It's a heroic tale of three blood brothers and their struggle in the midst of war and political upheaval. It is based on "The Assassination of Ma," a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) story about ... See full summary »
Some scenes were filmed on Robert Duvall's estate in Virginia, which was the site of some Civil War skirmishes. See more »
Confederate soldiers at Fredericksburg are shown using cotton bales as parts of fortifications, but cotton was not a Virginia crop, nor was Fredericksburg a shipping point for moving raw cotton to mills in the north. See more »
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
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The movie was dedicated to the memory of John F. Maxwell and Royce D. Applegate. See more »
I've seen Gods and Generals twice, and I've enjoyed it both times. The critics I've read seem to object to the piety, the length, and lack of political correctness. It seems to have escaped them that the Civil War was fought in Victorian times, and that the Victorians were extremely pious and sentimental, not to mention hypocritical. However, this did not stop them from efficiently making war on their enemies. The movie caught this perfectly, with Jackson's assumption that God's will is his will -- the scene before the battle on Sunday, the contrast between his sentimental love of children and his 'Kill them all' about his enemies, the constant references to Bible verses ripped out of context. Regarding the length of the movie, all I can say is that I wasn't bored at all, or restless, just fascinated with what was happening on screen. I'm sure for MTV critics any movie over 90 minutes is epic.
Regarding the lack of political correctness, which in my opinion is our modern version of hypocrisy (we can do anything we want as long as we call it by another name) I would like to point out that this is an attempt at a historical movie and that the Civil War was NOT fought to free the slaves, nor were many people in the North comfortable with the concept of a franchised Negro. And some slaves in the South were relatively well treated by their owners, not that they probably didn't want freedom, but they didn't particularly wish their masters ill. The system was set up so that everyone involved, slaves and masters, had something to lose by destroying the status quo, and that's a very difficult thing for people to do. It's easy for us now to say 'they should have freed the slaves' but if you knew that to free your slaves would beggar your children, would you be able to do it?
As with Gettysburg, the battle scenes were impressive and awe-inspiring. And they made the strategy and tactics clear to the viewer which is a monumental achievement, not to mention showing the pure courage on both sides, going to probably death or dismemberment without flinching. I would have liked more about the Northern command struggles to balance the picture but I can see how tempting it was to show the Southern victories to balance the horrible defeat at Gettysburg -- and this picture is meant to be one of a trilogy. I can only hope that word of mouth defeats the critics and gets this movie the audience it deserves.
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