I was doing some research for a role in John Logan's "HAUPTMANN", a stage play of the story told from Hauptmann's point of view, under the assumption that he is innocent, in a series of imagined flashbacks. I wanted to hear Hauptmann himself on the stand, as well as prosecuting attorney David Wilentz when he examined Hauptmann on cross. Hearing Condon, as well as Lindbergh and Amandas Hochmuth give testimony would have been great. This DVD is a total of 20 minutes in length! The video is poor, but that would be OK if the audio was even somewhat preserved. As it is, there is no audio at all for the first 10 seconds or so of each reel. After that, there is so much background noise, and they are so short, it's really hard to decipher anything. The only remotely useful part of the DVD is the reel with Hauptmann on the stand, when he is questioned by Wilentz. You get perhaps 5 minutes of that, but Hauptmann generally just gives 1 and 2 word answers. I would suspect that every reel could be found for free on the web. At $12.99 plus shipping? It's extortion. The back of the DVD has a delightful summary of what's on the DVD, and by "delightful" I mean "wretched." It includes how Hauptmann was hung for the crime (he got the electric chair), and how important witness 'Jafsie' returns to give more testimony about what "she" witnessed. Jafsie, of course, is 72-year-old Dr. John F. Condon. 20 minutes. Almost a dollar a minute with shipping. Yikes.
This is just like watching the newsreels in the movie theater. It takes you back to that time and shows the actual persons. places and facts of the case and the trial. It makes a great factual record of the events and puts faces on the people.
My Family was involved in the Lindbergh Kidnapping and I was very disappointed in this DVD. It showed very little of interest and a very small amount of newsreal footage. I think I could have put together a better presentation.