The four and 1/4 hour depiction of the historical and personal events surrounding and including the decisive American civil war battle features thousands of civil war re-enactors marching over the exact ground that the federal army and the army of North Virginia fought on. The defense of the Little Round Top and Pickett's Charge are highlighted in the actual three day battle which is surrounded by the speeches of the commanding officers and the personal reflections of the fighting men. Based upon the novel 'The Killer Angels'.Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
Tom Chamberlain mentions that General Meade's son is an aide-de-camp. That son was George Gordon Meade, Jr. (1843-1897). He was a Captain at the time of the Gettysburg battle, and remained his father's aide-de-camp for the duration of the war. See more »
In the film, Moxley Sorrell holds the rank of major. In real life, Sorrell was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on June 18, 1863, 13 days before the battle of Gettysburg. See more »
A film that runs longer than 'Lawrence of Arabia' and only covers three days of action sounds a long haul but it is not. As someone who is both British and interested rather than an expert on the Civil War I found 'Gettysburg' very satisfying. The prologue makes the objectives of the two armies clear and the 'updates' in the form of dialogue between the commanders mean the viewer doesn't lose sight of the course of events. The battle scenes capture the "terrible beauty" of combat, conveying terror, claustrophobia and violence without being too horrific.
More important, the film makes the most of the remarkably rich characters who took part. My only hope is that Col. Chamberlain was as intelligent, humane and courageous in life as Jeff Daniels's performance. This is just one example, and there are many men one would like to know more about as a result of seeing this.
The one question I was left with came from Martin Sheen's portrayal of Lee. I know Lee had been unwell before the battle but Martin Sheen seems strangely remote from events, with a glazed look in his eye and high-pitched 'other worldly' voice. Is this fair and accurate? At least Lee has the moral courage to say "It's all my fault" when he sees the result of Pickett's Charge. I don't remember Douglas Haig saying that after the first day on the Somme in 1916.
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