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Gettysburg

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Many people can agree that a film made after a book is often never anywhere near as good as the book itself. Based off of the novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, Gettysburg is definitely an exception to this common belief. Set during the climax and turning point of the American Civil War, Gettysburg portrays the tragic struggle between the violent clash of North and South. Like a perfectly framed picture, Gettysburg captures the feelings and emotions of the American Civil War.

Gettysburg is fully loaded with intense battle scenes as walls of troops face musket fire and powerful canister shot from their opposing forces. While violence and gore are not the emphasis, the film does contain a PG rating for war scenes. Any fan of war movies should find this film particularly appealing, as well as any history buff. Written and directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, Gettysburg contains a large cast featuring stars such as Sam Elliott (Brig. Gen. John Buford), Tom Berenger (Lt. Gen. James Longstreet), Martin Sheen (Gen. Robert E. Lee), Stephen Lang (Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett), and Jeff Daniels (Col. Joshua Chamberlain).

Unlike most Hollywood movies, Gettysburg does an excellent job for staying on track with real history. The movie is one of the most historically accurate films I have ever seen depicting the American Civil War. Gettysburg was filmed in Gettysburg National Park which adds greatly to the movie’s authenticity. The actors play the part well with their genuine looking costumes and various styles of beards and mustaches. The dialogue is even complete with flawless accents including thick southern accents and heavy accents from Maine. The film thoroughly covers the three day battle of Gettysburg that occurred in July of 1863. The film depicts every major skirmish and battle that is encompassed in the Battle of Gettysburg varying from the battles at Cemetery Ridge, Devil’s Den, the Round tops, and the famous Pickett’s Charge which was the decisive turning point of the war beginning the downward spiral of the Confederacy.

The actors’ performances throughout the film of Gettysburg are remarkably brilliant. Lead actors add an authentic flavor to the film which makes the viewer feel that they have been transported back into the year 1863. Being four hours long, Gettysburg allows the viewer to become well acquainted with the characters and enables a personal connection to be drawn. Few movies ever come close to accomplishing such a tremendous feat. Gettysburg frequently changes perspective from the Confederate and Union armies. When watching Gettysburg, I could not help but feel torn between both sides. Gettysburg depicts friends fighting friends and brothers fighting brothers. It is truly a heart wrenching film, and it paints a clear picture of the tragedy and sorrows of a civil war. After watching the film I found myself cheering for the North’s victory, but at the same time, I felt compelled to mourn for the South’s defeat.

Gettysburg has rightfully earned ten out of ten stars. It is a first-rate film that deserves every star possible. Though the film is a lengthy four hours, you will find yourself fully savoring every second of it. As far as war movies go, Gettysburg is one of the finest. It is a film that is unsurpassed, and it will be remembered as a classic for years and years to come.





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airguitar said...
Jan. 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm
"I have no idea what lies in front of me... it may be the entire federal army!" :)
 
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