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Posted By: on: 08/04/2000 08:34:43 EDT
Subject: RE: Gettysburg...The Movie

Message Detail:
Perhaps the most puzzling thing to raise eyebrows on the foreheads of most afficianados of the Gettysburg "three day muzzleloader's blackpowder fest" was.... The Ted Turner's TNT production of The Gettysburg Battle As most of you remember we spent a great deal of time watching to see which one of the actors in this passable fiasco's beard was the most glued-on ...We were still trying to figure out how Robert E.Lee came up with such a wavey thicket of lush brushed wigged on hair!! The uniforms actually fit most of the guys even if they are 20th century sized(pot belly syndrome) the nicer and more rank one has the more waist line seems to creep out from undah the wool vest(buttons popping)..Remember in the real conflict 99.9% of your ground forces spent the better part of their days tramping about the country side..hence when you puruse the real soldier's photos you tend to notice that the vast majority of Civil War infantry soldiers tend to have the"haggard and starved look"..if you spent up to three years marching and fighting with about 50 to 70 pounds of leather and wood and tin equipment and dealing with sparse rations..your gonna get a wee-bit thin! ...Speaking of sparse most scenes in this movie tended to have rather empty and thinned out backdrops you might see mebbe a couple of soldiers running here and there and the air was so pristine and clear ..what? we have "smokeless" powder in use by then?? The movie also left out a rather unusual number of folks that I will list in the next installment of my review of the Gettysburg Movie...I am amazed that so much effort was put into producing so restrained and toned down a production as this movie turned out to be much to come up with so little.

Keep your Telegraph lines open as the "old salted sage" will return with the second installment of Gettysburg ..The Movie or "How I learned to enjoy using a porta-potty while wearing full sweaty hot wool infantry gear and gits paid fer it."

Now Ironclad just because Gettysburg didn't have your three most important things about the Civil War, which I won't mention:) you don't need to go bashing Gettysburg.

I will say that of the Ted Turner movies Gettysburg has got to be the most historically and factually accurate. Andersonville was, but in no way would you expect to see a pot belly there. The Hunley was horrilby inaccurate, especially the ending. Anyway to get to my point.

The reason that I am on the chatroom and this forum and being a reenactor is, because of Gettysburg. This is the reason many thousands of people are buying books and magazines and using online newspapers and sources. Gettysburg, Glory, Andersonville ignited a passion not seen in this country since the end of the 19th century.

I have heard so many people say that Gettysburg is inaccurate and shows the officers incorrectly. I say to those that whine about this(a lot of these are reenactors and payed historians) to shut up and keep informing the public of what really happened. If it hadn't been for these very popular movies these same reenactors wouldn't have hardly any events, and the historians would probably not have a job as there wouldn't be a public willing to buy their books.

Carpe Diem

One other thing that most people tend to forget, is that "Gettysburg" was a made for TV movie. Too much blood, gore and detail would have made the censors a group of not so very happy campers.

A lot of people have cut their teeth on the movie. I, for one, developed a greater love of the Civil War because of it.

This is no such thing as an "accurate" portrayal of a battle, or a person in ANY movie. It's all glorified. They stretch the truth to fit what the people want to see. Or need to see in some cases. Gettysburg is just as guilty as any other movie made when it comes to glorifying the facts. But if this movie makes even one person develop the hunger to learn about the war, then it has done it's job.

While the combat scenes in Gettysburg may not be "real" enough for some, and they certainly aren't as "real" as the D-Day Landing scenes of Private Ryan, They're still a heck of a lot better than the recent "Civil War Combat" series (or whatever it was called) on the Discovery Channel. We expect so much realism and historical accuracy in our movies today, we forget how bad some of the older movies and TV shows used to be. Remember the old TV westerns? The women looked like they just stepped out of the beauty parlor, hair all perfect, nice clean dress, usually a necklace etc. The men clean shaven, short hair slicked down, clothes always clean. Or how about the older WWII movies where the combat fatigues were always brand new and freshly pressed? My point is, while Gettysburg may not be perfect as far as accuracy, it's still pretty good, better than most.
The beards in Gettysburg on the other hjand are another matter. They have, of course, always been the brunt of many jokes, but when you look at actual photos of the Generals, they almost all had these huge beards (who shaves when out in the field?) - We couldn't expect the actors to grow their own, so they had to go fake, could they have done a better job? possibly, but I'm not in the fake beard business.

Bill N-T

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