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Gods and Generals [Blu-ray] (2003)

Robert Duvall , Jeff Daniels , Ronald F. Maxwell  |  PG-13 |  Blu-ray
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (971 customer reviews)

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Gods and Generals [Blu-ray] + Gettysburg [Blu-ray] + Ultimate Civil War Series - 150th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Stephen Lang
  • Directors: Ronald F. Maxwell
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2007
  • Run Time: 219 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (971 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000U1ZV3K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,001 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gods and Generals [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The more you know about the Civil War, the more you'll appreciate Gods and Generals and the painstaking attention to detail that Gettysburg writer-director Ronald F. Maxwell has invested in this academically respectable 220-minute historical pageant. In adapting Jeffrey Shaara's 1996 novel (encompassing events of 1861-63, specifically the Virginian battles of Bull Run, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville), Maxwell sacrifices depth for scope while focusing on the devoutly religious "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang), whose Confederate campaigns endear him to Gen. Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall, giving the film's most subtle performance). Battles are impeccably recreated using 7,500 Civil War re-enactors and sanitized PG-13 violence, their authenticity compromised by tasteful discretion and endless scenes of grandiloquent dialogue. Still, as the first part of a trilogy that ends with The Last Full Measure, this is a superbly crafted, instantly essential film for Civil War study. For all its misguided priorities, Gods and Generals is a noble effort, honoring faith and patriotism with the kind of reverence that has all but vanished from American film--but provides abundant proof that historical accuracy is no guarantee of great storytelling. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

A sweeping epic charting the early years of the Civil War and how campaigns unfolded from Manassas to the Battle of Fredericksburg, this prequel to the film Gettysburg explores the motivations of the combatants and examines the lives of those who waited at home.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
355 of 388 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make movies like this anymore! June 6, 2003
Format:DVD
...The fact is that "Gods and Generals", which covers the first two years of the war and is the prequel to "Gettysburg", is a great movie. It is painstakingly accurate, wonderfully filmed and scripted, and the acting was suburb. Stephen Lang deserves an Oscar for his brilliant portrayal of Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson. Robert Duvall is also excellent as Gen. Robert E. Lee. Jeff Daniels, who played Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain in "Gettysburg", reprises his role in G&G, as do other actors from "Gettysburg".
If you're expecting something like "Saving Private Ryan", you'll be disappointed. It's not that kind of a movie. "Gods and Generals" is part documentary, part drama, with the right mix of both to make it both highly entertaining and historically intriguing. As you listen to the characters, you almost believe that they're from the period and places in which the story is set.
What stuck in the craw of the critics is that this movie didn't present the Confederates as fire-breathing, racist, slavery-defending apes, and the Federals as saintly freedom-fighters. It would be simplistic and wrong to characterize the war as a struggle between good and evil. The vast majority of the Confederate soldiers didn't own slaves and didn't fight for the right to keep slaves. A lot of the Union soldiers, probably most, weren't fighting to free the slaves. There were flawed men on both sides of the war, as well as deeply moral men.
You can debate all you want about how much slavery was an issue in the Civil War, but as to this movie, all points of view were well represented through the characters: Lt. Col. Chamberlain of the 20th Maine, a professor-turned-soldier who was sympathetic to the plight of the black slaves; Confederate Gen. Robert E.
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115 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extended Cut turns mud into Gold May 24, 2011
Format:Blu-ray
The theatrical release of the film was just one giant mess of a film. Great acting, sets, cinematography, and of course historically accurate, but still a mess. A search on rottentomatoes.com shows the film to have about an 8% rating which makes someone wonder 'did Uwe Boll direct this?' Plenty of people will hate it because the only slaves depicted in it are the exceptionally well-treated ones. Even watching it again, some of those scenes do still bother me as well, but a new viewer needs to take in account this film about the civil war is NOT focused on the issue of slavery. Of course, the theatrical version isn't focused on anything at all and the was the biggest problem with it.

I initially saw it when it first came out on DVD and expected 'Gettysburg' and what I found instead was a horrendously uneven and unfocused plot. Every scene was either dragged out too long, or rushed, and the transitioning always felt random. With this new extended cut, the movie gains an extra hour. That's right, a near four hour movie is now a near five hour movie. Now I'm a sucker for extended cuts even when the original was mediocre at best. My personal favorites are Dances with Wolves (another hour of greatness), and Kingdom of Heaven (fixes EVERYTHING, except the mis-casted Orlando Bloom). An example of a terrible one is Alexander: Final Cut (Jesus would have trouble raising THAT from the dead).

Gods and Generals is now officially the one movie that benefits more than any other film by having an extended cut. With the added hour and re-edit of the entire movie beginning to end, the pacing of the whole film is restored. Viewers ignorant of the civil war will understand whats going on much better. The characters gain more depth with the added scenes on and off the battlefield.
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69 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
This is not your typical movie - One has to expect that. I actually like it, because it is not Hollywood and not slick and polished, but more like about how things really were in the war. Acting of Stonewall Jackson was excellently done and well portrayed in the movie. The level of detail was tremendous, but if you just want a regular fast paced, low detail, low frills movie, then you will hate it...I have watched movies less than half this length and been bored stiff. This is a very complete movie with truth that makes its mark and wish more historical dramas/war movies had this detail, because sometimes it is so hard to beleive what really happened in the past unless you see and understand the smallest details.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie...Wish I could see the longer version July 9, 2003
Format:DVD
Gods and Generals is an excellent movie. Unfortunately, it doesn't fit the current demographic of target moviegoers (teenagers), and convinced Ted Turner to basically forget ever releasing the third part of the trilogy (The Last Full Measure). Also too bad is the fact that the supposed six hour cut might never be released, as I suspect some criticisms of the movie may be answered by this version.
Contrary to many people's opinion, this movie is not Southern propoganda. No Dixie propaganda piece would have Chamberlain's discussion about the war with his brother in it. It is just telling the story from the point of view of southerners. As this movie is the story of Stonewall Jackson, the Last Full Measure would likely be the story of Ulysses S. Grant, and would amazingly seem too biased to the North.
Despite this, I could have used a little more mention of why northerners joined the war. Showing men from Illinois and Massachusetts as well as Virginia going off to war would have been a nice addition to the movie. I suspect the six hour version has more Chamberlain and Hancock, which is why this version must be released.
Please buy this movie, and buy it as a gift for someone else. Despite being almost four hours long, it is a very smooth flowing time. Hopefully, Shaara and Maxwell will convince Turner to move forward with "The Last Full Measure". Good sales returns on the DVD of "Gods and Generals" will definitely help.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the movie release
This uncut version has many scenes that were cut for the theater release. The additional scenes are great and really help to give you the feel of being in the story. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Bryan Strickler
3.0 out of 5 stars Battle scenes too long
I realize that this movie is about battles and the director may have wanted you to feel the tiring effects of battle as they go on and on. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Sabrina Fairchild
1.0 out of 5 stars Spingtime for Hitler: The Confederacy Edition.
This is easily one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

Easily.

Probably *the* worst movie I have ever seen.

I expected better. Read more
Published 25 days ago by genocidal_maniac
4.0 out of 5 stars Great improvement over the theatrical cut
The added scenes in the extended cut really lift this movie up to a whole new level. Well worth it.
Published 25 days ago by Francisco Lozano
5.0 out of 5 stars Civil war classic
Excellent chronicle into the lives and mood of the country during this most tragic and defining moment of our history.
Published 26 days ago by B. Phillips
4.0 out of 5 stars good story
Enjoyed very much, like anything I can see on the Civil War, loved the battle scenes and stragey on the battles
Published 1 month ago by Thomas A. Monaco
4.0 out of 5 stars History
How do you know what all happened in the Civil War. It is a good representation of the conflict of vision that existed in the US at the time. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Carletta J. Burrows
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Not as intense as Gettysburg and it did have a few slow parts but overall it did cause me to read the book.
Published 1 month ago by Bill B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Motion Picture, But Sorely Missed Two Scenes,
The Extended Director's Cut of the Civil War epic drama Gods And Generals is, in many ways, better than the theatrical cut. Read more
Published 1 month ago by HAMLET
3.0 out of 5 stars I bought the movie because fellow reenactors are in it
Its not a great movie and has goofy portrayals, and as a reenactor I can find a lot of historic faults, but I wanted it to remember some of my friends who were in it.
Published 1 month ago by Marjory Wienkop
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