Unlike Producer Ted Turner's previous American Civil War movies Gettysburg (1993) and Andersonville (1996), this movie was a major failure at the box-office and among the critics. The movie returned only twelve million out of its sixty million dollar budget. History buffs were angered by some obvious historical inaccuracies in its depiction of some of the major characters, despite the movie's promoting its historical authenticity (Stonewall was not shot in the hand at the start of the war, Lee's ascension to the position of the leader of the Confederate army happened slightly differently, et cetera.). Some critics even accused the movie of historical revisionism in favor of the Confederacy, due to the film's somewhat glorified depiction of the Confederate Generals, and downplaying the importance of the issue of slavery in the conflict, since it focuses more on the states rights issue instead. See more »
During the first battle, a dead soldier is clearly wearing modern boots. A large "H" is visibly imprinted on the sole of the boot. See more »
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
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No reenactors were credited individualy, rather there was general thank you to all the reenactors who participated in the filming. See more »
Revisionist hooey! A rich man's attempt to "buy" history.
"Gods and Generals" is a horrible disservice to people trying to understand American history, and to the millions of real people who suffered pain, death, heartache, etc. during our Civil War. I have heard it said that history is written by the victors--- and that's probably true. But who is the victor now? Well, the very VERY rich Ted Turner seems to be one of them. And he seems to have used his power and wealth to re-write history to suit his own self-identity process. He first made the awful "Gettysburg" with its hideous paste-on beards and "high school play" production. Now he has taken his megalomania to new depths with "Gods and Generals"--- a thoroughly misleading and trite piece of revisionist crap.
Briefly--- some rich Southerners (Americans from the formerly slave-holding states, for you folks in other countries) are now claiming that the Civil War was not about slavery. They say it was "states' rights." Well, yes--- but a scholarly and careful study of the times reveals that the specific "right" in dispute from 1790 or so up through 1861 when the war broke out was the right to allow slavery. Check out the scholarly studies of those times, and it is clear that "states' rights" meant "rights to own slaves." The Civil War really was fought on this contention.
Note that fighting on the side of the Union did NOT mean that the white soldiers "liked" the Africans, necessarily. Many DID have what modern folks would call a prejudicial and discriminatory view of the black race. But they DID also believe slavery was wrong, and they fought for the right of the federal government to outlaw and ban slavery, because it was un-Christian and otherwise morally wrong. Note also that Huey Long, part of the 1930s power dynasty in Lousiana (senator, governor, etc.) reported that his family refused to fight for Confederacy during the Civil War. He said his family thought, "Why should we fight and die so some rich man could keep his Negroes?" The war was seen then as a slavery issue.
As much as we may be uncomfortable with who we as a nation were in those days--- isn't it better to tell ourselves the truth about that? And then come to terms with it? Perhaps the over-enthusiastic flag-waving versions of the conflict we all got in grade school was over simplified and even jingoistic. Maybe our mass-culture story about it shows the situation as being more clear, more "good versus evil" than it really was. But the modern attempts to twist history to suit modern agendas (and plays for personal power) that have come from some black civil rights activists and rich and powerful Southern men like Ted Turner are even more off-base. Given their blatant falsification of historical events, they are even more harmful.
Compare this movie with the amazing classic "Glory" (1991-ish). Or Ken Burns masterpiece from PBS, "The Civil War." Those both showed a fuller and truer picture of what was really going on. There were heroic aspects, angelic qualities, good and bad people, brave and cowardly actions, big and small minds, loving and bigoted qualities to everyone. It was a human time, with flawed humans, but overall it was a struggle to make things right--- however imperfectly that might have been achieved. Hey--- we're all still working on it. But Ted Turner and his "b** s***" is disgraceful, and, well... just plain wrong.
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