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Gettysburg [DVD] [1993]

Release Date:02/03/2004
The Civil War epic Gettysburg receives the star treatment from Warner with some spectacular results. Image quality is far better than would be expected. The picture, which is framed at the original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and employs an anamorphic transfer, is nicely detailed with strong colors and excellent detail. The sound is also very impressive. A new 5.0 Dolby Digital is balanced very well between dialogue, sound effects, and music. None of these elements overwhelms the other making for a smart sound mix. Also available is a surround track in French and subtitles in English and French. The big surprise for this title is the number of supplemental features. Of strong interest is a commentary track from director/screenwriter Ronald F. Maxwell, cinematographer Kees Van Oosrum, author James M. McPherson, and historian Craig Symonds. While there are significant gaps between comments (only selected scenes have commentary), this track is still filled with fascinating information, both from the filmmaking and historical perspectives. In addition are two documentaries, the first hosted by actor Martin Sheen and covers the making of this film, while the second, the Oscar-nominated "The Battle of Gettysburg," narrated by Leslie Nielsen, takes a look at the battle in general. Both are fascinating in their own respects, and are complimented with a short "location" featurette with additional footage taken on the set. Finally rounding out this fine disc are the theatrical trailer and television spots, plus filmographies for some of the cast and the director, a battlefield map, and some additional interviews with the cast and crew. If there is one complaint about this DVD, it's the reluctance of Warner to use two discs for longer movies. At four-plus hours, most studios would split the movie over two discs, but in the case of Gettysburg, a DVD-18 has been used, meaning the movie is split over two sides, each with two layers, possibly creating problems with handling. Still, that is a small complaint for such a nice overall package.
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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    96% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (299 out of 312)

    Special Features

    • Soundtrack remastered in Dolby Digital 5.0
    • New digital transfer
    • "The Making of Gettysburg" documentary narrated by Martin Sheen
    • Vintage Oscar-nominated documentary: "The Battle of Gettysburg" narrated by Leslie Nielsen
    • Cast/crew interview gallery
    • Battlefield maps
    • Feature-length audio commentary by director/screenwriter Ronald F. Maxwell, cinematographer Kees Van Dostrum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author James M. McPherson, and military historian Craig Symonds
    • Interactive menus
    • Theatrical trailer
    • TV Spots
    • Cast/Director filmographies
    • Scene access
    • Languages and subtitles: English, Français


    The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara becomes this sprawling historical epic. As in Shaara's novel, director Ronald Maxwell focuses on a handful of major players to dramatize the events of July 1863, when the armies of the Union and Confederacy clash at the small Pennsylvania town of the title. Among them are Martin Sheen as General Robert E. Lee, who disagrees with his top advisor, General James Longstreet (Tom Berenger) over battle strategy, and Jeff Daniels as Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a college professor whose unorthodox techniques save the day (and possibly the war) for his beleaguered army. Other cast standouts include Richard Jordan in his final film appearance as the ill-fated General Lewis Armistead, and cameo roles for Civil War buff Ken Burns and media mogul producer Ted Turner. Filmed on-location at Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg was shot as a television miniseries for Turner's TNT cable channel, but earned a limited theatrical release. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Martin Sheen
      Martin Sheen - Robert E. Lee
    • Jeff Daniels
      Jeff Daniels - Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
    • Tom Berenger
      Tom Berenger - Lieutenant General James Longstreet
    • Stephen Lang
      Stephen Lang - Maj.Gen.George E. Pickett
    • Richard Jordan
      Richard Jordan - Brigadier General Lewis A.Armistead

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.