The Blog

Of "Gods and Generals"

Ronald Maxwell's new Civil War movie gives conservatives everything they've ever wanted from Hollywood. Is it enough?

11:00 PM, Feb 20, 2003 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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The six-hour version is probably more satisfying than what is onscreen, but that too poses a dilemma, because a six-hour movie cannot be released theatrically. So what to do? The answer is surely TBS and DVD. After its run in theaters, "Gods and Generals" will graduate to cable TV, where it can be run as a miniseries, and onto DVD, where it can be expanded to six hours and seen as the director originally intended. The small screen should solve all of its problems.

But where does that leave us? We who carp about popcorn pap and historical distortions at the Cineplex now have our dream movie. That it doesn't entirely work as cinema says something depressing about the natural limitations of the medium. And something very encouraging about the future of DVD.

Jonathan V. Last is online editor of The Weekly Standard.