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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Civil War > Gettysburg & Stories Of Valor - Civil War Minutes III

Gettysburg & Stories Of Valor – Civil War Minutes III


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: B-     Episodes: B



So many products on video and otherwise have surfaced since Ken Burns’ PBS hit documentary on Gettysburg that “glut” is the only word to describe it.  However, there are exceptions and Mark Bussler’s long-running series on the subject is better than most.  Gettysburg & Stories Of Valor – Civil War Minutes III (2004) is narrated by Keith Carradine and is very good, thinks to his great reading and the co-writers Michael Kraus and David M. Neville.  This recent Inecom Entertainment Company set is nicely boxed.


The program is spilt on the 2 DVDs at 90 minutes each, with the first show covering specific figures of the Battle Of Gettysburg that reflect the way the war went.  DVD 2 covers the infamous prison camp Andersonville, the Confederate President, the medical and surgical side of the war and a few more key figures.  A whole new generation of scholars, fans and experts are now among us and this is so well worked out that I cannot imagine any of them being disappointed.  Even non-fans will be impressed at the flow, facts and good pacing involved.  The production has less plasticity and still born sense than Burns’ works generally tend to have, so that is a plus.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is shot on digital video, but not high definition from the looks of it.  There is a softness and sense of detail limit in the newly shot footage that suggests that, but it plays back well enough to enjoy.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and 2.0 Stereo with Pro Logic surrounds are fine, but not spectacular, nor does it need to be.  Carradine’s voice is what counts and it comes through loud and clear.  Extras include full-length audio commentary by the director and writers on both discs, the writers talking over deleted scenes from these installments and previews for the previous two volumes in this Minutes Of History series, plus The Johnstown Flood that we will be covering when we return.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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