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Conquistadors (2001)

Michael Wood , John Collee , David Wallace  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Wood, John Collee
  • Directors: David Wallace
  • Writers: Michael Wood
  • Producers: Laurence Rees, Leo Eaton, Rebecca Dobbs, Sally Thomas
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
  • Run Time: 240 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FGG63O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,171 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Conquistadors" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

ALL THE WORLD IS HUMAN: Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca arrived in Florida in 1528 to explore and conquer. Wood tracks his progress to Tallahassee, where his men launched boats for Mexico that sank off Texas. For five years, Cabeza de Vaca lived among Karankwa and Coahuiltean Indians, then walked across America to the Pacific. Using Cabeza de Vaca's book, Wood travels past prehistoric Mexican desert campsites along ancient Indian trails.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth your attention July 13, 2007
Some of the other reviewers have complained that this series doesn't match with the "classic" history authors on the subject. It's my opinion that this view fails to recognize how Michael Wood's documentaries usually operate. His research often has a revisionist ethic, and if you observe the credits and his interviews, many of his sources are often current versus classic experts, and he also goes out of his way, especially in this series, to get folk and indigenous perspectives.

This is in line with his general humanist approach. I for one enjoy it, and while he interprets facts with a an eye for revision or "what ifs" or "just maybe," he never abuses the subject. In fact, he takes us on a journey to question everything we might know or think we know from reading canonical texts.

This particular series is also beautifully shot and taken as a whole is a fresh educational and entertainment experience for those who know little about the Conquistadors and their importance to world history.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You feel this story May 8, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Whether it shows a lot of actors in costume or not isn't really the point. He takes you through areas as a tour guide and tells you the history. The last part about De Vacca and his revelations and the extraordinary journey was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed this just as much as I do Ken Burns' documentaries, it is a different style. I don't want to see everyone do things the same way. As far as him showing art, he did show art, he also showed you by trying many things how these people survived, what they ate, how they cooked, how they made plows, how the Aztecs made weapons that were inferior to the steel ones the Spaniards came equipped with. Also, the journey of the Incas leaving their beautiful land to try and put separation between themselves and the conquistadors was heartbreaking. I very much enjoyed it and will look forward to more of Michael Wood's exuberant storytelling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! December 7, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I teach world languages and my students recently watched the Fall of the Aztecs. My students commented on how interesting this documentary was. They said they get tired of looking at the DVDs with typical historians just showing pictures of things and talking about them. They enjoyed visiting the locations and getting the history along with it. I also enjoyed seeing a historian that doesn't repeat the glorified history but instead, gives the indigenous side. These lands weren't "discovered." People were already living there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CONQUISTADORS February 23, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you enjoy factual educational documentaries, then this is the DVD set for you. It gives a very good historical overview of the Conquistadors and their lasting legacy to the peoples they conquered. They also did some good by introducing the people to Christianity. There were abuses of course, that can't be denied, but I found it very interesting all the same and Michael Wood is a good presenter, making history available to everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! January 23, 2010
By Peter
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Your own personally guided tour through a sweeping historical narrative. The author takes you over the same paths, roads, jungles and rivers as the Conquistadors traveled. The photography is OUTSTANDING. It adds to the feeling of being there. You can still see remnants of old cities and roads built from stone. You visit the same native peoples as existed in the 1500's. All of this adds to the depth of the story.

I can't say enough good things about this DVD. It is another fine PBS production.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not wide screen January 18, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to watching this series after having seen Mr Wood's history of India series on PBS.

It is very informative, well made and would be a 5 star product if it were not for the fact that it's advertised as 1.85:1 (wide screen in my books) but is actually a scaled down to 4:3 wide screen.

My TV is able to zoom in, so I can compensate, but the picture quality is not what I'd been looking forward too. Hence 4 stars.

Other than that a great documentary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good one from Michael Wood September 14, 2011
Conquistadors is must see, it does not shy on revealing what actually happened as best as any modern man could.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good resource for middle school and high school students
Presents geographical and historical details, showing modern day re-creations of routes that Cortez and other Spanish explorers took. Read more
Published 16 months ago by poolsidedesigner
1.0 out of 5 stars "Hey Look They use Volkswagons for Taxis in Mexico"
I bought this film for use in my social studies classes. The film had more to do with the producer visiting modern mexico, riding around in taxis and trains, eating mexican foods,... Read more
Published on May 29, 2009 by KD
3.0 out of 5 stars Much Less when Much More was needed
I was DEEPLY disappointed by this effort by one of the best history
presenters out there. His seminal work, "Trojan War" opened whole
doors for me and is a superb... Read more
Published on February 21, 2009 by Full Fathom Five
3.0 out of 5 stars good classroom conversation piece
From the comments made by some reviewing this series, I can see that they are not practicing historians. Read more
Published on September 12, 2007 by Robert A. Cobb
1.0 out of 5 stars GIVE ME A BREAK.
Published on March 2, 2007 by JOJO DANCER
3.0 out of 5 stars History-Lite
This is an entertaining review of the exploits of the Spanish conquistadors in the New World -- it skims over their various adventures with the advantage of letting us see the... Read more
Published on February 25, 2007 by Mr. Nowhere
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