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Civil War movie fans offered a 'sneak peek'

June 19, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

The Maryland Theatre will host an exclusive half-hour preview of the Civil War movie "Gods and Generals" about three months before the full-length version hits movie screens.

The two showings, set for 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 12, will kick off the 140th Anniversary Commemoration of the Battle of Antietam, organizer Dennis Frye said.

Tickets cost $10 each and will go on sale at the theater in Hagerstown no later than Friday, he said.

Frye said he asked Director Ronald Maxwell for permission to show local audiences the same "sneak peek preview" that financier Ted Turner has seen.

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Maxwell "sees it as a way to thank this community for all its superb support," said Frye, a local Civil War historian and an associate producer of the movie.

Maxwell and actor Stephen Lang, who plays Gen. Stonewall Jackson in the movie, are scheduled to appear at the showings.

Much of the filming took place in and around Washington County last year. Before Turner agreed to make the $54 million movie, the Hagerstown and Washington County governments loaned Maxwell money to get the project off the ground.

The movie is scheduled to hit theaters in late December. A premiere will be held at the Maryland Theatre earlier that month, he said. Specific dates have not been set.

Although the final cut has not been made, the movie is expected to run about three hours, Frye said.

"Gods and Generals" follows the life of Stonewall Jackson through the early part of the Civil War. It is a prequel to Maxwell's 1993 epic "Gettysburg."

It stars Oscar-winning actors Robert Duvall and Mira Sorvino.

Its large cast includes Jeff Daniels, C. Thomas Howell, Bruce Boxleitner and Frankie Faison.

In addition to working on the movie, Frye is co-chair of the Antietam Commemoration Committee, a nonprofit group that is sponsoring the 140th anniversary re-enactment activities the weekend of Sept. 13-15.

Re-enactment tickets, previously available on a limited basis, will go on sale Thursday at local outlets.

To drum up sales, Valley Mall and Prime Outlets at Hagerstown each are giving away a $1,862 shopping spree.

The first 1,862 people who buy tickets at each location will be eligible to win, Frye said.

Tickets also will be available at 14 Tri-State area AC&T convenience stores, the Visitors Center in downtown Hagerstown, the bookstore at Antietam Battlefield near Sharpsburg and K&M Grocery Store in Keedysville, he said.

Advance one-day tickets cost $17 for adults and $10 for children ages 6-12.

Advance two-day tickets cost $29 for adults and $16 for children.

Advance three-day tickets cost $42 for adults and $22 for children.

One-day tickets at the gate will cost $20 for adults and $10 for children.

Parking is included in the ticket price.

Admission is free for children younger than age 6.

Profits will be donated to charitable organizations with historical missions.

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