The film mostly omits a few of General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson's eccentricities, but makes sly reference to them. The real Stonewall Jackson rode with a hand raised at all times, as he felt it was necessary to balance his bodily humors. In the film, Jackson suffers a wound to one hand, and spends a scene riding in that manner, ostensibly to staunch the bleeding. In addition, the real Jackson, according to legend, sucked on lemons incessantly in the belief that it was essential to his health. In the film, he presents lemons as a gift to the fiancée of his junior officer, and enjoys the resultant lemonade for its tartness. See more »
When the Beale brothers leave for war, the boom mic and set lights are reflected in their brass breast plates. 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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The movie was dedicated to the memory of John F. Maxwell and Royce D. Applegate. See more »
The Director's Cut of the film includes additional action scenes from the Battle of Antietam. The battle scenes are shown from the perspectives of Jackson and Chamberlain, and mostly focus on the fighting in Miller's Cornfield which was a major deciding point of the battle. See more »
The film "Gods and Generals" is essentially a biographical film about General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson of the CSA. Those who have no idea, or interest, as to who this man was should probably stick to such heavyweight box-office competition such as "Agent Cody Banks," "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," or "Daredevil" instead. "Gods and Generals" is well-made, old-fashioned film that gives an absorbing view of the U.S. Civil War and one of its leading figures. The portrait of Jackson is accurate from the big issues (his profound religious faith) down to the trivial (his fondness for lemonade). Characters both Northern and Southern are portrayed even-handedly, and the historical and social aspects of the film are authentic. Characters quote poetry from memory and sometimes speak in almost biblical cadences, in the same way that Lincoln's speeches were deeply influenced by the language of the King James Bible. It is a beautiful film to look at, with great feeling for the often-wild landscape of the era; in this respect, it gains immeasurably from being seen on a full-scale theatrical screen. Two criticisms of the movie have been made repeatedly: (1) it's "too long"; and (2) it doesn't accurately portray the horrors of war. On the first score -- too long for what? It is the right length for its subject matter. It's the right length to give an earnest and thoughtful account of a great general's life and a turning point in American history, even world history. (Many believe the Civil War might have gone differently had Jackson survived.) It IS too long if you have Attention Deficit Disorder or have been raised upon television sitcoms and the constant jump-cuts & meritricious visual razzle-dazzle of TV commercials and music videos. On the second score -- no one will ever walk away from this film eager to see war in real life. Men line up with their rifles (in a mode of combat no longer practiced), blast away at each other nearly face-to-face, and drop en masse like bags of bloody meat. In one memorable scene, Col. Chamberlain [Jeff Daniels] sleeps on the nighttime battlefield using his fellow soldiers' corpses as bedding; come daylight, he uses those same corpses to absorb flying enemy bullets once the battle resumes anew. Apparently what some critics actually desire are cool special effects, with exploding bodies and mangled limbs flying across the screen. "Gods and Generals" is a movie of great integrity and power -- one made by adults for adults.
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