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Gods & Generals

By Stephen Lang (Actor), Robert Duvall (Actor), Jeff Daniels (Actor), Mark Aldrich (Actor), George Allen (Actor) & Ronald F. Maxwell (Director)
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Item Specifications...

Record Label   Warner Home Video
Format   Anamorphic / Closed-captioned / Color /
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.3" Width: 5.6" Height: 0.5"
Binding  DVD Video
Publisher   WORD INC. (MUSIC) #38
ISBN  0012249300  
EAN  0085392341320  
UPC  085392341320  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Based on Jeffrey M. Shaara's bestseller, "Gods and Generals" recounts the fierce allegiances and combat of the early Civil War. Ronald F. Maxwell directs this epic prequel to his Gettysburg, framing the story with three bold men and three fateful battles. The men: Joshua Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels), "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang), Rober E. Lee (Robert Duvall). The battles: Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville. Through these combatants and conflicts we witness the bravery and strife of a nation at war with itself.

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More About Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, Mark Aldrich, George Allen & Ronald F. Maxwell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Jeff Shaara was born in 1952 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It was a family vacation to Gettysburg in 1966 that gave his father, Michael Shaara, the inspiration to write his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "The Killer Angels," Jeff returned to the historic site with his father in 1970 to help him research the battlefield, and later he served as a consultant for the movie "Gettysburg," based on his father's bestselling classic. Director Ron Maxwell inspired and encouraged Jeff to write Gods and Generals. This is his first novel.
About the Reader
Stephen Lang's theater work includes roles on Broadway in "Hamlet," "A Few Good Men," and the revival of "Death of a Salesman," He has appeared in the films "The Hard Way," "Another You," and "Last Exit to Brooklyn" and on television in the miniseries "The Killer Angeles" and NBC's "Crime Story," He has previously read "Corelli's Mandolin," "The Kahlil Gibran Companion," and "Mason's Retreat," available on cassette from Random House AudioBooks.

Stephen Lang was born in 1952.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Alas!  May 22, 2010
If ever there was a film that is less than the sum of its parts, this is it. Excellent visuals, good acting, painstaking historical accuracy (down to details like Gen. Jackson being wounded in the finger at 1st Bull Run), a noble and inspiring topic... and this turkey comes out of it. I am a military historian and, while not a Civil War "buff," have a strong interest in the topic. But I was sadly disappointed. General Lee is a bit part. There is too much on Jackson, and too much of what there is focuses on his eccentricities (about which, I suppose, a whole film could be made). And why Fredericksburg, for heaven's sakes? A painfully dull battle that could have only one outcome, given Burnside's idiotic plan. Why not Antietam? This poor movie--it could have been so wonderful (as Gettysburg is). Probably that's the problem: they tried to do too much. Still, it has some excellent scenes.
Turner at his best  Mar 22, 2010
Finally a BluRay version is out of the turner/maxwell classic. Now we need to see Gettysburg in the same format, and the completion of the trilogy by making "Last Full Measure"..... no Civil War Buff should be without this> Stephen Lang should have gotten a nomination for his performance as Stonewall ....
Great History  Feb 11, 2010
Excellent acting, great history but a little long.

Would have been great during high school while studying the civil war.
God and Generals Review  Feb 10, 2010
Riveting movie. Within just 10 minutes you were back in 1861 feeling it. I understand the movie has been criticized for giving sympathetic view to the Confederacy, but this actually translates to a simply more realistic view. The initial buildup of the Army showing Virginians of all walks leaving their homes to join up was the way it actually was. For those who want to see the Confederate Army as it really was at the beginning, in victory and full glory, this is the movie to see. Sadly, most modern works depict Confederate Soldiers as fat, lazy, uneducated, and racist. This was not the case, and this movie shows that.
A Prequel to "Gettysburg" with a Disjointed Narrative  Feb 7, 2010
"Gods and Generals" boasts most of the same creative team that teamed to make the spell-binding "Gettysburg (Widescreen Edition)". Ronald Maxwell again directs, this time from the book by Jeff Shaara. Jeff is the son of Michael Shaara, who wrote "The Killer Angels", the Pulitzer-Prize winning book that served as the source for "Gettysburg".

Many familiar faces appear again in roles from the earlier film. Jeff Daniels and C. Thomas Howell and Kevin Conway again appear as Joshua and Thomas Chamberlain and the fictional Buster Kilrain. Daniels and Conway again team to produce a few of the best scenes of this film, both of them articulating in a way most characters are not allowed. There are significant cast changes. Martin Sheen was heavily involved in "The West Wing" and was unable to reprise General Robert E. Lee. Lee is portrayed this time by Sheen's colleague from "Apocalypse Now", Robert Duvall. Normally I would think that casting of Duvall would be an upgrade from almost any other available actor, but comparing the two versions of the legendary Commander of the Army of Virginia, I found Sheen's depiction elegant and serenely regal, with a temper that can be unleashed (as when Sheen's Lee tears into J.E.B. Stuart for not keeping his cavalry close as Gettysburg unfolds) and a human compassion perhaps best exemplified when the ragged rebel troops retreat from Pickett's disastrous charge and Lee rides out to tell the troops "it was my fault." Duvall's Lee is quirkier and seems oddly detached in comparison.

Tom Berenger is no longer on hand to portray General Longstreet. Early in "Gettysburg" you can sense the dutiful resignation as he unsuccessfully tries to persuade Robert E. Lee to force the Union Army into pursuit by moving toward Washington, then later you can feel his heartsickness as he knows Pickett's Charge is bound to fail and wordlessly waives his troops forward to the suicidal advance. Bruce Boxleitner's Longstreet is decidedly less three-dimensional.

The excellent Stephen Lang again is cast, but instead of playing the flamboyant Pickett, this time he has a leading role as General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.

The film is huge in scope, covering two years from the secession of Virginia (which is preceded by the offer to Robert E. Lee to command the Federal Army) to Chancellorsville. As a historically accurate document it is selective: the single bloodiest battle of American history, Antietam, is not mentioned (although there are reports that it was cut from a six hour version of the movie. Curious that the full "director's cut" doesn't make it to the DVD - the audience that would sit through 4 hours of re-enactment would likely want the chance to have the "most accurate" version of the film.) But I digress.

Where Gettysburg focused on the soldiers, "G&G" gives us a handful of stilted subplots. We see the wives of Chamberlain and Jackson in scenes designed to show the tender, human sides of these men, but their dialogue doesn't ring true on modern ears. Since these scenes aren't based on historical record couldn't Maxwell and Shaara have given us more human dialogue instead of having these great men offering scripture and poetry quotations?

Amid the noble and heroic whites on both sides are two significant black characters - Frankie Faison plays Jim Lewis, a free black man with a reputation as a good cook who is hired by Stonewall Jackson. Donzaleigh Abernathy, the daughter of Civil Rights Activist Ralph Abernathy, plays Martha, a noble and loyal slave who stays at the manse in Fredericksburg to shoo away invading Union Troops when the rest of the family skedaddles. Later the house is occupied anyway and Martha nurses injured union soldiers and gives an impassioned plea for freedom to General Hancock. General Jackson is kind and respectful toward Mr. Lewis, and tells him that he's certain the south would also free the slaves, so it's going to happen on way or `tuther. Although Jackson and Robert E. Lee were reported to be against slavery, it would not be difficult to say that having these two characters be the only blacks in a movie of this scope and scale trivializes the fact that millions of blacks were enslaved, scant few were free, and hardly any were treated with the respect these characters receive. It's almost as if Maxwell wants to portray something 180 degrees from "Uncle Tom's Cabin", but if you didn't already know about slavery you wouldn't learn much from this film. I think the filmmakers wanted a movie that would stand almost as a historical document, but whether or not you agree that the Civil War was about slavery, you'd be naïve to not acknowledge that it was on the minds of all participants to some extent or `tuther.

For those who might wonder: I'm a white Son of the Glorious South. There are wonderful things in this film, but there are significant gaps as well.

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