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The Complete Story: World War I (2003)

 NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

List Price: $34.98
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The Complete Story: World War I + The Last Voices of WWI - A Generation Lost + WWI War: The War to End All Wars
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Timeless Media Group
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 2005
  • Run Time: 645 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009KNR42
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,677 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

This collection includes eleven episodes on three DVDs that were painstakingly researched and assembled to include rare original material and long-lost footage that takes viewers from the carefree Europe of the turn of the century to the uneasy peace that ended it. Narrated by Robert Ryan.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
266 of 269 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Overview of the First World War June 8, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of the onset of World War I in 1964, both the BBC in Britain and CBS in the United States produced epid documentary series on the history of the war (The Beeb's is called "The Great War"). Both are now available on DVD and I would have to say that someone who has a strong interest in the war and is interested in its visual images would find both series of interest. Besides the fact that naturally each tends to focus more on the war effort of the country that produced the series, there are other significant differences that make the two series complement each other. First of all, the CBS programs were made to fit into a half-hour time slot, so taking into consideration the commercials, each program is about 24 minutes long, whereas the BBC programs are over 40 minutes. In addition, the British series focuses almost exclusively on the military aspects of the war in addition to social and economic conditions in Britain. The BBC series added interviews with people who participated in the war, whereas the Americans relied only on archive films. The CBS series places less emphasis on the military course of the war but expands on the political and social forces that led up to the war and affected its conduct. Whereas "The Great War" simply mentions in passing the demoralization that occurred on the German home front that brought about Ludendorff's demands for an an armisitice, the CBS series devotes an entire program to what was happening inside Germany as the war progressed. Read more ›
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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Significant Overview June 26, 2008
By Viking
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I remember watching this series on A&E television back in the 1980's. At the time I knew practically nothing about WW I. This show is very interesting and gets 5 stars for being complete without overwhelming the viewer. Each segment is about 22 minutes in length which made a half hour show on A&E with commericals. It is even better without them. The show takes in all areas of the war including the failed British and Australian invasion of the Daranelles and the disaster on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. Robert Ryan's narration is excellent and his being an actor only adds to his narration abilities. If you want to really get a good understanding of WW 1 and it's causes and results, this is the dvd set for you.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Excellent documentary series produced by CBS News in the early sixties and superbly narrrated by the late Robert Ryan, still has an edge over the many others that were produced recently. Lots and lots of photographic and film footage, especially of the German invasion of neutral Belgium, the air and sea war, the sinking of the Lusitania, but sadly lacking in many other series. This series, some will call dated, yet remains remarkably comprehensive and engaging and well worth purchasing. If you like your history in large doses and complete like, for example, Will Durant's 11 volume comprehensive opus, The History of Civilization, then you will enjoy this three disc set. This set is available at Costco for about $19.95, where I purchased mine, rather than the $30.00 list price Amazon charges here.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars World War I DVD May 7, 2007
Format:DVD
This DVD comes in a three-volume set. It is narrated by Robert Ryan whose voice sets the tone for this truly monumental telling of an event that is still being felt by the world amost 100 years later.

It is non-political, it does not take sides, what it does is show with clarity and feeling the effect war had on the entire world. The social, economic, and political realities of the day are explained. I have a minor in history and I was impressed with the research and scholarly approach taken by the film makers in this epic documentary.

There are over 70 episodes within the three volume set. Everyone who watches will gain an appreciation for how WWI changed the geo-political landscape forever. After watching this series, you will be able to understand in depth what Lawrence of Arbia meant to the Arabs.

This DVD is worth 2x the price.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Look At World War 1 February 24, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Complete Story of World War Iis a comprehensive look at The War To End All Wars. Produced by CBS television in the early 1960s and narrated by actor Robert Ryan, this unflinching 26 episode series rates right up with Victory At Sea as an early television war documentary. From the political intrigues that led nations to war, to life in the trenches, to the first air battles, all the way to the sad end, television just doesn't get much better than this. World War 1 was the first war able to be truly documented on motion camera. I'm glad this documentary was produced while the then almost fifty year old film was still viable. Who knows if it still even exists today. Highly recommended for history and war buffs.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the money July 31, 2005
Format:DVD
Not much to add to Rehovot's excellent review except for one nit pick: the series focuses too much on the USA. America's involvement in the Great War does not warrant 5 episodes out of 26. (Just as The World at War, the outstanding Thames series on the second world war, is weighted too heavily on Britain.) That said, this is a wonderful series. Certainly worth the time and money if you want to learn the basics of WWI. Watched it as a kid - enjoyed seeing it again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I loved this series from when I was a kid
I loved this series from when I was a kid. It's dated though, and now I find it boring and lacking. But I won't totally condemn it as it is educational and provides excellent... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Boy from Brooklyn
3.0 out of 5 stars WORLD WAR I review
Given the time elapsed since the actual happening, I am amazed at the availability of so much material in photos and film. It was well written and edited. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robert Mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Story of the Great War
William Ryan does a great job narrating this, and CBS made an outstanding product when they produced it.. Excellent for the Military History buff, or even as a teacher's aide. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Zaba9901
3.0 out of 5 stars Musical score the best part
I first saw this documentary years ago and taped it on VHS. Those tapes
and the machine are long gone, so I'm grateful that these DVDs are available. Read more
Published 3 months ago by K. Beuchert
5.0 out of 5 stars WWI
History is very much of interest to me as try to become more acquainted with pieces of history that I am not familiar. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Hazel
5.0 out of 5 stars Great WW I Documentary Series
I remember seeing this documentary series on CBS back in the 1960s and enjoying it a lot. Robert Ryan's narration is great and the extras like the little short films and the songs... Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Allison
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Fine!
A very engaging documentary. It provides a good basic understanding of WW I in general, and what the war was like in the trenches.
Published 4 months ago by Martin P. Hogan
3.0 out of 5 stars DVD Problems
Story very good. Copy of CBS series. Emphases on US involvement. Good lead-in as to "why" it all happened. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Henry
5.0 out of 5 stars World War 1 a surprise find!
I was looking for this series for years. Excellent find. Very entertaining and educational. I'm very happy with the picture quality and sound.
Published 4 months ago by Stephen Roesner
4.0 out of 5 stars gift for my hubby
My husband is enjoying learning more about WW1 - he's a World War 2 buff. thank you very much! the end
Published 5 months ago by Elizabeth Southerland
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