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Some riled by Antietam cut

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  • rotbaron@aol.com
    From today s Hagerstown Herald-Mail... Some Riled When Battle Cut From Civil War Movie Word that scenes of the Civil War Battle of Antietam have been cut
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 7, 2003
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      From today's Hagerstown Herald-Mail...

      "Some Riled When Battle Cut From Civil War Movie"

      Word that scenes of the Civil War Battle of Antietam have been cut from the
      theater version of "Gods and Generals" disappointed some Sharpsburg-area
      residents, even though those scenes were filmed in Virginia. "We are not
      pleased," said Bob LeBlanc, part owner of the Inn at Antietam in Sharpsburg.
      "Antietam was a big part of that mess," he added, referring to the Civil War.
      "Isn't that a bummer."

      Sandy Henson, who lives about three miles from Sharpsburg, was dipping ice
      cream Thursday afternoon at Nutter's Ice Cream, just off the square in
      Sharpsburg, which is near the battlefield. Was she disappointed the Antietam
      battlefield scenes were cut from the film? "Yeah, really," she said, "I don't
      know why they wanted to cut it - I think that was one of the main points" of
      the war.

      But Wayne Alter Sr., who was eating ice cream at Nutter's, said "I expected
      that. It wasn't that significant" to the film. "Gods and Generals" director
      Ron Maxwell said Wednesday that Battle of Antietam scenes and others had to
      be cut to reduce the length of the movie, which now runs 3 hours and 35
      minutes. At one time before editing was completed, the film was 4 hours and
      40 minutes long, Maxwell said.

      The Antietam battle scenes will appear in the six-hour DVD version of the
      film, Maxwell said. "I'm just surprised to hear it," said Sallie Cornell,
      co-owner of the American Deli. "The battle's why the history is there" in
      Washington County. "Most men that even watch those type of movies watch it
      for the battles," she said. Betty Snyder, the children's librarian at the
      Sharpsburg Library, said her mother, who is now deceased, watched local
      filming of the movie from her Red Hill home and "was fascinated by it. It was
      a real big deal."

      At the Sharpburg Arsenal on Main Street, owner Don Stoops was planning to
      offer companion materials to his shop patrons. "We have a lot of stuff
      ordered to coincide" with the film's release, he said, but now he doesn't
      think he'll have quite the influx of tourists he'd expected.

      "I think that our area is definitely gonna miss out on that boom without
      Antietam being in," Stoops said. He said the market for Civil War
      collectibles will still get a boost, but "we were looking to see Antietam to
      be a big part of that film."
      "As a Washington Countian I'm very disappointed," said attorney Bruce Poole,
      who represented Maxwell when he sought local backing for the film. "But there
      was enormous pressure to shorten that movie."

      Dennis Frye, a local Civil War expert and an associate producer of the film
      said he agonized for weeks over cutting the Antietam scenes. "I would hope
      that local people would be disappointed; that tells me they're very proud of
      their local history," Frye said. "I'm extremely disappointed because Antietam
      is such a significant battle, but it is not an essential battle in 'Gods and
      Generals,' the movie." That's because the film is not about the war itself,
      but about the primary characters. "We cut out entire campaigns that were
      directly related to the main characters," Frye added, including Stonewall
      Jackson's Valley Campaign, one of the most important in the general's career.


      Washington County Commissioners' President Gregory I. Snook said that
      although the Battle of Antietam scenes - filmed on farmland between
      Lexington, Va., and Staunton, Va. - were out, many of the scenes shot in
      Washington County are in. "I'm not disappointed," Snook said. "In seeing how
      the whole film was shot, there was a lot of footage that got cut." But, he
      said, "the county's not left out."

      "I'm obviously disappointed," Hagerstown Mayor William Breichner said, "but
      I'm still just very proud of the fact that they made that movie here. I'm
      proud that Hagerstown and Washington County was such a major part of it."
      Del. Christopher Shank, who legislative district includes Sharpsburg, was
      philosophical. "Gettysburg," Maxwell's last Civil War epic, evoked the
      sanctity of that battlefield, He said. "I think Antietam already holds that
      place," he said. "Maybe we don't need a movie for that." The Hagerstown
      premiere for "Gods and Generals is next Tuesday at the Maryland Theatre.

      Tom Shay


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    • Anthony W Turner
      ... Makes about as much sense to me as it would to cut the First Inaugural Address out of a movie biography of Lincoln. ... Did Maxwell say when the DVD might
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 8, 2003
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        On Friday, February 7, 2003, at 08:37 PM, rotbaron@... wrote:

        > From today's Hagerstown Herald-Mail...
        > "Gods and Generals" director Ron Maxwell said Wednesday that Battle of
        > Antietam scenes and others had to be cut to reduce the length of the
        > movie, which now runs 3 hours and 35 minutes.

        Makes about as much sense to me as it would to cut the First Inaugural
        Address out of a movie biography of Lincoln.

        > The Antietam battle scenes will appear in the six-hour DVD version of
        > the film…

        Did Maxwell say when the DVD might be available?

        > Dennis Frye, a local Civil War expert and an associate producer of the
        > film said …"I'm extremely disappointed because Antietam is such a
        > significant battle, but it is not an essential battle in 'Gods and
        > Generals,' the movie."

        Fine. I'll wait for the DVD.

        Tony Turner
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