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Gettysburg


wsm24
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I am just about finished watching this movie. Somehow it was given a 5 star rating. I do not understand that. Scenes of major skirmishes are set to the tune of majastic music, obfiscating the horror of the fiight. In one scene, a panorama of Conferderates advancing during Picket's charge, I swear I saw a white van driving down a road in the distance. Either that, or someone carrying a huge white flag and riding Secretariat at the Belmot Stakes (where the colt broke the track record) traversed the top of the screen. The acting was fair, but melodramatic in some parts, except for Jeff Daniel's who was excellent and convincing as a union colonel who cared for his men, understood the issues underlying the war, and the strategy of battle in which his unit was engaged.. Robert E. Lee's lines were pathetic for the most part. The movie was pure Hollywood for the most part, and did not come close to confronting the true horrors of war. Plus, it is a LONG movie--too, too long. I am debating whether I should watch the last 15 minutes, as it is killing me (pun intended.) The best scenes involved the Battle for Little Round Top, where Jeff Daniels carried the day for an otherwise mundane movie. Two stars, maybe two and a half star, and three stars if you love everything involving the civil war. Personally, I would bury this movie, but not at Arlington.

 

Edited by: wsm24 on Apr 27, 2011 8:03 PM

 

Edited by: wsm24 on Apr 27, 2011 8:07 PM

 

Edited by: wsm24 on Apr 27, 2011 8:09 PM

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Granted, it is long - very long. Confront the horrors of war, how? Not enough blood? Not enough bodies? Just curious.

 

imdb addresses the "car" as indeed a flag as the "Stainless Banner" of the confederacy. Plenty more "goofs" to be found.

 

I did find Martin Sheen's portrayal as if her were tired most of the time. I had less trouble with what was the prose of the day.

 

If the movie is killing you give it up but you made if you made it that far.... The end credits do give you, as I recall, a rest of their life biography of many of the main characters. That may be worth jumping to.

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> {quote:title=wsm24 wrote:}{quote}

> I am debating whether I should watch the last 15 minutes, as it is killing me (pun intended.)

 

You should watch it. It has a surprise ending. The South wins the War, and Lee becomes President.

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Actually the film is quite historically accurate. The acting, not so much. Although there were some standouts.

 

No film has ever existed that detailed the actions of the actual battle more so than this film and it's prequel, Gods and Generals. I can understand why some people would not like this film, and I agree that the film was pretty much a typical Hollywood production. But that withstanding, almost every aspect of this film was accurate, especially as it related to the filmed scenes of battle.

 

As far as the film being bloodless is concerned, one has to realize that this film was filmed for television. It premiered on TNT in 1993 before making its way to a general theatrical release. That is why so many of the scenes are less than bloody.

 

As far as the score is concerned, I love it! It is one of the more impressive scores for a war movie that I can remember. Now as for the scenes of a van in the background, I think that was something the editors must have missed. Originally this film was over five hours in length.

 

Now for the acting. I agree that Jeff Daniels was a stand out for playing Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain from Maine. Also, the late Richard Jordan was excellent in his portrayal of General Lewis Armistead, a close friend to Union General Winfield Scott Hancock played by Brian Mallon. Another stand out was Sam Elliott as Brig. General John Buford.

 

The battle scenes were magnificent and it really helped that over 5,000 re-enactors helped fill the ranks of the soldiers from both sides. Add to that the film was shot almost exclusively on the actual battlefield itself.

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*C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America* (2004) is a great documentary of modern America after The South wins the war. I am sure many references did not register with me but I was yet overwhelmed by it even as I laughed.

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I like *Gettysburg*. Now, it is very long, and I'm not big on long films, so I have to be in the mood for it. And wide awake. But having said that, I don't agree with the criticisms made about it here. I think it's beautifully done, from the acting (everyone in this was good) to the historically accurate details to the production values in general.

Martin Sheen was especially good as Robert E. Lee.

I thought it was just about as objective about the Civil War as a film could be, showing the thoughts and feelings of the characters/historic figures from both sides. It's a fascinating and moving film about this huge and significant event in American history.

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>I think it's beautifully done, from the acting (everyone in this was good) to the historically accurate details to the production values in general.

 

Agreed. I don't mean to be presumptuous but you might like to read Douglas Freeman's account of the Battle of Gettysburg. You only need to read the chapters on that battle not the entire biography.

 

Shelby Foote's Stars In Their Courses: Gettysburg Campaign is another good one. It's not long but pithy and accurate.

 

Tom Carhart's book Lost Triumph: Lee's Real Plan at Gettysburg and why it failed. It has been recommended to me by a War between the States buff and I plan to read it.

 

General Lee's plan, according to Carhart, was to have JEB Stuart attack and smash the Union rear at the exact time Pickett's charge was to begin. General George Custer was the Union general who met Stuart and foiled the plan.

 

General Lee had a definite plan that would have been brilliant had it of course worked.

 

>Martin Sheen was especially good as Robert E. Lee.

 

I don't think General Lee was actually that emotional as Sheen portrays him at times.

 

Robert Duvall, in my opinion, is much better as Lee in the movie Gods and Generals.

Duvall is a direct descedant of the Great General Robert E. Lee from his mother's side.

 

>I thought it was just about as objective about the Civil War as a film could be, showing the thoughts and feelings of the characters/historic figures from both sides. It's a fascinating and moving film about this huge and significant event in American history.

 

Ok...

 

Have a great weekend...

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Thanks for those reading suggestions, Jake. I'm somewhat familiar with Shelby Foote from the Burns Civil War series...I love the way Mr. Foote speaks.

 

I probably gave special mention to Martin Sheen because I'm a fan ( though not of his son ! ) and have been ever since I saw Badlands .

 

I know "Civil War" month at TCM is over now, but I still want to say, I suspect a lot of people are unaware of what a devastating war this was for both sides - especially the South. But, not being American, this may be presumptious of me.

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}

> Thanks for those reading suggestions, Jake. I'm somewhat familiar with Shelby Foote from the Burns Civil War series...I love the way Mr. Foote speaks.

>

> I probably gave special mention to Martin Sheen because I'm a fan ( though not of his son ! ) and have been ever since I saw Badlands .

>

> I know "Civil War" month at TCM is over now, but I still want to say, I suspect a lot of people are unaware of what a devastating war this was for both sides - especially the South. But, not being American, this may be presumptious of me.

 

You are not presumptuous. It was I.

 

I am always delighted to see another who seems to be fascinated or very interested in the War of Northern Aggression.

 

My Mother and Father had ancestors who fougt for the Confederacy. My mother is a true Southern Woman who grew up on a Southern Farm just North of Atlanta that took a direct hit from Sherman's arsonists and looters.

 

I know what was really done by Sherman's , ahem, troops...

 

I would recommend you check out the Civil War Roundtables which are located all over in the U.S.A. Might be in Canada, too...

 

I've been to a couple by invitation and they are "fascinating" regarding the knowledge you will learn from members who really know their Civil War History.

 

They go on trips and conduct civilized debates from time-to-time.

 

I don't have the time to devote a full amount of time but plan to do so in the future.

 

I ordered Tom Carhart's book about Gettysburg yesterday. He's got a really interesting theory and it will take some hard facts to convince me.

 

Have a great week....

 

Jake

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote} I did find Martin Sheen's portrayal as if her were tired most of the time.

 

From what I've read, Lee was indeed very tired, getting little sleep each night, always on the move and fighting battles, Sheen's performance may have actually been a realistic portrayal of the General's physical state at that time.

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General Robert E. Lee's final battle victory before the debacle at Gettysburg was Chancellorsville in Virginia. Gettysburg was going to be the start of something big for the Confederacy, the taking of and eventual assimilation and defeat of Washington, D.C. But it was not to be.

 

Instead, Gettysburg marked the high water mark of the Confederacy. Never again was Lee to try any major offensive campaign as large as Gettysburg, nor as far north as Gettysburg. Afterward with his troops exhausted and supplies running low Lee began to defend the area around Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia. Less than two years after Gettysburg, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House.

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