Gods and Generals (2003)

PG-13   |    |  Biography, Drama, History


Gods and Generals (2003) Poster

The rise and fall of confederate general Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, as he meets with military success against the Union from 1861 to 1863, when he is accidentally killed by his own soldiers.


6.4/10
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  • ROBERT DUVALL as General Robert E. Lee
  • Patrick Gorman in Gods and Generals (2003)
  • Robert Duvall in Gods and Generals (2003)
  • Stephen Lang and Sean Pratt in Gods and Generals (2003)
  • Christmas at Moss Neck

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

Ron Maxwell

Writers:

Jeff Shaara (book), Ron Maxwell (screenplay)

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


3 March 2003 | mholland
9
| The critics are wrong
I've seen Gods and Generals twice, and I've enjoyed it both times. The critics I've read seem to object to the piety, the length, and lack of political correctness. It seems to have escaped them that the Civil War was fought in Victorian times, and that the Victorians were extremely pious and sentimental, not to mention hypocritical. However, this did not stop them from efficiently making war on their enemies. The movie caught this perfectly, with Jackson's assumption that God's will is his will -- the scene before the battle on Sunday, the contrast between his sentimental love of children and his 'Kill them all' about his enemies, the constant references to Bible verses ripped out of context. Regarding the length of the movie, all I can say is that I wasn't bored at all, or restless, just fascinated with what was happening on screen. I'm sure for MTV critics any movie over 90 minutes is epic.

Regarding the lack of political correctness, which in my opinion is our modern version of hypocrisy (we can do anything we want as long as we call it by another name) I would like to point out that this is an attempt at a historical movie and that the Civil War was NOT fought to free the slaves, nor were many people in the North comfortable with the concept of a franchised Negro. And some slaves in the South were relatively well treated by their owners, not that they probably didn't want freedom, but they didn't particularly wish their masters ill. The system was set up so that everyone involved, slaves and masters, had something to lose by destroying the status quo, and that's a very difficult thing for people to do. It's easy for us now to say 'they should have freed the slaves' but if you knew that to free your slaves would beggar your children, would you be able to do it?

As with Gettysburg, the battle scenes were impressive and awe-inspiring. And they made the strategy and tactics clear to the viewer which is a monumental achievement, not to mention showing the pure courage on both sides, going to probably death or dismemberment without flinching. I would have liked more about the Northern command struggles to balance the picture but I can see how tempting it was to show the Southern victories to balance the horrible defeat at Gettysburg -- and this picture is meant to be one of a trilogy. I can only hope that word of mouth defeats the critics and gets this movie the audience it deserves.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

A subplot involving John Wilkes Booth and his actor friend Henry T. Harrison (from Gettysburg (1993)) had to be cut from the film in order to get a wide release. The entire battle of Antietam was also deleted. In all, nearly two and a half hours of the film never made it to final print.


Quotes

Title Card: A human life, I think, should be well rooted in some spot of a native land, where it may get the love of tender kinship for the face of the earth, for the labors men go forth to, for the sounds and accents that haunt it, for whatever will give that ...


Goofs

As the 20th Maine is storming Marye's Heights, the flag bearer is seen being shot down, with the flag pole breaking in half. He has a green fig leaf tucked under his hat, right above his ear. This indicates that this is a shot taken from footage of the Irish Brigade's attack, since only the Irish soldiers wore these figs (and can be seen putting them on in a deleted scene on the soundtrack's extra features.)


Crazy Credits

The movie was dedicated to the memory of John F. Maxwell and Royce D. Applegate.


Alternate Versions

The Director's Cut of the film includes additional action scenes from the Battle of Antietam. The battle scenes are shown from the perspectives of Jackson and Chamberlain, and mostly focus on the fighting in Miller's Cornfield which was a major deciding point of the battle.


Soundtracks

Going Home
Music and Lyrics by Mary Fahl,
Byron Isaacs and Glenn H. Patscha
Performed by Mary Fahl
Violin solo by Mark O'Connor
Courtesy of Sony Classical/Odyssey Records

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Biography | Drama | History | War

Details

Release Date:

21 February 2003

Language

English


Country of Origin

USA

Filming Locations

Maryland, USA

Box Office

Budget:

$56,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,675,246 23 February 2003

Gross USA:

$12,882,934

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,923,936

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