And most of all, we experience the horrifying reality of battle itself. Lee believes that he can end the war with a decisive victory over Federal troops by taking Gettysburg, then marching on Washington with an offer to President Lincoln of terms for peace. Who will go with me? Escaped Slave Rest of cast listed alphabetically:. Chamberlain speaks to the men, and is able to persuade all but six to take up arms. Other cameo appearances include , who wrote and directed the documentary 1990 , portraying an aide to Major General Hancock during Pickett's Charge, and Civil War historian as Union General , seen grasping captured Confederate sabers after Pickett's Charge is repulsed. His men control the heights, but are badly outnumbered and low on ammunition.
The director was wise in limiting the amount of violence so that the movie could have a broad audience. Personalities are sketched, weaknesses revealed, rivalries established that will all be settled under fire. Lee to send his Confederate troops into what became a suicidal attack across an open field toward entrenched and superior Union forces. This is a film, pure and simple, about the Battle of Gettysburg in the summer of 1863, about the strategies, calculations, mistakes and heroism that turned the tide of the Civil War decisively against the South. Longstreet expresses his belief to Lee that the attack will fail, as the movement is a mile over open ground, and that the Union under Maj. The night before the first attack, his aide Longstreet pleads with him to reconsider, but Lee seems seized by an almost mystical faith in his cause and his men. In fact, Lee and the Confederate army have the advantage with the Northern troops in disarray and with its constant change of leadership.
However, Ewell hesitates and does not engage. The film ends with the fates of the major figures of the battle. On the , July 2, Col. That they would do this - that they still had the will to fight when they got there - is evidence of the deep, almost fanatical conviction that both sides brought into the war. He has a long nighttime speech about death, delivered with deep feeling and tremendously effective, and it is his farewell as an actor: This was Jordan's last performance before he fell ill with a brain tumor and died in August.
We understand, step by step, what the objectives are on each side. Most war movies use battle as a backdrop to little human dramas. Concentrating on the events of July 1 to July 3, 1863, the movie devotes 45 minutes to the preceding day. Yet they repel repeated charges, taking deep casualties, in sequences so desperate, bloody and protracted that for once we sense the sheer physical exhaustion of combat, the combination of fear, fatigue and determination. However, much of the movie was shot at a nearby farm.
Inspired by him, they march joyfully into battle, many of them to certain death. Civil War brass band as unnamed brass band in Cashtown Scene. The movie was shot on the actual locations, in Gettysburg National Park, and it deployed thousands of Civil War re-enactment buffs, in costumes authentic down to the last button, to reproduce the actions of the two sides on those three bloody days when 158,000 men went into battle and 43,000 were killed. Thus, the stage is set for a battle that would see more than 43,000 American soldiers killed 23,000 Northern troops and 20,000 Confederate troops. The movie overflows with positive references to God and prayer, with a clear inspiring musical score. The film, written and directed by , is made of countless vignettes, almost all of them informed by military strategy and considerations.
The armies concentrate at their chosen positions for the remainder of the first day. Gettysburg is the first film appearance of actor , as a soldier in the 2nd Maine. Meeting with Longstreet that evening, Lee finally decides that they will withdraw. At the summit of Little Round Top, Chamberlain and the 20th Maine fight off wave after wave of advancing Confederates, and begin running out of ammunition. Heth's troops engage Buford's cavalry , July 1, with 's moving in to flank them. Longstreet, despite his own protests to Lee, orders Hood to attack; Hood is later wounded fighting at.
Officer 1 as Con Horgan. The first one included popular songs from the time period and a recitation of the by , while the second featured the original soundtrack album above and a second disc several previously unreleased tracks from the score and the aforementioned recitation. Nonetheless, Lee orders the army to concentrate near the town of. One of Pickett's brigades, commanded by Brig. Each day of the battle is seen from various points of view: the first day, through the eyes of Brigadier General John Buford Sam Elliott whose actions prevent the South from gaining an early advantage.
It accurately presents the battle that turned the tide of the War Between the States and should be viewed by every American. In a time before aerial reconnaissance, we watch as the opposing generals seem to depend on a sixth sense, buttressed by fragmentary scouting reports, to intuit where the enemy is, and where he is moving. It should really be seen on a large screen. The Federal point of reference for the second day comes through Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Jeff Daniels , a Maine college professor ill-suited for his military role. I began watching with comparative indifference, and slowly got caught up in the majestic advance of the enterprise; by the end, I had a completely new idea of the reality of war in the 19th century, when battles still consisted largely of men engaging each other in hand-to-hand combat. Advertisement The movie is some four hours long and every minute is devoted to either battle itself, or the planning and preparation for battle.