Fourteen million Americans were captivated by this moving PBS series from award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns. Powerfully told through letters, diaries, war dispatches, and newspapers of the period, this epic takes you from the first shots at Fort Sumter to Lincoln's assassination. 1990; CC, b&w and color, 11 hours on 5 DVDs. Boxed. Simon says: Supplying your own horse garnered enlisted men a daily payment of 50 cents, which today would be approximately $9.50.
The DVD features on The Civil War provide a wealth of insight, creative philosophy, historical perspective, and educational enjoyment. Twelve years after its premiere broadcast, the film was given a digital facelift, sharpening image clarity, correcting color, and enriching its soundtrack with a remastered 5.1-channel mix, as demonstrated in the "Civil War Reconstruction" featurette. In interviews from 2002, producer-director Ken Burns, historian Shelby Foote, journalist George Will, author Stanley Crouch, and composer-musicians Jay Ungar and Molly Mason reflect upon The Civil War's enduring significance. And Burns's eloquent commentary--selectively included on each disc and totaling five hours--illuminates the historical importance and creative impulse behind crucial chapters of the film. Fifty-seven onscreen biography cards detail important North, South, and civilian figures, and two 1990 featurettes"Making History" and "A Conversation with Ken Burns"--provide a more personal perspective on the creation of this extraordinary film. Useful for both personal and academic study, these features stand as a fitting supplement to one of the greatest documentaries ever produced. --Jeff Shannon