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Centennial: The Complete Series (2008)

Raymond Burr , Barbara Carrera , Bernard McEveety , Harry Falk  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,081 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Raymond Burr, Barbara Carrera, Richard Chamberlain, Robert Conrad, Richard Crenna
  • Directors: Bernard McEveety, Harry Falk, Paul Krasny, Virgil W. Vogel
  • Writers: Charles Larson, Jerry Ziegman, John Wilder
  • Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 1254 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,081 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0018RKEQO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,726 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Centennial: The Complete Series" on IMDb

Special Features

Disc 2:
  • Memories of Centennial

  • Editorial Reviews

    Product Description

    Journey to the Wild West in the sweeping, sensational epic drama Centennial: The Complete Series! Relive the grand hopes, dreams, loves, and adventures of generations of residents in Centennial, Colorado - from their risky attempts to establish a settlement in 1795 through the politics and power plays of the 20th century. With over 26 TV hours of content on DVD for the first time, this incredible set gives fans the opportunity to own the complete chronicle that showcases one of the finest casts ever assembled, including Richard Chamberlain, Robert Conrad, Timothy Dalton, Mark Harmon, Andy Griffith, Raymond Burr, Dennis Weaver, Lynn Redgrave, Sharon Gless, Stephanie Zimbalist, Sally Kellerman and many more. Based on James Michener’s best-selling novel, this Primetime EmmyAward-nominated saga is a captivating look at the intertwining lives of the brave men and women in a fictional American town that endured the growing pains of a nation on the rise.

    A remarkably ambitious and engrossing project, this 1978 television miniseries ran 26-and-a-half hours, cost a then-enormous $25 million, and involved 4 directors, 5 cinematographers, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 speaking parts. Based on James Michener's panoramic bestseller about the settling of the American West--as reflected in the history of a fictional town called Centennial, Colorado--the story begins in the late 18th century and ends with a typical 20th century conflict over land usage. Centennial, however, largely concentrates on various memorable frontiersmen, trappers, Indians, ranchers, cowboys, and farmers from long ago. Richard Chamberlain shines as the pioneer Alexander McKeag, Robert Conrad does some of his best work as French-Canadian Pasquinel, and performances by Alex Karras, Chad Everett, Sally Kellerman, Raymond Burr, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, and Dennis Weaver effectively add to a tapestry of adventure, tragedy, violence, and dubious Western progress. Produced at a time when TV networks were in the throes of acknowledging America's history of racial injustice, the program paints a starkly villainous portrait of opportunists exploiting and destroying Indians in the name of manifest destiny. While the project's great length might make one wary of diving in, Centennial is the sort of carefully paced drama that makes one care about the intertwined destinies of unique characters and how they illuminate America's past. --Tom Keogh

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    420 of 429 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars "So good I went searching for the town!" April 28, 2001
    Format:VHS Tape
    The story of the American West doesn't get any better than this!
    As a middle school social studies instructor, I can say that Americana is on display in its most enticing format here! The acting is as superb as the actors are familiar! Star after star makes us forget whatever role they played on televison, and remember them for their characterization in Centennial! This is the highest compliment to a film-maker's casting director and producer!
    The cast IS exceptional--especially Conrad, Chamberlain, and that old Detroit Lion lineman Alex 'Brumbaugh' Karas! Honestly, having seen this epic four times, I have often wanted to just sit right through all 20+ hours consecutively; it really does grow on you! I can never forget the 'Wendells' every time I hear 'Whispering Hope', and just watching that last half hour's flashback sequence accompanied by 'Guess He'd Rather be in Colorado' still gives me goose bumps!
    I enjoyed this epic so much in fact, that while in Colorado in 1993, I tried to locate the town of Centennial. I noticed many familiar landmarks, crossed the Platte River, but of course, found no Centennial town--only the cafe.
    I can only say that if one loves the history and drama of the American West and has not seen this chronicle--from Robert Conrad's trip downstream at the beginning, to David Janson's reflective retrospection by the lonely railroad tracks at the consclusion, one has NOT fully seized upon all that Hollywood can contribute to learning about our great country.
    Thank you Clay Basket, Levi Zendt, Hans Brumbaugh, R.J. Poteet, Lame Beaver...though fictitious, you made learning come alive for us! And a special thanks to the production company of 'Centennial'!
    "...only the rocks live forever".
    Was this review helpful to you?
    157 of 160 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent epic equals magnificent story March 29, 2001
    By JD318
    Format:VHS Tape
    As a longtime fan of James Michener I have enjoyed many of his works but none of them has been so well represented on film as Centennial. The book was super but was erratically paced and jumped back and forth in history. The miniseries, however, is wonderful. The casting of the characters was right on in both the main and supporting roles. Robert Conrad gave his best performance as the complicated French trapper Pasquinel. Richard Chamberlain was the perfect Alexander McKeag and Gregory Harrison did a terrific job in his ability to cope with his character's aging from a inexperienced farm boy to a likable everyman to an aging hero. Michener's story explores the discovery of the west and shows us heroism and cowardice, greatness and pettiness and is a superb history lesson which everyone will enjoy. The series presents this story in the form of characters you will grow to like, admire, love, hate and remember. People I've watched the series with have shown deep emotion and cried through the depiction of the Indian massacre (actually the Sand Creek Massacre but renamed for the story). They came to admire Dennis Weaver as the cattle drive boss R.J. Poteet and the young cowboys he helped turn into men. You will see characters grow and change. You will identify with many and feel sad as they age and die. Throughout, however, you will be entertained and you will have a greater appreciation of the people who framed the American West.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    111 of 114 people found the following review helpful
    Format:VHS Tape
    I first saw this masterpiece way back in 1979 or 1980 and enjoyed it immensely but it has never been repeated here in the UK. I have had to wait for the invention of the web to order a copy, but the wait was worth while. I have been intersted in the history of the west for a number of years and found this informative, entertaining and extemely moving. The actors are fantastic, especially the early years with Robert Conrad and Richard Chamberlain et al - they play it so well. I also like the way the story unfolds as does the town of Centennial - the people who made the town and developed it and the moving stories of their history. Two aspects must not be missed out - the breathtaking scenery of the Rockies - I only hope to visit some time. Secondly the very moving and disturbing history of the decline and annilation of the Native Americans of the Plains. This is perhaps the single most moving and important underlying tone of the story, where some want to destroy, and some who respect and love them, want to save them. This is perhaps one of the greatest productions of cinema I have ever seen if not the greatest - the acting, the scenery but most of all the story of the west, the story of America. I would reccomend this to anyone - I will watch it over and over again.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
    I read Michner's 'Centennial' in 1975. I lived in Nebraska at the time.
    In 1978 I was living in Boulder, CO, attending CU. I read in the paper that a casting company in Denver was looking for extras for a production of CENTENNIAL. My wife (now ex-wife) and I went down to the casting company. We met Chris who signed us on to the project. Chris was looking for Native American extras. We were both of Native American descent, my wife being full-blooded Lakota. We showed up early each morning east of Greely, CO., on location near the Platte River. We were in the story line that tells the story of Lame Beaver, an Arapaho, stealing horses from the Comanches. These were the first horses for Lame Beaver's band. One day we followed Lame Beaver, Navajo actor Ray Tracey, as we snuck up on foot on the Comanche camp, to steal horses. Lame Beaver (Ray) rides off on a pony, stampeding the Comanches horse herd, while the rest of us ran after Lame Beaver and the captured horses.
    The production didn't have all the Native American extras it needed, so the next day we dressed up as Comanches and chased ourselves (yesterday we were Arapahos) away. It was great fun! Robert Conrad was great. He hung out with the extras and even did his famous battery commercial. I met Barbara Carrera...what a fox! The tipi's on the set were used for the extras to crash in or to store equipment. In one scene where a group of Indians is running along a ridge line shot from a distance; my moccasin came off and I stepped on a cactus. If you look closely, you will see one Indian hopping along on one foot...that's me. The 'Hollywood' wranglers were very racist against the Indians and were usually high on coke.
    Read more ›
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book
    This is a great story. I thought it was actual fact and was a little disappointed when I found out it is a novel. Read more
    Published 16 hours ago by David Bigg
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Love this mini series
    Published 2 days ago by cindy
    5.0 out of 5 stars So glad I found this book!
    I wore out my first copy of Centennial....I must have read it ten times, so I indulged myself in another one. I love all Michener, but this is far and away my favorite. Read more
    Published 3 days ago by harobed
    5.0 out of 5 stars This movie is out standing and we were very happy to get it at the...
    This movie is out standing and we were very happy to get it at the wonderful price that we got it.
    Published 3 days ago by James Nix
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great actors and great story
    The original miniseries. Great actors and great story.
    Published 3 days ago by James P. Mcanally
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    great movie
    Published 4 days ago by Donna Murray
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Saw this series on television and enjoyed it.
    Published 5 days ago by Adrianne LaBarre
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Great film.
    Published 8 days ago by Lois Wells
    5.0 out of 5 stars Easier to carry than the hardcover Great Book
    I remember watching the mini series and have gone through two copies of this in paperback. I'm pretty sure I can't wear out this copy on my Kindle. Thanks Amazon
    Published 10 days ago by RedDawg-Kansas
    5.0 out of 5 stars Watch the DVD movie then read the book!
    I love the TV miniseries and have it on DVD. I wanted to read the book to get all the storylines that weren't in the movie. This was a really good, albeit really long, book! Read more
    Published 11 days ago by LB
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    Topic From this Discussion
    Cattle drive segment missing?
    No it is not missing. The Dennis Weaver segments are the 2nd episode of the disc. Each disc has two episodes. Many people are getting to the end of the first episode on a disc, and when the credits come up - they think that is it. Probably because each episode is as long as a regular movie. ... Read More
    Aug 24, 2008 by R. Hays |  See all 4 posts
    Is It Complete?
    No the DVDs are complete. The complaints about the disks not being complete are from people who aren't clicking on the second episode on each disc. I am surprised so many people don't know how to use their DVD player. Makes me wonder if they have ever bought a DVD that had more than one... Read More
    Sep 9, 2008 by Chris Meece |  See all 18 posts
    Favorite part(s) of Centennial??
    Great question!!

    1) McKeag dancing. (Both times)
    2) The RJ Poteet/Nacho exchange when they first meet.
    3) Hans Brumbaugh walking through his fields with his hands out talking about the ditch.
    4) Anytime Elly writes about their travels to Oregon.
    5) Ol O D Cleaver stories.
    6) Charlotte... Read More
    Aug 4, 2008 by Chris Meece |  See all 17 posts
    bad aging of characters in Centennial
    One thing that occurred to me this morning too is that it was made for tv back in the 1970's and that tv sets may not have been as sharp pictured back then as they are now. I mean we have hdtv coming in now days and the scan lines of a dvd picture are about twice that of a comperable image... Read More
    Aug 13, 2008 by Charles R. Brentner |  See all 13 posts
    Quality of transfer to DVD
    I've seen part of the copy that I ordered (it came yesterday) and it appears to be very sharp and clear of picture. In fact I think it's sharper now than when it was originally shown on tv. Well worth the cost of the DVD set.
    Jul 30, 2008 by Charles R. Brentner |  See all 27 posts
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