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Lincoln and Lee at Antietam: The Cost of Freedom (2006)

Ronald F. Maxwell , Dennis E. Frye , Robert Child  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ronald F. Maxwell, Dennis E. Frye, Mike Brown (XVIII), Ed Mantell, Cindy Brinkerhof
  • Directors: Robert Child
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Inecom Entertainment Company
  • DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CA6D9K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,010 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lincoln and Lee at Antietam: The Cost of Freedom" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

It's September 17, 1862 and President Abraham Lincoln needs a victory in order to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and end slavery in the South. But Robert E. Lee has other plans - invade the North. When Lee's strategy falls into the hands of the Union Army, the result is the single bloodiest day in American history at the Battle of Antietam in Sharpsburg, Maryland. The Battle of Antietam results in more casualties than the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Spanish American War combined. In fact, the bloodiest day of World War II, D-Day, amounts to only one quarter of the casualties suffered at Antietam. Narrated by Ronald F. Maxwell, director of the epic Civil War films "Gettysburg" and "Gods & Generals," and written, produced and directed by Robert Child, "Lincoln and Lee at Antietam - The Cost of Freedom" vividly brings to life the story of America's fight for freedom in a battle that changed the course of the Civil War. Through first person accounts, an original music score from Composers Steve Heitzeg and Nicholas Palmer and scarce Antietam commemorative battle footage from the 125th, 135th and 140th Antietam Reenactments, this film tells the tale of the 14-hour epic Battle of Antietam. Historical insight provided by: - James M. McPherson, Princeton University, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Battle Cry of Freedom" and "Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam" - Allen C. Guelzo, Gettysburg College, America's only repeat winner of the Lincoln Prize; Nominated by President George W. Bush to the National Council of the Humanities - Dennis E. Frye, National Park Service (NPS) Historian at Harpers Ferry, author of "Antietam Revealed" and the Associate Producer of "Gods and Generals" - Patrick Falci, actor/performing historian portrays General Ambrose Hill at Antietam - Paul V. Chiles, National Parks Service (NPS) Historian at Antietam National Battlefield Park - Features Stanley Wernz, President of the Association of Lincoln Presenters, as Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Black as General Robert E. Lee Special Features: - 25-minute On-Screen Interview with Ronald F. Maxwell - Feature-Length Commentary Track with Writer/Director Robert Child and Narrator Ronald F. Maxwell - Original Music Score from Composers Steve Heitzeg and Nicholas Palmer - Trailers for: "EXPO-Magic of the White City," "Gettysburg and Stories of Valor - CIVIL WAR MINUTES® III," "Johnstown Flood," "Horses of Gettysburg - CIVIL WAR MINUTES® IV," "Winters of War," "Civil War Life - Shot to Pieces," "CIVIL WAR MINUTES® - Confederate"

The bloodiest battle ever fought on American soil is thoroughly examined in Lincoln & Lee at Antietam: The Cost of Freedom, a worthy addition to anyone's Civil War video collection. Directed and written by Robert Child and narrated by Ronald F. Maxwell (the director of the definitive Civil War epics Gettysburg and Gods and Generals), this straightforward, no-nonsense documentary emphasizes the tactics, strategies, and historical context of the battle at Antietam, in Sharpsburg, Maryland, on September 17, 1862. Further emphasis is placed on the wartime conditions (political agendas, ready status of armies, etc.) that led to President Abraham Lincoln's orders to defeat Gen. Robert E. Lee's exhausted army at Antietam. Lee and other Confederate strategists had hoped to stage a surprise invasion, but Lee's battle plans fell into the hands of the Union army, and Lincoln's victory--which was essential to his issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation to end slavery--turned Antietam into the pivotal battle of the war. Although Child (who also directed Gettysburg: Three Days of Destiny) uses dramatic readings, maps, and photographs (especially the legendary battleground photos of Matthew Brady) in a manner similar to Ken Burns' epic-length documentary The Civil War, the look and presentation of Lincoln & Lee at Antietam is entirely different, with many sequences involving contemporary Antietam reenactments. Many of the Civil War's most colorful and important figures factor into this detailed 90-minute account, which clearly benefits from impeccable in-depth research. A 25-minute interview with Maxwell reveals the filmmaker's massive 15-year commitment to bringing his epics to the screen, and his feature-length commentary with Child lends another layer of detailed information to this authoritative DVD. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Antietam reason: February 8, 2006
Lincoln and Lee at Antietam covers the entire struggle of the Antietam Campaign. The political concept about why Lincoln needed a Union victory and Lee's need to take the war north were covered as well as the battle. With various interviews featuring historians such as James McPherson, this documentary is very well done. The battle coverage is brief and not entirely descriptive although it includes reenactment scenes from the 125th, 135th and 140th Antietam Reenactments. A majority of the footage and photography is excellent as it shows the beauty of the Maryland landscape around Antietam. Some of the film really points out General McClellan's "slow-to-react" method of dealing with Lee's invasion and how he missed a multiple of opportunities to really whip Lee during this campaign.

Being a reenactor, covering a battle in detail in under two hours is nearly impossible. Naturally I would like to see more. I did enjoy the political views shown on both sides be it Union or Confederate. It showcased the importance of how crucial this conflict was to each party. It presented the facts about what could be gained and lost for both armies and governments that I liked.

For a veteran reenactor or student of the battle of Antietam, a majority of this presentation is fairly basic and might be too standard although McPherson's explanation about why Antietam was politically important for Lincoln is something most people could learn about in this great presentation.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this now July 13, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best movie / documentaries i have ever seen on the battle of Sharpsburg. mostly historians are telling the story, But tell it in a very detailed very informative and compelling way. This is a winner.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hugely Disappointing May 15, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Maybe this is a good introduction for viewers who know nothing of Antietam. But, if you are even generally familiar with the battle, this a hugely disappointing account. For starters, it begs for maps showing the course of the battle. There is absolutely no visual or spatial context for what is being portrayed in the battle scenes. The account is completely lacking structure and cohesion that maps would have provided. This would have been very simple and inexpensive to achieve. Yes, there was one overall map but it really was inadequate to explain what was going on. Second, the really cheesy actors portraying the key historical figures, their silly looking makeup and their complete lack of trained voices for the narration just made them comical. Finally, the re-enactors were, as re-enactors usually are, too old and many of them too fat to have any credibility. Ken Burns did a much better job portraying Antietam in "The Civil War" without actors or re-enactors and using professionals to speak the words being quoted and that really is the gold standard. This effort doesn't even come close. Short version: Needs more maps, a more defined story arc, better actors and lose the re-enactors.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well documented, the end was especially touching November 13, 2012
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Hopefully, we never see another Civil War in the USA. To think that 23,000 lives were lost in just one day of fighting is unfathomable.

This film includes re-enactments, original photos, maps and narration about Antiedam and how it was fought. Seeing the re-enactments, helps to bring this war into reality. The film has an ending that will give you a better understanding as to how many lives were lost. (without giving away how) The ending really, really touched me. I'm very fortunate that my ancestors returned from the Civil War.

Anyone who loves US History should take the time to watch this film.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! January 9, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my husband who loves anything Civil War related. I read the reviews and seemed to be well received. It was excellent. We both thought it was very well done. I highly reccomend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Importance of Remembering Sacrifice May 22, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
This is a great documentary on the sacrifice of 23000 Americans. They gave their all for what they believed in. The least we can do is to understand what and why it happened and to remember them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative April 12, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
A great documentary that did a great job showing the political importance of Antietam. It is a bit older and does show its age, and for those of you that have seen Lincoln, you will be disappointed by the actor. But overall it does what it sets out to do, and that is to inform.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lee. February 26, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Saw this for free with my Amazon Prime membership. Lots of good information. Well worth watching if you enjoy civil war history
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars fine reenactments and detailed account of not only the events ...
very informative video, fine reenactments and detailed account of not only the events but also the strategies of both commanders.
Published 4 days ago by bob navarrete
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see the History of this horrific history changing battle
I'm speechless. This told the story of every soldier there.
Published 2 months ago by Consumer B
5.0 out of 5 stars I love history, especially the Civil War
I love history, especially the Civil War. The video made you feel as if you were actually there. Just a great video...
Published 2 months ago by Carol Box
3.0 out of 5 stars A Review: Lincoln and Lee at Antietam-The Cost of Freedom
From someone who does not have any initial knowledge regarding the Civil War or The War for Southern Independence, whichever side you are on, this documentary can be a good... Read more
Published 3 months ago by thomascgty
5.0 out of 5 stars Birthday presant for Hubby
Hubby is a huge Civil War buff. We've been watching the 150th year anniversary shows on TV, I thought he like this DVD. He's watched it several time. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Anita iorizzo
2.0 out of 5 stars The Film could have been enhanced
I have to agree with another critic that more emphasis could have been placed on maps showing troop movements. The film was a cross between a documentary and a historical novel. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rod
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Excellent but agonizing to witness. This is a wonderful documentary, detailed and clear, for anyone intrigued by history, especially the tragedy of war.
Published 4 months ago by Dianne D.
4.0 out of 5 stars I am a big fan of all Civil War information
and this program fits right into that pattern. Based on the fact that Lincoln was ready to announce his Emancipation Proclamation, it was suggested that he wait until a Union... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Charlie
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Documentary
This documentary about this battle is detailed and in depth. Great video to show your children about one of the great battles of the Civil War.
Published 6 months ago by Fran Velez
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Good...Not Great
This is a competent documentary. If you're unfamiliar with the subject matter, this will be more interesting to you. If you're an expert...this doc treads on familiar territory.
Published 7 months ago by Jeffrey Lee Hollis
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