Gods and Generals (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  21 February 2003 (USA)
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Reviews: 495 user | 83 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

The rise and fall of legendary war hero Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson as he leads the Confederacy to great success against the Union from 1861 to 1863. Prequel to the 1993 classic "Gettysburg".


(as Ronald F. Maxwell)


(book) (as Jeffrey M. Shaara) , (screenplay) (as Ronald F. Maxwell)
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Allen ...
Confederate Officer
Capt. James J. White
Gen. James Kemper (as Royce Applegate)
Major Walter Taylor
Mac Butler ...
Robert Byrd ...
Confederate General (as Robert C. Byrd)
Bowdoin Student
Rev. Beverly Tucker Lacy
Old Penn
Jim Choate ...
Gen. Bernard Bee
Dr. George Junkin


The rise and fall of legendary war hero Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson as he leads the Confederacy to great success against the Union from 1861 to 1863. Prequel to the 1993 classic "Gettysburg".

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


An unforgettable story of the Civil War, from the Director of "GETTYSBURG" See more »


Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sustained battle sequences | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 February 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dioses y generales  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$56,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,675,246 (USA) (21 February 2003)


$12,870,569 (USA) (25 April 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The majority of the Civil War re-enactors in the movie volunteered to be in the movie without pay. In return, the production company agreed to donate at least $500,000 to preservation of a Civil War battlefield. See more »


Air conditioners are seen in the windows of W&L University at 10:32 into the film. They are located on the far left, which is Newcomb Hall, while the flag is waving in the foreground. See more »


[first lines]
Title Card: A human life, I think, should be well rooted in some spot of a native land, where it may get the love of tender kinship for the face of the earth, for the labors men go forth to, for the sounds and accents that haunt it, for whatever will give that early home a familiar unmistakable difference amidst the future widening of knowledge. The best introduction to astronomy is to think of the nightly heavens as a little lot of stars belonging to one's own homestead. - George Eliot
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie was dedicated to the memory of John F. Maxwell and Royce D. Applegate. See more »


Spin-off Gods and Generals (2003) See more »


McLeod's Reel
Performed by 2nd Carolina String Band with David Kincaid & John Whelan
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A first-rate historical movie
17 March 2003 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

The film "Gods and Generals" is essentially a biographical film about General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson of the CSA. Those who have no idea, or interest, as to who this man was should probably stick to such heavyweight box-office competition such as "Agent Cody Banks," "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," or "Daredevil" instead. "Gods and Generals" is well-made, old-fashioned film that gives an absorbing view of the U.S. Civil War and one of its leading figures. The portrait of Jackson is accurate from the big issues (his profound religious faith) down to the trivial (his fondness for lemonade). Characters both Northern and Southern are portrayed even-handedly, and the historical and social aspects of the film are authentic. Characters quote poetry from memory and sometimes speak in almost biblical cadences, in the same way that Lincoln's speeches were deeply influenced by the language of the King James Bible. It is a beautiful film to look at, with great feeling for the often-wild landscape of the era; in this respect, it gains immeasurably from being seen on a full-scale theatrical screen. Two criticisms of the movie have been made repeatedly: (1) it's "too long"; and (2) it doesn't accurately portray the horrors of war. On the first score -- too long for what? It is the right length for its subject matter. It's the right length to give an earnest and thoughtful account of a great general's life and a turning point in American history, even world history. (Many believe the Civil War might have gone differently had Jackson survived.) It IS too long if you have Attention Deficit Disorder or have been raised upon television sitcoms and the constant jump-cuts & meritricious visual razzle-dazzle of TV commercials and music videos. On the second score -- no one will ever walk away from this film eager to see war in real life. Men line up with their rifles (in a mode of combat no longer practiced), blast away at each other nearly face-to-face, and drop en masse like bags of bloody meat. In one memorable scene, Col. Chamberlain [Jeff Daniels] sleeps on the nighttime battlefield using his fellow soldiers' corpses as bedding; come daylight, he uses those same corpses to absorb flying enemy bullets once the battle resumes anew. Apparently what some critics actually desire are cool special effects, with exploding bodies and mangled limbs flying across the screen. "Gods and Generals" is a movie of great integrity and power -- one made by adults for adults.

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