New Gettysburg Film from Ridley and Tony Scott | HistoryNet

New Gettysburg Film from Ridley and Tony Scott

5/20/2011 • Open Fire

Scott brothers produce Gettysburg film for History channel

The famed filmmaking Scott brothers—Ridley (Gladiator; Black Hawk Down; American Gangster) and Tony (Unstop­pable; Man on Fire; Top Gun)—have teamed with the cable channel History to produce Gettysburg, a new feature-length film the network promises will strip away the romanticized veneer of war and present the engagement as “a visceral, terrifying experience.”

“The Civil War is arguably one of the most critical events in our nation’s history, and one to which History has been dedicated since our inception,” Nancy Dubuc, president and general manager of History, said in a release. “Our four-year commitment to the Civil War, highlighting the 150th anniversary and the key battles and people who fought during that conflict, underscores our deep devotion to the genre…. To kick off this epic programming event, I can think of no better and more amazing, awe-inspiring storytellers than Tony and Ridley Scott.”

In addition to the initial showing of Gettysburg, History will air Civil War–themed episodes of the trash-or-treasure shows Pawn Stars and American Pickers, as well as the two-hour special Grant & Lee, a look at the war’s two iconic generals. The network is also launching a four-year national education campaign.

Air dates to be announced.

35 Responses to New Gettysburg Film from Ridley and Tony Scott

  1. JimmyP says:

    I hope it’s better than the poorly scripted Hollywood Gettysburg, in which the prospective of the movie was simply those poor good rebels got beat by superior numbers. I’d love to see the real depictions of how Lee’s troops, stole African-Americans from their Pennsylvania homes to be brought South to be enslaved. Good Civil War movies are few and far between. For my money the best was “Ride With the Devil”

    • Richard says:

      Spoken like a true Yankee, they taught you well, however incorrectly it may have been. The movie FINALLY showed that the Southern soldiers were actually human, and not the crazed, cut throat ‘killer’s’ and criminals, that they’re made out to be by today’s political correct fanatics! Well, you poor little people have just been brainwashed by those who want to make you just like them, the political correct zombies that adhere to ‘North good, South bad’, propaganda.

  2. Gene says:

    Jimmy makes a very good point. Both Gettysburg and Gods and Generals had the same theme, that them po rebs were so put upon by the damn yankees and their evil agenda, and it made them look like they beat the Union heathens at every turn.

    To find out what REALLY went on in the heads of the southerners, read the articles of Confederacy and the Articles of secession. There were many battles, not just the ones faught by the south that were great victories. One other thing they need to do is when making a civil war film, stop making the rifles and pistols behave like kid’s toy cap guns. Those guns were loud and powerful, not like they show in the movies. I have some and they definately perform differently. They did not just pop a tiny hole in the men, as shown in Gettysburg, they blew chunks out of their targets. The movie pistols were even worse.

    Unfortunately in making a film like that, the true proportions of a hand to hand musket war are lost comepletely. Spielburg did much better with Saving Private Ryan.

    • Richard says:

      Your first paragraph was, and is, totally correct! The rest is just pure gibberish and full of the hate that YOU, say Southerners possess, which means, you too, are so politically correct, that you wouldn’t know the truth even it someone smacked you in the face with it. But, be that as it may, I am not politically correct, and I’m proud of the fact that my ancestors fought for the Confederacy, because I know from their diaries that what you spout is just pure nonsense and you just want to hate, and cannot accept the fact that the South definitely fought for other things other than slavery, which by the way, would be no different than you serving in our military during World War 2……….simply because there was the chance that this country could be invaded by the Japanese or Germans. Well, the South was invaded by the North, and those people took up arms to protect what they deemed most important to them……………their homes, their families, their State, which, by the way, meant more to them then, than today, as this was a totally different era, and those people thought so much differently than we do today, so quit trying to thrust your modern way of thinking on to those of the 19th century………… just won’t work, so quit trying to sound so politically correct, and part of a crowd that knows only……what the ‘victor’ wants them to know.

      • JimmyP says:

        Any reputable historian will tell you the South seceded because they were afraid that Lincoln’s election eventually meant that they would lose slavery. Do I really have to recite all the evils of that system. Stop kidding yourselves. Secession caused by Slavery brought “invasion” . How you invade your own country is beyond me. The almost universal acceptance of repression of the African American citizens of the South. The violence , lynching , disenfranchisement, and segregation from the end of reconstruction thru the 1960’s wasn’t in response to an invasion, just the Lost Cause continued.

      • Richard says:

        Yes, I think you do. You’re still in denial that the South wanted to be left alone, to split and become something that they dreaded….being dictated to by a government so big, that the states wouldn’t have a say in what they wanted or did. And, as far as that sarcastic remark about slavery, sometimes I wonder……is it better? 150 years later, the animosity that exists between the races is not a whole lot better now than then, except that the word ‘racism’ should and does, apply to BOTH, not just one, race! At least then, there wasn’t the, almost hatred between the races, plus…..the slavery issue, was under the US flag a lot longer than the Confederate. Is it wrong?, I would say yes, but I’d rather have that, then the constant friction, bickering, political correctness syndrome, the constant rant of a favorite word…’racism’, being screamed every time something happens that doesn’t meet someone’s strict meaning of togetherness! According to the diaries I’ve read with my ancestors, nobody they knew, owned any, and for the most part, didn’t care one way or the other, but that they were still considered ‘inferior’ to the White man, which was still prevalent thinking among those of the North as well, and most certainly not just the South.

  3. brainylainy says:

    I think Glory was the best Civil War film, but, as noted above, most Civil War films have not been accurate or even very watchable.

    Bruce Chadwick’s “The Reel Civil War” is the best book I’ve ever read on Hollywood and the war. And, MacPherson’s slim volume, “This Mighty Scorge” shows how Southern propaganda after the war sugar coated why the rebels rebelled. He says that people believe that the victors rewrite the history, but in the case of the Civil War, it was the vanquished.

    None of this is trivial. We were camping in the South and in Texas all last winter and it was surprising how the former Confederacy glorifies secession. Charleston had a Secession Ball, a gala occasion. We also saw re-enactments of the taking of forts and other secession-related activities. Some of these took place under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.

    When I spoke to re-enactors, asking them why they were participating, to a person they said it was because of States’ Rights and that they wished they could secede again.

    I refrained from commenting that the only States Rights the South wanted was the right to extend slavery to the new territories. Before secession, the South was all too willing to violate the rights of the free states by using U.S. Marshals to capture putative runaway slaves in the North.

  4. brainylainy says:

    I forgot to check the box to notify me of followup comments, so please respond to this comment box if you can.

  5. Gene says:

    Those were the same observations I made. I researchthings, I dont just take other people’s word for it, and I read the articles of secession among others. Most of the time they spent talking about how if Negroes were to be “tolerated” it could only be in a condition of slavery.

    When southerners wanted to form a black army, it was asked why black men should fight for their own slavery. I even knew a southern reenactor once who did the southern impression but he aggreed with me that the side won the war that needed to. Can you imagine being so bent on the idea of keeping a race in chains and treated likeburden animals that you are willing to go to war over it and lose tens of thousands of lives?

    There were good southerners, there were people who fought for other reasons, but overall if it had not been for slavery I have to wonder if the Civil War would have ever happened.

    • Richard says:

      Of course, there is one thing that must be realized….the institution was slowly dying out, and would have died a natural death, and……the North was most certainly into slavery, as well. Dip into it, slavery was done away with totally, AFTER the war………………in the North! The North still had slavery too, but that is not mentioned much, is it! Was the end result all for the best? Probably could be argued one way or the other, especially when you look at our government today, and how large and powerful it has become. Southern Calif politician wants to secede! Why? Government has become so big and has taken so many things from the States, by giving the states money, and now they (The States) cannot live without that money, so the states now must bow to what the government wants them to do. Far too much big government. Exactly what the South tried to get away from. Slavery was the side dish that drove the South to war, not the main one. Again, those folks thought a lot differently than we do today, for we cannot judge past events solely by the standards of today. In order to understand history, we must consider the attitudes and beliefs of the time, which of course, were so much different than today.

      • brainylainy says:

        There were 800,000 slaves in the South at the outbreak of the Mexican War, and 4,000,000 slaves on the eve of secession. That doesn’t sound as if the “institution” of slavery was dying out. In fact, the Mexican War and, later, the fighting in the territories were instigated by Southern slave owners with huge amounts of wealth invested in Negro bodies. The South envisioned a slave holding empire that would extend from Mexico and Central America to all of the territories in the Union. Chief Justice Taney was writing an opinion that argued that it was illegal to banish slavery anywhere in the U.S, including the Northern states that had long been slave-free.

        As for the Civil War, both the Vice President of the Confederation and the President justified secession the night before and the day of the official allied states which formed the CSA. In both speeches, only one reason was given for starting the war: the right to own another human. They mentioned only slavery and the inherent inferiority of Blacks. President Davis actually said that Blacks were put on earth by God so that they could work for Whites.

        Nobody in the South mentioned States’ Rights as a cause until after the war was over. Certainly, the South didn’t hesitate to violate the States’ Rights of Northern states which forbade slavery. Southern slave owners had no problem with using Federal Marshals to go into free states and territories to round up any Blacks they could. The Supreme Court, which was controlled by Southerners until 1860, passed the Dred Scott decision and the Fugitive Slave Act.

        The South wanted to secede because, with the new territories, they would no longer control Congress or the Supreme Court.

    • brainylainy says:

      The irony of the South going to war to keep slavery is that it wasn’t the plantation owners and their sons who actually were out in the field killing and being killed or wounded. It was the poor whites who provided the cannon fodder for the South. The complaint “rich man’s war, poor man’s fight” was all too true.

      I have researched the motivation of those po’ boys who went through the Hell of war so that a few wealthy men could protect the source of their wealth: Negro slaves. The only reason I have been able to find so far is that poor whites liked to believe that they might rise so they could be slave owners themselves.

      I find it hard to believe that anybody would be willing to be maimed or killed in bitter combat just so that someday they might be able to make enough money to buy slaves. The hardscrabble lives of poor whites offered no realistic hope of such rewards.

      What makes more sense to me is that poor whites feared free Blacks–as did the Southern aristocracy. Since there were often more Blacks than Whites in Southern counties, the Whites felt they had to be kept in control. They feared if slaves were freed, the Blacks would turn on them.

      Eventually, this fear found a solution: The Ku Klux Klan.

  6. Rusty says:

    Well we saw it, and it was the worst historical film yet, another from “the heart” hollywood depiction of what they think should be the gist of the film and thats the hidden unspoken thoughts of the dead and dying, they spent the first 15 – 20 min. and a ton of commercials interpeting the would be letters of a sergent if he had survived to his family, after that they added perhaps 10 relevent historical facts that actually showed some military thought process.

    It stunk and is not history, the History channel should change its name to the mamby pamby channel. For this rendition will only increase the rapid decline of the intelectual level of those that follow the public education system we have today, no doubt many young minds will have been told to watch this and make a report on it, i wonder what those reports will read like????

  7. Larry Bulgier says:

    I was stunned when I saw a two hour film on Gettysburg without one mention of Little Round Top. This was possibly the most crucial engagement of the battle, although it involved fewer men than Pickett’s charge.
    How could you?

  8. William Hale says:

    Well, I knew this film was nothing more than historical crap 10 minutes into the show when they said that “Dick Ewell replaced the legendary Stonewall Jackson, Lee’s brilliant SECOND IN COMMAND, who died at Chancellorsville.”

    When Lee formed his army into 2 corps with Jackson and Longstreet at their heads, he made SURE that Longstreet was commissioned first, because he was his second and command and the person to whom Lee trusted the most if something should happen to him.

    But let us just ignore easy to ascertain facts and make up anything we want for this history channel crap.

    Obviously, NOBODY at THC is a historian or they don’t actually care about history or they would FIX problems like this before they show them to the people.


  9. Bowlingball44 says:

    I tuned in because I thought this was going to be a great program by the Scott brothers about a topic which I love and after 15 minutes, I thought it was the same bullcrap Civil War program (Hollywood Style). I was disappointed to find that again, all of Hollywood think that everyone that fought for the South during the War was a toothless or extremely dirty hillbilly, that didn’t wear their uniform jackets and rolled up their sleeves and everyone on horses wore yellow on the cuffs of the jacket, if memory serves me correctly, R.E. Lee was not wearing yellow cuffs in Gettysburg as they had showed in the movie. I understand that this was 1863 and the South was slowly on the decline with supplies and all, but come on, fellas, give them a little credit. They were still honorable men and dressed accordingly, its not always the dirty hillbilly type that Hollywood likes to take license with. Where are the History Channel guys to check to make sure the show is accurate? Give us a little credit…

    • Gene says:

      Nathan Forest was no toothless hillbilly. He was actually rather fascinating. I’m not a big fan of him, but he is the only man I ever heard of joining the army with no experience, forming his own unit, then going all the way to top general just because he had a knack for doing the job.

    • Richard says:

      Finally, someone with a little common sense! You, are most correct Sir. Why, does the general public seem to think that ALL Southerners were just common thugs, killers, hate filled ignorant hillbillies, who didn’t have any hearts, as they were stone cold and heartless. The vast majority in this country then, thought the black man inferior to the White Man anyway, that’s just the way it was. Again…….far too many people want to interject those feelings of what we think TODAY, NOT, what they thought then. Again…..the political correct infection, hits most of those who have posted here, thus far.
      The Southern fighting man was every bit as conscientious to his cause, and his home, family and State, as any Yankee was. So why don’t they quit trying to shove this “North good, South Bad”, propaganda on us.

      • Ray says:

        Just watched the “Martin Sheen” Gettysburg on cable TV over here in UK and would like to know if you can recommend any books that you feel can tell me more about the southern side of the war….As you say,the winners tend to rewrite history and the truth often disappears and it would be interesting to know the “other” side of these battles

      • jimmypete says:

        Maybe because the South was trying to perpetuate a system where people were bought and sold, families split up, whipped instead of paid for their labor. I know there was racism throughout the country, but if the South’s cause wasn’t bad what would be.

      • Ray says:


        Perhaps I didn’t make myself clear…not interested in causes of war…already pretty well known….I want to know about the experiences of the fighting men..most histories only politicians and generals….nobody ever gets to hear of the people who actually had to fight …also interested if any ex-slaves/freemen who fought for the Union set down their war

  10. Gene says:

    Brainwashed and pure rubbish, ay. then take some time and do research and read the articles of confederacy and secession as well as the confederate constitution. I did some reading and found that it wasnt long at all indot their writing before they were going on about how the black man could not be “tolerated” except in a condition of slavery, and the south was bitter because they could not expand into Arizona, then up into California and make it all slave territory. Evenreenactors, descendants like you, were saying those very things, being historians themselves.

    The south seceded because Lincoln was going to take their right to own slaves away. When that happened, many southern rich men lost their fortunes. Indeed, slavery was dying in the North and southerners had no trouble going north to get their runaways.

    The major “southern raht” that the south fought over was slavery. When it came to using blacks in their armies, even the south balked at the idea and wondered if the blacks would fight for their own servitude. After the war, Union generals had to tour the south to let slaves know they were free.

    I don’t just accept what others tell me, I do research. Human beings believe what they want to believe and don’t want their names tarnished. It amazed me when southern reenactors would say those things while they spoke so highly of their own ancestors. Either what I read was true or the south lied about itself. Either way those rights came with a huge price.

    Be it all as it may, the southern slave traders did a great job. White people are now a minority down south.

  11. jimmypete says:

    Actually Lincoln was no where near to abolishing Slavery when he was elected, The Slave holders were so arrogant that they destroyed the Union simply out of fear of future political problems , knowing that with Lincoln expansion was impossible. Slavery was the root of the War, no slavery no war. Even non-slave holders in the South couldn’t imagine a society without Slavery, especially if Blacks were to remain in the Country which they worked and bled on for 200+ years without compensation I might add. So what if the Rebel troops were brave. German troops in World War II were tremendous fighters, does that excuse their cause??

  12. Gene says:

    We can argue this all year and it wont make any real difference. The war is over, the union still in tact. Today there is a racial problem between blacks and whites that is enormous. There are reasons for that, but I have to wonder why if people elt the way they did about negros, why did they work so hard to get so many over here. Oh, that’s right there was good money in the slave trade regardless of who did it.

    It’s for sure that millions of black Africans were not going to load boats and come over here on their own because they wanted to serve white masters who beat them, chained them under decks, bred them like animals, then sat around whining that they were unintelligent animals and they could barely tolerate them. The whole concept is stupid beyond comprehension.

  13. JimmyP says:

    The debate about slavery as the true cause of the Civil War, has long been settled by real historians. People with current political agendas have tried to raise the old canards regarding States Rights and other rationales. The Lost Cause myths remain myths. Slavery was an abomination, and no amount of Romance can justify that system or a brutal war to perpetuate it.

  14. JimmyP says:

    By the way the South didn’t seem to care that much about State’s Rights when the Fugitive Slave Act was passed or where were they on States Rights when the Supreme Court declared that no State could enforce anti slavery laws in the Dred Scott decision. Myths remain Myths. Problem is the way people believe about the past dictates the way they act [and vote] in the present.

  15. Gene says:

    All that because one one miserable rotten thing that has caused so many wars and so much death: Hate charged greed.

  16. kieron says:

    i am a brit am fascinated in the american civil war, surely what you are forgetting is , the south wanted out of the union because it had grown so big ,it was run by foreign investors just like today,the union wanted to dictate policy to the southern states ,who by the way are the original states who defeated the british and wanted to be free and decide their own fate , owning slaves was a side issue as not all the states owned them , it was called decentralising.just look at the soviet union , other countries who do not want to be dictated to big central powers,my own country is going away from central government ,ie england scotland wales the bye i would support the south ,

    • jimmypete says:

      Kieron Your comments have been refuted by every responsible historian who has studied the Civil War in the last 60 years. No Slavery no War. If you supported the South you supported enslaving other human beings, making people chattels.

    • TL Rouhier says:

      Britton and France wanted the South to win so that the Uninted States would be destroyed as a growing world power. The original 13 states had tried a confederacy and found, as had all who tried it through history, that it would not work. To succed there must be a strong centeral government. States rights have always been less than the centeral government as provided by the constitution. The South had lost political leadership to the North because of population groath and manufacturing. Gen. Lee was headed for gettysburg because of an advertising flyer. 1200 pairs of shoes. The South had a big problem supplying the needs of it’s armys. A lot of soldiers were bare footed.

  17. Bill says:

    WOW a lot of people want to only post political nonsense

    the War between the states was about states rights and slavery was added after Gettysburg…….By Lincoln, “The Gettysburg address anyone?” Its clear in the greatest documentary ever done, “The Civil War” Maybe some of these self righteous people here should see it.

    Anyway this film was pure crap, it was not history but fantasy, Little round top? It was important and one of the greatest commanders of the civil war came into his own there, Chamberlain

    I have also seen the epic Gettysburg with Martian Sheen, a great film and it was not all South, Little Round top was the star too. In the film I did not see pro south, I saw two sides equal in difficulties and in the end that no one really won, we all lost and the Confederacy was now at the beginning of the end.

    All this crap about slavery, even the RE LEE and Jefferson Davis wanted to end slavery. But northerners want those facts to be buried because someone has to be evil, give me a break.

  18. David says:

    I’m going to try and make peace here. I’v lived in both the north and the south. I’m a northerner, but just barely–from southern Pennsylvania, a state that came close to seceding itself, until Fort Sumter. I am a conservative and hold traditional values. I am not politically-correct. I share the values shared my many in the south, including a respect for states’ rights. But it is true that the only right of states that mattered to the leaders of South Carolina and the other early members of the Confederacy was slavery. I am careful to say \leaders,\ since over 95% of all white southerners did not own slaves. Those leaders didn’t want to secede just to secede. They were happy to remain with the Union, until Lincoln’s election and a threatened end to slavery.

    My ancestors also fought in the Civil War, on the Union side (in the 138th PA Volunteers), but I respect those whose ancestors fought on the other side, most of whom weren’t much different than mine. I also believe the southern states had a right to secede and Lincoln took some very unconstitutional actions during the war. I think very highly of the south and southerners–much more friendly and polite than most (not all!) of us northerners.

    But I also believe that slavery cannot be divorced from the Civil War, and it required a war to end it. However, we have to recall that it was the forces of South Carolina, under Beauregard, who fired the first shot in that war, not the Union forces. We also have to recall that the entire South was not behind the Confederacy. Missouri, Kentucky, and Maryland were split (but remained in the Union), and western Virginia seceded from Virginia to stay with the Union. Others from the inland (mountain) south were also pro-Union, believing the wealthy slavocracy was forcing the South to war against the interests of poor whites. This was especially true in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. By the same token, some northerners supported the CSA–indeed, the Confederate general at Vicksburg was from Philadelphia. So Southerner does not equal Confederate.

    One final note: I do wish that people wouldn’t use that word \Yankee\ as such a pejorative. I don’t consider myself a \Yankee\ (except in the larger sense in which that word is used worldwide to refer to all Americans). To me, and I think to most northerners, that word applies only to New Englanders, and in New England it generally refers to the descendants of early settlers of that region, as a term of pride.

    Well, that’s my $0.02.

    • jimmypete says:

      I’ll try and state simply what I believe to be true. Slavery was the cause of the Civil War, the reason for secession. However , in the final analysis , is there any justification for glorifying the South in this war. German troops Nazi and non-Nazi , fought bravely and skillfully throughout World War 2, Germany had many complaints , some real some not , from it’s treatment post World War One. We certainly don’t see the honoring of the German Army or the cause with a rationale that they were brave and had some legitimate concerns post 1919. Slavery was a cruel , exploitive system which tainted all citizens and whose effects we are still tying to cure. It is an insult not only to African Americans but to the ideals of this nation to continue to rationalize a war which would have destroyed this nation, a war to keep an institution that debased this nation and it’s society. The revering of the Confederacy simply has no place in our current historical memory, and the “Lost Cause” meme was a foundation for an extra hundred years of de-jure oppression of our African American citizens.

  19. Bill says:

    Why do people always want to explain something like the civil war with “this caused it”? Like one issue, one thing could cause so many states to take up arms. Its more complicated than one issue. Slavery was one issue and not the only issue. The southern states felt they had the right to govern what laws they would have inside the state’s boarders, this includes if they had slavery or not. One thing gets missed time and time again, Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee both felt that it was time to end slavery. It would of happened with or without the civil war, the North winning made it happen faster. For some reason people have to say one side is evil in a war, the South was not evil, it was fighting a war against a government it felt was bullying it.
    Causes included

    States right to pass laws
    Federal Taxes
    Federal Control on commerce

    Its not simple

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