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North and South: The Complete Collection

1,331 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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

Documentary: 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

Product Details

  • Actors: David Carradine, Patrick Swayze, Philip Casnoff, James Read, Kirstie Alley
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Collector's Edition, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 8
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 1392 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,331 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,823 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

718 of 729 people found the following review helpful By Roger J. Buffington TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 30, 2004
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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238 of 247 people found the following review helpful By Carlos R. Pastrana on October 7, 2004
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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126 of 137 people found the following review helpful By Robert F. Glass on July 22, 2002
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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70 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Neville on July 13, 2003
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.
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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Nix Pix on September 30, 2004
Format: DVD
John Jakes "North & South" has been dubbed television's "Gone With The Wind." Though parallels between the two are obvious from the Rhett and Scarlett-esque romance between Orry Main (Patrick Swayze) and Madalaine Fabray-LaMotte (Lesley Anne Down) to the brazen homage of Hattie McDaniel's Mammie in Olivia Coles Maum Sally, "North & South" treads the fine line between fictionalized cotton fields and cavaliers and hard core history. This is a sweeping mini-series (particularly part one) that follows the exploits of two men, southerner Orry and northerner George Hazard (James Read) during a series of consequences in which each man must endure his opposing way of life that will ultimately test and rip their friendship apart. Kirstie Alley is employed to good effect as abolitionist Virgilia Hazard. After secretly marrying outside of her race, Virgilia's downward spiral into madness is rather tragic and haunting. So too is David Carridine's performance as the despicable Justin LaMotte.

The rest of the cast reads like a varitable who's who of celebrities: Gene Kelly as Sen. Charles Edwards, Elizabeth Taylor as Madam Conti, Robert Mitchum (Patrick Flynn), Hal Holbrook (playing no less that Abraham Lincoln himself), Morgan Fairchild (Burdetta Halloran), Johnny Cash (John Brown), James Stewart (Miles Colbert) and Olivia DeHavilland (Mrs. Neal). Basically, its one heck of a good show. Parts one and two are particularly satisfying - riding the crest of popularity and rabid public fascination audiences had with the mini-series following "The Thorn Birds." But by the time part three came around there was little interest or budget allocated to the third and final chapter of this sweeping saga. Now Warner Home Video delivers a definitive box set of this TV tour de force.
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Topic From this Discussion
north&south-DVD miniserie
They both are the same, apparently the original release was on double sided discs. The newer copy is on single sided discs.
Jul 8, 2012 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 2 posts
North and South (Complete Series)
I seen some of this North and South on tv, I have listen and watch three discs and there was scenes on tv that wasn't on the disc. Which makes very upset because on the back cover it says standard version preserving the original television exhibition. Which is not true. For the money I paid I am... Read More
Mar 2, 2013 by Maurice Elton Towne Jr. |  See all 2 posts
Is the 2011 Release of North and South Complete?
I just received the 8-disc 2011 Warner Home Video release. There are eight one-sided discs - Book1, Book2, Book3 of the Triology. I haven't watched all of it yet, but I was curious about its content - so here is my report. A previous comment by Brenda said "large chunks of the story are... Read More
Nov 4, 2012 by Kal Perry |  See all 10 posts
two sides to the disk!
The old copy was double sided, the new copy is single sided
Jul 8, 2012 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 3 posts
Best Line of the Series Be the first to reply
North And South The 1212 minute version and the 1392 version are exactly... Be the first to reply
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