Reel Life: Gettysburg

GettysburgOne last post about Gettysburg, and then I’ll stop. Promise.

If you’re keen to see the battlefields of Gettysburg, but can’t make it to Pennsylvania in person, you might consider watching the 1993 film Gettysburg. I recommend the film only because it was shot on location at Gettysburg, so it gives you an accurate look at the landscape and physical layout of the two battle scenes featured in the film: the defense of Little Round Top and Pickett’s Charge.

The film was made pre-CGI, using real cannons to reenact the artillery barrage that took place on the morning of July 3, 1863. Even when using only quarter rounds, the cannons in that scene are far more impressive than any blow-’em-up scene I’ve seen in recent years.

Other than the principal actors, the cast consists entirely of Civil War reenactors ― some 13,000 of them. These guys take their roles pretty seriously, living and sleeping as Civil War soldiers did, wearing the same type of wool uniforms, and carrying the same type of weapons.

I saw the film Gettysburg in the theatre the year it was released and it motivated me to one day visit Gettysburg for myself. However, I recommend the film only if you’re really, really interested in the story of the battle. At four and a half hours, it taxes the attention span of most casual viewers.

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