Film | Music | Literary
Gods & Generals: Director’s Cut
Packed with bonus interviews and footage, and 48 page digibook.
Warner commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a pair of Ronald F. Maxwell directed epics in Blu-ray digibooks.
‘Gods and Generals’ – A sweeping epic charting the early years of the Civil War and how campaigns unfolded from Manassas to the Battle of Fredericksburg, this prequel to the film Gettysburg explores the motivations of the combatants and examines the lives of those who waited at home.
Each two-disc digibook and ‘Gettysburg’ will includes commentary with Ronald Maxwell; Map Gallery; “The Battle of Gettysburg – 1955 Doc”;”The Making of Gettysburg”; Interview Gallery; “On Location”; and “Behind the Scenes of Nuremberg – The Story.”
‘Gods and Generals: Extended Director’s Cut’ includes: New Commentary; New Intro by Ted Turner and Ronald Maxwell; Music Video; Journey to the Past The Authenticities of the Film; The Life of Thomas” Stonewall” Jackson; and Visit Virginia.
Gettysburg: Director’s Cut
Packed with bonus interviews and footage, and 48 page digibook.
‘Gettysburg’ – Summer 1863. The Confederacy pushes north into Pennsylvania. Union divisions converge to face them. Two great armies will clash at Gettysburg, site of a theology school. For three days, through such legendary actions as Little Round Top and Pickett’s Charge, the fate of “one nation, indivisible” hangs in the balance. Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen, Richard Jordan and more play key roles in this magnificent epic based on Michael Shaara’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Killer Angels, filmed at actual battle locations and rigorously authenticated down to the boots.
First time on DVD! In the full-length sequel “The Parent Trap II”, Hayley Mills returns to reprise her roles as identical twins Sharon and Susan. Now all grown up, Sharon is a single mom whose 11-year-old daughter Nikki is just as mischievous as she was! During summer school Nikki and her new friend Mary turn into scheming matchmakers when they try to get Sharon and Mary’s widowed father together. Not quite able to make it happen, they turn to the one person who can really help — Sharon’s twin Susan!
The classic children’s movie of a boy who lives at a country club where his father works decides to make some extra money by selling composted horse manure as fertilizer, and has his three sisters (two of which are older) join him in the enterprise. As their sales increase, they draw increased scrutiny from the IRS and state tax board, as well as the large scale competitor who seeks to put them out of business at any cost.
A would-be Nashville star finds himself in hot water during a stay in Georgia in this drama based (very loosely) on the hit song of the same title. Travis Child (Dennis Quaid) is a country singer looking for his big break, crisscrossing the country playing honky-tonks with his younger sister (and manager), Amanda (Kristy McNichol), in tow. Travis has a bad habit of drinking too much and putting the moves on the wrong women, leaving tough-as-nails Amanda to bail him out. One night Travis runs afoul of Seth Ames (Don Stroud), the sheriff of a small Georgia town who isn’t against using his fists to teach lawbreakers a lesson; thanks to Ames, Travis ends up behind bars, but Amanda is able to persuade a sympathetic state trooper, Conrad (Mark Hamill), to help raise bail. In exchange, Travis has to work off his debt as a bartender at a local watering hole (where he hopes he might get to play a few tunes for the customers), and between drawing beers and pouring shots, he meets a beautiful local girl amed Melody (Sunny Johnson). However, as romance begins to bloom between them, Travis find himself in trouble again when he discovers Melody already has a boyfriend — Seth Ames. Both Dennis Quaid and Kristy McNichol do their own singing in The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, with Quaid also writing several of his character’s tunes.
The teen sex comedy about a group of 15-year-old girls at a summer camp who establish a contest to see which one of them will lose their virginity first. Tatum O’Neal stars as Ferris, a naive but sexually aware rich girl on the make with the older camp swimming instructor Gary (Armand Assante). Her rival in this race for deflowering is Angel (Kristy McNichol), who is quick to point out, “Don’t let the name fool you.” She sets her sights on the young Randy (Matt Dillon). But the contest gets obscured by inter-personal crises: Cinder (Krista Errickson), a young tease in a bunny suit, seduces Randy away from Angel, while Ferris has second thoughts about offering herself to the camp counselor.
Based on a short story by Paul Gallico, this drama (produced for public television) stars Sissy Spacek as Verna Vane, a small-town girl who dreams of hitting it big in show business. Verna isn’t much of a singer or a dancer, but she is able to land a job with a U.S.O. troupe entertaining American soldiers in Europe during World War II. Verna imagines this is a major stepping stone in her career as an entertainer, but even though Maureen (Sally Kellerman) and Eddie (Howard Da Silva), two veteran vaudevillians touring with Verna, know better, they don’t have the heart to tell her. While in Belgium, Verna meets Walter (William Hurt), a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army who becomes smitten with her. “Verna: USO Girl” was first aired in 1978 as part of the PBS series Great Performances.
Colm Primrose, a fisherman from the wild coast of Ireland, loves his work, his boat, his fishing buddies, and the sea in all its moods. Living in a small, rural community, he has no telephone, no modern conveniences–and no wife. While at a local wedding, he sees Timothea, a young woman from Liverpool, to whom he eventually writes a letter. Their correspondence, in which he describes his life, continues for eighteen months, before she returns to the area for another wedding. Before long, she has persuaded him to visit her in Liverpool, where she works for a publisher.
Their relationship, the first ever for Colm, provides sweet romance, but the seeds of disaster are sown from the beginning, when Timothea has his letters published as “sonnets.” Described by publicists as “primitive,” the unschooled Colm finds himself, unexpectedly, a celebrity poet, in demand for talks to clubs. Like the proverbial fish out of water, however, Colm misses the sea and “the heads,” while Timothea, who has escaped to Liverpool from rural Wales, wants never to live the primitive life again. Their love, which drives the first act of the play, becomes the conflict which drives the second act.
Gardner McKay has created a romantic drama which glorifies the life of the fisherman and his ties to the most basic elements of wind and weather. The visual contrast between the wild Irish coast in this filmed-for-television production and the seamy side of Liverpool illustrate the themes. The plot is simple–and predictable–but George Hearn manages to make Colm a real person experiencing real agonies as he tries to reconcile his first experience with love with his need to return to his roots. Veronica Castang, as the more experienced lover, plays her role with a lovely softness, which disguises her selfish side, seen in her refusal to consider leaving the city and her determination to persuade Colm to remain.
This Broadway Theatre Archive production from 1976, contains themes as relevant today as they were then–the desire for love, the need for openness to new experiences, and the beauties of the simple life vs. the city life. The attractions of a life as raw and primitive as Colm’s may be less appealing today than they were in 1976, however, and the conflict is so basic that the conclusion is obvious from the beginning of the play. Still, Hearn makes Colm such an attractive character that one hopes that he will achieve happiness by finding both a lover and a continued life on the sea he loves.
War Is Kind
Poetry from the Civil War
Recited by Brian Mallon and Ron Maxwell.
Poems by Stephen Vincent Benet, Stephen Crane, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Herman Melville, Abram Joseph Ryan, Mary Ashley Townsend, Walt Whitman, Robert Penn Warren, Alan Seeger, James Jeffrey Roche, Robert Burns Wilson, John Greenleaf Whittier, George Parsons Lathrop, Sidney Lanier and others will be featured in this inspiring and thought-provoking presentation.
The Civil War has been remembered by photographers, historians, painters, novelists, composers and filmmakers. Perhaps no artistic endeavor has evoked the profound sadness, elation, excitement and tragedy of this epochal event as the collected works of our own American poets.
Grammy winners Randy Travis and Ricky Skaggs along with Darryl Worley, Blake Shelton and other giants of country music are preparing to unveil compelling new songs about the enduring legacy of the Civil War on America Will Always Stand — the first album of original material ever issued by Time-Life Music.
Scheduled for a retail release in May, America Will Always Stand was conceived and brought to life by Michael Curtis and Michael Pyle, who produced and co-wrote most of the tracks with historical guidance from award-winning filmmaker, writer and director Ron Maxwell (Gods & Generals, Gettysburg.) Curtis also shares the credit with Maxwell, and others, as executive producer.
Many of these songs are based on facts, from the grit of battle (Worley’s “Shiloh [Presence of the Past]“) to the miracle of “God’s tears” shed over the bloody fields of Fredericksburg (Josh Turner’s “Tears of God”). Others draw from scenarios familiar to families that face today’s challenges: Olivia Maxwell’s “All the Daddies” echoes the assurances given by mothers to children throughout history that their father will someday come back to them.
“One Letter” by the Wilsons makes the connection between past and present especially clear, telling the story of a soldier gone to war, leaving only his pledge to return — so clear, in fact, that it has been selected not only as the first single from America Will Always Stand, but also the first single ever released from any Time-Life Music album.
All of America Will Always Stand embraces the sound of country music, with an emphasis on acoustic textures, intimate vocals, and melodies that stir strong currents of emotion. Whether referring to specific figures from the Civil War, as in Daron Norwood’s “God and General Lee,” or to the loneliness borne by every soldier far from home, as in Shelton’s “Waltzing You Darlin’” and Marty Raybon’s “Back in Your Arms Again,” each song speaks with a direct yet poetic eloquence, closer in essence to letters written by both Union and Confederate troops to their loved ones than to the formulaic lyrics of pop music.
But each track also touches something deep in our national character and seeks what brings us together — North and South, soldiers for peace and apostles for victory. “Even though these songs are about the Civil War, they’re just as timely today as they would have been 140 years ago,” says Curtis. “We hope not only to draw future generations to the beauty of mainstream country music, but also to make them aware of the debts paid in their name by soldiers of the past, present, and future.”
Recorded in Nashville and Muscle Shoals, America Will Always Stand is the first step in a journey through music. Maxwell, Curtis, Pyle and their colleagues are already at work on a follow-up album for Time-Life Music, on which another all-star selection of artists will perform songs with a more narrative focus on real-life heroes of the Civil War and the lessons conveyed by their lives. Further projects, including original dramas for television based on this material, are being explored as well.
“Gods & Generals: Official Soundtrack”
Other than the opening and closing track, the album is entirely instrumental. It has been critically praised for its thematic diversity and consistently high quality. Enjoy the music of the great Civil War epic.
Composed by Randy Edelman, the inspired symphonic tones of the critically acclaimed soundtrack of the movie “Gettysburg” have become a standard of American movie music collections.
Performers include: Meir Finkelstein (vocals), John Hannan (conductor), Grant Geissman (guitar), Sandy Mitchell (fiddle, banjo, harmonica), The American Brass Band, The Camp Chase Fife & Drum Corps, The Joe Ayers Banjo/Fiddle Duet, The 2nd Maryland Fife & Drum Corps.
Combat films have long been a staple in the history of American cinema. This critical text offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most important American war films of the last 60 years. Based on original interviews, archival research and featuring rare photographs, this book covers films that are considered unusually realistic for the genre. The original edition covered war films through World War II, while the updated version includes seven new chapters, which address the Civil War, the American gunboat presence in China in the 1920s, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the fighting in Mogadishu in 1993 and the war in Iraq. Coverage goes through The Hurt Locker (2009).
Actors Turned Directors
On Eliciting The Best Performance From An Actor, And Other Secrets Of Successful Directing
Written by Jon Stevens
Ten highly popular and acclaimed film directors whose careers began in front of the cameras candidly offer their insights into the all-important and unexplored subject of directing actors. Each actor-turned-director discusses film making and acting as observed from and practiced on both sides of the camera and offers invaluable guidelines and tips on casting, rehearsing, communicating and working with actors, and the whole of the movie making process. Jon Stevens is a writer/director whose most recent feature film is Irish Whiskey. He serves on the publications committee of the Directors Guide of America, with whose support this book was prepared.
Gods & Generals
The Killer Angels
The Last Full Measure
The Civil War Trilogy Collection
Author Jeff M. Shaara rounds out the Civil War Trilogy started by his late father Michael Shaara, whose book The Killer Angels described the Battle of Gettysburg. While Gods and Generals covered action prior to Gettysburg, The Last Full Measure picks up with Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s retreat from Pennsylvania and continues through the end of the war. The younger Shaara focuses on the characters of Lee and Union commander Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, both of whom play prominent roles in the earlier books. He also introduces a new one: Ulysses S. Grant, the Union general who would finally defeat the South–something no soldier before him could manage. The Last Full Measure is often exciting and poignant, and fans of The Killer Angels and Gods and Generals won’t be disappointed. A nicely boxed edition of this classic historical fiction.
The Man, The Soldier, The Legend
Written by James Robertson, Jr.
Robertson traces Jackson’s life from his humble beginnings, through his military career, to his untimely death in 1863, discussing his military campaigns and strategies, religious beliefs, personal eccentricities, and more.
Written by Jonathan Maxwell
This is a tale not of a champion, but of a burnout on the fringe. Coffee and Advil sustain his ability to see not the others’ cards but their souls. The ride gets wild. If he can hold on, his destiny waits at the final table.“Out from our modern world plagued with facsimile comes an account from the inside, without filters or apologies. We are lucky to have this stubborn young man in our ranks.” -David Stowe“He did it. The definitive poker novel has now been written.” -Reid Maclean, author of When The Deal Is Done“This is a novel, and most probably one of the best poker books ever written. Over time, CARDS will be extolled as a classic.” -Poker Player Newspaper
Olivia Maxwell’s new acoustic EP featuring performances by Keith Christopher, Jack Smead and the wonderful Levon Helm. Sara James produced by Rob Fraboni. EP Produced by Eric “Roscoe” Ambelreleased 17 January 2013Frank Murray- Executive Producer