Gods and Generals

Gods and Generals

3.4 38
Director: Ronald F. Maxwell

Cast: Robert Duvall, Stephen Lang, Jeff Daniels


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Director Ron Maxwell and producer Ted Turner return to the glory and tragedy of the Civil War in this historical drama, a prequel to Gettysburg, which examines the early days of the conflict through the experiences of three men. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) left behind a quiet life and a career as a college professor to become one of the…  See more details below


Director Ron Maxwell and producer Ted Turner return to the glory and tragedy of the Civil War in this historical drama, a prequel to Gettysburg, which examines the early days of the conflict through the experiences of three men. Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) left behind a quiet life and a career as a college professor to become one of the Union's greatest military minds. Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson (Stephen Lang) was, like Chamberlain, a man of great religious faith who served in the defense of the Confederacy. And Gen. Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall), who led the Confederate army, was a man who was forced to choose between his loyalty to the United States and his love of the Southern states where he was born and raised. As Chamberlain, Jackson, and Lee are followed through the declaration of war and the battles at Manassas, Antietam, Frederickburg, and Chancellorsville, the film also introduces us to the many supporting players in the epic tale of the war between the States, among them the women these men left behind, among them Fanny Chamberlain (Mira Sorvino) and Anna Jackson (Kali Rocha). Based on a novel by Jeff Shaara, Gods and Generals also features a new song written and performed by Bob Dylan.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Ron Maxwell, who directed the brilliant Gettysburg some years ago, brings us another sprawling Civil War saga, which is opulently mounted and painstakingly re-created to an almost fetishistic degree. Robert Duvall’s portrayal of Confederate general Robert E. Lee is dignified and, perhaps more important, refreshingly free of the Actors Studio-type quirkiness that occasionally mars his performances. But top-billed Stephen Lang, best known for his character work in supporting roles, dominates the film with his turn as General "Stonewall" Jackson, who sacrifices everything -- including, ultimately, his life -- for the cause of Southern secession. Gods and Generals focuses on the bloody campaigns that unfolded in the conflict’s early years, when it seemed that the rebels had a real chance of breaking free from the Union. Maxwell occasionally sacrifices dramatic effect to present the battle sequences with documentary-style accuracy: Individual fighting units are named in subtitles, military tactics are precisely rendered, and the period settings, costumes, and weaponry are duplicated with relentless accuracy. The film is truly larger than life, which makes it hard for supporting players to make much of an impression, but special mention should be made of Jeff Daniels portraying Lt. Col. Joshua Chamberlain, the erstwhile Yankee professor who entered the war reluctantly, and became one of its heroes. Also noteworthy are C. Thomas Howell (seen of late only in direct-to-video potboilers) as Sgt. Thomas Chamberlain and Donzaleigh Abernathy, who registers strongly as a slave who remains in a Southern home when its owners evacuate. At 220 minutes, Gods and Generals is seriously overlong, and the film's pro-Southern bias may offend some viewers (and delight others), but Civil War buffs in particular will find it an absorbing and engaging tour of duty.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video

Special Features

Introduction by Executive Producer Ted Turner; Commentary by Director/Screenwriter Ronald F. Maxwell and Historical Adivsors Col. Keith Gibson and James I. Robertson Jr.; 3 Documentaries: Journey to the Past: The African-American Slave Experience in the Film's Era, the Life of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, and the Authenticities of the Film; 2 Music Videos: Bob Dylan's Cross the Green Mountain and Mary Fahl's Going Home; Theatrical Trailer.

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Duvall Gen. Robert E. Lee
Stephen Lang Gen. Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson
Jeff Daniels Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
Mira Sorvino Fanny Chamberlain
Bruce Boxleitner Lt. General James Longstreet
Kevin Conway Sgt. Buster Kilrain
C. Thomas Howell Tom Chamberlain
Frankie R. Faison Jim Lewis
Matt Letscher Col. Adelbert Ames
Jeremy London Alexander "Sandie" Pendleton
William Sanderson Gen. A. P. Hill
Kali Rocha Anna Morrison Jackson
Brian Mallon Brig. General Winfield Scott Hancock
Mia Dillon Jane Beale
Donzaleigh Abernathy Martha
George Allen Confederate Officer
George Allen Confederate Officer
Bo Brinkman Major Walter H. Taylor
Robert Byrd Confederate General
Bill Campbell Gen. George Pickett
Ryan Cutrona Gen. Marsena Patrick
Robert Easton John Janney
Joseph Fuqua Col. J.E.B. Stuart
Phil Gramm Virginia Delegate
Lydia Jordan Jane Corbin
Edward Markey Irish Brigade Officer
Dana Rohrbacher 20th Maine Officer
R. E. Turner Col. Tazewell Patton
Alex Hyde-White Ambrose Burnside
Malachy McCourt Francis P. Blair
Royce D. Applegate Brig. General James L. Kemper
John Castle Old Penn
David Foster Captain Ricketts
Patrick Gorman Brig. Gen. John Bell Hood
Bo Gray Poague
Conn Horgan Dooley
Rosemary Knower Mary Lincoln
James Patrick Stuart Col. E. Porter Alexander
Dechen Thurman Actor
Trent Walker McClintock
Mark Aldrich Adjutant
Keith Allison Capt. James J. White
Mac Butler Gen. Joseph Hooker
Shane Callahan Bowdoin Student
David Carpenter Rev. Beverly Tucker Lacy
Jim Choate Gen. Bernard Bee
Martin Clark Dr. George Junkin
Chris Clawson Charles Beale
Scott Allen Cooper Lt. Joseph Morrison
Devin Cromwell Caset Charlie Norris
Scott Davidson Sam Beale
Justin Dray George Jenkins
Miles Fisher John Beale
Keith Flippen Maj. Gilmore
Bourke Floyd Longstreet's Courier
Dennis Frye Griffin's Aide
James Garrett Gen. John Curtis Caldwell
Karen Goberman Lucy Beale
Alexander Gordon Martha's Older Son
Bo Greigh Pvt. Pogue
Fred Griffith Gen. Robert Rodes
Karen Hochstetter Roberta Corbin
James Horan Col. Cummings
Ben Hulan Lieutenant
Sam Hulsey Julian Beale
Les Kinsolving Gen. William Barksdale
Damon Kirsche Harry McCarthy
Lew Knopp Jackson's Courier
James Thomas Lawler Another Looter
Matt Lindquist Johann Heros Von Borcke
Doug Lory 2nd Irishman
Daniel J. Jesus Manning Maj. John Harman
Tom Mason Old Man in Fredericksburg
Jonathan Maxwell Capt. Ellis Spear
Terry McCrea Captain
Andrew McOmber Young Corporal
Rosemary Meacham Hattie
Marquis Moody Martha's Younger Son
Peter Neofotis Wounded Maine Man
Mark Nichols Surgeon in Fredericksburg
Carsten Norgaard Gen. Darius Nash Couch
Tim O'Hare Lt. Col. Clair Mulholland
Sean Pratt Dr. Hunter Holmes McGuire
Jasmyn Proctor Martha's Daughter
John Prosky Gen. Lewis Armistead
Kyle Prue Wounded Maine Soldier
W. Joseph Quam 1st Irishman
Ted Rebich Looter #3
Tim Ruddy Pvt. McMillan
Noel Schwab Colston's Officer
Morgan Sheppard Gen. Isaac Trimble
Christie Lynn Smith Catherine Corbin
Michael Sorvino Federal Soldier
Stephen Spacek Capt. James Power Smith
Dana Stackpole Lottie Estelle
Matthew Staley Lieutenant Boswell
David Stifel Rev. David S. Jenkins
Stephen Leonard Sullivan Federal Soldier
Buck Taylor Gen. Maxcy Gregg
Chris Conner John Wilkes Booth
Tyler Trumbo Young Wellford
Christopher Crutchfield Walker Looter
Scott Watkins Gen. Raleigh Colston

Technical Credits
Ronald F. Maxwell Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Suzanne Arden Associate Producer
Gregory W.M. Bolton Art Director
Donald P.H. Eaton Asst. Director
Randy Edelman Score Composer
Corky Ehlers Editor
Moctesuma Esparza Executive Producer
David Franco Musical Direction/Supervision
John Frizzell Score Composer
Dennis Frye Associate Producer
Nick Grillo Co-producer
Stephen Halbert Sound/Sound Designer
Casey Hallenbeck Set Decoration/Design
Michael Z. Hanan Production Designer
Martin G. Hubbard Set Decoration/Design
Robert Katz Executive Producer
Patricia Klawonn Set Decoration/Design
Richard La Motte Costumes/Costume Designer
Mace Neufeld Executive Producer
Kees Von Oostrum Cinematographer
Robert G. Rehme Executive Producer
Jeff Shaara Associate Producer
Jonathan J. Short Set Decoration/Design
Ronald G. Smith Executive Producer
Joy Todd Casting
Stan Tropp Set Decoration/Design
Ted Turner Executive Producer
Kees Van Oostrum Cinematographer
Robert J. Wussler Executive Producer

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Gods and Generals 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Filmninja More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this and gettysburg is the best civil war movies ever made .. This movie is well worth buying it is a little long and mainly based on jackson check it out
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gods and Generals is a refreshing departure from the flashy, IQ challenged war movies so many studios like to release these days. Rather than giving us close-ups of flying body parts and slow-motion shots of bodies riddled with hundreds of bullets, Gods and Generals chooses to focus on the men who fought and their reasons for doing so. Men brought to vivid life by unanimously excellent preformences. It is definately worth noting that the Confederates are not portrayed as the traitors to the union that school textbooks would have our children believe they were. It is said that history is written by the victors, but thanks to Jeff Sharra and Ron Maxwell, people will finally begin to understand what truly happened during the most tragic American war, not the politically correct myth that has been spoon fed to us for so long.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the worst military / war films I have ever seen. It is full of cheesy speeches and did not flow well. It was nothing like the movie Gettysburg (the first in the Trilogy)...don't waste your time. I saw it is the theatre and wish I would have walked out at intermission...but I thought it might get better. I didn't. There is a reason it wasn't in theatres long.
Guest More than 1 year ago
By itself, G&G is a bit much--in time and sentiment. But as a setup for the earlier made but later historical epic Gettysburg, it is just right. As to length of the film, why chop out Antietam--what's another hour or so if you are filling in the transition from glory to reality? Tonally, the film is too ''Southern'' but purposefully. The excesses of that sentiment will be pared away at Gettysburg. One hopes the third segment, Last Full Measure, gets made despite the negative criticism of G&G, so the whole epic of our Civil War gets a worthy treatment ... and here's betting the 3rd piece will find the right balance in points of view and demeanor. Visually, however, this film is 5-star all the way and remarkably displays the awesome foolishness of the union advance at Fredericksburg and something of the brilliance and suddenness of Jackson's end run at Chancellorsville. Take the day and run this one and immediately follow up with Gettysburg--you might even find some ironic brilliance in the transferral of Stephen Lang from his Jackson in G&G to his Pickett in Gettysburg, rather emphasizing further what was lost in Jackson's death. Finally, maybe the unused Antietam material will be the basis for a focused film on that battle--I'd use Moreau's novelization as the basis for the screenplay if so.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Combining historical facts with heatfelt acting, Gods and Generals poignantly depicts the first few years of the Civil War. A must have for any history buff.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is only one thing worse than a four-hour movie---that is a four-hour movie that is bad!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What? This isn't really what I expected. Gettysburg was much better than this! Gods and Generals is simply lacking the drama, magic, and heart of the first one. Martin Sheen played Robert E. Lee better than Robert Duvall did (sorry Duvall, I am truly a big fan of yours). Maybe Ron Maxwell could've used some caffeine for this film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finally, the motion picture industry has levelled the playing field by presenting the War for Southern Independence from the Southern perspective. If you have ever wondered why southerners can't ''forget'' the War, do yourself a favor and see this one! Its the most accurate history yet, especially if you have ever read the original source materials and not focused on the Harvard revisionists' view.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Finally a Civil War Film that is historically correct.In the B&N review it was stated that the film is Southern Biased and may offend some people. I'm from the South and had many ancestors who fought and died defending their homes and most of them were poor dirt farmers who never owned slaves or had enough money to even consider owning them. It is refreshing to see a film that shows the Southern people as something other than ignorant,cruel and hard hearted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great prequel to the movie Gettysburg by the same producer. It covers the events from the beginning of the Civil War up until a few months before Gettysburg. The historical accuracy of the movie is amazing, but it is still as exciting as a modern day thriller. The weapons, clothing, charachters, scenery, and battles are all recreated masterfully. Some people may not like how long the movie is, but I personally think that is was way too short to show all the information. I would definitely suggest that you watch this movie, and read the books it is based on, the Civil War Trilogy by Jeff and Michael Shaara. ''Gods and Generals'', ''The Killer Angels'', and ''The Last Full Measure'' They are all great books. I just cant wait until the last movie for the trilogy(The Last Full Measure) comes out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very Dull, Very Little Story Content and not even close to the quality of movie of ''GETTYSBURG''. I could not watch the entire movie. VERY BORING
Guest More than 1 year ago
Save yourself the three hours plus that it takes to watch this movie and use the time to study the civil war from an unbiased viewpoint. The fact that the movie was three hours long did not bother me; I have enjoyed many wonderful three hour movies (Lord of the Rings, Pearl Harbor, Gladiator). The problem was that the producers took what should have been an hour and a half long movie and crammed it into three long dreadful hours. Adding to the dullness was a slew of bad acting and an obvious southern bias. I don't personally care who won the war between south and north, being from the west coast myself. However, the movie was clearly slanted to glorify the south and make the north appear to be a bunch of heartless bullies. I do have to admit that a few of the battle scenes were well contructed, but not comparable to other modern war movies. Perhaps if you are one of those people who think that the south won the war you will appreciate this movie. Otherwise, save youself the time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Gods and Generals, Ron Maxwell's latest addition to his Civil War trilogy, is not as good as its predecessor, Gettysburg. It spends a lot of time on unneccessary details and its running time of nearly four hours makes it a little unconventional. However, it is a groundbreaking film for those who have wanted a movie to portray the War Between the States the way it really happened. Its cinematography is terrific, its music is outstanding (especially the choral parts!) and the acting is wonderful. A real historical tear-jerker!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just wanted to add on to the review John Hardin did. The movie IS historically accurate and for every one movie that is 'biased' toward the South, there are 50 movies that rework the facts in favor of the North. I too had ancestors who fought and didn't own slaves and I had one who was killed on his way home after the war by a band of Yankee soldiers. With that aside, I'm am finally elated to hear someone's opinion and finally a movie about the South that is actually close to the way true Southerners really are.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While the film does have some Southern leanings, they did not offend me at all. I personally have always been more impressed with the Confederates anyway. The Union won because they were bigger and stronger and because they had greater resources. The South lost because they didn't have the resources, manpower, and because of the Union navy. They did, however, make an amazing attempt with what they had available to them, and if they had had the resources they would have simply out-generaled the Yankees even without the manpower. Both sides fought heroically, but I can see why the makers focused on the South. They have the romantisim and heriosm of one of the last great Lost Causes. The Union had many bright lights, including Generals Hancock, Reynolds, and Chamberlain, as well as the common heroic infantryman. The commanding generals were pathetic; however, and that should have lost the war. I've lived my whole life in Pennsylvania. I welcome any debate on this subject in the form of email.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, I saw Gettysburg in a cinema en 1995,in Mexico City, and I enjoyed the movie, I am no exactly an anti-gringo guy, and I know that thanks the Civil War was over, the American government ( Mr. Grant ) pushed the French Emperator Napoleon III and forced him to command French troops to evacuate my country in 1866, leaving alone Maximiximilian , the austrian Emperor, Now you can realize how the end of the Civil War affected Mexico in somehow. Some datys ago I bought Gods and Generals, it's a long long movie, I miss Tom Berenger by the way....I wander if the movie ' The last full measure' was already released, I tried to find it in the net, but so far I ain't find nothing at all, so I will looking for it
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great insite on the generals and important ppl of the civil war...see this before gettysburg
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though the perspective is dominated as from the south, it is more a Virginian's perspective and one from its military men. Stonewall Jackson and Lee are both represented with due respect. The movie lays out the mistakes of the North, showing that not all Generals were fit to lead, while others were followed because of their leadership abilities. The character of Jackson was well-developed and portayed as a man that honored his position. It is difficult for me to know the reliability or accuracy of this portrayal, but it was well presented. This movie does not insult either side, but goes about presenting situations and the human perspective. It does not judge, but makes the veiwer realize that there were various reasons for the war. It does place in perspective the issue of slavery and how it was not the only reason the war was fought, as many people today believe. I will find Gettysburg and watch it next, but I hope it is available in something other than wide screen format.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the few movies about the Civil War that presents the Southern side from a Southern viewpoint. It's good to see this viewpoint amidst today's politically-correct revisionist view that the War between the States was fought over slavery. From the Southern viewpoint, the federal government didn't represent their interests anymore, so they decided to secede, the right of which is protected under the 9th and 10th amendments in our Bill of Rights. Remember, at one time, we were British subjects, and we seceded from England. Beyond all that, the movie is a very long 4+ hours. It's important to realize that this is a movie made more for historians and civil war reenactors than for the general public. The movie got terrible reviews by all the major critics, probably because there aren't boobs flashing or lots of swearing. If you can't sit for so long in a theater, then rent it and watch it at home.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the film 'Gettysburg' Colonel Joshua Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) utters 'there's nothing so much like a god on earth as a general on a battlefield.' Based on Jeff Shaara's novel of the same title 'Gods and Generals' is the prequel to 'Gettysburg,' which itself was based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, 'The Killer Angels,' written by Shaara's father, Michael. Directed and adapted for the screen by Ron Maxwell (as was its predecessor) 'Gods and Generals' presents the first two years of the American Civil War as the Army of the Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia struggle against each other in the battles of First Bull Run, Fredricksburg and Chancelorsville. Much has been made of the film¿s historical accuracy but, little of the gore and carnage of war can been seen in its sanitized battle scenes filled with smoke, explosions, and men falling to the ground. Though the battle scenes themselves are expertly choreographed, hardly any thought seems to have gone into the cinematography of these scenes as they lack imagination in their framing and execution. Yet, I found the battle scenes alone worth the price of admission. I cannot say the same for Maxwell¿s bloated screenplay which is filled with flowery dialogue, long-winded speeches, and droning soliloquies. Yes, citizens of the nineteenth century spoke differently than we do today, but the dialogue is so jarring to the modern ear that it is nearly impossible for an audience to maintain a willingness to suspend its disbelief. The narrative in Mr. Shaara¿s novel is nearly equally split between four major characters: Colonel Joshua Chamberlain and General Winfield Scott Hancock on the side of the Union and Generals Robert E. Lee and Jonathan ¿Stonewall¿ Jackson on the Confederate side, while Mr. Maxwell¿s adaptation can nearly be considered as a Stonewall Jackson bio-pic with the other characters merely as supporting players. Shaara¿s book maintains a balance of viewpoints of both North and South but, Maxwell¿s film tilts the majority of screen time to the Confederate side. Stephen Lang does an admirable job as the highly religious Stonewall Jackson. Indeed, the film¿s shining glory is that Maxwell¿s screenplay and Lang¿s performance come closest to capturing the man that Jonathan Jackson was in reality as anything yet set forth on film. Though it is hard to separate Lang from his earlier portrayal of General George Picket in ¿Gettysburg.¿ Jeff Daniels competently reprises his role as Chamberlain, though he lacks screen time and is saddled with reciting Lucanus¿ ¿The Crossing of the Rubicon¿ as he watches elements the Union Army crossing the Rappahanock River into Fredericksburg, Virginia. The films greatest disappointment was Robert Duvall in his lackluster performance as General Robert E. Lee. Randy Edelman¿s sentimental score is adequate to the task at hand, and though pleasurable to listen to it does not rise to meet the challenge of the material presented. Mary Fahl¿s contribution, ¿Going Home,¿ played over the opening credits of windblown battle flags, in a movie which the director well knows is going to come in at 3 ½ hours, should have fallen to the cutting room floor, though I love every note of it. And Bob Dylan is as raspy as ever in his ¿Cross the Green Mountain¿ played over the end credits. Is ¿Gods and Generals¿ the greatest movie ever made about the American Civil War? No. Is it the most accurate movie about the Civil War? Quite possibly. But accuracy could not save this movie. Editing could. Edit the screenplay. Edit the dialogue and speeches. Edit the opening credits. Edit. Edit. Edit.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you're a genealogy buff and have families from both the north and the south, this movie will touch your heart. In addition, it was most rewarding to hear and feel the faith in God as being the Almighty One - regardless of the outcome of the War! Would that our nation would come back to that faith! DCJ
Guest More than 1 year ago
After having read the excellant book 'Gods and Generals', I eagerly anticipated the release of this movie. To my great discontent, I found the movie utterly disapointing. Instead of portraying the four main characters equally, the movie concentrated on General Jackson and his personal quarkiness. The story barely touched on the other characters. Had I not read the book first, I may have liked the movie better. I also read the 'Killer Angels' and thought the movie 'Gettysburg' was much trurer to Shaara's version. Although I am a great admirer of General Jackson, I was looking forward to a more in depth portrayal of Generals Lee and Hancock and LtCol Chamberlain. To me it was not a matter of favoring one side or the other's version of the war, it was a matter of sticking to the version the author wrote. In that the movie was sorely lacking.