Thursday, 15 August 2013

The Scott brothers' film about Gettysburg

During a protracted break in the slow but inexorable process of tidying up my toy/wargames room I took time out to watch a DVD that I bought some weeks ago. It was originally produced as a film for the History Channel by Ridley and the late Tony Scott, and makes use of a combination of CGI and film footage of actors and re-enactors. The result was somewhat different from its somewhat better known namesake film, GETTYSBURG.

The film begins with a warning that some viewers might find some of the scenes disturbing ... and now that I have watched the film I can see why. The Scott brothers have not flinched from showing the brutality of war and its aftermath, and by telling the stories of eight individuals – none of who escape unscathed from the battle in one form or another – it has a very personal edge to it.

The individuals whose roles in the battle are followed are:
  • Lieutenant Colonel Rufus Dawes
  • Sergeant Amos Humiston
  • Colonel James Wallace
  • Brigadier General William Barksdale
  • Brigadier General Joseph R. Davis
  • Assistant Surgeon LeGrand Wilson
  • Private Joseph C. Lloyd
  • Private D. Ridgeley Howard

I would not say that I 'enjoyed' watching this DVD ... but I am glad that I did.


  1. I thought this was a pretty interesting and different take on Gettysburg and I particularly enjoyed the attention paid to the fighting at Culp's Hill, which is somewhat neglected in other treatments on the battle.

  2. Grumble Jones,

    It certainly did have a different slant on it from others things that I have seen and read about the Battle of Gettysburg ... and it valuable for that alone. For example, the fighting on Culp's Hill, Sickles's stupidity in moving forward without orders, and Barksdale's role in the attack on the southern end of the 'fishhook' all tend to be ignored or glossed over elsewhere.

    I don't think that the gore was overdone (this was one 'complaint' that I read in a review of the film) and the whole thing looked a bit more realistic than its namesake film. (The soldiers and uniforms looked quite dirty and ragged, especially once the fighting started.)

    Not a comfortable film to watch, but nonetheless it was very worth watching.

    All the best,


  3. I was glad I watched it as it was quite entertaining and informative!

  4. Francis Lee,

    Informative ... 'Yes!'; Entertaining ... for a documentary 'Yes!' ... but I wonder how many people bought it thinking that they were getting the other version!

    All the best,


  5. Thanks for the review.

    Not really interested in ACW but will have to give this one a look.

  6. Pat G,

    It might be worth seeing if it appears on the History Channel or you can buy the DVD in a sale.

    All the best,



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