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North and South: The Complete Collection (Books 1-3)

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,354 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This Emmy Award-winning powerful adaptation of John Jakes' best-seller tells the story of the turbulent events and emotions that ignited the Civil War. In the tradition of Gone With The Wind, this glorious epic focuses on the lives of two families who are geographically and ideologically placed on opposite sides of the war - The North and The South. The saga follows the families through their changing fortunes at home and the harsh realities of the battlefields until the South surrenders and the families are reunited in friendship. In the final installment, the story of the two families continues through Post-Civil War Reconstruction into pioneer Indian territories.

From the Back Cover

This Emmy Award-winning powerful adaptation of John Jakes' best-seller tells the story of the turbulent events and emotions that ignited the Civil War. In the tradition of "Gone With The Wind," this glorious epic focuses on the lives of two families who are geographically and ideologically placed on opposite sides of the war - The North and The South. The saga follows the families through their changing fortunes at home and the harsh realities of the battlefields until the South surrenders and the families are reunited in friendship. In the final installment, the story of the two families continues through Post-Civil War Reconstruction into pioneer Indian territories.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Philip Casnoff, Kyle Chandler, Cathy Lee Crosby, Lesley-Anne Down, Jonathan Frakes
  • Writers: Douglas Heyes
  • Format: Box set, Subtitled, Collector's Edition, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: American Broadcasting Company (ABC)
  • DVD Release Date: March 9, 2006
  • Run Time: 1392 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,354 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002MFGDC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,502 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "North and South: The Complete Collection (Books 1-3)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
North and South is truly one of the great miniseries, and in fact in my opinion surpasses other great Civil War films such as "Gone With the Wind." Based on the John Jakes trilogy of novels, this miniseries spans the period from the 1840s and the Mexican War, through the aftermath of the American Civil War. It tells the story of two families, the Hazards of Pennsylvania, and the Mains of South Carolina. The Hazards are the owners of a great steel manufactory. The Mains are the powerful owners of a sprawling Southern rice plantation. George Hazard and Orry Main, the scions of their respective families, form a friendship while attending West Point that sees them through the Mexican War and which is tested as each takes his region's side in the Civil War.

The miniseries is reasonably faithful to the novels, and where it departs, the changes are generally benign. The story is also quite faithful to history, and both North and South are portrayed with respect, although the story harshly indicts the institution of slavery, and reminds Americans of the incredible fact that this evil was a basic fact of our country for a very long time.

Book one of North and South is superb. It spans the period from about 1840 through the outbreak of the Civil War. The portrayal of the Mexican War is quite good, and the story of George and Orry graduating West Point and fighting together in the Mexican War makes for a fine story. The film does very well at recreating the attitudes of Northerners and Southerners during this period--conflicting attitudes which ultimately could not be reconciled by the normal political institutions of the American republic and which instead culminated in the Civil War. The battle scenes are very good and surpass what we normally expect of a miniseries.
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Format: DVD
In the age of unimaginative reality TV, boundless and unjustifiable mainstream cynicism and utter ignorance and/or lack of care for history, "North and South" stands as somewhat of an anachronism on the shelves of stores nationwide. How pleasant and encouraging, then, to see it rank as such a huge seller in its first week of release!! I have the (guilty) pleasure to admit I watched my Spanish-version of this series, taped off my TV back in 1986, about 10 or 15 times, although I haven't seen it in over decade. I do remember it as one of the two or three greatest mini-series ever (exceeded only by "Roots", in my opinion), and (at the time) the most expensive mini-series ever, at over $25 million, although that could hardly cover Al Pacino's salary for "Angels in America" nowadays.

I also read all three books a long time ago, and am currently in the process of reading them again, also more than a decade later. Given my familiarity with both the books and the filmed version, I am of the opinion that this is one of those rare instances ("Lolita" being another example) in which, notwithstanding substancial differences between the filmed and written stories, both are classics in their own way. Producers of the mini-series decided, with Jakes' consent, to make the following changes in the story, among many others:

1) Do away with Orry's brother Cooper and "merge" him with Orry. This was a mistake, I feel, inasmuch as Cooper was a crucial character who represented the more moderate Southerner;

2) Not have Orry lose an arm. This probably owed to Hollywood sensitivities, which would not have borne watching Madeline be intimate with a man who lacked one arm;

3) Not have Orry die, and give the series a "Hollywood Ending".
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North and South, the miniseries based on the novels written by the greatest historical novelist of all time, John Jakes, deserves to be released on DVD. This first miniseries (of three) showcases the antebellum period of the United States in glorious detail, and provides the exact amount of tension that was present in our country that would eventually lead to the Civil War.
Led by an all star cast, Patrick Swayze and James Read are two friends who meet at West Point prior to the Mexican-American war, and the series chronicles their friendship between them and their familes during the next twenty years until the Confederates fire on Fort Sumter in 1861.
This is a DVD that must be released and seen by all, so that future students of history may be educated in the most turbulent period of our nation's history.
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The enduring image of that $100 bill being split between Orry Main and George Hazard is what will always remind me of this great mini-series. I was 9 yrs old when it came out and recorded both parts 1 and 2 on VHS. Sadly the quality has deteriorated over time and it is disappointing to learn that it is not available on DVD format.
Wonderfully acted with a romantic theme threaded through the plot of a Civil War that nearly tore a nation apart.
It is heartening to read that other members have fond memories of this mini-series and, like me, can't wait for it to come out on DVD.
7 Comments 71 of 77 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
Boy, and how that is the truth! I first saw "North and South" when it originally aired back in 1985 on ABC when I was 13--and I've been in love ever since...I've nearly worn my VHS copies out!

Fans of North & South will be very excited to hear that on October 5th, 2004 Warner Brothers will be releasing the COMPLETE set (books 1, 2 AND 3):

North & South (1985)--Building up to the Civil War

North and South: Book II (1986) --During the Civil War

Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III (1994) --Post Civil War Reconstruction

Book 3 was NEVER available until now--not even on VHS, and Books 1 and 2 were only available (until now of course) on VHS. So it's GREAT to hear that ALL 3 will be DVD in a 5 disc set (1392 mins). The set will feature a retrospective documentary, entitled "The History of North and South", featuring interviews with Patrick Swayze, David Wolper, John Jakes and other cast members.

In that documentary you'll find these subjects:

Focusing on: An Epic Story: John Jakes and David Wolper discuss the story and mini-series.

The Hazards: James Read and Kirstie Alley talk about their roles and the Hazard family.

The Orry's: Patrick Swayze talks about his role.

A Time and Place: look at the period and the South.

An Epic Production: Civil War recreations and the scope of production.

Memories: Final thoughts from cast and crew.

Anyways, I'll be one of the many to pre-order the series. ENJOY EVERYONE! LIKE THEY SAY: GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE THAT WAIT.
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subtitles??
This thread is several years old, but the question is still valid. Yes, the "North and South: The Complete Collection" DVD set does have Spanish subtitles. It also has optional English and French subtitles, and is Closed Caption-encoded, as well.
Dec 3, 2010 by Hawkeye & Cora |  See all 4 posts
New release on January 25th
The only set I saw available online for pre-order looks to be the same set as the one sold here; possibly just a reprint (another pressing) of the same version. The point may be that the studio was running out of stock for the 2004 set and ordered a new pressing for 2011.

As far as I know,... Read More
Dec 26, 2010 by Hawkeye & Cora |  See all 2 posts
subtitles...
Yes, the set does have optional subtitles in English, French and Spanish. It is also Closed Captioned-encoded.
Dec 3, 2010 by Hawkeye & Cora |  See all 2 posts
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