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Gods and Generals [Blu-ray]

3.7 out of 5 stars 1,403 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Gods and Generals [Blu-ray]
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  • Gettysburg: Director's Cut (Blu-ray)
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  • The Ultimate Civil War Series: 150th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]
Total price: $46.74
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Editorial Reviews

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.

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

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Stephen Lang
  • Directors: Ronald F. Maxwell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • 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 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2007
  • Run Time: 219 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,403 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000U1ZV3K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,465 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gods and Generals [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Both of these movies are based on the books by father and son historians Michael & Jeff Shaara. Gettysburg is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book "The Killer Angels". No school library should be without these two wonderful films and the related books. These movies were filmed using reinactors and are very realistic and very close to actual events. These films were made by Ted Turner and part of a trilogy. The third movie about the defeat of the Confederacy may or may not be completed (PLEASE Ted do the film!!). A fourth movie "Andersonville" is about the infamous southern prison camp (not for the squeamish!!).

I cannot recommend these movies highly enough. They are GREAT films for every American to view at least once so that they understand how terrible the Civil War really was. Very entertaining and not to be missed.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Since many of you reading this are likely familiar with the movies themselves, or the stories therein, I will refrain from repeating them here (as so many other reviewers have already done). Allow me, though, to comment on the nature of the discs themselves and a brief summary of the content therein.

First of all, this is an amazing value for the price. Not only do you get "Gettysburg," which runs over 4 hours in length, but you also receive "Gods & Generals," which is an additional three-and-a-half hours. When combined with the special features (interviews, documentaries, etc.), you have well over eight hours of Civil War film in one slender DVD case!

(Since it has both discs in one normal case, it will not take up any additional room on your shelf. Additionally, the construction of said case will prevent the discs from sliding about and scratching on each other. I have yet to have any problems with either disc in removing or replacing it from it's holder, as well).

Regarding the content, let me say first that the special features on both discs are impressive. There are no deleted scenes that I recall, but there are some great documentaries, maps, interviews, and bios for each movie.

As far as the movies themselves, "Gettysburg" is by far the better film. There are some amazing performances on both sides of the blue and gray, particularly Richard Jordan's last role, Stephen Lang, Jeff Daniels, Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Kevin Conway, and Sam Elliot. In fact, it's hard to point out any poor performances at all. (Fuqua's makeup wasn't extraordinarily convincing, but otherwise, not a bad J.E.B. Stuart). What I also appreciated greatly was the equal treatment that each side is given.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
...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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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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any hope for an extended version of the DVD?
My sister, who had a small part in the film, says that there may be a director's version if they are encouraged enough but I haven't ssen it yet. You may wish to write the director and studio.
Jan 28, 2007 by Belly Laugh |  See all 4 posts
Has the third part of the trilogy been released ?
The last part of the trilogy has not been released. I've heard that Ted Turner may not produce it due to the poor box office sales of Gods and Generals.
Jun 30, 2008 by Amy E. Barker |  See all 4 posts
director's cut Be the first to reply
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Gods and Generals [Blu-ray]
This item: Gods and Generals [Blu-ray]
Price: $28.99
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