Gods and Generals (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  21 February 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 12,755 users   Metascore: 30/100
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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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


The nations heart was touched by.... 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
See  »

Did You Know?


In the opening credits, the appearance of the flags indicates a special significance for some cast and crew. For example, Jeff Daniels (as Lt. Col Chamberlain of Maine) appears over a banner for the 20th Maine, Robert Duvall (Gen. Robert E. Lee of Virginia) appears over a Virginia banner, and Ted Turner (a longtime resident of Atlanta, Georgia) appears over a Georgia flag. See more »


There are a number of geographical, historical and factual errors in the representation of the details of the American Civil War. 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The critics are wrong
3 March 2003 | by (Boulder Creek, CA) – See all my reviews

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.

131 of 175 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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