Eighteen Reasons to see 'Gods and Generals'

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  1. Robert
    Duvall is more convincing playing Robert E. Lee than Martin
    Sheen was in the same role for the movie, "Gettysburg,"
    not least because Duvall is a better horseman. As a reviewer
    for the Dallas Morning News noticed, Martin Sheen bounced
    all over his horse while playing Lee ten years ago. Duvall,
    like his famous ancestor, actually knows how to ride a horse.

  2. Respectable
    box office numbers will give writer/director Ron Maxwell the
    leverage he needs to secure funding to complete the film trilogy
    of which this is one part.

  3. Many professional
    critics would rather you watched something else.

  4. As Daniel
    McCarthy wrote recently for this site, "Gods and Generals
    is more or less explicitly Christian, Southern, and even libertarian."

  5. If you
    like accents, this is a feast: both regional dialects and the
    Bible-soaked patterns of nineteenth-century American speech
    are faithfully reproduced.

  6. Stephen
    Lang as Confederate General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.

  7. If you
    haven't been to a movie with an intermission since "Lawrence
    of Arabia
    ," you're overdue.

  8. Mira Sorvino
    as Fanny Chamberlain.

  9. Kevin Conway
    as Union Sergeant "Buster" Kilrain.

  10. Frankie
    Faison as the loyal but conflicted cook, Jim Lewis.

  11. The poignancy
    of the battlefield clash between northern and southern Irishmen.

  12. The mid-river
    meeting of Johnny Reb and Billy Yank on Christmas Day.

  13. The performance
    of the song, "Bonnie Blue Flag."

  14. The regimental
    (read: state) flags under the opening credits, which offer silent
    but eloquent testimony to Confederate notions of patriotism.

  15. Few movies
    take philosophy or religion as seriously as this one does.

  16. "Gods
    and Generals" director Ron
    Maxwell had nice things to say
    about Ang Lee's "Ride
    with the Devil
    ," another under-rated movie about the
    War Between the States.

  17. Ken Burns'
    famous "Civil
    " mini-series needs company.

  18. Intelligence,
    passion, and fair-mindedness on the big screen is a good thing.

7, 2003

O'Hannigan [send him mail]
is a technical writer in California.


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