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The History Channel Presents Washington the Warrior

4.3 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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(Aug 01, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

BEFORE GEORGE WASHINGTON BECAME AMERICAS FIRST PRESIDENT & AN ENDURING NATIONAL SYMBOL, HE WAS A SOLDIER. THIS CHRONICLES WASHINGTON'S LITTLE-KNOWN MILITARY LIFE, FROM HIS FIRST OFFICERS COMMISSION IN THE VIRGINIA MILITIA TO HIS EMERGENCE AS TH SOUL OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

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He was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen," and Washington the Warrior puts the emphasis on the beginning of that equation. The military career of George Washington is the well-chosen focus of this History Channel documentary, which will probably surprise the casual history buff. It gives the fascinating story of Washington's youthful ride into the Ohio territory to deliver a message to the French, a defining moment (and one that made Washington a celebrity after his diary of the journey was published). The film strongly suggests that the young Washington was in over his head in the early battles that followed, and that his career might well have ended after he led a British debacle at Fort Necessity, a stumble at the start of the French and Indian War. Glossing lightly over GW's years as a gentleman farmer, the doc picks up again with Washington's takeover of the Revolutionary army (he showed up at the Second Continental Congress dressed in his military uniform, leaving little question about his intentions) and the tenacious years that followed. The approach here is basically an illustrated lecture, with Stacy Keach intoning the story of Washington, and experts (mostly sounding enthralled with Washington's life) providing context. Meanwhile, armies of reenactors march through their paces in pretend battles. Jackson Bolt plays the mature Washington, with Shea Patrick as the younger version--and how refreshing to see the carved-in-marble George Washington as a guy in his twenties. CGI effects are a big boost here, and the location work is often flavorful. The re-creations have the flat, unconvincing quality of many such things--nobody ever gets their uniforms dirty--but the life being described is an important one, and the approach is foursquare. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • Behind the scenes: "History in the Making"
  • 1.78 widescreen letterbox format

Product Details

  • Actors: Stacy Keach, Jackson Bolt, Alexander Emmert, Grigorij Strelec, Wolf Thomas
  • Directors: Robert M. Wise
  • Writers: Raymond Bridgers, Joshua Alper
  • Producers: Molly Ryan, Raymond Bridgers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: August 1, 2006
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G1R402
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,635 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The History Channel Presents Washington the Warrior" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By JOHN GODFREY on June 8, 2006
Format: DVD
That is pretty much the sentiment of many of the soldiers serving under General Washington during the Revolutionary War.
Rightly so. In fact, so much of what we are today we owe to him. He set the stage for so much that followed.
This fine documentary traces the education & evolution of Washington that he obtained from his many years in the military. That career started before the French-Indian Wars. His first experienced success in pre-war diplomatic missions into the Ohio territories claimed by both the French & the British. I got the impression that he was at least, in part responsible for those hostilities commencing in the first place. He suffered embarassing losses to the French in his first command in the 1750's & some sucesses as an aide to British General Edward Braddock. General Braddock was killed in battle leaving Washington again in command of troops. This was essential to his growth as a leader. He was very brave, somtimes foolishly so. He was a colonial officer & all he wanted to be was an officer in the regular British army with his own command. But that was not going to happened. He was formally polite, reserved & self taught to behave as the gentry of the day acted. But he was loved by his men, most of them of low birth & farmers. He could inspire men to great things. If he did not win the revolution, it is important to realize that he did not lose it.
He was also the template for other generals who followed his example into the presidency. Two generals, Grant & Eisenhower were more sucessful as generals than they later were as president. Few men in history have been able to resist absolute power when it was available to them. Washington didn't even have to fight for it. To be king was there for him if he so desired. He truly loved liberty & justice over power.
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Relatively well made film, the computer generated graphics that created larger number of soldiers on the battlefield and some of the other scenes was some of the best I have seen. Washington's portayer did a very good job even though he spoke VERY little during the entire film. My only issue with this was the filming in Lithuania and nothing against Lithuanians but while watching the story something just did not appear "right".

Very informative and energetic, can help attract even greater attention to one of the great people in American History.
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This was a very unique view of a man I have only seen on money and paintings. School and college do not do this man justice. However, in this program you really get a better idea of the man and how antimated he was with his men and in stressful situations.
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Format: DVD
I thought this was just an outstanding presentation about Washington. I've watched probably several dozen History channel shows about the revolution and the colonial period, and this was my favorite. The production qualities are impressive. Thousands of extras were used, and the long lines of marching army columns can be seen to stretch off into the distance in some shots. It's very realistic.

The show covers Washington's career from his early 20s until his final victory in the Revolutionary war. It's fascinating to see how he learned from his early mistakes, eventually developing the skill and judgement that would stand him above his peers. As someone once said, judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement. He did this by losing almost every battle he ever fought. But he never lost big enough so that he didn't preserve enough resources to continue to fight on. it's basically no different from how guerrilla warfare has worked in the 20th century against more well equipped western nations.

Overall this is a very informative and enjoyable episode, and at two hours long, twice the usual length, which is enough time to get into details the other one hour shows don't. They interview some top writers and historians, including Joseph Ellis, author of a brief but very fine bio on Washington entitled His Excellency, George Washington. He's head of the history dept. at some first-rate mid-west college, can't recall where, but anyway, he's a respected scholar. As someone new to this area of history (except for what I had to learn in school like everyone else) I found this to be a painless and enjoyable way to learn more.

By the way, the show was filmed in Lithuania and a Lithuanian production company produced it.
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I wasn't sure how many stars to put, because the documentary is great, but the DVD itself is defective. I've showed this to my American History students every year, and they love it. It's very informative, and fbrings my curriculum to life. However, for the first few years, I borrowed my co-workers copy. Finally, I decided to just order my own. On my copy, when you put it in the DVD player, the movie starts immediately with no introduction. The DVD Menu button won't work, so I can't scene select (it's too long to show in one class period, so scene select is crucial). I sent it back and ordered another one - same thing. My co-workers copy works fine. We tried her copy in my DVD player and my copy in hers, and it's definitely the DVD, not the equipment. So frustrating!
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