This impressive and epic commemoration of the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg tells the story of the pivotal 1863 battle from the soldier's point of view. All new dramatic ... See full summary »
Kevin R. Hershberger
Dana Joel Bogdanski,
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>
Tom Berenger was so fond of his role as General James Longstreet, he later opened up a restaurant/nightclub in downtown Wilmington NC called "Longstreet's Irish Pub" which is still in business today. See more »
As General Longstreet gives battle instructions to his division commanders (Pickett, Peddigrew and Trimble), General Pickett is seen holding flowers that appear and disappear throughout the scene. See more »
Not the best, but a great representation of the epic battle of the Civil War
All I hear is people griping about how long this film is. That's not the
point. The point is it represents what is considered by historians to be
the most important battle of the American Civil War.
I will admit that the length of the film kinda takes away from it, but it is
Save a few historical gaffes (eg. Chamberlain and the 20th Maine at
Picket's Charge - in reality, they were being held in reserve near the Round
Tops with the rest of the V Corps), this film is very realistic, using
thousands of professional re-enactors to fight the battle scenes, which adds
Many battles and side notes were left out (eg. Vincent was mortally wounded
on Little Round Top; or did they mention this, I don't remember), but that
is okay, given the film focuses on Joshua L. Chamberlain and the 20th Maine,
who saved the day at Little Round Top on July 2.
Skirmishes at the Herr Tavern, McPherson's Hill, Little Round Top, and
Picket's Charge were all the fighting I remember. But, again, this doesn't
really take anything away.
The sweep and grandeur is helped by the superb cinematography (by Kees Van
Oostrum) and great acting on the part of Tom Berenger (Longstreet), Martin
Sheen (Lee), Jeff Daniels (Chamberlain), C. Thomas Howell (Tom Chamberlain),
Sam Elliot (Buford), and the rest of the superb cast. A standout is the
late Richard Jordan as Lewis Armistead, the brigade commander in Picket's
division who was killed leading his troops "over the top" against Union
The battle scenes are excellent; Picket's Charge, in real time, is superb,
but the furious battle for Little Round Top is one of the most desperate
battle scenes ever filmed. You can feel the fear and tension of the 20th
Maine as the 44th Alabama (I believe this is correct) charges up the hill
again and again. When Chamberlain and his men finally sweep their opponents
off the hill?
I think that it may have been good to portray the charging Confederates as
well, since they had many interesting stories among them (e.g., the
commander of the 44th, William Oates, had a brother, John, who had been ill
with a fever and refused to stay behind, and was mortally wounded in the
carnage), and the heroics of such people as Vincent himself, and Patrick
O'Rourke (who led his New York regiment in a counterattack that saved
Vincent's right flank and was killed in the charge) are neglected, but I'm
Despite the length and a few overdramatic speeches, this is a great movie.
Seven out of ten.
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