“Gods and Generals” and “Gettysburg”: A Look Inside the Blu-Ray Books

I have received a lot of emails and messages (plus 13 comments, which I think is the most I have ever gotten on an article) since posting this story yesterday, telling of the official news of the Director’s Cut releases of both Gods and Generals and Gettysburg. A lot of people have been asking why G & G is only 280 minutes, when it seemed like it would be much longer. All I can say is, I have no idea. I have been very lucky to be able to break a lot of the news surrounding these releases, but I do not work for Warner Brothers, and I only publish the information I get from other websites. Granted, I too was a little upset at seeing only 280 minutes, because the more G & G, the better, at least in my eyes. However, if you click on the picture below so it enlarges to its full capacity, and focus on the bottom of disc one (the Confederate Flag one), where it says the running time, it appears that the disc reads 323 minutes:

After doing a zoom-in on Photo-Shop, I cannot confirm that is exactly what it says, because it got really fuzzy, but I can say that it  does not look like the numbers read 280. If this is the case, then someone working for Warner Brothers made a monumental mistake, because the official press release and every other website says 280. The 323 minute time, if it is not my mind playing tricks on me, would fit in with the rumors we have heard, because 5 hours and 23 minutes seems in tune with what the original piece was. Even WB’s own advertisement says that only “1 hour” as been added:

I would like anyone involved with the production of this film to come forward, if possible, and let me know if I am just imagining things when I say I see 323 minutes. Brian Mallon told me that Ronald Maxwell has been on my site (he read our interview), and I know others involved with the film have been on as well. At the risk of sounding like Robert Stack from Unsolved Mysteries, if YOU have any information, please shoot me an email at nyr1199@comcast.net.

Anyway, running time aside, this “Blu Ray Book Packaging” as it is called looks absolutely awesome. It will be 48 pages long, hardcover, with the two discs located on the back cover. You can click here to see the Gettysburg one as well.

Official Blue Ray pages for Gods and Generals and Gettysburg.

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30 thoughts on ““Gods and Generals” and “Gettysburg”: A Look Inside the Blu-Ray Books

    1. Steven Hancock

      WB has only done that for the films themselves in the past. Now, it is possible that some of that will be changed. For instance, it says “US Not Rated” next to the run time on the disc, and we know the DC has been rated PG-13 by the MPAA. I also noticed some mistakes in the text shown. So, there is a possibility that things will be fixed and changed. So more than likely, 280 will be on the disc in May.

      However, it does puzzle me that the official press release says 280, but the disc says 323. Is it possible you could get Mr. Mallon to ask Mr. Maxwell about it?

      Regardless, the battle of Antietam is in. Hopefully, the film will also be restructured a little bit. For instance, the scene with Jackson saying farewell to the 1st Brigade takes place right after Manassas in the script, with an additional scene of him telling his staff that he’s been promoted, and the reason for him saying farewell (Command in the Shenandoah Valley). Of all the things I want to see restored, it’s that. Antietam is great, but to see a more proper chronological flow would be good as well.

      God bless!

  1. Will

    Check out this post on blu-ray.com:

    http://forum.blu-ray.com/blu-ray-movies-north-america/163777-gods-generals-gettysburg-epic-extended-directors-cuts-blu-ray-digibooks-may-24-a-6.html#post4430744

    What the site admin says is what I see, that it reads “XXX MINS”, as a placeholder, and this is clearer in the full resolution picture (wherever that may be). Their resizing kinda makes it look like “323”, but it’s not.

    While it may seem like a lot, I don’t find it terribly hard to believe that 1.5 hours is still on the cutting room floor. It sounds like whatever 6-hour version was once screened was just a workprint version, and I can easily imagine 1.5 hours being cut from that for the sake of pacing and unfinished effects without significantly affecting the content. For a more recent example, the original version of “The Town” was over 3 hours long, whittled down to 2 hours for the theatrical version, then back up to 2.5 hours for the Blu-ray.

  2. Wes M.

    The above photos of the Gods and Generals and Gettysburg discs look beautiful! Warner Bros. has been releasing these books with many of their best films as they make their blu-ray debut. When Kenneth Branagh’s film of Hamlet was released, a book came with the blu-ray as did the blu-ray for Oliver Stone’s JFK. I’m sure there will be a DVD release for Gods and Generals and Gettysburg. Some folks here seem concerned about that. I wouldn’t worry about it. Remember, a VHS was released for the theatrical cut of Gods and Generals back in 2003 and hardly anyone was watching VHS anymore by that time. It will probably be available to watch online as well through amazon.com, iTunes, and Netflix. I think all of us fans should commit to buying these discs on their release dates. The easiest way and fastest way will probably be through amazon.com. We want these releases to be a success. We don’t want Warner Bros. to regret releasing these director’s cut versions. We also need to demonstrate that there is an audience for Civil War epics to increase the likelihood of The Last Full Measure film.

    I’m one of the lucky few who saw the director’s cut of Gods and Generals at one of the screenings and I can confirm that it was 5 hours and 20 min. or 5 1/2 hours. I think the running time listed is likely a mistake. Perhaps they meant to put “over” 1 hour of added footage on the ad above. However, if it is 4 and half hours, there will be a good reason for it like Will mentions in his comment above (either for pacing reasons or unfinished effects). From what I saw, I can’t imagine cutting out any of the 5 1/2 hours but I’m a fan and I find all of the minutiae of the Civil War era interesting so of course I think that! 🙂 Ron Maxwell is a talented filmmaker and story teller so I am confident that whatever is finally released will be excellent for the best. I’m going to buy both sets on May 24 and the special limited edition July release.

    1. Steven Hancock

      Agreed. If “The Last Full Measure” is ever to be made, it is has to be within the next four years, or not at all. The success of these two Blu-ray (And hopefully DVD) releases are a key to whether or not LFM gets made. Let’s put out a good show of support on May 24th, ladies and gentlemen!

    2. Thomas

      Im a huge fan of Civil war and these movies were awesome…i am a former reenactor as well…i also plan on buying these when they come out in may…but i didnt hear of a limited edition version for july…is there anymore info on that

      1. On July 5, they are releasing a limited Collector’s Edition that will include both films and a Time Life book on the Civil War. It will be available on DVD and Blu Ray as opposed to the regular one which will be just Blu Ray.

  3. Steven Hancock

    Agreed. If “The Last Full Measure” is ever going to be made, it has to be within the next four years, or I think it will never happen. I believe that it’s chances lie in the success of the Director’s Cut sets. May 24th, hurry up!

  4. Paris Stachtiaris

    I noticed that the packaging says “Extended Director’s Cut” and not “Director’s Cut” on the
    “Gods and Generals” bluray box. This has always meant to me that “some scenes” play out a little longer than the original “theatrical version”. I would like to see the character of Harrison fully restored in this new cut. He was great in “Gettysburg” as the scout for General Longstreet.

  5. Jake

    What I want to know is…. will the blu-rays of the director’s cuts BOTH have the entire movie on one disc? I am definitely one who can sit through 5 hours+ of Gods and Generals!

  6. Chris

    Hey guys! I found a link to the Limited Collector’s Edition of the film. Unfortunatley, the website provides a stubbornly small picture but its a start :P. From what I could tell the box detailed that the contents would include the extended versions of the films (which of course we all expected). I couldn’t tell to much else although the box size gives some clues as to the kind of memorbelia it will include.

    http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Gettysburg-and-Gods-and-Generals-Limited-Collectors-Edition-Blu-ray/21133/

    1. Nate77

      What a beautiful packaging for these movies. YES guys lets get the word out and get as many buyers as we can. I too would love for LFM to get released. Hopefully Mr. Ted Turner will make it or sell the rights to a film studio so it can get done. I agree gentlemen it has to be in the next four years or hardly at all. HA HA unless maybe our great grandkids can see them during the 200th anniversary.

      Happy viewing Gentlemen!

      1. Chris

        I know its a bit late to be posting on this article, but is the last siginificant article to deal directly with Gods and Generals/Gettysburg Director’s Cut. By some luck (and obsessive searching :P) I have been able to acquire significantly better photographs of the Gettysburg/Gods and Generals Limited Collector’s Edition. With these photos, I have been able to ascertain that the objects in the Collector’s Edition will be as follows: A 32 page extract from Time Magazines upcoming 150th Civil War anniversary edition, a 40 page Civil War Artefact Photo Book, a 24′ X 36′ Two-Sided Historical Civil War Map created by National Geographic, a commemorative coin featuring Abraham Lincoln, and a Blu-Ray copy (not Digibook) of Both Gods and Generals and Gettysburg, each containing two disks. This, like their Limited Edition set of the 10 Commandments, will be limited to 100 000 units. Below I have included two links. The first link is a link to an unpackaged Limited Collector’s Edition, the other is a link to the website where both a highly detailed picture of the front and back can be found.

        http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Gettysburg-and-Gods-and-Generals-Limited-Collectors-Edition-Blu-ray/21133/

  7. Ben Kullman

    Seeing these discs as a reality is a relief and makes me happier then I can articulate. For years after my association with the film I sent e-mails to Ron Maxwell’s website (even during my overseas deployments) almost pleading for a explanation on why the director’s cut had not been released with no response. I will freely admit that getting the official word and seeing the images of the packaging almost brought a tear to my eye with relief. I know that had the full version of the film been seen back in 2003 that it would have have received the acclaim and respect I honestly believe it deserves. Even at our level many of us worked very hard on the film and tried everything within our small power to make it authentic, respectful, and entertaining. May 24th cannot come fast enough. To all of you who have commented with your enthusiasm, thank you. It is so refreshing to know that the film still has an audience and understands. I know that in all honesty I was nothing more then a glorified extra, but I felt very proud to be a part of the film and have defended it. A few months ago the Core Company suggested the idea for a reunion, now that the director’s cut WILL be released I only hope I will have the opportunity to view it with a group a guys that I am honored to call my friends.

  8. Paris Stachtiaris

    Hi. I wanted to let everybody know that on July 22 there will be a screening of the new Director’s Cut of “Gods and Generals” at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. The event is hosted by The Journey through Hallowed Ground Partnership. Director Ron Maxell along with Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, and Steven Lang will be there for a panel discussion. Tickets will cost $61 per person and be available in April. Unfortunately this screening confirms that the new cut has added back only 1 hour into the film. Ron Maxell will be there, so maybe we can ask him why only 1 hour is being added back into the film from the 5 hour and 10 minute version work print that exists.

  9. Paris Stachtiaris

    Hi. I wanted to let everybody know that on July 22 there will be a screening of the new Director’s Cut of “Gods and Generals” at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. The event is hosted by The Journey through Hallowed Ground Partnership. Director Ron Maxwell along with Robert Duvall, Jeff Daniels, and Steven Lang will be there for a panel discussion. Tickets will cost $61 per person and be available in April. Unfortunately this screening confirms that the new cut has added back only 1 hour into the film. Ron Mawxell will be there, so maybe we can ask him why only 1 hour is being added back into the film from the 5 hour and 10 minute version work print that exists.

  10. William "Bushrod" Moss

    I agree with those who say LFM needs to be done sometime in the next four years, or some of us Core Company members will be too darn old (lol)! “Gettysburg” told the story of the Confederacy’s “High Tide”…”Gods & Generals” was about how the South dominated the battlefields early on…”The Last Full Measure” will be about how the South was brought to ruin…I don’t know if I could stand another surrender at Appomattox….but…Ron Maxwell told me personally on the set of “Gods & Generals” that he hoped the Trilogy would be completed as his Legacy…I would be honored to be a part of that Legacy…

  11. Barn

    From what I understand, the 5+ hour cut was essentially a workprint, with a lot of shots unfinished. Maxwell probably only had so much money to work with to finish the shots and thus needed to be selective in the editing process. I’m just grateful that this is coming at all.

  12. Ben Kullman

    BUSHROD! How’s it going brother! Always nice to hear from you partner either here or through Facebook, it’s been too long sice I’ve gotten to see you in the ‘old man’ flesh ;). And you are right about getting LFM done and how many of us even then expressed our desire to return to complete the trilogy. I remember the evening that Stephan Lang gathered us all in the mess tent and excitedly told us about his desire to see the third film made (of course at that time none of belived anything other then LFM would be a reality) and then joked about how maybe he should come back to play Grant.

    1. Ben Kullman

      OH! Greg… btw, Patrick Gorman (Gen. Hood) commented on his Facebook that he was trying to make a comment on your page but couldn’t figure out how. I’d try to contact him, but knowing Patrick he get’s about a hundred friend requests and e-mails a day and constantly appologizes about not being able to get back to everyone

      1. Hey Ben,

        I added Patrick on Facebook but because he gets so many requests it has not been processed yet. Tell him to add me as a friend (I’m not as popular as him so I can accept it LOL). Or he can send me a message. I have been meaning to ask him for an interview but have not had the time. Please send him my regards.

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