet, do you mind if I accompany you?
Lieutenant General James Longstreet: Not at all. I am very glad to have you with us, Sir.
Lieutenant General James Longstreet: The heat reminds me of Mexico.
General Robert E. Lee: Yes, but the air was very dry.
Lieutenant General James Longstreet: That was a good outfit. I remember storming the ramparts of Chapultepec with old George Pickett, REynolds, my old friend Ulysses Sam Grant. There was some good men in that army.
General Robert E. Lee: Yes sir, there were indeed.
Lieutenant General James Longstreet: Some of those men are waiting for us now up ahead on those ridges.
Lieutenant General James Longstreet: I don't know. I sometimes feel troubled. Those fellas -...
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Referenced in Sweet Home Alabama (2002) See more »


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


33 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Sheen or Duvall; who played Lee better? dcwitzke
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Confederacy plan for Day 2 codjohn
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