It’s the Little Things that Count
Originally, I was going to mention this in the review, but forgot all about it when I became immersed in trying to transcribe six pages of notes into something legible. I had mentioned that the film flows a lot better, and that the characters who were so high and mighty in the theatrical cut are now a little more human, almost someone you would want to have a beer with. But now, the film has become a lot more accessible to fans who might not be die-hard Civil War buffs, by the insertion of two small pieces of dialogue that went unnoticed by me the first time—I wonder if you picked up on it.
In one of the instances, you can even see, err…hear for yourself, because it is present in one of the deleted scenes that has been released. As the 20th Maine is marching into Fredericksburg, Colonels Ames and Chamberlain are confronted by Charles Griffin, their superior officer. If you listen closely, as the men get near each other, someone says, “General Griffin, sir.” However, the voice does not belong to any of those three characters. It is my guess that this was overdubbed into the dialogue so that the audience would know what general it is, because, to be honest, even after all the years I have studied the Civil War, I would not have known that man was General Griffin. The first time something like this happens is during the battle of Antietam, when McClellan rides over to talk to Hancock. The very same voice says, “General McClellan, sir.” Just understand that this is not something I like or dislike; it is just something small I noticed.
An Email from Patrick Gorman
Nearly two months ago, I had the chance to interview Patrick Gorman, who played General John Bell Hood in both Gods and Generals and Gettysburg. It was a fantastic conversation and we talked for almost an hour. Two nights ago, I decided to email him the link to my review, and also let him know that he had a scene coming in. Last night, he responded with this:
“Your review was obviously a work of love. One can tell your affection for the material and for the work itself. Thank you for that. You really know the film and it has to be helpful to those who haven’t seen it as well as those who have. I look forward to the experience. I’ve never seen my Antietam scene at all. I’m so glad they got the Booth and Harrison stuff in, too. Sounds like they made changes I would have made regarding the religious stuff. The cuts sound right. You can’t or shouldn’t do away with that focus on Jackson but it was hard to take, for me anyway. Sounds like a better balance has been achieved. Good work.”
It really means a lot to me that he wrote that, and I cannot tell you how lucky I am to have been able to talk to people like him, Brian Mallon, and Bo Brinkman, actors I grew up watching in my favorite films. Patrick also lived up to his promise to send me an autograph, including a picture I took of him myself at the 138th reenactment of Gettysburg, that he wanted me to send to him. Of course I sent him that, along with another one for him to keep. Below is what he sent me:
We are now only nine days away! How excited are you?