In 1863, the Northern and Southern forces fight at Gettysburg in the decisive battle of the American Civil War.

Director:

Ron Maxwell (as Ronald F. Maxwell)

Writers:

Michael Shaara (novel), Ron Maxwell (screenplay) (as Ronald F. Maxwell)
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Popularity
4,477 ( 317)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Berenger ... Lieut. Gen. James Longstreet
Martin Sheen ... Gen. Robert E. Lee
Stephen Lang ... Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett
Richard Jordan ... Brig. Gen. Lewis A. Armistead
Andrew Prine ... Brig. Gen. Richard B. Garnett
Cooper Huckabee ... Henry T. Harrison
Patrick Gorman ... Maj. Gen. John Bell Hood
Bo Brinkman ... Maj. Walter H. Taylor
James Lancaster ... Lieut. Col. Arthur Fremantle
William Morgan Sheppard ... Maj. Gen. Isaac R. Trimble / Narrator (as Morgan Sheppard)
Kieran Mulroney ... Maj. G. Moxley Sorrel
James Patrick Stuart ... Col. E. Porter Alexander (as Patrick Stuart)
Tim Ruddy Tim Ruddy ... Maj. Charles Marshall
Royce D. Applegate ... Brig. Gen. James L. Kemper
Ivan Kane ... Cap. Thomas J. Goree
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Storyline

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 <loh@sfu.ca>

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Taglines:

Fate made them soldiers. Courage made them heroes. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and epic battle scenes | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Patrick Gorman originally auditioned for the role of Lewis Armistead. See more »

Goofs

The remnants of the 2nd Maine were not transferred to the 20th Maine just before the battle of Gettysburg. They were transferred in mid-May 1863, about 6 weeks earlier. See more »

Quotes

Col. Porter E. Alexander: We've been firing for a good while now, sir. It's apparent now that the Federals nor we will gain a clear advantage in this business. If we continue to expel our ammunition at this rate, we might endanger our ability to support the advance.
Lt. Gen. James Longstreet: Did you not have enough ordnance when this was begun?
Col. Porter E. Alexander: Federal fire compelled us to move the artillery train farther to the rear, sir. It's taken us longer to refill the capsules. Sir, we must slow down our fire now, or we will have to cut back on the guns sent...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

Originally filmed as a cable-tv miniseries but briefly released theatrically at 248 minutes. Some video versions add another 30 minutes of new footage. See more »

Connections

Referenced in That's Awesome! The Story of 'Dumb and Dumber To' (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock of Ages
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Augustus Montague Toplady and music by Thomas Hastings
Played outside the Confederate headquarters
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User Reviews

Vivid, well worth seeing, faithful to book,heartbreaking ending
22 February 2003 | by trpdeanSee all my reviews

This movie picks up steam as it goes along - leading to its wrenching end, as did the battle.

The performance of Richard Jordan as Lo Armistead must be singled out for praise - his anguish was very moving. I'd loved the actor in The Friends of Eddie Coyle and what a job he does. (It helps that he's given the best lines in the movie). Martin Sheen as Robt. E. Lee is not the first name that would come to mind - but I think he gave a fine performance - his accent was entrancing. Sam Elliott is perfectly chosen as (and wonderfully played) the western General John Buford. I also think Jeff Daniels was absolutely wonderful - conveying so well the different manner of someone who until a year before, had been a civilian professor, not a colonel. Unfortunately although I'm generally a fan of Tom Berenger, I wasn't particularly moved by any scene he was in - he kind of walks through it.

The movie is written so well - and its pace just fine. There are so many interesting scenes, touching on many different aspects of life and war - from the nature of man and race to the paradox of a general loving his army yet having to sacrifice it. Jordan brought home so well the closeness of the senior officers to those on the other side.

I loved how well they showed the varied purposes for fighting of the different armies, and the occasional reference to a perceived resentment by the Union soldiers over what they saw as Confederate pretensions to higher social class. ("They're so arrogant", etc.).

The music is first rate - and definitely enhances the drama. The depiction seems quite authentic.

Some niggling criticisms: aside from the map at the start of the movie, there is none. Maps would definitely have helped to undeerstand the overall picture. People commonly refer to directions (from the norht, from the west, etc.) or "we must flank them to the right" and it's hard to understand if you haven't read about the battle.

The scene with the runaway slave is too abbreviated from the book - it doesn't have much impact in the movie.

Kevin Conway's dialogue and accent was a bit over the top, and the English military attache was rather clicheed.

For all that General Hancock is referenced, we see very little of him.

We see the diatribe by General Trimble against General Ewell - but without seeing anything of that battle (or Ewell ever), it just hangs there - rather than being part of any continuous story. (In the book, Ewell's and Early's conduct is more discussed - including a wonderful scene by the two with Lee). If they weren't going to discuss that side of the battle, they should have left Trimble's (well-played) trembling anger out of the story - it doesn't belong in this movie.

Gen. Longstreet is the star of the book and movie - yet I never sensed from Berenger the great brooding quality (and he wasn't given any reference to the fact that his thre children had just died) that he has throughout the battle - according to the book. Similarly, Gen. Lee's health (his heart and headaches, etc.) is a constant factor - not shown in the movie.

Despite the criticisms, this is a wonderfully done movie - from a Pulitzer Prize winning book. It's long - but quite clear, and very deeply moving. I defy anyone to see the last 1/2 hour and not have tears in their eyes. I'd very strongly recommend this.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Killer Angels See more »

Filming Locations:

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$913,617, 10 October 1993

Gross USA:

$10,769,960

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,769,960
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints)| DTS (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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