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Holocaust (1978)

Joseph Bottoms , Tovah Feldshuh  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)

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Blu-ray 2-Disc Version $41.69  
DVD 3-Disc Version $21.33  
Other [VHS] $39.99  

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Holocaust + The Winds of War + War and Remembrance: The Complete Epic Mini-Series
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Product Details

  • Actors: Joseph Bottoms, Tovah Feldshuh, Rosemary Harris, Tony Haygarth, Michael Moriarty
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC, Full Screen, Closed-captioned
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: 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: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: May 27, 2008
  • Run Time: 475 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JMLR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,311 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Holocaust" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The 30th anniversary edition of Holocaust marks the first time this remarkable, nine-and-a-half-hour television miniseries has been released on DVD. Originally broadcast on NBC as part of an ongoing TV phenomenon in the 1970s called "The Big Event," Holocaust was an original story written by Gerald Green, who later scripted Kent State and Wallenberg: A Hero's Story, the latter another Holocaust-era tale. Holocaust narrowed the enormous story of the Nazis' systematic destruction of Jews by focusing on one family living in Berlin. Fritz Weaver plays Dr. Josef Weiss, a Pole with a longtime family practice. Weiss debates with his wife, Berta (Rosemary Harris), the wisdom of moving out of Germany with their family. She insists they should not be chased away by Hitler, and by the time she thinks otherwise, it's too late for her, her parents, Josef, and the three Weiss children: Karl (James Woods), Rudi (Joseph Bottoms), and Anna (Blanche Baker). Holocaust begins with the marriage of Karl to Inga (Meryl Streep), a Christian, an arrangement already frowned upon by the rising Nazi regime in 1935. In time, Karl, a harmless artist, is dragged off to the concentration camp at Buchenwald, leaving Inga vulnerable to a predatory camp officer who passes notes between the husband and wife. Poor young Anna meets a grim fate that reveals something of the way Hitler was determined to eliminate the mentally ill along with Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and other groups of people. The rebellious Rudi ends up fighting the Germans from a different front, while Josef is deported to Warsaw, eventually joined by Berta. There, Holocaust details the plight of the walled-in, so-called Warsaw ghetto, and the despair of the people within. Meanwhile, the destiny of another important character, a rather effete lawyer named Erik Dorf (Michael Moriarty), offers a peek into the internal workings of the Holocaust machinery. Dorf takes a much-needed job as an aide to Reinhard Heydrich (David Warner), Gestapo head and chair of the 1942 Wannsee Conference, which finalized plans for the extermination of European Jews. Holocaust was criticized at the time of its broadcast for allegedly cheapening genocide by shrinking the dimensions of the Nazis' organized evil for commercial television. But as a story free to extend into different aspects of the war on Jews, Holocaust is a real eye-opener. Tom Bell, Ian Holm, Robert Stephens, and Sam Wanamaker are also featured in the cast. --Tom Keogh

Product Description

An original TV dramatization of one of the most monstrous crimes in world history--the slaughter of 6 million Jews by the Nazis. Dramatically and definitively, the story covers an entire decade, the eventful years from 1935 to 1945. Holocaust focuses on the tragedy and triumph of a single family--the Weiss family. Their story is told in counter-poise to that of another fictional family, that of Erik Dorf, who portrays a Nazi aide to Germany's infamous Heydrich. Starring a brilliant international cast and filmed on location in Berlin and Vienna.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
221 of 223 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best depictions of the Holocaust on screen! February 22, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I used to teach Holocaust history for about 8 years at the high school level, and have not only read many books on the subject but also watched numerous films on the genre. This 1978 mini-series is in my opinion, one of the best depictions of the Holocaust on screen.

The series is set in Germany right about the time Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party are in power [the period covered is about 1935-45]. The series focusses on the trials of the Weiss family, a prominent Jewish family with the patriarch being a decorated war veteran, a grandmother, two sons, Dr Josef Weiss [Fritz Weaver] and his wife Berta [Rosemary Harris], a pharmacist Moses Weiss [Sam Wanamaker], and three grandchildren, an artist Karl [James Woods], a rebel Rudi [Joseph Bottoms], and young Anna.

The series begins with the celebration of the marriage between Karl [James Woods] and his Aryan wife Inga [Meryl Streep]. The Weiss portray the assimilated Jewish family, they are not particularly religious yet proud to be Jewish, and are at ease with their Gentile friends. Yet, dark clouds are starting to gather over them and the rest of Germany's Jews as the Nazi party's anti-semitic policies are about to be put into action. It begins with little things like Dr Josef Weiss not being able to treat his Aryan patients anymore and things get worse from that point on. Kristallnacht [Night of the Broken Glass] sees the destruction of Jewish property and businesses and worse is to come.

The series tries to portray the gradual persecution of the Jews before the escalation into the horror that became the Shoah. Dr Weiss is deported to Poland, where he ends up with his brother Moses in the Warsaw Ghetto.
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116 of 125 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GLAD IT'S ON DVD... BUT COULD BE BETTER May 29, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I PRE-ORDERED THIS SET AS SOON AS IT WAS ANNOUNCED.I SAW THIS MINISERIES
BACK IN 1978 WHEN IT AIRED ON NBC OVER 4 NIGHTS.THE AMAZON PRICE FOR THIS
ITEM IS GREAT AT ONLY $19.95 - BUT THE CONTENT IS NOT SO GREAT.PICTURE
AND SOUND IS O.K.-NO MORE.PRINTED IN SMALL LETTERS ON THE BACK OF THE
BOX IS THE DISCLAIMER "MAY BE EDITED FROM THE ORIGINAL NETWORK BROADCAST"
MAYBE IS RIGHT..THIS SET CLOCKS IN AT ABOUT 449 MINUTES WHICH IS 26-34
MINUTES LESS THE FULL RUNNING TIME.WHATS MORE THERE ARE NO FEATURES ON
THIS 3 DISC SET-NOT A SINGLE ONE.CBS VIDEO AND PARAMOUNT SHOULD BE ASHAMED
OF THEMSELVES..THE 30 YEAR "ANNIVERSARY EDITION" OF THIS MINISERIES WHICH
WAS TRULY A TELEVISION LANDMARK DESERVED MUCH,MUCH BETTER..
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, Disturbing,Real. July 3, 2003
By Cobz
Format:DVD
*(If anyone knows when this DVD will be released please say so i would very much like to know)
I have only recently come across this mini-series after renting it from my videostore and only even heard of this when researching more on Meryl Streep after viewing her incredible performnce in "Sophie's Choice".
Admirers of Ms.Streep won't be dissapointed in her performance nor will they with the rest.
Spanning over a decade (1935-1945), "Holocaust" focuses on the Weiss Family of Berlin and all the terror that each individual faces during their darkest days.
The characters are endearing and audiences will easily empathise with the strife they face.
This docu-drama is an accurate and on several occasions, highly disturbing account of man's inhumanity to mankind.
It's won 8 out of 16 emmy awards (1 Emmy which Meryl Streep won) and deserves each one.
I believe that every jewish man and woman should see this film and anyone else who is interested in History's blackest decade.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Long but absorbing June 10, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
The story related in this film is nothing new. What is (to me at least) unique about it is the way it is presented.
We follow two families from the rise to power of the Nazi party in German (circa 1934 or so) to the end of World War II. The Weiss family (a Jewish family) and the Dorf's, who portrays an SS family man's perspective.
As the film unfolds we are treated to the unjustness, apprehension and then horror to which the Jews of Europe were subjected -- thru the experiences of the family Weiss - their family slowly broken up and sent away, first to ghettos, then ultimately to the death camps.
On the other side, we see where a 'typical' SS man comes from. Erik Dorf is an unemployed lawyer whose wife is sickly (and under the care of Dr Josef Weiss) without even the liklihood of a job. Concerned with how to pay his debts, he ends up a lieutenant of the SS working directly for Heydrich.
What is most interesting to me in the story is the transformation of young Dorf from a conscientous young man with high hopes into an SS Major, a merciless killer. It provides an insight as to why so many were anxious to wear the black uniform of the SS. One has to ask the question, "What would I do if I were living in those times and in that situation? Would I speak out and end up in a labor camp with the outcasts, or would I follow society and try to survive the turmoil?".
Characterizations are good and wholly believable. There is much which tells of the dilemma some of the German aryan people must have felt. For instance, Inga Helms Weiss -- aryan wife of the Jewish Karl Weiss; 'Uncle' Kurt Dorf -- who tried to keep a handful of Jews from Auswitz's death chambers; and Father Lichtenberg -- a christian priest who spoke out for the Jews and their plight.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a quality DVD by any means
Received the DVD today started watching the Video appears dark and only half a screen even if I go wide screen, I cannot believe how much was chopped in this series , especially... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Holocaust
This is a very interesting movie but it should have been longer so as to not rush through certain areas of history. Some acting was not as good as I would have liked. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Gary
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie series, even better than VHS
I really enjoyed the DVD, having owned and watched the VHS copy until it wore out I am very happy with another chance to enjoy this fine mini-series for many years to come.
Published 23 days ago by Michael
2.0 out of 5 stars Holocaust
I must learn to read the reviews before I buy anything here. I have always been happy with Amazon, but now that they are branching out to other sellers I am very often... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Gwen
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely good viewing.
I saw this on TV when it first came out. So glad I could add it to my DVD collection. I thought the cast portrayed the horrors of the Holocast very well. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Kay Frazee
5.0 out of 5 stars Watching it again
I saw this the first time it was shown on TV. I have never seen it again, but thought it was such a wonderful movie. Now I can watch whenever I want. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Donna Prewitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Movie!!
Incredible movie!! Would highly recommend and I feel this movie should be implemented into every high school history class.

Gwen
Published 1 month ago by Gwendolyn Cline
5.0 out of 5 stars Vivid, brutal, engaging
This is a very well done series, based upon the book by Gerald Green.
It protrays, vividly and quite brutally, the experiences of two families, one German, one Jewish, during... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Heckelman
5.0 out of 5 stars From my early adulthood
A mini-series that still makes me weep. The images that were burned into my memory are powerful and painful. I am glad that I have this in my collection.
Published 2 months ago by Elizabeth Cambridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Holocaust - Excellent historical portrayal
I remember when I saw this on TV when it was originally released. I had read Anne Frank and many other histories on WW II. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ghengis
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sutbitles ?
Dear Mr Fox,
I can't be absolutely positive about this point, but find herewith what I have found.

In DVD REVIEW, May 14, 2008, Guido Henkel wrote : Audio English DD Mono, Subtitles : None, Extras : none.

He adds : "Dialogues are always understandable but sound as if recorded though a tin... Read more
May 27, 2008 by PAUL |  See all 10 posts
Edited?
I did a calculation and if we assume the original 1978 TV mini-series showed 13 minutes of TV adverts per hour, then the missing 2 hours (the difference between the VHS/DVD running time and the TV broadcast time) is easily explained.

VHS/DVD running time: 7.5 hours (449 minutes on my copy). TV... Read more
Sep 24, 2008 by angel1801 |  See all 4 posts
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