starring Chris Conner, Jeff Daniels, Stephen Lang, Robert Duvall
screenplay by Ronald F. Maxwell, based on the book by Jeffrey M. Shaara
directed by Ronald F. Maxwell
by Walter Chaw Somewhere in the translation from Jeff Shaara's only so-so novel Gods and Generals to Ronald F. Maxwell's magnificently bad film Gods and Generals lies the mystery of why the younger Shaaras and the Maxwells of the world see fit to take a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel like Jeff Shaara's The Killer Angels and make a country-fried trilogy out of it. Perhaps most of the blame should be laid at the ten-gallon feet of Ted Turner, Fortune 500's Yosemite Sam/Ross Perot amalgam who seeks, it appears, to finally get the South to rise again, single-handedly, after about 150 years of threats. It seems odd, however, that The Ted would seek to get the bayonets a-rattlin' again with almost four hours of awkward period speechifying punctuated occasionally by random recreations of random early Civil War battles (Manassas, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville), each of which lead to the events of Maxwell's 1993 adaptation of The Killer Angels, Gettysburg.