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on July 29, 2011
This was very well done. It was very informative, educational as well as entertaining. The director did a very nice job with the footage. He blended personal and historical information into the documentary. Lafayette's relative I believe great great grand daughter added a very personal touch to the hour long piece. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in the history of the founding of this country.
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on January 1, 2011
This was an interesting documentary detailing some of the major events in the life of Lafayette. Strangely, the program begins with the narrator asking the viewer if you, the viewer, even know of the existence of the person, Marquis de Lafayette? I would answer - yes, otherwise why would the viewer bother to watch a program about a person he or she knows nothing about? One has to assume that you know a little bit about the topic of a show before you decide to watch that show; otherwise you risk watching something that may not hold your interest....

The sub-title of this DVD ("The Lost Hero") takes its cue from this idea; namely, that Lafayette has been "lost" to history, both in America and in France, and the aim of the producers is to reintroduce him to us. While it is debatable how "lost" Lafayette has become, I enjoyed following his life during the American and then the French Revolutions, as detailed in the program. The story is told using re-enactments, excerpts from letters and journal entries, and period newspapers. At 60 minutes, you get a fairly complete picture of the man who dedicated his life to the idea of "Liberty," and why he was hailed a hero when he returned on a goodwill tour of America in the 1820s. It can be safely stated that America's War for Independence may have turned out somewhat differently if not for this noble young Marquis.

Four stars. Short but engaging biography of Lafayette. I would suggest, however, that the idea of whether or not he's actually been "lost" to history depends upon who one asks...!
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on March 26, 2011
I teach 5th graders. This hour-long documentary was an excellent mix of live-action and narration. I got totally engrossed in the life of this amazing man. The movie includes his whole life, including his life after his return to France. The man had high ideals who had a life that should be remembered. It was poignant, also, in its information about his relationships with his wife and with James Armistead Lafayette, the black spy who took Lafayette's name after getting his freedom at the recommendation of Lafayette and James's owner (Wm Armistead).
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on January 8, 2012
I found this to be an elightening introduction to a man who did so much for our country. Did I learn everything there is to know about him? Most definitely not, but I learned enough to know I want to know more.

I recommend this film to people who would enjoy it for exactly that reason...maybe you know of Lafayette, but other than the brief mention (perhaps...depending on when you went to school) in a history class many years ago, you know little of the man other than he was a soldier. Maybe you don't even know that. Will you come away being able to write your dissertation based on this film? Nope, but you might just decide that the man deserves some more in-depth study.
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on December 28, 2013
This film told a story of how foreign citizens felt the need to assist the few Americans that had the vision to fight and suffer to create the United States. This would be a film for all Americans to see.
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on March 10, 2011
It was interesting to learn more about Lafayette. I would have wanted to know more about his children and later years. It might have been interesting to know what other historical figures had to say about him other than George Washington. For example, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Ben Franklin all must have known him.
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on September 25, 2011
Nice enough attempt in exploring the marquis de Lafayette and his major assistance to the American Revolution but it misses on several points. It's almost as if it's too dry to explore some of the meatier issues. Also, if he's truly a lost hero why is he almost always mentioned in our history books? Anyway, for people who don't know much about him this is a good starter but if you've already studied the man then this is a very watered down version of his contributions. The commentary by Lafayette's descendant was a nice touch. WHEN WATCHED: early September 2011; OVERALL GRADE: C plus to B minus.
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on June 27, 2011
I watched this documentary on Netflix, so I can't comment on the actual quality of the physical DVD or its case, but the documentary was rather good.

The documentary is a good starter documentary for anyone interested in learning about him. It skims through his life, highlighting on a few important events. It covers a bit of his youth, his role in the American and French Revolutions, his relationship with his wife, and the later part of his life.

I had never heard of Lafayette before this documentary. It was recommended to me on Netflix so I decided to watch it. I was very much inspired by him and am trying to learn as much as I can. If you watch this documentary, I don't think you will be disappointed unless you are a hardcore Lafayette fan that is looking for something with a lot more information on the Hero of Two Worlds.
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VINE VOICEon May 17, 2014
This PBS production, Lafayette: The Lost Hero, shines the spotlight on a hero of the American Revolution sometimes forgotten in discussions of the Revolutionary War.

This DVD chronicles the life of Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette, Marquis de La Fayette , or simply Lafayette, beginning with his early life on his family estate. Losing his father at an early age, he was separated from his mother and his childhood seems to have been a lonely one. The movie tells the story of his coming of age, marriage, and his desire to follow the family tradition of martial glory in the king's armies.

His story takes a turn when he learns of the American cause and is recruited by American diplomat Silas Deane and sent to America as a 21-year old major general! Initially, George Washington saw him as simply another foreigner seeking fame and glory but had been encouraged to accept him as someone who could help to provide support for the American cause in the French court. As time went on, as Lafayette proven himself, I think the childless Washington came to see the young Frenchman as a son even as the young Lafayette obviously looked up to Washington as the father-figure he never had.

the DVD covers his exploits in the Revolutionary war as well as his involvement in the democratic movement in France. Unfortunately, Lafayette was seen by the nobility as a traitor and by the radical egalitarians as a hated aristocrat. In the end, Lafayette was run out of France and imprisoned in Austria where he was eventually joined by his beloved wife Adrienne and their two daughters.

I think this is an excellent documentary recounting the life of a young French aristocrat who fought on the side of American liberty and deserves to be remembered for his contributions. I can't think of any negatives in this DVD and recommend it with five stars.
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on May 24, 2011
This short one-hour documentary is a valuable introduction to a much under-studied and widely un-sung leader in the American Revolutionary War. I would recommend this to the majority of adults who are not steeped in college degrees focused on the history of the American founding (i.e. the majority of adults). It is an excellent introduction for the auto-didact and also highly recommended to share with one's children. The contemporary K-12 and college level education being what it is, most children and recent college graduates will not have received a proper education in American history, let alone the formation of the nation, pre- and post-Colonial history, and the role of great foreign contributors.

This documentary is very brief and therefore only has time to touch briefly on the major (and fascinating) points of this extraordinary French aristocrat and his contributions to history. Therefore, in order to truly benefit from viewing it, I recommend that it be preceded by broad explorations of this time such as The History Channel Presents The Revolution and/or The Founding of America Megaset. These engaging documentaries will provide the valuable context necessary to truly appreciate the accomplishments and contributions of Lafayette both in his military role in the American Revolutionary War and in his humanitarian/political insights throughout his storied personal life (not to mention these other excellent DVDs deserve viewing on their own merits by anyone interested in early American history and the founding of our country!)

This DVD is interesting and engaging as a stand-alone documentary, but those who have the in-depth context of having viewed the other historical documentaries first will extract much more out of it. In either case, this film should whet your appetite to go out and learn much more about this historical figure whose contributions were heroic, courageous and majestic in his own lifetime, only to be considered rather un-PC in our own era. The irony that a man who repeatedly put his life on the line advocating for liberty, self-governance, an end to slavery, and the promotion of constitutional rule of law would be considered un-PC today is a testament to the confused, ill-educated and historically illiterate views that dominate the thinking of the herd today. I found it tragic when the narrator mentioned in a brief side-note that after more than a century of prominent display in the heart of Paris, the French moved the famous statue of Lafayette to some backwater location in the 1980's -- a pathetic reflection of the "hip" modern view of dead white males from a heroic age....

But where the formal education systems fail us today, we can become self-taught for ourselves and teachers for our children through tools such as this and other well-executed historical documentaries and books. What a joyous adventure. Bon appetite!!
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