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American Experience - Victory in the Pacific (1995)

 NR |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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American Experience - Victory in the Pacific + American Experience: The Battle of the Bulge
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: August 30, 2005
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009W5IXI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,688 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American Experience - Victory in the Pacific" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Target Tokyo - Ronald Reagan narrates this 1945 film on the B-29's first mission
  • Discussion: The Bomb and the End of the War

Editorial Reviews

From the shocking attack on Pearl Harbor to the firebombing of Tokyo and nuclear attacks on Japan, these are the legendary battles and valiant heroes of WWII. Witness the courage and determination that led the U.S. Armed Forces to victory in the Pacific. 1995/color/120 min/NR.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film / Insights April 7, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this a couple years ago after coming across it toward the end on TV and wanting to see the whole show. I was very impressed. I very much enjoy history especially WWII history and this presentation was superb and filled with new insights about the war, especially the end of the war. Good use of footage and voice-over along with animations of maps, etc. The story is told in a logical fashion in chronological order.

[Begin Digression] There has been a lot of revisionist historical speculation about the necessity of using atomic weapons to end the war and this documentary very effectively reviews the evidence regarding that. After watching this any doubt I ever had that Truman made the right decision both for the US troops and also ironically even for the Japanese people has been erased. Though it was a terrible thing to have to do, if not done many, many more Japanese would have died along with more than a million US troops. If you doubt this, please look at the evidence in this film before flaming me or labeling this review unhelpful. [I'll get off my soapbox now]

The DVD is well done, minimalist in terms of extra features as I recall (it has been a little while since I last watched it), but it gets the job done and no issues there with picture quality / transfer issues, etc. I do highly recommend this film for anyone with an interest in what happened in the Pacific. I suspect many more people will discover this movie with the HBO miniseries The Pacific currently running - this film would likely be a great companion to that.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Visuals March 19, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a Wonderful Documentary and well worth the Money ...Great Visuals and Commentary ...HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling November 29, 2010
By Mike B
A very compelling and accurate documentary. It covers a wide range of areas of the war in the Pacific in 1945. It examines the brutality and totality of this war which is something that we are very apt to forget today.

The battles for the islands of Saipan and Okinawa are presented. The Japanese soldier does not surrender and looks upon surrender as despicable. They believed in Emperor Hirohito as divine and saw it as an honour and duty to die for him and their country. This cult of death or suicide was well brought out in this film as we see hundreds of happy and committed kamikaze pilots readying for their mission.

The bombings of Tokyo are shown with their aftermath as well as discussions on the obliqueness of the Japanese government in refusing to deal with the worsening conditions of their people. This film examines much of the war from the Japanese perspective and presents good evidence that it was only the dropping of the atomic bombs and the Russian invasion that finally prompted the surrender. Prior to this the Emperor and the war politicians were only negotiating to preserve their political power.

There is an excellent supplemental discourse in the DVD by two historians who present solid evidence that as devastating and inhuman as the dropping of the atomic bombs were, the alternatives were much worse. Even after issuing the Potsdam Declaration at the end of July there was no response from Japan. If the bombs had not been dropped, the war would have been prolonged and hundreds of thousands of Japanese would have died - from the Allied blockade and from the invasion which would have come from both the Americans and the Soviet Union.

War is the most immoral and inhuman act of mankind and once it starts the ending can be very unpredictable and the cost enormous. All countries that start wars find this out.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best WWII documentary April 4, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great film, a must see, I show it every year in my world history class, great visuals and storytelling.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gift for the military historian August 20, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My husband thoroughly enjoyed his birthday gift and so did I. I'm not the military historian but this was so well done, so gripping and clear in presentation even I could grasp it.
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