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View Full Version : What do you think of the movie, "Gettysburg" (1993)?



3rd_PA_Artillery
07-01-2007, 05:54 PM
Starring Martin Sheen, Jeff Daniels, Stephen Lang, and a special appearance by Sam Elliott.

flattop32355
07-01-2007, 08:09 PM
Of the two movies made, it's by far better than Gods and Generals, which took the pontificating and speechifying of G'burg to a whole 'nother level of silliness. I wasn't really thrilled with Martin Sheen as Lee, but Duvall wasn't available at the time.

The music was excellent.

Frenchie
07-01-2007, 08:26 PM
Since Gods and Generals came out, it seems like every mention of the movie Gettysburg (or any CW movie, for that matter) seems to become yet another opportunity to bash GaG. So you (generic 'you') didn't get your handsome phiz on the silver screen, paid or not; so Ron Maxwell didn't come to you and beg you to write the screenplay, or hire you as a technical consultant, or whatever the particular nature of the insect that's crawled up your nether ora might happen to be... the fact is, as a movie that's meant to entertain the great, ignorant masses, it isn't that bad. Go ahead, tell me it isn't technically as good as North & South (which I still can't watch without alternately groaning and giggling), or has anything worse than Jeb's Horrible Beard (which I still can't watch at all).

Thanks, it felt good to get that off my chest.

reb4lee
07-01-2007, 10:05 PM
Since Gods and Generals came out, it seems like every mention of the movie Gettysburg (or any CW movie, for that matter) seems to become yet another opportunity to bash GaG.

Dear Folks,
I agree with the above statement. Every time i hear about Gettysburg it seem GAG comes up and people tear it apart. I thought Gettysburg was a great movie. I think it did a Great job of picket charges. GaG I thought was a very good movie. I dont care what other people say I really did like Gods and Generals.

KarinTimour
07-01-2007, 10:11 PM
Dear Frenchie:

I beg to differ. I had zip interest in being on screen, or being a technical consultant or having anything to do with Gods and Generals. I wasn't offended in the slightest that I wasn't involved in making this movie -- I just wanted to see it when it came out.

I rarely go to the movies anymore, because the majority of films that are being made seem to be centered on shooting people, doing and dealing drugs, crime, killing people in creative ways, etc. None of which I want to see at all, let alone pay $11 to see.

I like the 1860s and I watch movies that portray it between reenactments to get a "hit" of period ambiance.

I am especially fascinated with Fredericksburg for any number of reasons.

By about half way through Gods and Generals I was bored to tears.

Gettysburg I still watch from time to time, with enjoyment (though I do think supporting role credit needs to be given to several of the beards).

Not trying to start a flame war, just giving an alternate view,
Karin Timour
Period Knitting -- Socks, Sleeping Hats, Balaclavas
Come see me at September Storm -- I'll have the sock line with me.
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
Email: Ktimour@aol.com

Frenchie
07-02-2007, 01:04 AM
Dear Miss Timour,

Ah, but you, cher Mademoiselle, are truly one in a million, and I cannot take offense of any kind from you, nor mount an attack on your opinion. Vos servant,

sbl
07-02-2007, 04:31 AM
I wish HBO would get hold of a CW/WBTS script and make a historical series a kin to Rome, Deadwood, and Carnivāle.

More flesh and blood and less marble and stone would be nice.

3rd_PA_Artillery
07-02-2007, 06:32 AM
I wish HBO would get hold of a CW/WBTS script and make a historical series a kin to Rome, Deadwood, and Carnivāle.

More flesh and blood and less marble and stone would be nice.

Yeah, that would be great! I think that on the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, they should show a marathon of "Gettysburg" all day.

3rd_PA_Artillery
07-02-2007, 06:33 AM
Of the two movies made, it's by far better than Gods and Generals, which took the pontificating and speechifying of G'burg to a whole 'nother level of silliness. I wasn't really thrilled with Martin Sheen as Lee, but Duvall wasn't available at the time.

The music was excellent.

I thought Martin Sheen did a pretty good job as Lee.

MDRebCAv
07-02-2007, 09:31 AM
I was thinking about this on Tuesday...just because I was showing the movie "Gettysburg" to some relatives who had visited the battlefield for the first time.

We reenactors often bash movies that are meant as entertainment into oblivion based on their authenticity, to the point where no more movies get produced. I daresay I would rather have bad movies to pique the interest of the public than nothing out there at all! And all of our negativism is a big factor in how they do at the box office.

It would be better, in my opinion, to have people get interested in the period and then to inform them that..."well, it really didn't happen like that." If a movie was 100% authentic it might actually be boring to the mass of the target audience (i.e. the ticket buying public).

Was "Braveheart" authentic? No, there was no "Uncle Argyle", why in the world would the Irishman, Stephen be fighting along side the Scots--and, you know, the Clan Guthrie was actually a prominent part of the background--did you see any mention of the Guthries? Being a member of the Clan Guthrie, should I bash the movie because of this? Heck no--it is still a great story and a great movie.

Is "The Patriot" anywhere near authentic? Why was there no mention that the Cowpens flag was actully the flag of the Third Maryland Regiment...where was John Eager Howard? Again not historically accurate but a great movie and actually quite patriotically stirring.

Okay...I also hated the pontificating speech that the GaG writers put into Chamberlain's mouth...but Kilrain's little "Hail Ceasar" quote actually made me laugh. There is alot that was not good but I think we hurt our own cause a bit...we should be trying to encourage a better product without destroying the prospect of further movies.

I would like to see more...I would love to see a CW naval movie...something about the Alabama (commanded by another Marylander) or the Shennandoah.

Use hollywood as a vehicle to talk to the spectators--get them interested in the true stories--but don't get rid of a great marketing tool like movies by bashing them into oblivion.

redleggeddevil
07-02-2007, 10:49 AM
"Gettysburg" was, in my opinion, a good case of the "ooooooooo, ALMOST!" syndrome. What I mean is this: It is not the movie it could be, yet some things they did were, I think, very well done. Actually using Central Pennsylvania was a huge plus, as it automatically gave the right look. Being able to film some scenes on the battlefield itself was also a huge plus.

There were several small points that I really enjoyed (some visible only on the big screen, alas). A quick, almost throw-away shot of the fighting in Weikert's Field (the triangular field to the south of Devil's Den) shows soldiers with orange ribbons in their buttonholes, the distinctive badge of the 124th NY. How many people would notice--or care about--such a 3 second snippet of film? Still, it showed me that someone, somewhere cared enough to do that right.

For this former member of the Orange Blossoms, that scene made the film for me.

But I'm easily amused.

Unhorsedman
07-02-2007, 11:52 AM
Hey, redleggedevil, what happened to the 5th NY Red Legged Devils movie that was supposed to have been released/broadcast this past spring?

redleggeddevil
07-02-2007, 11:56 AM
Hey, redleggedevil, what happened to the 5th NY Red Legged Devils movie that was supposed to have been released/broadcast this past spring?


I don't know about that one. I'm a 14th Brooklyn variety of red legged devil, and those hoity-toity 5th New York types don't associate with us.

sbl
07-02-2007, 12:12 PM
Andrew

I noticed the presence of the 14th in the movie Gettysburg with one officer doing double duty in another scene in another uniform. There are several cases of that in the movie as some "background artists" wore different hats.

flattop32355
07-02-2007, 04:47 PM
Since Gods and Generals came out, it seems like every mention of the movie Gettysburg (or any CW movie, for that matter) seems to become yet another opportunity to bash GaG. So you (generic 'you') didn't get your handsome phiz on the silver screen, paid or not...

Realizing "you" doesn't mean "me"...

I just didn't care for it. I wasn't in it, so that's immaterial for me. I just didn't like it.

Before G&G even showed up, I had grown weary of an increasing awareness of the long monologues in Gettysburg, particularly Armistead's soliloquies, within an otherwise good movie. Perhaps because of that, I was really sensitive to the number and length of similar stuff in G&G.

I also didn't like the story line followed, with the almost minimal coverage for Lee and Longstreet. I don't begrudge having Jackson the central figure, but it just seemed to need stronger and more developed supporting characters.

ILYankee5
07-02-2007, 05:10 PM
Overall I loved Gettysburg. From the first time I saw it in 1993; to about 5 days ago when I pulled the DVD out and watched it again :) I still like the movie. 100% historically correct, no. A good/great film yes. Is every reenactment or living history we do 100% correct? I agree we don't quite 'Hollywoodize' things but still. Once again this is my opinion. But it is hard to see a film that I believe brought a lot of good people to either be in the hobby, support the hobby, or support preservation by visiting the sites get bashed or put down. Overall it is a good movie.

Now God's and Generals. Once again, I think it was a good movie. No not a Gettysburg. But a good movie. There are a lot of silolquies, I agree, but a good show/movie. Once again, maybe these shows will just spark someones interest in history and want to know more.

ILYankee5

Evan3MD
07-02-2007, 05:39 PM
Critisism of God's and Generals is realevant, in my opinion it was just as bad a Mainstream movie as a Civil War movie - there are many reasons to this.

First: To much Scope,

now I realise that G&G is based on a book - but the very fact is that it simply covers too much of the Civil War for it's own good. They cram 3 years of war into 4 hours of movie which leads overall in to an unpleasantly long movie as well as being rather historically shallow.

Unlike Gettysburg which covers one battle rather in depth (which is realitive because it skimps over considerabl portions of the battle) G&G tries to cover 3 battles and the time inbetween - leaving unimpresive action scenes and a very inconsistant script.


Second: Lacks real action

We can all imagine what combat was like in the Civil War - and it sure as **** wasn't Gods and Generals style combat. I hated the scene at first Mannassas where all the Rebs do is fire a volley and then do a bayonet charge - even in early war it's hard for me to believe combat was that linear.

It is my personal conviction that combat in the civil war - no matter how its recorded in reports - was a lot more chaotic than seems to be the common belief. In fact when you think of it - it seems only logical.

Third: Its inconsistant.

Ok, the movie starts out with General Lee - and then we don't see him till the end of 1862? And then we have Chamberlain, who drops out promptly after Fredericksburg without another word.

And then there is Jackson - and even then there is no mentioning of either Antietam or the Valley even in the script.

God's and Generals obviously has a lot of gaps. I understand that it mainly follows Jackson - but in a movie focused on one man as it is simply too cluttered by numerous sub-plots that add nothing to the movie.

Just my 2 cents,


Regards,


Evan

reb64
07-02-2007, 06:52 PM
I was thinking about this on Tuesday...just because I was showing the movie "Gettysburg" to some relatives who had visited the battlefield for the first time.

We reenactors often bash movies that are meant as entertainment into oblivion based on their authenticity, to the point where no more movies get produced. I daresay I would rather have bad movies to pique the interest of the public than nothing out there at all! And all of our negativism is a big factor in how they do at the box office.

It would be better, in my opinion, to have people get interested in the period and then to inform them that..."well, it really didn't happen like that." If a movie was 100% authentic it might actually be boring to the mass of the target audience (i.e. the ticket buying public).

Was "Braveheart" authentic? No, there was no "Uncle Argyle", why in the world would the Irishman, Stephen be fighting along side the Scots--and, you know, the Clan Guthrie was actually a prominent part of the background--did you see any mention of the Guthries? Being a member of the Clan Guthrie, should I bash the movie because of this? Heck no--it is still a great story and a great movie.

Is "The Patriot" anywhere near authentic? Why was there no mention that the Cowpens flag was actully the flag of the Third Maryland Regiment...where was John Eager Howard? Again not historically accurate but a great movie and actually quite patriotically stirring.

Okay...I also hated the pontificating speech that the GaG writers put into Chamberlain's mouth...but Kilrain's little "Hail Ceasar" quote actually made me laugh. There is alot that was not good but I think we hurt our own cause a bit...we should be trying to encourage a better product without destroying the prospect of further movies.

I would like to see more...I would love to see a CW naval movie...something about the Alabama (commanded by another Marylander) or the Shennandoah.

Use hollywood as a vehicle to talk to the spectators--get them interested in the true stories--but don't get rid of a great marketing tool like movies by bashing them into oblivion.



Braveheart is great entertainment, just don't use it for a history class study aid. The end battle, where the scotts were vastly outnumbered leaves some to the imagination but they only touched on it. they were overwhemingly outnumbered! some say a ruse charge by the non- combantant camp followers, extras, women, etc scarred off the brits. Othes say it was a charge by the knight templars themselves with the ark of the covenant out front!

sbl
07-03-2007, 04:10 AM
"I would like to see more...I would love to see a CW naval movie...something about the Alabama (commanded by another Marylander) or the Shennandoah."

With modern CGI this is possible w/o ship models.

AzTrooper
07-03-2007, 11:19 AM
Howdy,
I love watching Gettysburg, I also really enjoyed Gods and Generals a lot.I too hope that in the future more movies are made about the War between the states.
I know that this is not a popular opinion but I am really hoping that The Last Full Measure makes its way onto film. I will go see it in a heartbeat!
Respectfully,
John Rogers

Fenian
07-03-2007, 03:24 PM
My wife and I will be there,when and if they do! Bud Scully 13th Nj and 69th Ny;)

3rd_PA_Artillery
07-03-2007, 06:33 PM
So will I! I haven't read the book yet because I can't find it anywhere. However, I do have The Killer Angels.

flattop32355
07-03-2007, 08:30 PM
So will I! I haven't read the book yet because I can't find it anywhere. However, I do have The Killer Angels.

Check your local library; if they don't have it, they can usually get it with interlibrary loan.

EasySam
07-04-2007, 02:56 PM
I wish HBO would get hold of a CW/WBTS script and make a historical series a kin to Rome, Deadwood, and Carnivāle.

More flesh and blood and less marble and stone would be nice.

I would like to see something done along the lines of "Band Of Brothers".

Claude Sinclair
07-05-2007, 06:50 AM
I liked both movies. My wife loved G&G and we have watched it several times. One time with Robert Duvall in the audience at an invitation only viewing in Charlotte, NC. I do pay attention to uniforms and etc but not to the point of picking the movie apart.

Regards,

Claude Sinclair

reb64
07-06-2007, 06:19 AM
I would like to see something done along the lines of "Band Of Brothers".t

Not quite the grittiness of what your after but it had a semblance of those shows well before them. It was good with some over the top characters, such as the prison camp commander in richmond, that vegas singer?

reb64
07-06-2007, 06:24 AM
Critisism of God's and Generals is realevant, in my opinion it was just as bad a Mainstream movie as a Civil War movie - there are many reasons to this.

First: To much Scope,

now I realise that G&G is based on a book - but the very fact is that it simply covers too much of the Civil War for it's own good. They cram 3 years of war into 4 hours of movie which leads overall in to an unpleasantly long movie as well as being rather historically shallow.

Unlike Gettysburg which covers one battle rather in depth (which is realitive because it skimps over considerabl portions of the battle) G&G tries to cover 3 battles and the time inbetween - leaving unimpresive action scenes and a very inconsistant script.


Second: Lacks real action

We can all imagine what combat was like in the Civil War - and it sure as **** wasn't Gods and Generals style combat. I hated the scene at first Mannassas where all the Rebs do is fire a volley and then do a bayonet charge - even in early war it's hard for me to believe combat was that linear.

It is my personal conviction that combat in the civil war - no matter how its recorded in reports - was a lot more chaotic than seems to be the common belief. In fact when you think of it - it seems only logical.

Third: Its inconsistant.

Ok, the movie starts out with General Lee - and then we don't see him till the end of 1862? And then we have Chamberlain, who drops out promptly after Fredericksburg without another word.

And then there is Jackson - and even then there is no mentioning of either Antietam or the Valley even in the script.

God's and Generals obviously has a lot of gaps. I understand that it mainly follows Jackson - but in a movie focused on one man as it is simply too cluttered by numerous sub-plots that add nothing to the movie.

Just my 2 cents,


Regards,


Evan

I oft read here there is enough footage to make the G&G movie longer and more true to timelines but will most likely never be edited.

sccavtrooper
07-10-2007, 10:38 AM
here is my take on the movies. As one that is in North and South and was on set. I can tell you the makers on the mini series had no intention to make a movie that was true to the War. as i was told they are not making a documemtary, they are in it to intertain and make money. Which it did. the people in hollywood are not there to make a movie that will make a few thousand reenactors and historians happy they are there to make a movie that will turn a profit and make a few million people happy to spend their money.

I have done several movies/mini series over the years. I did not do Gettysburg for the simple reason they did not want to pay the reenactors any money to come make the producer, directors and actors their money. i am not a greedy fellow but i do think i deserve my part of the pie too.

in the 1990's my company did the divorce appraisal for Tom Berringer. He has a LARGE collection of civil war items and i got to put on the coat he wore in gettysburg. He was telling me the samething abotu holywood. If you as historian want to make a movie that is dead on authentic then go right ahead. put your money up or shop it around to the studieo's but he also said be ready for alot of turn downs. If it will not sell they are not going to give you the money to make it.

As for the movie. i like it. I think its one of the best Civil War movies done. Its it perfect NO. Is it the best we can hope for MAYBE. BUT it did spark the Civil War reenactments to a big growth in membership. That has died away now, but at the time prices of orginal stuff went through the roof and reenactment groups saw a large increase in members so it must have appealed to alot of people.

sbl
07-10-2007, 12:11 PM
12thriv and sccavtrooper,

Are the same freakn' guy?

OVI
07-14-2007, 08:53 AM
Everytime the failure of GAG comes up in discussion, someone always decries that the negative reaction of reenactors to the product is somehow the reason for its failure. I sure wish we had that kind of power. Unfortunately, the truth is that the ticket buying public determines the success of a film. The reviews of GAG were mostly negative based on the length of the film, its turgid style, its rambling narrative, and its Confederate POV. The last part alone should've filled the theaters all over the South but it didn't.
GAG is a horrible movie and reenactors are not to blame because we didnt support it. It failed because it was an unworthy product. Thats Ron Maxwell's fault. He destroyed his own franchise of making Civil War movies.
Perhaps in a few years, some else will wish to make a CW movie that tells a good story, features good characters, and can relate visually on the screen something of the actual conflict. It can be done.

Kent Dorr

Brian Wolle
07-17-2007, 12:28 AM
kent is so right. That it was trashed even by reenactors says quite a lot.
Besides, wasn't it promised to be about Hancock and Armistead in California before the War?

Personally, I thought Sheen much closer to the Real RE Lee than Duvall. Even that first scene with Duvall refusing adamantly the generalship of the Federal army is so off the mark and definitely not all the fault of the script writer.
Sheen's biggest fault is coming out of that tent with no coat and his vest unbuttoned. But how come those consultants didn't say something at the time???

OVI
07-17-2007, 12:22 PM
Personally, I thought Sheen much closer to the Real RE Lee than Duvall. Even that first scene with Duvall refusing adamantly the generalship of the Federal army is so off the mark and definitely not all the fault of the script writer.

When the movie opened with the beautiful music and the flags, I was ready for a great movie. Then we get REL with a beard that history records wasn't even grown until later in the war. It amazed me that a producer/director running around proclaiming this to be the accurate movie about the CW ever, couldn't even get the first scene right. Needless to say, the next 4 hours went by slowly.

Kent Dorr
"Movie Critic Mess"

sbl
07-18-2007, 04:31 AM
Kent,

It was 4 hour series of "tableaux vivants."

OVI
07-18-2007, 11:15 AM
Kent,

It was 4 hour series of "tableaux vivants."


If Ron had done that right (without dialogue)..it might 've been better.

Im pretty well convinced that Mr Maxwell simply became overwhelmed by the scope of what he was working with and in the end he couldnt decide whether he was making a film about Jackson, Fredericksburg or whatever. Unfortunately he just kept filming and the result is the mess that wasted about 90 million of Teds Benjamins. I understand there is even more footage of a story about John Wilkes Booth that was shot but thankfully edited out to save the public from a 6 hour buttnumbing.
Anyone who has ever marginally looked at the economics of filmaking and theater release knows that theater owners hate long epics because these films generally limit the amount of showings and thus eat into profits. I know theaters couldnt wait to jettison GAG because it wasnt "theater" friendly.
Add to the fact that few theaters had large crowds for GAG even before folks knew how bad it was, and it was a mistake all around.

Kent Dorr

sbl
07-18-2007, 01:25 PM
"If Ron had done that right (without dialogue)..it might 've been better."

You are right Kent, I forgot that "tableaux vivants" don't speak. Maybe Thanksgiving Pageants?

Micah Trent
07-24-2007, 05:17 PM
Reading these posts here, one thing that pops in my mind when watching GAG is that the music just wasn't sequel quality. What I mean by that is in most movies that have sequels, the music is very similar. I have heard a lot of people say with the Gettysburg soundtrack that you couldn't got better music, that it all flowed together. You come to GAG and the music just wasn't there.
I think it would've helped the movie if maybe they kept the theme song from Gettysburg (Main Title) as the opening song rather then Mary Fahl (who did a wonderful job singing Coming Home...but not the same...) About the only song on the entire GAG soundtrack I liked for the movie was "VMI Will Be Heard From Today".
To close the movie with Bob Dylan singing "Cross the Green Mountain"...it sounded like Gonzo from the Muppets!:shock: It just didn't fit the movie.
I think Randy Elderman could've done a much better arrangement and not team up with John Frizzell (two different composers with two different styles)
Instead of letting the movie be the way Gettysburg was, they tried to "raise the bar" and make it more "Hollywood" and to where it would reach people of all ages and by doing so, they missed out on the main point...the book itself.

sbl
07-24-2007, 05:50 PM
Micah,
I know this isn't a "standard" for music greatness, but I can still whistle, hum, da da daa the various themes from Gettysburg. Music from GAG completely escapes me.

Micah Trent
07-24-2007, 06:07 PM
Micah,
I know this isn't a "standard" for music greatness, but I can still whistle, hum, da da daa the various themes from Gettysburg. Music from GAG completely escapes me.

I agree! Everyone knows the tunes to Gettysburg, but for the most part, the music to GAG escapes me too. Can't tell ya most of it cause there was nothing catchey to it.

flattop32355
07-24-2007, 07:07 PM
I agree! Everyone knows the tunes to Gettysburg, but for the most part, the music to GAG escapes me too. Can't tell ya most of it cause there was nothing catchey to it.

Kinda like comparing Star Trek NG, Voyager and DS9 to that most lamentable theme music of Enterprise. Just what were they thinking? The music can kill a show/movie as easily as anything.

Evan3MD
07-25-2007, 09:11 AM
Now you'd think someone would jump on The Last Full Measure just because of the battles in the Overland Campaign.

I liked the rendition of the Wilderness in Wicked Spring and imagine a film maker who actualy has money making that.

tompritchett
07-25-2007, 09:20 AM
Now you'd think someone would jump on The Last Full Measure just because of the battles in the Overland Campaign.

I think that the money lost in GAG would cause most major studios to look twice before commiting to another movie from the series. A smaller studio using less known actors and with a much tighter control on the budget might have a shot at it.

ILYankee5
07-25-2007, 10:04 AM
There was music in GAG? J/K. If memory serves me correctly; Gettysburg even had a brass band song and a couple fife and drum corps songs. Were those present in GAG? Hmmm. It seems that GAG almost tried to over do it. They tried to take it way over the top and simply lost out. I have the soundtrack to Gettysburg, I even have a cd that I do believe is entitled More songs from Gettysburg. But The GAG soundtrack does not grace my cd collection. However, this does not prevent me in showing some scenes from GAG in my classroom. And yes, I would like to see someone latch onto The Last Full Measure. I have read the book and personally thought it to be better than GAG. But once again, just my opinion.

ILYankee5

sbl
07-25-2007, 10:27 AM
ILYankee5,

GAG had a recreation of a performance of "Bonnie Blue Flag" by the entertainer Harry MaCarthy, who wrote it and his wive.

Micah Trent
07-25-2007, 10:56 AM
Gettysburg even had a brass band song and a couple fife and drum corps songs. ILYankee5

GAG did too...somewhat...just not on CD.
I just thought the music all together for the GAG movie was poorly thought out and just didn't fit the movie.

NoahBriggs
07-25-2007, 01:27 PM
Gettysburg - entertainment, not total history. good background noise for your round-rolling party.

Gods And Generals - entertainment which pushes the bounds of viewer patience.

Glory - entertainent, and some sparks for further thinking on how African-Americans contributed to the war.

Accurate? No. Good story? G'burg yes; GaG, could have been if they trimmed the script. Glory - man, that movie rocks.

The point of movies is to entertain. I gave up reviewing historic movies for accuracy by "The Patriot". I accepted the movie was going to entertain, and that is what I got. As long as the story feels believable, I am entertained.

That said, it is clear with the latest glut of CGI "special effects event of the summer" being churned from the Hollywood grinders that it should be pretty easy to replicate the mid nineteenth century.

I myself think that a "Band of Brothers" style mini-series which takes place during Sherman's March ought to do just nicely. Plenty of time to develop character, establish the violence of the time and then move on to the moral ambiguities of total war and its impact on the civilian population. I also think they ought to address the slavery issue in the series, too. It was there, like it or not. It was dangerous, even if you were a free person. It had an historic impact, like it or not, and it was popular or not, depending on your political views. NAACP can scream about it all they want but you cannot erase the past. (You can try, but it's hard to get away with it, as Holocaust deniers have yet to discover once they rejoin reality.)

HBO is not shy about retaining the "Saving Private Ryan"-level of violence and its consequences. Properly applied to the Sherman's March series, it could be a real eye-opener for those who think the war was about clueless volunteers marching in straight lines and talking about life back home in the cabin.

I'd like to see a remake of "Roots" and "Queen", too, with better and updated research.

ILYankee5
07-25-2007, 04:43 PM
Yes, I had not forgotten the Bonnie Blue Flag scene, it was almost like sitting around a campfire singing Kum ba yah and roasting marshamallows. ;) Also in that scene you get to see Academy Award Nominee Ted Turner :p

ILYankee5

flattop32355
07-25-2007, 07:47 PM
I myself think that a "Band of Brothers" style mini-series which takes place during Sherman's March ought to do just nicely. Plenty of time to develop character, establish the violence of the time and then move on to the moral ambiguities of total war and its impact on the civilian population. I also think they ought to address the slavery issue in the series, too.

Then you'd better get ready to play it from both sides (or all three, if you include the slaves' perspective), or you won't be able to hear the dialogue for the bellyaching that it's biased and one-sided and unfair and inaccurate and only half the story, etc.
It wouldn't make any difference which side you chose to portray as primary; whoever isn't will get miffed. That's a problem in trying to do a movie/series where all sides were Americans in today's PC world; you don't dare call one side the "bad guys" like you can the British, Germans, Japanese, Russians, etc., depending upon the war involved.

NoahBriggs
07-26-2007, 04:11 AM
And the beauty of a mini-series is that unlike something like BoB you can go on for more than ten episodes. After that, it becomes a series (to me, anyway).

Series these days are no longer written with throwaway episodes which are barely related to each other until the season finale. If you look at "Heroes" "Battlestar Galactica", "24", "Deadwood" &c. you will see there is a longer running plot which requires the viewer to pay attention to previous episodes. I like this type of TV series, and I think each season of this hypothetical CW series could cover a different campaign.

Again, I nominate HBO; they have no problems doing series which are gritty and politically incorrect.

GaWildcat
07-26-2007, 10:19 AM
I myself think that a "Band of Brothers" style mini-series which takes place during Sherman's March ought to do just nicely.

But I would tweak it a little and make it the Atlanta Campaign, which would also fit alot of what you said.

Frenchie
07-26-2007, 10:55 AM
The movie Glory was based on the book One Gallant Rush by Peter Burchard. They're both almost entirely about Col. Shaw and deal with the black soldiers as a side issue. The movie also gets the following wrong:

Shaw had no boyhood friend named Searles and there was no Private Trip nor Sgt. Maj. John Rawlins.

The sergeant-major was one of Frederick Douglass' sons and he had the rank from the beginning.

Very few of Shaw's soldiers were escaped slaves, almost all were free men from New England and Canada.

The men had their uniforms, including shoes, from the beginning. The 54th regiment was sponsored by very wealthy Bostonians - if necessary, they could and would have paid for privately-made uniforms and equipment.

There was no Sergeant Mulcahy.

Flogging had been made illegal in the Army several years before the War.

Negro soldiers probably wouldn't have sung "Just Before The Battle, Mother". In fact, Shaw says in a letter that, "... their songs are not my songs..."

The 54th was repulsed in their first action.

Searles' shoulder wound would have made his left arm unusable, most likely permanently, and keeping him with the regiment would not have been an option.

There are other details in the movie that are wrong. My main criticism of it is that there's far too little focus on the men, and what there is panders to modern-day political correctness and populist sentiment. Their stories ought to be the main focus of the book and the movie.

NoahBriggs
07-26-2007, 10:57 AM
They can use the "Into the West" model to guide them on the Atlanta campaign mini-series. Six two-hour episodes in what TNT over hyped as "The television event of the summer." It bombed. Hard to cover seventy years of American history in 12 hours - in the classroom, much less on TV. (And by the same token it's hard to cram three days of huge battle into four hours without something suffering. Ditto for two years into four hours, as was done in Gods and Generals. A lot definitely suffered.)

If, however, TNT took each one of the Into the West episodes and turned it into one season each, then they could have a potential series.

Micah Trent
07-27-2007, 04:56 PM
The movie Glory was based on the book One Gallant Rush by Peter Burchard. They're both almost entirely about Col. Shaw and deal with the black soldiers as a side issue. The movie also gets the following wrong:

You can also add that the Frederick Douglas character portrayed in the film is a much older version of what he would've been during that time frame.:(

Frenchie
07-27-2007, 10:29 PM
I ought to be in bed trying to get over the last of this cold, but I thought of this:

Shaw riding through the watermelons on posts, slashing left and right with his saber; first of all, infantry officers with sabers and horses still aren't cavalry; if they wanted a better chance of living they didn't go into battle mounted (Shaw is on foot in the battle scenes); and watermelons... in New England... in February... riiight. Blatant pandering to the PC crowd, who must have lapped it up - "Ooh, ooh, look at the symbolism!"

Micah Trent
07-28-2007, 08:35 AM
and watermelons... in New England... in February... riiight."

I never paid attention to it until a few years ago. When I noticed it, I was thinking the same thing.

VA Soldier
07-29-2007, 05:53 PM
After watching Gods and Generals and Gettysburg, all I can say is it is easier for me to watch all 4.5 hours of GaG versus all of Gettysburg. This is just me, but I find it easier to get drawn into GaG as they pull down to focus in a just a few people rather than try to be an end all be all movie. Granted they don't hit everything from 1861-1863 but how could they?

My take on the long lines in GaG was the combination of complete sentences and given the times when people were talking, very few of them were your by and by conversations. Most of them were high points when someone like Jackson or Chamberlain is talking to his men and have to give them one of those great pep talks like was probable during that time.

Granted, neither one of these movies is completely accurate, but neither are a lot of things that go on out in the field with reenactors.
That being said, some consolations have to be given in order to jet John Q. Public out to see it in the first place, you have to have people they can get to know.
It does have its drawbacks, the epic battle scenes that go on forever, the hopping between Jackson, Chamberlain, and the Fredricksburg family, it leaves gaps in certain battles and ignores Jackson's Valley campaign.
Even so I think it is a start, it gives people an over view of some things back then and highlights some of Jackson's stronger points that many people either don't know or overlook, like his simplicity or his strong religious values.

As far as which is the better Lee, I must defer that to Dr. J. Robertson, and I have to do a bit of paraphrasing here, who said Martin Sheen playing Lee is like having Tina Turner play Mother Theresa.

But that's enough of my humble opinion. Time to see what others have to think on this apparently sore subject.

D. Jackson

OVI
07-29-2007, 07:32 PM
"As far as which is the better Lee, I must defer that to Dr. J. Robertson, and I have to do a bit of paraphrasing here, who said Martin Sheen playing Lee is like having Tina Turner play Mother Theresa"

I think more folks have a problem with Martin Sheens liberal politics than his acting ability. Also, the script for Gettysburg portrayed Lee as "off his game" and some folks dont cotton to that.
Duvall certainly looked more like Lee. My regret...among many for GAG..is that Lee could've been treated more as a real character instead of the "Marble Man". Another wasted opportunity.

Kent Dorr
"Devils Own Mess"

vamick
07-30-2007, 09:17 AM
These are made for the 'masses' and ya gotta admit Hollywood is getting a lil better at these over time..Id rather see these and others than another cop er lawyer show!:confused: but one thing I dont understand...how in tha wide wide world of sports did they do such a horrendous job on facial hair!!??? how could any Hollywood make up artist claim them??? perfectly round with out a hair outa place..?????:p :p reeeefreakin diculous!! how could any director go on without sayin "CUUUTTTT"???

vamick
07-30-2007, 09:39 AM
a really bad scene!..Jakson is arriving at the station to a brass band with his lady love and new baby ..theres a tight closeup scene with the engine comming into view by the station house chug chug cghug...right by a couple of VERY PLAINLY FAKE cannon...schedule 40 4" PVC pipe painted black by the looks of it...then when the train is in front of the station, there is a section of perfectly good 6 pndrs...why WHY do a close shot like that of AWFUL fakes, when you have the real deal to use??? theres a place for fakery in films, but traditionaly..an effort is made to keep it outa people's faces:-P

Micah Trent
07-30-2007, 09:44 AM
These are made for the 'masses' and ya gotta admit Hollywood is getting a lil better at these over time..Id rather see these and others than another cop er lawyer show!:confused: but one thing I dont understand...how in tha wide wide world of sports did they do such a horrendous job on facial hair!!??? how could any Hollywood make up artist claim them??? perfectly round with out a hair outa place..?????:p :p reeeefreakin diculous!! how could any director go on without sayin "CUUUTTTT"???

Ya know...I think the only facial hair, that I know of, that was not fake in Gettysburg was Sam Elliotts (as Buford) and Royce D. Applegate (as Kemper). Royce had supported his beard for many years...kind of a trademark for him.
But yes....poor job on a lot of them...
What about Tom Berenger's?...Rough Stuff...loved his character though!

vamick
07-30-2007, 09:52 AM
Was "Braveheart" authentic? No, there was no "Uncle Argyle", why in the world would the Irishman, Stephen be fighting along side the Scots--.

well...actually that did happen, and the Scots fighting for Ireland as well, remember the "Gallow Glass" Scotish mercs?..in turn after the flight of the Earls in th early 1600;s many an Irish name can be found as septs of Scotish clans...that said I agree movies have to be a misture of entertainment and accuracy, I dont see any problem with script tweaking as long as pains are taken to keep really bad fakes from showing!!! Mel Gibson's character in patriot was an amalgum of at least 3 real life patriots and so it goes...as the Irish say or prevarications.. "If it isnt true, it should be";)





.[/QUOTE]

Frenchie
07-30-2007, 11:25 AM
Isn't it true that most Scots can trace their ancestry back to Ireland? The Latin word scotti means "Irish".

My mother was a Power and her mother was a Barry. Both names are very common in Counties Waterford and Wexford in southeastern Ireland. The Powers came from France, they were religious warriors who had taken a vow of poverty. They called themselves le pouvre, "the poor", and that was corrupted into Power.

Ephraim_Zook
08-10-2007, 06:55 AM
Both Noah Briggs and Karin Timour made comments about Gettysburg that mirror my feelings for the film. Noah calls it "entertainment...good background noise for your round-rolling party". Karin uses it to give herself a hit of period ambience.

Over the years I've led six or eight ROTC cadet tours (and once, a group of regular army guys) to G'burg and I play the film on the bus on the way down, just for the ambience. How valuable do my "touristas" find it? Well, half the cadets sleep on the way down. ;-)

BTW -- I never acquired my own copy of it. I have to rent it each time. I suppose I ought to buy my own before it's no longer available.

MDRebCAv
08-10-2007, 12:10 PM
well...actually that did happen, and the Scots fighting for Ireland as well, remember the "Gallow Glass" Scotish mercs?..in turn after the flight of the Earls in th early 1600;s many an Irish name can be found as septs of Scotish clans...that said I agree movies have to be a misture of entertainment and accuracy, I dont see any problem with script tweaking as long as pains are taken to keep really bad fakes from showing!!! Mel Gibson's character in patriot was an amalgum of at least 3 real life patriots and so it goes...as the Irish say or prevarications.. "If it isnt true, it should be";)
.[/QUOTE]

*HIC* I'll drink to that!
That was the point I was trying to make...that sometimes the script needs to be "adjusted" to fit the mass audience--call it "dumbing down" if you want. But all things considered...the errors do give us a springboard for discussions and lectures.

Fenian
08-14-2007, 05:50 AM
I'd love a screenply of Bill Watson's "Brother William" no marble but lots of grit! Bud Scully 13th NJ and 69th NY;) :)

Regular3
08-21-2007, 02:05 PM
By about half way through Gods and Generals I was bored to tears.

Gettysburg I still watch from time to time, with enjoyment (though I do think supporting role credit needs to be given to several of the beards).

Not trying to start a flame war, just giving an alternate view,
Karin TimourYup. Gettysburg was a decent treatment of "The Killer Angels" but I was sorely disappointed in Gods & Generals - Maxwell had a decent book to work with and let Bud Robertson ruin it.

My two main gripes with Gettysburg were the editing -- How many times did Armstead have to repeat his affection for Hancock? -- and Martin Sheen's godawful accent.