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Sunday, 1 July 2018

The Battle of Gettysburg: 155th anniversary

In the midst of everything else that is going on, I almost missed mentioning that today is the 155th anniversary of the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg.

I will not go into great detail about the events or outcome of the battle, save to say that this anniversary will give me an excuse to watch Robert F Maxwell's film GETTYSBURG. Although some of the beards were less than convincing (I've heard the film referred to jokingly as being subtitled MEN IN BEARDS), this was a well-told war film where the director had gone to great lengths to make it look authentic and to cast people who bore a reasonable resemblance to the characters they portrayed.

It is also the film that includes one of my favourite all-time scenes, the 20th Maine's fight for Little Round Top. I will watch it (along with the battle scenes from ZULU) whenever my morale is feeling in need of a bit of a boost ... and it has yet to fail to do so.

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Jonathan Freitag,

      Some of them were real ... which I found difficult to believe!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. An excellent film that I haven't seen in far too long. I originally had it in VHS but it's high time I got a copy on DVD. Amazon here I come!

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    Replies
    1. Lee Hadley,

      I watched part of the film this afternoon, and I strongly suggest that you buy the DVAd as soon as possible!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. An entertaining film, and I agree that the scenes featuring Chamberlain are the best, as there is a clear individual perspective.
    But the best ACW film is still Huston's Red Badge of Courage!

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    1. Arthur Harman,

      What I find amazing about the book THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE is that Stephen Crane was so young when he wrote it, and before he became a war correspondent in the Balkans and Cuba. It is an excellent psychological study of the state of mind of a young man in combat for the first time,

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. One of the local papers referred to the movie as "The Battle of the Beards". However, the battle scenes were truly impressive. The use of thousands of reenactors that take getting the period right made the movie more believable, instead of prop uniforms from central casting.

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    Replies
    1. Jhnptrqn,

      The battle scenes were impressive. Nowadays they'd do it with CGI ... and it would not look half as good.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. I thought it was Gods and Generals that had the really bad beards. Gettysburg is one of those movies I can watch over and over. A group of us were playing a lot of Fire & Fury the year it came out so we went together to see it. Working up to the climax of the Little Roundtop we were a bundle of anticipation, muttering things like wait till they (ie the unwashed audience) see what's coming, they won't believe it happened.

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    Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      GODS AND GENERALS is a worthy film ... but not a good one like GETTYSBURG.

      Every time I hear the cry 'Bayonets!', it sends a shiver down my spine.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. I believe the film is based upon the book 'Killer Angels' - a must read in my opinion.

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    Replies
    1. Bob Kett,

      It is ... and I have a copy of it. An excellent book, in my opinion.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  7. I do really like Gods and Generals,probably even more than Gettysburg. It is so moving throughout. Ride with the Devil is well worth a watch. Incidentally have any of you watched Mercy Street ? It’s about the acw from the perspective of medics and hospitals.

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    Replies
    1. Tradgardmastare,

      I enjoyed GODS AND GENERALS, but not anywhere near as much as GETTYSBURG. I have yet to see RIDE WITH THE DEVIL or MERCY STREET, but I've heard good things about both.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete