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Sales Rank: 538
Actors: Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Stephen Lang, Jeff Daniels, Richard Jordan Director: Ronald F. Maxwell Rating: Features: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD, Widescreen, NTSC Running Time: 261 minutes Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Release Date: February 3, 2004 Theatrical Release Date: 1993 Studio: Turner Home Ent
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The fiercest battle fought on American soil commands the screen an epic film achievement painstakingly recreating the people and events of fateful days in july 1863. Special features: subtitles in English and French, cas/crew interview gallery, cast/director filmographies, and much more.
Three days in the summer of 1863, at a place called Gettysburg. Although it received a theatrical release, this four-hour depiction of the bloody Civil War battle was shot as a made-for-television film. But no taint of cheapness or shortcuts should stick to this magnificent picture well, except maybe for those phony-looking mustaches. Based on Michael Shaara's book The Killer Angels, this film takes a refreshingly slow, thorough approach to the intricacies of battle. In ordinary circumstances, those intricacies might seem of importance only to fans of military strategy or Civil War enthusiasts, yet in Gettysburg they come across as the very stuff of life, death, and unexpected heroism. If the film has a problem, it's that it climaxes too early: the first long segment, detailing the struggle of a "civilian soldier," Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Jeff Daniels, to hold his ground against long odds, is an enthralling piece of moviemaking. Daniels, in a heartbreaking performance, does his best film work. Other cast members include Tom Berenger, Sam Elliott, and Martin Sheen as Robert E. Lee. Richard Jordan, in his final role, gives a powerhouse performance as Confederate general Lewis A. Armistead. Oh, and you can also try to spot Ted Turner, whose company produced the film, as a Confederate soldier. Writer-director Ronald F. Maxwell seems inspired by the gravity of the battle; long as it is, every moment of Gettysburg is informed by a nobility of purpose. --Robert Horton