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Gettysburg: Director's Cut (Blu-ray)

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,535 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Gettysburg: Director's Cut (Blu-ray)

Marking the 150th-anniversary commemoration of the Civil War, Ronald F. Maxwell's acclaimed film now arrives in a Director's Cut featuring 17 minutes of compelling additional footage. Filmed at actual battle locations and full of authentic details, this rousing and soulful movie plunges you into the heat of the bloodiest battle fought on American soil. History comes alive with intense and spirited battles as well as the dilemmas, motivations and fears of the leaders. Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen and Stephen Lang star in this magnificent epic based on Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Killer Angels.

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang
  • Directors: Ronald F. Maxwell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Blu-ray, Director's Cut, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 15, 2011
  • Run Time: 271 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,535 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005NFJAT4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,358 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mike Powers TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 24, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
(Review updated July 25, 2015)

"Gettysburg" is one of my all-time favorite war films! It re-creates the Civil War's battle of Gettysburg with superb acting, an excellent screenplay, a hauntingly beautiful musical score, and some of the most authentic and stirring battle scenes I've ever seen in a movie.

Based upon Michael Shaara's Pulitzer Prize winning novel "The Killer Angels," this film follows the principal characters, and chronicles the main events, which occurred at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania from July 1-3, 1863. The events depicted in the film are notable for their historical accuracy. Some of the most exciting battle scenes in the film are General John Buford's engagement with the Confederates on the high ground north of Gettysburg on July 1; the defense of Little Round Top by Colonel Joshua Chamberlain's 20th Maine on the following day; and, of course, Pickett's Charge on the final day of the battle. The battle scenes contain plenty of smoke and fire, but are done without copious displays of blood and gore.

The acting in "Gettysburg" is excellent throughout. Jeff Daniels , who portrays Chamberlain, probably gives the best overall performance, but Martin Sheen (Robert E. Lee), Tom Berenger (Gen. James Longstreet), Sam Eliot (Buford,) Stephen Lang (Gen. George Pickett), and Kevin Conway (Sergeant Kilrain) also give performances which are outstanding for their realism, grittiness, and historical accuracy. Special mention must also go to the late Richard Jordan, whose portrayal of Confederate General Louis Armistead was consistently eloquent and moving.

I originally purchased "Gettysburg" in 1999, when it was available only in VHS format. Over the past fifteen years, it has also been released in both DVD and Blu-ray formats.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Many other reviewers have written about the movie Gettysburg itself, so I thought I would comment on the DVD itself.
I have an extensive DVD collection, and if you have experienced what I have, among them are the great quality transfers and some real dogs. Gettysburg might well be THE finest transfer I've seen. The video (I play it on a widescreen HDTV) and audio are outstanding. I must emphasize that the video delivers unbelievable clarity, perhaps the best I've seen. Clearly, the careful attention to detail and loving recreations that were the foundation for the original movie have been carried to the DVD with that same committment. It is refreshing to see a studio that REALLY cares about its product.
As an aside, I should also mention I am an amateur Civil War historian focused on the battle of Gettysburg and of course find the film an outstanding, albeit limited, short history of the battle. This DVD will expand other people's knowledge if they avail themselves of the feature length commentary, especially the portions by James McPherson from Princeton U. His narrative not only amplifies details of what the movie shows, but also puts a broader perspective on it, such as other important engagements at Gettysburg such as Culp's Hill, the Wheatfield, and others.
Bottom line: GET THIS DVD.
4 Comments 298 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
"Gettysburg" is perhaps the best attempt by any film to capture a single battle from beginning to end. It is not a movie for everyone since there is no artificially-embedded love story (as in. "Pearl Harbor"), and in fact, there are no women in this movie at all. It sets out to depict the largest battle ever fought on the American continent. Its success is the product of the deliberate choice of the director to respect the source material, namely one of the finest historical war novels ever written, "The Killer Angels", by Michael Shaara.
Gettysburg is a battle of superlatives. It was the largest and bloodiest encounter battle of the Civil War, adding up the three days between July 1 and July 3, 1863, and it tore the heart out of the Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.. It is also the most controversial battle, generating more than its share of debates over decisions and tactics. Was Lee off his game at Gettysburg, as Shaara suggests? Or, as other historians argue, was the battle lost by "Old Pete" Longstreet's case of the "slows" on July 2 (the attack on Devil's Den and Little Round Top) and July 3 (Pickett's Charge)? Longstreet's postwar memoirs lay the blame for Pickett`s Charge squarely at Lee's feet, but since Longstreet joined the Republican party after the war, many Southerners are quick to blame him for Lee's defeat.
Shaara's book, and therefore the film, makes choices in this debate. Shaara sides with Longstreet (aptly played by Tom Beringer), who is depicted as a thoughtful, reluctant warrior who vocally opposes the sanguinary frontal assaults launched by Lee on July 2nd and July 3rd . (For a different perspective, I highly recommend Noah Trudeau's latest book, "Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage.
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8 Comments 217 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: VHS Tape
July 1,2,3 of 1863 were pivotal days in our country's history. "Gettysburg" does an admirable job of summing up the actions and emotions of this battle in about 4 hours. This is the best Civil War movie that you are ever going to see. Why is it so good? Here are a number of reasons:
ONE: The Acting...There is a good amount of solid actors playing key roles in this movie. Sam Elliot, Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels, and Tom Berenger are the big names. They are supported by other very good actors. They play their parts with proper accents and believability.
TWO: Balance...Some Civil War movies almost make the South seem like the bad guys ("Glory" comes to mind). No matter what part of the country you are from, as you watch "Gettysburg" you feel for the fighters on both sides. You understand the tough choices they had to make as this movie spends even time in both army camps. In a normal movie, I would have expected the Pickett's Charge scene to be a story of the Northerner's great stand. In this movie, both the South and the North are given their due during this key assault.
THREE: Personal Stories...This movie isn't just about the nuts & bolts of the battle (who was stationed here, who charged there etc...), but it also does a phenomonal job of telling the stories mostly of the key officers in this battle: Buford, Stuart, Chamberlain, Lee, and Longstreet. One part that was especially done well was the struggle between two close friends, Armistead (CSA) and Hancock (USA).
FOUR: Soundtrack...Very appropriate and beautiful music during different parts of the battle.
I could go on, but I think this highlights the strengths of this great movie. It's one that's well worth watching.
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