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Gods and Generals (2003)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, History, War  |  21 February 2003 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 12,460 users   Metascore: 30/100
Reviews: 494 user | 82 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".

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(book) (as Jeffrey M. Shaara) , (screenplay)
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Cast

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

Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 February 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dioses y generales  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$56,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$12,870,569 (USA) (25 April 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, a large portion of the re-enactors and military advisors were recalled to their military units in the weeks following the terrorist attacks on the USA of 11 September 2001 and the later invasion of Afghanistan. See more »

Goofs

After Jackson is ambushed at night by his own men, the Union begins opening artillery fire on his aids as they rush him back to the road. During one such shot, artillery fires from left to right but in the subsequent shot, with the camera facing in the same direction, the shells from that same firing sequence are seen landing from right to left. See more »

Quotes

[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

No reenactors were credited individualy, rather there was general thank you to all the reenactors who participated in the filming. See more »

Connections

Follows Gettysburg (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Working title: How the CSA actually won
15 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you knew absolutely nothing about the American Civil War you might come away from Gods and Generals believing something like this: A sociopath named Lincoln decides one day in 1861 to raise an army to invade the south because he just feels like doing that. The people of these south, having absolutely nothing to deserve any of this, start their own country to defend themselves and a polite, bearded, General named Lee leads them and this other polite, bearded, General named Jackson is his second in command. Because God is on their side, the kind, virtuous, heroic, men of the southern army prevail in several combat engagements against the godless, sex-crazed, murderous barbarians of the north. Jackson and Lee deftly direct the outnumbered army of Jesus against the unwashed Yankee heathen and wins the war except that he got shot by one of his own men by accident and dies otherwise the south really won.

Yep, that's just what you might believe. If you took history from this film.

Gods and Generals is a confused, heavily pro-Confederate, train wreck. It attempts to span two years of the war though the perspective of General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, arguably one of the most brilliant field commanders West Point has ever produced. Like it's antecedent Gettysburg it is of epic length except that Gettysburg actually made sense. This film is all over the place. Focuses on non-pivotal battles and is bloated with nonsensical dialog and close ups of men talking to themselves in archaic,sanctimonious, soliloquies. There are no issues, there are no cassus belli,no internal conflicts, there is only a clumsy even bizarre celebration of the confederacy; depicted as an embattled yet righteous society defending their way of life against their tyrannical northern overlords. There is one mention of Fort Sumter, a passing nod or two to slavery, and the rest is the Lee/Jackson traveling show. Overall a sloppy production which screams lousy direction and lack of focus. I felt the book told the story of Jackson in much more coherent style than this mess.

To it's credit, it does have very graphic and disturbing battle scenes where both sides are, at times, honored and portrayed with equanimity.

However, G&G, like Gettysburg (a MUCH better directed film), had potential to evenly instruct and entertain. That's where the similarities between the two films ends Gods and generals is a ponderous, rambling, confusing, tribute to the CSA. Aside from it's endless length it jumps around way too much, lacks proper character development and historical veracity, which is far too extensive to get into for the purposes of a review. I will say that Stephen Lang was magnificent as Jackson, but I wasn't terribly impressed with Robert Duvall as Lee. It is no wonder it bombed at the box office. It's just not very watchable, at least not in one sitting. It might be of interest to those, like myself, who are interested in civil war films. This one is a grave disappointment.


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