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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 12,448 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:

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

Stephen Lang also appeared in Gettysburg (1993). However, he does not reprise his original role from "Gettysburg", that of Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett. Instead, he plays Lt. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, who died two months prior to the momentous clash in Gettysburg. Billy Campbell took over the role of Pickett. See more »

Goofs

The tender of the locomotive bears the initials V & T R R. These are the initials of the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. Confusingly, the railroad is situated in Nevada, not in Virginia. 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

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

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Upon the Heights of Alma
Performed by Camp Chase Fife & Drums, Tom Kuhn, Leader
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Great visuals, but where's the drama?
29 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

`Gods and Generals' plays less like a movie and more like a three-hour-and-49-minute long lesson in Civil War history. Grueling and plodding, the film is almost the antithesis of `Gone With the Wind,' in that while both films are epic tales told from the viewpoint of the defeated South, `Gods and Generals' (unlike the earlier film) has been essentially drained of all emotion, drama and characterization. `Gods and Generals' may be a more `realistic' war film than `Gone With the Wind' (what wouldn't be?), but it's not nearly as entertaining.

`Gods and Generals,' which begins right after the firing on Fort Sumter and ends shortly before the Battle of Gettysburg, is the first part of a planned trilogy. Despite a handful of `name' players in the cast (Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Mira Sorvino and even Ted Turner in a ludicrous cameo appearance), writer/director Ronald F. Maxwell is unable to bring a single character in his film to convincing life (with the possible exception of `Stonewall' Jackson, who gets to carry the burden of what little drama the film has almost single-handedly). In lieu of dialogue, the actors spend most of their time looking wistfully up to heaven or scanning the mist-shrouded horizon while delivering endless homilies about the rightness of the cause and the place of God in human affairs. To keep it all palatable for more enlightened and egalitarian-minded modern audiences, the filmmakers are quick to have the Southern characters declare that, even though the South is forced to fight against the North to protect its God-given right to sovereignty, they, as individuals, are all personally opposed to slavery as an institution and firmly believe that their resident blacks will be freed someday as a matter of course. Hell, the Northerners in this film seem more prejudiced against black people than the Southerners, who just can't say enough good things about their sycophantic slaves.

The battle scenes, though well staged and appropriately graphic in nature, are strangely unmoving, primarily because we have no emotional stake in any of the characters we see doing the fighting. Without anyone for us to focus on and care about, the audience becomes little more than curious bystanders, passive and unengaged observers of this brutal display of ritualized slaughter. Although the visuals are splendid throughout, the musical score, except in a few places, is like a thick, heavy syrup poured over the entire film.

By providing subtitled identification of the principal people, places, dates and battles, `Gods and Generals' does provide a service as a history lesson of sorts. As a drama, however, the film is woefully lacking in every way imaginable. `Gods and Generals' may thrill the heart of the diehard Civil War buff. The rest of us will have to stick to our dreams of Scarlett and Rhett, and of a romanticized vision of the South that only a Golden Age Hollywood mogul would have dared come up with.


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