Buy used:
$92.95
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Five discs in book like case, within slip case. One disc has several light scratches, two are clean/like new, the other two are clean with a couple of spots. All DVDs viewed in full and play clearly. Box has light wear, DVD holder has a spine crease. From a private collection. UPC 841887051248
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for up to $5.92
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Image Unavailable

Image not available for
Color:
  • The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
  • Sorry, this item is not available in
  • Image not available
  • To view this video download Flash Player
      

The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns


Available from these sellers.
1 new from $69.99 7 used from $57.67 1 collectible from $129.00
Watch Instantly with Per Episode Buy Season
Other Formats & Versions Amazon Price New from Used from
DVD Full Screen Edition
$69.99 $57.67

There is a newer version of this item:


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Product Details

  • Actors: David McCullough, Sam Waterston, Jason Robards, Morgan Freeman, Garrison Keillor
  • Directors: Ken Burns
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: September 28, 2004
  • Run Time: 680 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,608 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BITUE8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,144 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns" on IMDb

Special Features

Behind the Scenes: The Civil War Reconstruction
Commentary by Ken Burns
Interviews with Ken Burns, Shelby Foote, George Will and Stanley Crouch
Biography Cards
Battlefield Maps
Civil War Challenge
Featurettes: Ken Burns: Making History and A Conversation with Ken Burns


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hailed as a film masterpiece and landmark in historical storytelling, Ken Burns's epic documentary brings to life America's most destructive-- and defining--conflict. With digitally enhanced images and new stereo sound, here is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one.

Amazon.com

The most successful public-television miniseries in American history, the 11-hour Civil War didn't just captivate a nation, reteaching to us our history in narrative terms; it actually also invented a new film language taken from its creator. When people describe documentaries using the "Ken Burns approach," its style is understood: voice-over narrators reading letters and documents dramatically and stating the writer's name at their conclusion, fresh live footage of places juxtaposed with still images (photographs, paintings, maps, prints), anecdotal interviews, and romantic musical scores taken from the era he depicts. The Civil War uses all of these devices to evoke atmosphere and resurrect an event that many knew only from stale history books. While Burns is a historian, a researcher, and a documentarian, he's above all a gifted storyteller, and it's his narrative powers that give this chronicle its beauty, overwhelming emotion, and devastating horror. Using the words of old letters, eloquently read by a variety of celebrities, the stories of historians like Shelby Foote and rare, stained photos, Burns allows us not only to relearn and finally understand our history, but also to feel and experience it. --Dave McCoy

On the DVD
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

Customer Reviews

Highly recommend this series to all history buffs.
Mike Fogue
Burns uses photographs, music, speech, maps and historical context to tell the story of the second most formative event in the nation's history.
C. O. DeRiemer
It really helps one gets a feel for what it must of been like and what the people of the war thought and behaved.
D. D Lawson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

525 of 540 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 9, 2005
Format: DVD
There aren't too many productions from television that one can call "noble," but Ken Burns' The Civil War qualifies. Burns uses photographs, music, speech, maps and historical context to tell the story of the second most formative event in the nation's history. And since in those days people wrote...diaries, letters, journals...there is the written record not just of the great leaders, the politicians and generals, but of the wives and sweethearts, the nurses and doctors, newspaper editors and farmers. Most of all there are the words of the soldiers. Burns shows the importance and the sweep of the war, but in part he does it through the lives of average people caught up in events they may not have completely comprehended, but which they believed in.

If the words themselves have power, so do the voices. Burns recruited great voices, some actors, some not, to speak the words, distinctive voices that give great resonance to what we see. Julie Harris as Mary Chestnut, Charlie McDowell, a Virginia reporter, as Sam Watkins, Arthur Miller as William Sherman, Jason Robards as Grant, Studs Terkel as Benjamin Butler, Sam Waterston as Lincoln, and many others. He has David McCullough as the narrator. McCullough, an outstanding historian and writer, does a wonderful job. Burns also uses a number of historians to underline key points. Foremost, in my view, is Shelby Foote. Foote is the author of the epic three-volume Civil War. With his Southern accent, common sense and soft irony, he's a fascinating raconteur.

The program is never dry or dull. It is gripping and emotional. Both sides felt they were fighting for a pure cause.
Read more ›
28 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
154 of 157 people found the following review helpful By Roxanne Kean on April 5, 2011
Format: DVD
I first saw this on PBS and was spellbound by it. It is simply everything you need to know about the American Civil War. If you think history is dry and uninteresting, this film by Ken Burns will change your mind. This is filled with comedy and pathos, courage and cowardice, and a balanced explanation that is fair to both sides of the conflict.

Burns used well-known actors to read the diaries and writings of both famous people (Grant, Lee, Lincoln) and average persons and soldiers. It gives one a well-rounded view of both sides. I am in awe of the writings of that time--the people had an incredibly, descriptive way of writing; a command of the English language that has sadly been lost in modern times.

Burns also used still photographs, panning across them, giving the audience the feel of watching an actual movie of the time. That technique has since been adopted by other documentaries.

I've seen the series many times, and each time find something more. If nothing else, see it for Shelby Foot--a writer/historian who speaks about Robert E. Lee, and others, like he personally knew them. Fascinating from beginning to end!
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
168 of 177 people found the following review helpful By Michael Henshaw on January 1, 2005
Format: DVD
Ken Burns has established himself as one of the greats in terms of historical documentaries. The Civil War is Mr. Burns' greatest work. The attention to detail brings the history to life. Mr. Burns does an excellent job of bringing humanity to the tragic time in America. With the use of solder's and family letters it is evident what a difficult time it was to be an American. Originally aired on PBS in September of 1990, nearly fifteen years later the series remains the ultimate narrative about the United States darkest time.

The series is finally released on DVD. While the price is a little high the amazing quality of the series makes the cost very reasonable. Ken Burns' Civil War is required for any Civil War historian's collection. The series is also a great way for those wishing to learn more about the Civil War. I would recommend this to anyone that loves historical documentaries. It does not get any better than The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns.
6 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
87 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Patrick A. Hayden on October 31, 2002
Format: DVD
I remember watching this documentary by Ken Burns when it first appeared on PBS in 1990. It started my lifelong interest in the Civil War. Countless books and trips to battlefields later, it still stands as the finest general work on the war ever made.
The story of the war is told through pictures, narratives, and the unobtrusive narration by David McCoulough, who's voice is pitch pefect for the job. Never before have photos had such a dramatic effect in telling a story. They say a picture says a thousand words, and this series prove that maxim correct. The five discs cover the 5 years of the war, and the 9 parts of teh series. The most effective are "1861: The Cause", "1863: The Universe of Battle", and "1865: The Better Angels of our Nature". They cover the events that led up to the war, the turining points at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and the end and aftermath of the war. Each is suprememly emotional. One episode intersperses an old narrative from the daughter of a former slave as she remembers her father's stories. Shelby Foote, author of the most comprehensive book on the war, offers invaluable advice. High praise must also go to Sam Waterston, who voices Abraham Lincoln. In the final segment of the 1863 disc, Waterston recites the Gettysburg Address, and I must admit it brought me to tears.
The music is also a key factor to the success of the film. Burns went back and found the old music that was popular among the people and the soldiers, both North & South during the war. It is moving, from the haunting opening music, to the old spirituals that are found on disc 2's "1862: Forever Free".
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Forums

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Topic From this Discussion
Suggestion for Ken Burns
Please do a documentary on the "Vietnam Conflict". Remember, they wouldn't call it a war. While serving in the Army during Vietnam, I was spit on when in town in uniform. It was a divisive combat involvement for our country. Our parents served proudly in WWII and Korea. Some of us... Read More
Jul 30, 2012 by Norman G. Ham |  See all 8 posts
When will The Civil War by Ken Burns on Blu-ray be released?
Considering that The Civil War was originally shot on film (IMDB lists is as on 35mm, Wikipedia states 16mm, which seems correct), and it has been shown theatrically, there is probably no technical reason it couldn't be remastered in HD/Blu-Ray. Remember, they took The World At War up to HD and... Read More
Oct 4, 2011 by Robert C Kanyok |  See all 9 posts
How is this version different from ASIN B000BITUE8?
I do not see that ASIN number on here. I will assume, you mean the copy with the Gold label vs the Silver one on this copy. I have explained this before, but since no one tackled your question, I will reiterate. PBS as you know is a non profit organization, so everything they do is through... Read More
Oct 5, 2008 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 6 posts
Battle re-enactments?
No, Burns wisely stuck to actual pictures of the period rather than recreations of events. The pictures (and the voices of actual words) told the story.
Nov 20, 2008 by Richard Byers |  See all 4 posts
Someone Help Me Please!
I would talk to PBS Video directly, they might be able to make you an offer. Of course, if you bought your set recently why not just try to even exchange the whole set?
Aug 4, 2007 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 2 posts
The Things I am Interested in Buying Be the first to reply
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in