This four-hour history lesson by filmmaker Ronald F. Maxwell is far too outstretched and meticulous to appeal to wide audiences, but it does have some engaging narrative qualities in the midst of its otherwise often academic form. In structure, the film alternates between tactical build-ups, somewhat flatulent motivational speeches and dialogues, and wonderfully laid out set-pieces which nonetheless often come off as rather staged. In short, it was an almost impossible endeavour to make a feature film out of such a drawn-out, old-fashioned battle, but Gettysburg is a valid effort, despite its obvious shortcomings. The film is at its absolute best in the scenes with Jeff Daniels as Colonel Joshua Chamberlain, especially the depiction of his defence of Little Round Top. Daniels' performance might just be the best of his career. Other than in those scenes, the film relies a little too heavily on Randy Edelman’s overly romanticized score in order to create affinity and emotional connection. Among an ensemble cast, Richard Jordan (in his last film) and Kevin Conway, in addition to Daniels, stand out.