STANDING ON GUARD

for peace … for freedom … for Canada

Gettysburg

Release Year:   2011
Studio:   A&E Home Video
Format:   Colour; NTSC; Widescreen
Rating:   PG-13
# of Discs:   2
Running Time:   94 m
DVD Release Date:   September 20, 2011

Screenwriters:   Richard Bedser, Ed Fields
Director:   Adrian Moat
Actors:   Narrated by Sam Rockwell
DVD Features:   Blu-Ray & DVD combo pack
E: Top Picks Rating:   9/10

A&E Write-up: 
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.

Jon Ted Wynne Review: 
Standing in stark contrast to the visual and stylistic excesses of “Lee & Grant”, executive producers Ridley and Tony Scott (and others) have put together an utterly fascinating film about one of the most tragic military engagements ever involving North Americans – the battle of Gettysburg.

GETTYSBURG is full of rich visuals, but the film manages to match them with a compelling story that focuses on a number of individuals who were either directly or indirectly involved in the battle.

The most heartrending of these stories involves Amos Humiston, a Union sergeant who has the distinction of being the only enlisted man to have his own monument at Gettysburg. The reason for this will really tug at your heart strings.

It seems that Humiston knew he was mortally wounded. He crawled off to die and as he slowly bled to death, he retrieved from his pocket an ambrotype—an early type of photograph—of his three children.

His wife had sent it to Humiston after he had gone to war, never imagining the impact it would have in helping to immortalize her husband’s memory.

After the battle, Humiston was found, holding the picture of his children in his death grip. Since this was the age before dog tags, rendering dead soldiers unidentifiable unless they carried something that explained who they were, the picture was the only clue as to who this soldier was.

The picture came into the possession of a volunteer physician, who, some months after the battle, decided to try to solve the mystery. Eventually newspapers published detailed descriptions of the ambrotype, since at that time they had no means of reproducing pictures.

Eventually the description reached Humiston’s widow, who hadn’t heard of her husband’s fate. She made inquiries, eventually saw the picture, and was able to confirm her husband’s identity.

This is but one episode that serves to put the tragedy of the battle of Gettysburg into perspective for the modern viewer. Most people know there was great loss of life and that it changed the tide of the war. But it is the human aspect of all such stories that is the difference between an outstanding film (which this is) and just another documentary.

If you couple this GETTYSBURG documentary with watching the brilliant 1993 feature film of the same name, your experience of the tragedy of Gettysburg will surely be complete.

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