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National Geographic - Beyond the Movie - Alexander

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

More than 2,000 years after he conquered the known world, Alexander the Great continues to fascinate. But what personal demons fueled Alexander's unquenchable thirst for danger, fame, and conquest? Discover the astonishing truth in Beyond the Movie: Alexa

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Helen Fitzwilliam
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Nat'l Geographic Vid
  • DVD Release Date: November 2, 2004
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002V7U2I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,069 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Sagacitas on June 25, 2005
First I'd like to reply to the previous reviewer: The quote simply means that Alexander was complex--from what we know of him, he encompassed all these things, but a *lot* of what we know about him is built-up myth, hence "and perhaps none." It's an obvious statement, but it's a good segue for people who don't know about Alexander.

Secondly, yes, this film reeks of "cheesy" historical documentary, but it's entertaining and informative. The intent was to give people a "true" (from what we know) history behind the Hollywood-driven movie (which flopped anyway--I'll be interested to see Baz Luhrman's movie if he's still going to do it), and it did that. It explores psychological motives, military strategy, and even major characters influenced by Alexander as late as George Patton. There's also a decent short on the influence of the Iliad on Alexander. That one's not quite as interesting, in that it's basically an overview of the Iliad. It's also clear that they were targeting the movie-going audience by referring to "Troy" rather than Homer's Iliad.

All in all, I enjoyed this video. Alexander comes through in all his complexity here, and this is only a tiny scratch in the scholarship on him.

Those interested in Robin Lane Fox's work might want to take a look, as he is interviewed in this video. Other scholars interviewed are: Paul Cartledge, John Maxwell O'Brien, Joseph Scholten, Colonel Lance Betros, David Byers Millers, Partha Bose, and Andrew Chugg.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Anne Gillingham on July 24, 2005
I am no specialist in anything about antiquity. I am also not a military history buff. I often pick up random documentaries about historical topics, to supplement my lack of background in western civ.

I study comparative literature, so historical references, especially those of the classics, constantly come up all the time.

I would fully recommend this documentary to the wide audience it is meant for.

It is too basic for you if you are one of those guys whose mind is like a file-cabinet of historical data, both useful and otherwise.

However, it is great for the non-expert who doesn't have the luxury of time and concentration to dedicate to Alexander the Great. This documentary is more than informative.
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By Mr. N. B. Hodson on November 10, 2006
Excellent programme, smartly produced holding one's attention throughout. Another first for National Geographic. Quickly despatched.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Prahalad Appaji on January 6, 2011
Recently I was watching the national geographic episode on Alexander the "great". Alexander invades till Afghanistan and goes back to Greece for celebrating. His megalomania hits the point where he kills his best friend for suggesting his father was behind or the starting point of his sucess. Then he comes back for the ultimate prize of them all -India. I was hooked on the narrative and then the narrative goes like this - Alexander defeated the Hindu king and then surprisingly gives the kingdom back to the king seeing his valor. He also for unexplained reasons took a circuitous route back to Greece through deserts. As proof of the national geographic narrative they put on a historian from India, Partha Bose, who comes in a suit for a second and says something like " Alexander's invasion influenced Indian gods who were sculpted modelled on greek gods from then on". What an absurd statement?

This historian would say anything to appear on a national geographic spot. His suit says it all.

Alexander's abrupt return from India and the fact that the kingdom was later ruled by the Hindu king and also the fact that he ran away using a hidden route casts serious doubts on the "historian's" theory that Alexander in fact defeated the Hindu King. It defies all logic. Maybe historian's don't think logically. I did some research online and found out the inspiring story of King Puruva. The only proof they have of him being defeated is written by a Greek historian 300 years after the battle. They also point to some painting in a temple as proof that Alexander defeated Puruva. Thats it. Zip. Nothing else and the whole world claims Alexander defeated Puruva when the logical facts points clearly that Puruva was victorious and Alexander couldn't make any impression on India.
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National Geographic - Beyond the Movie - Alexander
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