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Running Time:
3 hours 36 minutes

Rating: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.

Rating Explanation:
for sustained battle sequences

Additional Info:
DVD Features: All-new introduction by executive producer Ted Turner; Feature-length audio commentary by writer/director Ronald F. Maxwell and 2 of the film's historical advisors, Col. Keith Gibson and James I. Robertson Jr.; 3 insightful making-of documentaries: Journey to the Past, the African-American slave experience in the film's era; The Life of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, a closeup look at this complex military man; and The Authenticities of the Film, about the movie's painstaking recreations of actual events; 2 music videos: Bob Dylan's "Cross the Green Mountain" and Mary Fahl's "Going Home"; Interactive menus; Theatrical trailer; Scene access; Subtitles: English, Franšais & Espa˝ol; Enhanced features for you DVD-ROM PC: original website, including extensive production and historical notes, interactive activities, Civil War links and more .

Gods and Generals
The film is based on the best-selling novel by Jeff Shaara. It begins with Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall) declining the honor of leading the Union Army to put down the secessionist movement, and ends with Lee, commanding the Confederate Army, as they march towards Gettysburg. This is the second film in the Civil War trilogy written and directed by Ron Maxwell. It's a prequel to his Gettysburg (1993). Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang) is the film's central character, an indomitable figure, loved by his men, feared by his enemies, and totally devoted to his God. Unabashedly religious, he spends as much time in prayer or discussion about God and his faith as he does leading his men into battle. Returning to this Civil War reenactment is Jeff Daniels (The Hours) as Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the Maine professor who became one of the leading Union generals. Particularly good is Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite) who appears as his wife Fanny Chamberlain. We are taken inside the private lives of these characters to see their relationships. We are also introduced to the Beale family whose home in Fredericksburg was used by both sides: First as a site of hospitably to the Confederate forces and then later as a hospital for the wounded Union soldiers who "invaded" the town. The battle of Fredericksburg is one of three major struggles depicted in the film and it is by far the most graphic. The others are the first battle Bull Run where Stonewall Jackson received his famous nickname and the battle of Chancellorsville where Jackson's participation in the war came to an end after he was wounded by friendly fire. There's no question that painstaking details went into the crafting of the film. The use of Civil War reenactors, many of whom provided their own uniforms and equipment, add an air of authenticity to the crowded battle scenes. But, the film is less successful dramatically and it never fully engages the audience, reducing the experience to a very long yet incomplete history lesson.

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