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History of the 80's (2004)

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

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History of the 80's + The Decade You Were Born - 1980s + The Decade You Were Born - 1970s
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 31, 2004
  • Run Time: 510 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002C4IPO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,943 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

An ABC News in-depth documentary traveling through and highlighting one of the most provocative decades in all of American history with incredible world events, sports, people, science, technology and entertainment. Includes Reagan's inaugaration, the Challenger disaster, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Charles & Diana's wedding and much more! 3 DVDs. 1991/color/10 hrs/NR/fullscreen.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit amateurish, but a worthwhile watch June 11, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Like all MPI videos, History of the '80s has a certain amateurish feel to it. The music is somewhat melodramatic and repetitive, and if you close your eyes you can imagine the narrator's voice over a high school driving safety video. The picture quality is on occasion mediocre, but it is unclear whether this is due to the quality of the original source videotape (this WAS the decade of video, after all) or whether MPI was simply too cheap to comb through the archives for the originals.

A major appeal of the series is the broad sweep of the project -- some ten hours devoted to reviewing the entire decade, with approximately an hour devoted to each year. That is certainly far more ambitious than any other available documentary on the '80s.

Another draw is the use of footage drawn from the ABC News archives. During the 1980s, ABC News had some of the finest journalists and news operations in the business, especially in the area of foreign affairs. That international orientation is readily apparent, as much time is devoted to Lebanon, the Soviet Union, Libya, etc. Most of the rest of the series focuses on domestic news events. For those who are primarily interested in the cultural phenomenons of the 1980s, like breakdancing, the Rubik's Cube, Pac-Man, or Boy George, this documentary will be a disappointment.

In the end, despite the somewhat amateur trappings of this series, if you're interested in a good introduction to the domestic and international events of the 1980s, you will be pleasantly surprised. This is one of MPI's more solid offerings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Look Back at a Memorable Decade October 8, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"History of the 80s" is a three-disc, 10-episode look back at the 1980s produced by ABC News. Each episode covers one year, and the series covers the major events of the decade, such as the Iran hostage crisis, the election of Ronald Reagan and the Reagan presidency, the resolution of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Chinese student protests, and much, much more. Also included are reports on sports, entertainment, and technology. This DVD set is an entertaining look back at the Eighties.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Decent buy, depending on the price. April 24, 2009
I was a bit skeptical of buying this DVD, even for less than 1/4 of the SRP, however, I read this featured actual newsclips from ABC, so I decided to give it a go.

Much has already been mentioned by the 2 reviewers prior to me. At first, it seemed very amateur, as the intro went on for nearly 5 minutes, and featured very brief clips of news from that specific year, 1980, where I began with this documentary set. I fast-forwarded, hoping this was not all the documentary was; a background of the planet earth with news clips flying in and out.

Thankfully, it wasn't, and things picked up with the narration, more focus on each subject, etc. I have yet to watch all the years in this set, but so far it's off to a good start and I'm happy with my purchase. Each year seems to be about 55 minutes long and there is only so much information can be crammed into that block of time. Still, it's interesting enough and if I feel something is covered in not enough depth, I can search on the computer.

Vintage newsclips help to keep this from being boring, and the narration is decent. Reading on Amazon that this documentary is nearly ONLY newclips was part of what sold me on this set. The narration seems to only be there when needed, and never seemed obtrusive.

I don't think it's worth the Full retail price, maybe half of it at the most Look at Amazon's marketplace to find it for less.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Oh, I remember now ! December 20, 2009
This set is a news recap of each year of the 1980's as culled from ABC news and video archives.

The first episode on each dvd starts off with a fast retrospective of what events are upcoming on that dvd. This isn't necessary at all and a waste of time.

Each episode is one year in the 1980's. The events for each year are mainly news-related and they should have stuck to that and not also include a bit about top current movies out in each year. Really, the news events themselves were plenty.

It is interesting to see again the news stories of the failed rescue mission to release the hostages in Iran, the Russian denial of shooting down Flight 007, Middle East tensions and alliances, the resistance to equal pay for women in the US, and Reagan's happy announcement on the White House steps regarding deregulating the Savings and Loans industry. I found the dvds interesting from a historical perspective 20+ years later. This set would be good for teachers to assign a follow-up of the events, politics and significant people of that decade in these news stories.

The quality of the picture and sound is on a par with tv broadcast news video at that time. I found the set engaging and recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Far from perfect March 18, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a dated (1990) collection produced by ABC News. As you might imagine, it's very fact it's world news-y, as the source for nearly all of what is included is the "World News Tonight" archives.

Each year is covered in a separate one-hour program with a focus on major world events. I actually would take it a step further and say that the focus is major negative news events from around the world. Famines, plagues, wars, conflicts, murders, deaths, assassinations, political corruption abroad and at home. The '80s are known as a fun decade (in contrast with the '90s which generally are depressing to everybody), but you'd never know that by watching this.

I think that's what's most disappointing here: While it's much more in-depth than the recent "The '80s: The Decade That Made Us," it's not nearly as entertaining. There is no focus on emerging technology of the era. There is virtually nothing about popular culture (each program briefly mentions three popular movies of the year for some reason, but that's pretty much all that we get).

The documentary that I want to see would cover this decade with the same kind of depth as this program, yet with the same kind of breadth as "The Decade That Made Us." It also would be updated; since this doc is so old, there are things in it that could benefit from greater context based on what happened years later.

And of course it would include much better video and graphics, because what you'll see in this presentation looks about like something that aired on Trinity Broadcasting 15 years ago.
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