“G & G” Countdown: Something I Noticed, and an Email From Patrick Gorman

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?

12 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m doing the ppdance in anticipation.

  2. Steven says:

    Years ago, when footage of the Antietam battle was actually available to view, I remember hearing the voice say “General McClellan, sir.” I’m pretty certain that was Hancock saying that.

    I might be wrong, but since you don’t see Ames’ mouth when the voice says “General Griffin, sir,” that it’s Ames who says it, although the voice sounds very different from Matt Letcher, the actor playing Ames. But, it’s a very small quibble, and something they’ve done in movies since the beginning of the talking picture.

    I’m very excited about the film. It does sound like they’ve made it more accessible to those who’ve never studied the Civil War beyond school classes. This should make for an easier viewing experience!

    God bless!

  3. Kyle says:

    I am VERY excited…but found out yesterday (or the day before) that the set I am going to purchase–the 2-movie bluray set with all the extra stuff–won’t be shipping until July 4. 😦 I thought all the releases were being released on May 24. So I have to wait another month-and-a-half. But I can make it. 😉

  4. Chuck says:

    Your comments on some of the lines being dubbed over for the Blu-ray release remind me of a blooper in the theatrical release: the discrepancy over Samuel Zook’s rank. The first time he appeared on screen, the caption describes him as a colonel. But later, Hancock addresses him as “General Zook”. The epaulets on his shoulders clearly show a brigadier general’s stars rather than a colonel’s eagles.

    So did Maxwell overdub Hancock’s line to make him say “Colonel Zook”? In that case, he’d also have to do something about the epaulets. Or did he change the caption? I believe Zook wasn’t promoted to brigadier general until early 1863, although the promotion may have been backdated to November 1862, or before Fredericksburg.

    1. gcaggiano says:

      The DVD always had Hancock saying “Colonel Zook”. Whether or not it was overdubbed for the DVD is another question (I was only 12 when I saw it in theaters so I do not remember if he said “General” or not. I did not get a good look at the epaulets.

      1. Chuck says:

        Okay, I’m pretty sure I heard Hancock say “General Zook” in my DVD. The subtitle definitely said “General Zook”.

        Maybe Brian Mallon will view these comments and clear the matter up.:)

      2. gcaggiano says:

        I’m not saying you are wrong, haha. But I always thought it was Colonel. 🙂

  5. Blake says:

    Patrick Gorman, for the win. By the way, Greg, Blu-ray.Com has posted its review of “Gettysburg” and — most importantly — has provided some wonderful screenshots: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Gettysburg-Blu-ray/21104/#Review

    Ah, Google alerts, how I love them. Not that this precludes you from completing your much anticipated review. Warner (and us) are counting on you 😉

    1. gcaggiano says:

      Being two hours into Gettysburg, I can say they are right about the quality. It’s much better than the DVD, but still grainy at times. Some films just do not transfer well.

  6. Blake says:

    Yeah, its photography was always on the soft/grainy side, but I’d prefer they preserve that texture rather than digitally scrub all the grain out, which would only give it a sickening, waxy look. I hate it when studios do that to older films.

  7. Chris says:

    I have a question concerning the dubbed over voices. Are McClellan and Griffin’s introduction the only places where this dubbing occurs? Or have other scenes previously without dubbing (such as General Trimble’s introduction) been dubbed in the same manner?

    1. gcaggiano says:

      As far as I could tell, those were the only 2 places where the mysterious voice occurred. If there were other dubbings, with the actors actually using their voices, I did not notice.

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