(Justin Salinger, Francis Chouler, Gabriel Harry Meltz, et al / DVD / TV-14 / 2020 / LGF)
Overview: Executive produced by Academy Award® winner Leonardo DiCaprio, 'Grant' tells the remarkable and quintessentially American story of a humble man who overcomes incredible obstacles to rise to the highest ranks of power and save the nation not once, but twice.
This complete three-part miniseries seamlessly blends expert commentary, dramatic reenactments, and beautifully enhanced archival imagery to reveal the true legacy of the unlikely hero who led the nation during its greatest tests: the Civil War and Reconstruction.
DVD Verdict: Just released, 'Grant' is a three-part mini-series based on historian Ron Chernow's 2017 book of the same name.
Without commercials, which is a very important point to highlight, this is a 4-hour film that's part dramatic reenactment featuring Justin Salinger in the lead role and part documentary with a diverse cast of erudite and interesting commentators.
Ulysses S. Grant has been described as "an inspired commander, an adequate president, a dull companion and a roaring drunk." Personally, I take issue with that last description. Grant might've had an issue with alcohol, but that doesn't make him a "roaring drunk."
I know real life drunkards and they waste their lives sitting around looking for their next drink, accomplishing very little. Drunks don't lead the biggest military force on Earth and win battle-after-battle, as well as the great war itself.
Nor are they able to lead a country the size of the USA for eight years and have a successful marriage & family that overcome great challenges over and over.
Moving on and this might actually be my favorite Civil War movie of all time. As good, or better, than the best you can cite, such like 'Ride with the Devil' (1999), 'Glory' (1989), 'Cold Mountain' (2003), 'The Horse Soldiers' (1959) and 'Gods and Generals' (2002).
Furthermore, to my mind, 'Grant' is the best cinematic source to understand the bigger picture of The Civil War, especially as far as the Union's strategy to victory.
For instance, what was the purpose of the Battle of Shiloh? If it was a Union victory, why did reporters lambaste Grant as an incompetent drunk and why was he demoted?
After crossing the Mississippi, why did Grant go east to fight two battles and capture Jackson, Mississippi, BEFORE going to Vicksburg?
And what was the strategic value of the Battle of the Wilderness? Petersburg and Cold Harbor?
The reenactments are totally realistic with utterly savage battle scenes. This is what it was like, folks. War is hell. Thankfully, the film doesn't end with Lee's surrender at Appomattax, but goes on to address Grant's final 22 years of life as President during Reconstruction, his wide travels, tragedies and finishing his memoir, three days before passing away.
For the record, I myself just read Grant's memoirs, so I was so glad this production arrived here on DVD at this (nearly) very same time.
Through reading Grant's memoirs, I realized many new things about the Civil War. I was amazed at his memories of everything and all the battles fought.
His memoirs and this documentary really brought home what a terrible war this was. Again, this show 'Grant' was done very well and I loved Justin Salinger's portrayal of the man himself, Grant (FYI: The History Channel also aired a program called 'Lee and Grant,' which is also excellent and well worth your time if you also loved this new release). This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.
Official 'Grant' Trailer