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Gettysburg (Ridley Scott's) [DVD]

3.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Gettysburg (Ridley Scott's) [DVD]
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  • Gettysburg (Double sided DVD) [1993]
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  • Gods And Generals [DVD] [2003]
Total price: £21.55
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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Subtitles: None
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: History Channel
  • DVD Release Date: 23 July 2012
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005S02LOU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,250 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Product description

Product Description

History Channel documentary that revisits the 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, arguably the turning point of the American Civil War. Fresh from a victory in Virginia in May 1863, General Robert E. Lee decided to embark upon the second phase of his invasion of the North. However, his Confederate army was met and defeated in Gettysburg by the Union forces under the command of General George Gordon Meade. This documentary, executively produced by Ridley Scott and his brother, Tony, takes an in-depth look at the battle, with an emphasis on how the average soldier on the ground would have experienced it.

From Amazon.co.uk

The epic battle of Gettysburg, fought over a three-day period at the beginning of July 1863, was bloody, brutal, and bitter--making it ideally suited to the History Channel's testosterone-fueled documentary approach. Viewers familiar with offerings like Battles B.C., Patton 360, and multiple others will recognize this style: loud and kinetic, flashy and unsubtle, Gettysburg blends reenactments, photos, CGI (used to depict and dissect the weaponry that made the Civil War's body count so high in general, with some 50,000 casualties at Gettysburg alone), Sam Rockwell's macho voice-over narration, actors reading the reminiscences of the participants, and a variety of expert talking heads holding forth. For the most part, it works; historians and Civil War buffs have already noted some of the factual errors, important omissions, and other problems with the material, but those less versed in the details will come away from this 94-minute program (which was executive produced by noted directors Tony and Ridley Scott) with a good deal of information about the confrontation that inspired President Abraham Lincoln's immortal address, referenced near the end of the documentary. Typical of the History Channel, some of this information is delivered in hyperbolic, melodramatic fashion. Gettysburg was "the largest battle ever fought in the Western Hemisphere," while the cannons that blasted away at Gen. Robert E. Lee's men during the fateful attack known as Pickett's Charge was "the largest artillery barrage ever" in that same sphere; numerous other events are the biggest, the most iconic, the most important, and so on. The overheated writing does Gettysburg no favors, but director Adrian Moat and the other filmmakers' decision to focus on a variety of individuals on both sides was a wise one. Thus we learn about characters like Maj. Gen. Dan Sickles of the North, who had killed his wife's lover before the war and successfully used "the first plea of temporary insanity in U.S. history" to win acquittal; Pvt. Amos Humiston, another Yank, who died on the streets of the Pennsylvania town with nothing to identify him except a photo of his three sons; Confederate Lt. Gen. Dick Ewell, who had vowed revenge after losing a leg earlier in the war; Col. James Wallace, a Marylander who was both a Union officer and slave owner; and numerous others. In the end, it's these portraits that help distinguish the program from the many, many others of its ilk. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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A documentary style film. I found it enthralling.
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Well, I finally decided to buy the movie, and have now watched it. I don't think I could sit through it again.

It's done on an ambitious scale - it looks like what it claims to be, a presentation of small elements of a major battle, and it gives an overview of the battle which is of wider scope than anything I've seen before. Photography is excellent, as you would expect, though I became fatigued by the relentless slo-mo close ups of exploding bullet wounds.

I'm really not certain why I found that it grated. I was not offended by anything as important as the cap badges(!), but the technique of switching between the accounts of the personal view (the selected individuals used to illustrate the story) and the high-level grand plan view leaves a gap in the middle which makes it hard to follow - I would have liked to see more of a narrative at divisional level as well. The blood and gore is probably over-done - we get the idea very quickly that war is horribly brutal, and the constant focus on this aspect gets uncomfortably close to obsession at times. The talking heads were not particularly interesting - they could have been anyone, and most of what they added was well known or obvious anyway. I think mostly it is the over-earnestness of the commentary - moronically explaining "he is now in terrible danger" and so forth - yes, we had sort of picked up on that as well.

I'm left unsure what the film was trying to do, if only to justify the big budget. I don't think it said anything new about Gettysburg, I dont think the micro vs macro view idea works very well, and the gory presentation tells us that war is not pleasant, and then explains it over and over again for the benefit of slower viewers. It didn't really make it as education, and as entertainment it is very much inferior to the Gettysburg film from the Gods & Generals trilogy. I was disappointed - I wanted it to be better than that.
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Format: DVD
Very graphic but sketchy on facts. Poor as a historical appraisal; the experts have little to say but 'what if'. The amount of recapping (as seen on The History Channel) is truly irritating, is the market audience so dumb that everything has to be repeated? Pass this by and invest in The Civil War by Ken Burns and Gettysburg (1993).Did I mention the recaps. Oh and then there is the repetition. Did you miss the bit about recapping everything. Painful isn't it.
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Format: DVD
Fantastic Docu-Movie showing some of the most violent fighting in the bloodiest battle of the American Civil war...The mix of documentry descriptions with some excellent dramatisation really brings to life the full horrors of not just the battle but the war.
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I love the history of the ACW.As a history lesson its not bad but as a history film by Ridley Scott it should have been a lot better.If you haven't had the pleasure of viewing the Film Gettysburg and Gods and Generals buy them rather than purchasing this.
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Immediately from the cover you've got an idea of what's coming. For serious American civil war officianados the soldiers hat badge in the picture is from the wrong decade! So good start for Mr.Scott. The film itself, even with those annoying omissions or errors is watch-able and rather than concentrating on Little Round Top it makes interesting work of the first day in the woodsw to the north of the town with the Iron Brigade and then Culp's Hill on the 1st and 2nd day, also looking at Dan Sickles disastrous foray into the Peach Orchard. It's more bloody and graphic than other popular media expressions of Gettysburg and draws the viewer into field hospitals and the contemporary methods of the day. Yes, buy a copy but remember this is for High School history lessons rather than serious historic reflection. For that you need to read books...
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Format: DVD
I really like this film and if you want entertainment in this genre then I can highly recommend it.

However if you are a student of the American Civil War then this isn't an accurate source document. Still an interesting watch though!
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