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The Avon Barksdale Story: Legends of the Unwired (2009)

Wood Harris  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

The Avon Barksdale Story: Legends of the Unwired + The Corner + The Wire: The Complete Series
Price for all three: $156.61

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Product Details

  • Actors: Wood Harris
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Kela-Kaj Enterprises
  • DVD Release Date: March 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 72 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00316DDYA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,176 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The HBO series "The Wire" was based on the lives of real gangsters from Baltimore. LEGENDS OF THE UNWIRED is the first film to expose those real lives, the real people that the characters of The Wire is based upon. In this DVD, the real Avon "Bodie" Barksdale, tells all to his on screen character’s actor, Wood Harris. Bodie reveals the uncensored truth about drugs, sex, violence and death.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ADD TO YOUR "WIRE" EXPERIENCE May 7, 2010
"The Wire" trained its loyal viewers to think and have an attention span, unlike most tv shows ( unfortunately).
This dvd, which gives background on the real life inspiration for one of the main characters, is likely to appeal to " Wire" completists for that reason- we want details! You'll spend the whole time you're watching trying to figure out how much of what you see and hear is true, and how much of it David Simon and company worked into the show and in what form.

The production values aren't great, the reeneactments are cheesy, and the narrator's tone veers from decrying to admiring violence and criminality. And Wood Harris's role seems to be just to show amusement at Barksdale's tales of crime- at one point he laughs heartily when Barksdale declines to answer a questions by saying there is no statute of limitations on murder. There are definitely mixed messages in this work.

As a stand alone work, I give it barely 3 stars, a " Wire" devotee may get 4 stars worth of enjoyment out of this.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For fans only. August 26, 2010
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If you're a fan of The Wire series then you'll enjoy the DVD. Bottom line. Point blank. I'm not going to speak on the aesthetics of the production because that's not what one would buy the DVD for. But if you're a fan of The Wire then you'd enjoy the DVD.
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46 of 57 people found the following review helpful
If you thought Avon Barksdale from HBO's The Wire was bad, you haven't heard about the real life person the story is based on.

this is a documentary hosted by the actor who played Avon in the show (Wood Harris) as he interviews the real life Avon Barksdale as they walk through Baltimore's ghettos where the show was shot as well as other locations where you see just how real the show really was.

I had a chance to preview this, and i must admit it is excellent. one of the best documentaries on the topic all together and an absolute must watch for fans of The Wire.

more info:

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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I was expecting August 11, 2010
Verified Purchase
Perhaps I should have read the description a little closer, but I honestly expected a short dramatic film starring Wood Harris about the origins of the Barksdale character. Instead, the DVD is a brief biopic on the inspiration behind the Avon Barksdale character, a Baltimore criminal named Nathaniel Avon (aka "Bodie") Barksdale. While very interesting, the whole thing smacks of low-fi. The music sounds home recorded, the narration tries a little too hard to be authentic & "street-real", and the dramatization scenes are poorly shot & poorly acted. I have to say, though, that the subject matter makes it watchable, because the real Barksdale is a very fascinating character. It's almost a shame that they didn't mix a little more truth into the show. All in all I was satisfied with my purchase, but I'm not looking forward to more Legends of the Un-Wired productions
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining January 12, 2013
By Michael
Verified Purchase
Yes this is really enjoyable if you have watched The Wire. It is low budget but still very watchable and enjoyable. There are reenactments of events that happened to Avon and these keep the action moving in what is basically a documentary. You will learn a lot of new things. The interview with Avon's mother is priceless. It is obvious that the characters in The Wire were based on the real life people like Avon and Bunk who are interviewed in this video. If you love The Wire, this will allow you to make the real life connection.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Almost like a home video July 4, 2013
Verified Purchase
This is a huge disappointment. I bought this for my husband because he loved The Wire. Big mistake. This is the worst video ever made- so bad he thought is was a joke. Well the joke's on me for having paid money for this poorly made video that is clearly just trying to capitalize off the success of The Wire. Do not buy this video..... It's not worth it. I'll happily send you our copy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A BOY NAMED AVON November 6, 2013
This is a 70 minute self described docudrama on the real Avon Barksdale. The drama aspect left something to be desired. As a thug, he was unimpressive in the story. What I liked about the tale was that it took place in Baltimore, a city that I frequented during this time period. The narrator/writer attempted to give people a contrast of the Inner Harbor tourist area with the projects, however during this era that Inner Harbor area didn't exist. Camden Yards didn't exist. This was an 80's development.

The film is certainly inspirational to handicapped children who aspire to be drug dealers. The real truth is that Avon is most famous for being shot in the head three times and surviving to tell about it.

Parental Guide: F-bomb. No sex or nudity. Strippers who don't strip.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Avon Barksdale-The Wire December 25, 2011
Verified Purchase
If u r into the Wire this will be interesting,not the best documentary, but did tell about the real "don't call me" "Avon",only for those who loved the show the Wire
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh
Not nearly as interesting as I thought it would be - felt like a shoddy 3rd rate production trying to capitalize on the success of The Wire, but not executed well. Amateurish.
Published 23 days ago by TucsonKent
5.0 out of 5 stars good!
it was exactly what I expected of a true story. and it also told the background of the wire tv series.
Published 1 month ago by kody
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a fantastic job but it was good to know the real dude.
I like it very much. Always good to know the real story. Too good(The Wire) to be just a fiction.
Published 1 month ago by Tiago Cavalcanti
5.0 out of 5 stars The real story
This was a great story. Now I can truly relate to this story because it is a true story wow!!!
Published 2 months ago by JoNay
4.0 out of 5 stars Great companion piece
Great story. Good companion to The Wire boxset. If you enjoy the show then you are going to like this.
Published 3 months ago by C. E. McCollum
1.0 out of 5 stars Worse documentary I've ever seen.
Horrible reenactments, low budget and wasn't worth the time or money spent. So glad I watched the series first. This would have completely made me not watch the series.
Published 4 months ago by Tearle T Wright
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible DVD
Terrible DVD I watched the series and this was _ _ _ t and I want my money back LIKE yesterday...
Published 6 months ago by Myron Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Love The Wire
I bought this as a gift to go along with the box set I bought for him for our 3 year anniversary. He loved it and keeps it with his box set. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Cantero Dzines
4.0 out of 5 stars Great doc!
This is a great, informative - and locally produced in Baltimore - documentary about the real Avon Barksdale. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amanda Behrens
3.0 out of 5 stars It's alright but ....
DVD is not set up with an end jump that gets you back to the main menu, or the start - not very professional.
Published 13 months ago by Michael Sastre
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