Gods and Generals

February 21st, 2003


Gods and Generals

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Still of Stephen Lang in Gods and GeneralsStill of Robert Duvall in Gods and GeneralsStill of Jeff Daniels and C. Thomas Howell in Gods and GeneralsStill of Stephen Lang and Kali Rocha in Gods and GeneralsStill of Jeff Daniels in Gods and GeneralsRonald F. Maxwell in Gods and Generals

The rise and fall of legendary war hero Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson as he leads the Confederacy to great success against the Union from 1861 to 1863. Prequel to the 1993 classic "Gettysburg".

Release Year: 2003

Rating: 6.0/10 (8,822 voted)

Critic's Score: 30/100

Director: Ronald F. Maxwell

Stars: Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels

The rise and fall of legendary war hero Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson as he leads the Confederacy to great success against the Union from 1861 to 1863. Prequel to the 1993 classic "Gettysburg".

Writers: Jeff Shaara, Ronald F. Maxwell

Donzaleigh Abernathy - Martha
Mark Aldrich - Adjutant
George Allen - Confederate Officer
Keith Allison - Capt. James J. White
Royce D. Applegate - Brig. Gen. James Kemper (as Royce Applegate)
Bruce Boxleitner - Lt. Gen. James Longstreet
Bo Brinkman - Maj. Walter Taylor
Mac Butler - Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker
Robert Byrd - Confederate General (as Robert C. Byrd)
Shane Callahan - Bowdoin Student
Billy Campbell - Maj. Gen. George Pickett
David Carpenter - Rev. Beverly Tucker Lacy
John Castle - Old Penn
Jim Choate - Brig. Gen. Bernard Bee
Martin Clark - Dr. George Junkin

Taglines: The nations heart was touched by....


Official Website: Sonnet Digital Media Corporation | Warner Bros. [United States] |

Release Date: 21 February 2003

Filming Locations: Antietam Battlefield, Sharpsburg, Maryland, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $56,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $4,675,246 (USA) (23 February 2003) (1533 Screens)

Gross: $12,870,569 (USA) (27 April 2003)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Sweden:  | USA: (director's cut)

Did You Know?

The exterior scenes of Burnside's winter headquarters had to be re-shot several months after filming wrapped, during the early summer; some of the fake snow was digitally added in post-production.

Revealing mistakes: The style of the stone wall at the sunken road in Fredericksburg is that of the 1930s reconstruction, not that of the original wall. (The stones are larger in cross-section in the reconstruction rather than the original flatter stones.)

Irish soldier: Is that to be General Meagher's position then?
Irish soldier: He's takin' the privilege of an officer; defendin' the rear.
3rd Irish soldier: He's got a lame knee for pity's sake.
Irish soldier: Fair enough. Somebody's got to keep General Burnside company.

User Review

The critics are wrong

Rating: 9/10

I've seen Gods and Generals twice, and I've enjoyed it both times. The critics I've read seem to object to the piety, the length, and lack of political correctness. It seems to have escaped them that the Civil War was fought in Victorian times, and that the Victorians were extremely pious and sentimental, not to mention hypocritical. However, this did not stop them from efficiently making war on their enemies. The movie caught this perfectly, with Jackson's assumption that God's will is his will -- the scene before the battle on Sunday, the contrast between his sentimental love of children and his 'Kill them all' about his enemies, the constant references to Bible verses ripped out of context. Regarding the length of the movie, all I can say is that I wasn't bored at all, or restless, just fascinated with what was happening on screen. I'm sure for MTV critics any movie over 90 minutes is epic.

Regarding the lack of political correctness, which in my opinion is our modern version of hypocrisy (we can do anything we want as long as we call it by another name) I would like to point out that this is an attempt at a historical movie and that the Civil War was NOT fought to free the slaves, nor were many people in the North comfortable with the concept of a franchised Negro. And some slaves in the South were relatively well treated by their owners, not that they probably didn't want freedom, but they didn't particularly wish their masters ill. The system was set up so that everyone involved, slaves and masters, had something to lose by destroying the status quo, and that's a very difficult thing for people to do. It's easy for us now to say 'they should have freed the slaves' but if you knew that to free your slaves would beggar your children, would you be able to do it?

As with Gettysburg, the battle scenes were impressive and awe-inspiring. And they made the strategy and tactics clear to the viewer which is a monumental achievement, not to mention showing the pure courage on both sides, going to probably death or dismemberment without flinching. I would have liked more about the Northern command struggles to balance the picture but I can see how tempting it was to show the Southern victories to balance the horrible defeat at Gettysburg -- and this picture is meant to be one of a trilogy. I can only hope that word of mouth defeats the critics and gets this movie the audience it deserves.


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