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Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower (2006)

Keith Bartlett , Paul Drinan , Lisa Wolfinger  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Keith Bartlett, Paul Drinan, Edward Herrmann, Jacqueline King, Chris K. Layman
  • Directors: Lisa Wolfinger
  • Writers: Rocky Collins
  • Producers: Lisa Wolfinger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • 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: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 30, 2007
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JU7JE6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,427 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Desperate Crossing: The Untold Story of the Mayflower" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Behind-the-Scenes featurette
  • Outtakes

Editorial Reviews

From their self-imposed exile in Holland and perilous Atlantic crossing in the Mayflower to unimaginable hardships encountered in their new land, this is the definitive story of the Pilgrims and how they came to live--and ultimately prosper--in the harsh climate of an unfamiliar world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
225 of 225 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific! February 6, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This History Channel presentation of the pilgrims is two and a half hours of a well-known and very important part of our American history, although you may not realize how little you actually do know of these separatists and of the times they lived. In fact, it certainly is more movie than documentary and, although interspersed throughout are historians filling in the gaps, this docu-drama is as engulfing and riveting as any full-length period movie I have seen. The lives and times of these early European settlers are authentically portrayed by use of English Shakespearian actors, and the quality shows. Never have I seen any other film put flesh on the bones of the pilgrims to the extent this one does. A social history extravaganza!
The clothing, lighting, effects (especially while on the Mayflower), and, at times, even some of the speech patterns are reflected fairly accurately. I did not see the typical revisionist history so often reflected in many of today's historical depictions. They were very religious folk bent on keeping their practices, even if they had to cross the ocean to do it, and this movie shows that in no uncertain terms.
The Indian dramatization was done very well for the most part, although I would have preferred to have their speech in their original (or close to their original) language and include the use of sub-titles.
Oh well, can't have everything.
As an extra added bonus, by the way, there are a couple of short (too short!) extra's - one features the making of this extraordinary documentary, and the other has outtakes and bloopers.
For teachers and lovers of history I recommend this docu-drama very highly. A wonderful way to learn about our early American history.
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81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Light on an Old Story December 13, 2006
Most Americans know the story of the Pilgrims and Mayflower...or do they? The History Channel has done a great job here, showing us that there is more to the story than we'd been taught. For example, who knew that many of the Pilgrims had actually moved to the Netherlands for an extended period (12 years or so) before deciding to try their luck in the New World? Or that there were actually two ships (the other being called The Speedwell), but the 2nd one was left behind because it was deemed un-seaworthy? Or that the Pilgrims landed first, not at Plymouth, but on Cape Cod, only to be driven off by the Native Americans there? These facts and many others are revealed in this interesting film.

Four stars. A bit long (almost 140 minutes) but I found it worth the time!
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75 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is television & The History Channel at their best. November 24, 2006
It will be worth the dvd coming out the end of January. Shown now as Thanksgiving day fare. It is really an untold story. That is, the story of the struggles of the Separatist (Pilgims) in the 13 years before the Mayflower ever sailed. That was 1607, the year the first sucessful permanent colony was established in Virginia, named after King James. England was Protestant & The Anglican Church of England was the only lawful religion. James seemed to be quite pious in that regard. Not to the Separatist, who were loyal to the king in every way except religious. They printed tracts & even accused the King of popishness. This angered him & he harassed them until they left England for Holland. There they were tolerated but somewhat isolated & empoverished. This could not be a permanent solution & they decided that America might be option to consider. They needed a charter from King James who was basically angry with them but readily agree. He did not like them in Holland & in America they would be far away & out of his hair. Obtaining a ship, crew & provisions for the long trip was not cheap. Eventually they had to take non-believers with them who had money & for various reasons also wanted to leave. They had several fitful starts & even had to turn back several times. Finally they left England in late summer of 1620, a bad time to leave & even worse to land for it got them to America with winter bearing down & no chance to plant crops. They never got to Virginia. Instead they landed in Massachuetts Bay, outside of the area of their charter from the king. The weather prevented them from sailing out & around Cape Cod & south to Viginia. So there they stayed. Technically, they were no longer ruled by English law & the non-believers aboard knew this. Read more ›
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By Thornns
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I felt cheated - went to school in a town where a significant percentage of graduating seniors attend Ivy League colleges - in other words, not a school system that is light on educational effort...but I never heard even 1/2 of this information about the Pilgrims! If this sort of information (and its excellent presentation) had been available when I was in grade school, I would have been much more interested and engaged US history and in history in general.
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66 of 80 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Modern History February 10, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
On the whole, this is an above average film. The naval scenes are riveting, the costumes are authentic, and the acting is passable. The largest problem is political correctness. Those contemporary Indians interviewed about their forbears at Plymouth, for example, are often just silly. When the white men landed, "We saw them but they didn't see us. We were one with nature." And the like. Moreover, the theology of the Puritans and Separatists could have been discussed at more depth; the distinctions are critical to the story. But perhaps that's asking too much of the History Channel. According to the iron rule of PC, Christianity must almost always be mere supersitition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful history
I am no expert. But this is very good. Great for thanksgiving viewing. Done very well. How tough they had it in those days. And so much courage. An added plus no commericals. Read more
Published 2 days ago by miss franciene
5.0 out of 5 stars A very accurate account of the Mayflower passengers and what theiir...
I am told by a direct descendant of a Mayflower passenger that this movie is very accurate.
Published 15 days ago by Cathy G.
5.0 out of 5 stars Must See for Christians
Best Thanksgiving film ever for Christians to see. It gives a good history of why the Pilgrims left England.
Published 1 month ago by dennis neuhaus
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by phyllis price
4.0 out of 5 stars Desperate Crossing
I want to share this with our grandchildren because William Bradford is part of our family's ancestry. Read more
Published 3 months ago by virginia fox
5.0 out of 5 stars Edward Winslow A Mayflower guy
Well, it turns out I'm related to Edward Winslow. That's why I got this DVD. Arrived on time and was well packaged. The DVD that is. Good story too. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Hans
3.0 out of 5 stars Pilgrim's Progress...
This is a good DVD for a teacher to show a class wanting to know what it was really like.
Published 5 months ago by Judith K. Tomlinson
4.0 out of 5 stars liked it with some reservations
there are no closed captions - and with English accents and crashing waves, etc one misses out sometimes on the dialogue. Read more
Published 5 months ago by D. Montano
4.0 out of 5 stars Accurate story
By the history channel, this is about as accurate as it can get. In the past few years I got into genealogy where an older cousin left off - he is alive at 93 but doesn't see... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Lynn Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Desperate Crossing
I am a Mayflower descendant and shared this with my adult children. It is very well directed and tells the Mayflower Pilgrim's story.
Published 7 months ago by Marietta Boenker
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