Gettysburg (Blu-Ray/DVD Combo)
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From executive producers Tony Scott and Ridley Scott comes a special about the battle that changed the course of the Civil War and the future of the Nation.
"The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here." Abraham Lincoln's iconic Gettysburg Address frames this epic, feature-length HISTORY special, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. GETTYSBURG looks at this battle from a visceral new perspective, that of the everyday soldiers who fought there, in a confrontation that changed the fate of our nation. Stripping away the romanticized veneer of past treatments, this special conveys new information and honors the sacrifice of those, both North and South, who fought and died there. Raw, immersive and emotional, this groundbreaking event puts viewers inside the three-day battle where over 50,000 men paid the ultimate price.
This combo pack includes the entire action-packed special in both immersive high-definition Blu-ray as well as DVD.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Just a few examples of errors: the narrator said the late Stonewall Jackson was General Lee's second in command -- General Longstreet was Lee's second in command; having Ewell on a horse, rather than in the carriage he actually rode after losing his leg; Clara Barton established the Red Cross (only the American Red Cross--the Red Cross was established by Henry Dunant in Geneva, Switzerland in 1863).
Ignoring John Buford's cavalry defense until General Reynolds could get there, nothing about Hood's brigade against Chamberlain on Little Round Top, claiming all of the Confederate cavalry was missing at the beginning (just J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry, the rest were there), claiming General Joseph R. Davis was from Vicksburg (he was from Biloxi), nothing at all about the third day cavalry battle between Custer and Stuart -- the errors and omissions just piled up.
It was not totally bad. The doctor who found his nephew dead the first day, then tended the wounded without sleep; a tip of the hat to the first military intelligence unit, coverage of Culp's Hill -- they were reasonably good. However, this battle was too large to cover in an hour presentation (with commercial breaks), and it shows.
I'll not be buying this one. Save your money and get Ken Burns' The Civil War, and the motion picture Gettysburg (preferably the director's cut). They're far more accurate and emotive.
Having lived in the heart of Iron Brigade territory seeing the "Black Hats" and Rufus Dawes play a large part of the show was welcomed. Seeing Culps Hill as a focal point was also a nice change. Many people think the Battle of Gettysburg revolves around Little Round Top and Picketts Charge. That this did not wander over the same worn ground of the 20th Maine and the Kemper, Armistad and Garnett's Brigades, I find refreshing.(As a Minnesota Boy how about something on the 1st Minnesota some time...they had key role on the 2nd day that would make a good story.)
All right some of the history was shaky at best and Sam Rockwells narration and the writing was melodramatic at times. But come on this is the History Channel, their stock is Ice Road Truckers and Pawn Stars. I will show this to my Boy Scout Troop before they we go out to Gettysburg in 2012 and guess what. They will be far more excited by this then the Ken Burn's still pictures and Shelby Foote nuggets. (Which I love, but 15 years olds would fall asleep.) You need to take it for what it is and roll with it. I woud recommend this for someone looking for something beyond the more fact based lecture type of documentary, this aims to entertain and then sneak in a few facts. It succeeds for the most part.
This video also explains the different types of weapons and ammunition - the minnie ball, cannister, etc. - which helps you to understand how 50,000 soldiers were killed or wounded in a small combat zone over just three days of fighting.
The video is very violent, much closer to the beginning minutes of "Saving Private Ryan" than any other documentary I've seen. Watching this DVD gives you a much better understanding of the battle's significance to the soldiers themselves and makes this historic battle a much more personal experience.