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The Plow That Broke The Plains and Night Mail [VHS]

John Grierson , Pare Lorentz  |  VHS Tape
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: John Grierson, Pare Lorentz
  • Format: Black & White, Import, NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • VHS Release Date: November 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 49 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009LHYK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #689,179 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

1.THE PLOW THAT BROKE THE PLAINS (1934-USA). Written and directed by PARE LORENTZ. Music composed by VIRGIL THOMSON. The Plow That Broke The Plains is one of the cornerstone documentaries in American film history. It was made at the height of the Depression, when Pare Lorentz was film advisor to President Roosevelts U.S. Resettlement Administration. Its the story of Americas Great Plains: windswept grasslands that stretch from the Texas Panhandle up through Canada, an area of "high winds and sun...without rivers and with little rain." The land was at this time devastated by drought; this powerful, poetic, beautifully photographed film details the areas history and the then-current migration of farmers to the Pacific coast: the reality of The Grapes of Wrath. Virgil Thompsons uniquely American musical score is a highlight.2.NIGHT MAIL (1936-England). One of the most famous and highly regarded documentaries to come out of Britain during the 1930s. The film was produced by JOHN GRIERSONs famed GPO Film Unit and is a homage to the British postal and railway systems. It is the impressively mounted chronicle of the special express train that each year delivers over 500 million pieces of mail across the United Kingdom. Night Mail is a document of precision, and dedication.49 minutes total.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars five star -- with reservations June 19, 2009
Format:DVD|Amazon Verified Purchase
Both Plow... and Night Mail are classics, five stars, and the people who provided these on DVD deserve five stars for doing so. That said, the buyer should know that 1) there is no menu; 2) Plow... ends and Night Mail begins on the same chapter (i.e., accessing Night Mail without Plow... requires searching through chapter 6); 3) the print on both of these is not good (Plow... is especially grainy); and 4) the sound is also poor, but tolerable. Auden's verse is clear enough, but Britten's music is a bit muffled (Night Mail). I've seen another print of Night Mail (PAL format) and I don't remember it being so poor. (I've never seen Plow... before.) Perhaps the bottom line here is that these two thirty minute documentaries will be best appreciated by those who have some idea beforehand the historical significance of what they will be viewing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Cheap home made DVD copy? November 2, 2010
Great films, but this seems like a home made DVD copy. Bad compression for sound and video. No chapters, home made label, and no cover. Cheap, but very dissapointing quality.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Quality November 16, 2013
Format:DVD|Amazon Verified Purchase
Both these were classic film documentaries in their day and are still fascinating to watch, however the dubbed image quality and sound are atrocious. It looks like the old films were projected on a wall and recorded with a cheap video camera. If you have never seen, probably worth watching, but just barely.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super documentary July 4, 2009
Format:VHS Tape|Amazon Verified Purchase
I bought this for my Dad who had seen an article about it in a magazine. It was a great DVD for him to view.
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