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  • Drama
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This epic account (made for Turner Television) of the events of the American Civil War preceding, during and after the great battle of 1863 is, finally, a film about men with whiskers - the prodigious facial hair being a signifier of manly courage, moral resolve, undying honour and sensitivity to deathly resolve. It's a movie that parades authenticity, but never settles on its own point of view. Clearly, even now, film-makers are wary of stirring up or offending old allegiances, and here, regrettably, writer/director Maxwell wishes to have his cake and eat it. That said, as officers like Lee (Sheen), Longstreet (Berenger), Chamberlain (Daniels) and Buford (Elliott) struggle to cope with the heavy mantle of history, gazing off to the horizon or tearfully exhorting their men to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, Maxwell does make with the massed troops to spasmodically impressive effect (notably in the Little Round Top fiasco). Of interest chiefly to Civil War buffs and make-up artists.

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Director: Ronald F Maxwell
Screenwriter: Ronald F Maxwell
Cast: Tom Berenger
Martin Sheen
Stephen Lang
Jeff Daniels
Sam Elliott
C Thomas Howell
Brian Mallon
Ken Burns
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