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a new birth of freedom
Gettyburg is a real pleasure to watch although there are flaws. For my part I wish that they would have curtailed some of the windy speechifying, especially by the Irish sergeant who doesn't add to much (this is the part where I usually go get something do drink or take a bathroom break). My pick for the phoniest looking beard and the phoniest accent goes to C. Thomas Howell. The best performance I think goes to Sam Elliott as Gen. Buford.
The movie follows the book 'The Killer Angels' fairly closely. I would recommend reading it.
The real battle wasn't actually the turning point of the Civil War, Vicksburg was. Gettysburg was a dreadful,bloody heave over the Pennsylvania hills but at the end of it Lee's army crawled away and fought on for almost two more years. At Vicksburg Pemberton's army was surrounded and destroyed and the Union ended up in control of the Mississippi valley and the Confederacy was cut in two. After that the end was only a question of time.
In fact everything that Lee did was with an eye on what was happening in Mississippi. He thought if he took his army into Pennsylvania and inflicted a giant beating on the Federals then he could wipe out the sting of the coming disaster at Vicksburg. That didn't happen of course.
blood,toil,tears and sweat
The evacuation from Dunkirk was every bit as important as the Battle of Britain. If the British would have lost those 350,000 troops on the beaches they would almost certainly have lost the war. Those men couldn't be replaced at least not easily. A defeat like that would have ended everything. There would have been extreme pressure to make a deal with Hitler and end the war. Thankfully they didn't give up and stuck to the job and thankfully Hitler very stupidly pulled his panzer forces up short.
This movie has good acting by a good cast, but I've always felt it could have been done better. Dunkirk is a subject that should be revisited on the big screen.