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The Edward R. Murrow Collection

11 customer reviews

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(May 31, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Take a trip back through some of the most tumultuous events in American history with the venerable Mr. Murrow, from Joe McCarthy's witch hunts to rare interviews with Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and many others. 4 DVDs. 2005/color/6 hrs., 30 min/NR/fullscreen.

A towering figure in radio and television, Edward R. Murrow is a name still whispered in reverent tones. He established the standards for broadcast journalists, and, when television was in its infancy, brought hard-hitting investigating reporting to prime time. In his inaugural broadcast of the seminal news magazine series, See It Now, a television version of his radio series Hear It Now, Murrow spoke of the new medium's potential to "illuminate and explain." He recognized the importance of television, and shared his hopes "to use it, and not abuse it." The Edward R. Murrow Collection is eloquent testimony to Murrow's impeccable legacy. The first disc, This Reporter, is Murrow 101, with highlights from his legendary career and praise from the likes of Ted Koppel, Barbara Walters and a pre-Memogate Dan Rather. The Best of "See It Now" offers a representative sampling of some of this series' finest hours. The technology may be primitive (that inaugural broadcast featured the then-unprecedented miracle of a live coast-to-coast transmission, with twin images of New York's Brooklyn Bridge and San Francisco's Golden Gate), but the stories remain compelling. Among them: race relations from the perspective two southern small towns; a Christmas visit with American soldiers in Korea; profiles of Louis Armstrong and artist Grandma Moses; and flying into the eye of a hurricane.

The McCarthy Years chronicles the fall of a demagogue. In these dramatic and controversial broadcasts, Murrow used McCarthy's own words to expose his reckless abuse of power, and, in the story of disgraced Air Force lieutenant Milo Radulovich, put a human face on the "epidemic of fear" that was McCarthyism. The final disc contains Harvest of Shame, a television benchmark. Broadcast the day after Thanksgiving, this "1960 Grapes of Wrath" exposed the agonizing plight of migrant farm workers. "We used to own our slaves," one farmer is quoted. "Now we just rent them." This indispensable set will hopefully serve as inspiration for budding journalists, and a reality check for network news executives. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • Four programs: This Reporter, The Best of "See It Now," The McCarthy Years, Harvest of Shame
  • Murrow biography
  • Timeline of events

Product Details

  • Actors: Edward R. Murrow, Howard K. Smith, Harry S. Truman, Richard Hottelet, Alexander Kendrick
  • Directors: Fred W. Friendly, Susan Steinberg
  • Writers: Edward R. Murrow, Fred W. Friendly, David Lowe, Ed Apfel
  • Producers: Edward R. Murrow, David Lowe
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: May 31, 2005
  • Run Time: 393 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007WFURE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,936 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Edward R. Murrow Collection" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By K. Oleszczyk on December 23, 2005
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One fact that this DVD collection helps to realise beyond any doubt, is that Murrow had an unique TV-screen presence. I'm 23 years old Polish man, so naturally I hadn't anything to do with Murrow till now (I'm to write an essay on him--hance my watching of the collection). And so I wasn't biased in any way in my first contact with the material. Murrow's silky voice is not so much seductive, as it's reassuring--the listener cannot doubt that this man here really knows what he's talking about and is NOT constatntly thinking about his looks or presence.

Murrow's broadcasting and his performances are totally free of celebrity-bias that is common among our contemporary anchormen. There's wonderful line in James L. Brooks' BROADCAST NEWS (1987-and still not dated). Albert Brooks is introducing William Hurt to the subtle art of reading the news correctly. One of his tips is: 'stress one word in each sentence - it will give an impression that you know what you're talking about' (I may have misquoted this one, since I saw the film in 1998). And William Hurt's 'Tom' does exactly that: without, of course, knowing what he's really talkin' about--but making TV-viewers BELIEVE that he does know.

Murrow didn't need this kind of tricks. His calmness, his constant pauses, his left hand holding a ciggaret, and his absolutely disarming (if rare) smiles and (even rarer) bursts of laughter, make one feel that here is the man truly concerned with what he has to say.

My favourite bit in the whole collection is one short dialogue between Murrow and Grandma Moses. He asks her about death, she remarks that she's not affraid of it, and Murrow begins a sentence, which - we cen sense that perfecly - was to be something like: "Is then death something you long for?".
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Alan W. Petrucelli on January 31, 2006
If Good Night, and Good Luck makes you yearn to dig further into the Murrow mania, then this box set fits the bill. Murrow was often creidted with inventing broadcast journalism, and it's easy to understand. The four-disc set includes live broadcasts from the London Blitz and shocking reports from Buchenwald, the best of See It Now (including Grandma Moses and Louis Armstrong), his bold challenge of Joseph McCarthy and his "Red Scare" and the landmark 1960 special documenting the plight of migrant workers. See it now. And forever.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By A. Anderfuren on August 5, 2005
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i bought this dvd collection to use in a presentation i made for a graduate school class to complement a book review of murrow. this collection is facinating for people who love murrow and those who've never seen his work. i will use this collection in future presentations that i'll make to my students as a professor.

EVERY PERSON IN BROADCASTING SHOULD BUY THIS COLLECTION AND WATCH IT to get a great look at the man who innovated our business!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Maxxie on March 14, 2006
I strongly recommend watching the film "Good Night and Good Luck" together with this collection. The documentary "This Reporter" is outstanding, providing much of the background information we only get a glimpse of in the film. At the same time, we realize how true and accurate the film is based on these materials -- a refreshing change at a time when Hollywood feels free to regularly bend and twist historical fact!

Five Stars!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm E. Bowes on March 21, 2006
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Anyone who thinks they are a journalist -- think again. Murrow used language as no one has, both in radio and television, in war and,as he said, an ueasy peace. Those who claim that Murrow fostered the likes of Springer and O'Reilley have not seen these videos from, what must seem to some, a "land ago, far, far, away." Murrow was a genius at stating things succinctly, more often than not as objectively as possible. I find it interesting that many young people complain about the over-acting of the guy playing Joseph McCarthy in George Clooney's film, something which should be seen with the "Murrow Collection." As us oldsters know, that wasn't an actor and the struggle for truth and to "see it now" continues.

Good Night and GOOD LUCK.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Loves To Read on June 27, 2009
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This collection consists of four discs covering a broad range of work by Murrow, arguably setting the gold standard for journalism since the beginning of television. He was determined to make sure this new medium would be used with the greatest possible integrity while at the same time being immensely entertaining. There is no doubt he accomplished his goal and, fortunately, some have tried hard to imitate him and maintain credibility with audiences while, unfortunately, others have deteriorated into the journalistic versions of professional wrestling. The disc, THE MCCARTHY YEARS, was the basis for the very successful movie GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK. Those five words were his trademark parting message every show. The four DVD's include the story of Murrow and his start in radio in London during WWII, clips from his show, 'See It Now' on location in Korea during that conflict, his journey into the South during the Civil Rights demonstrations and a very interesting interview with Grandma Moses. The last two discs are the complete shows of his confrontation with Joseph McCarthy, the Jr. Senator from Wisconsin challenging his communist witch hunt activities in the Senate, including McCarthy's response, and the full show on Thanksgiving Day in 1960 about the plight of migrant workers called "Harvest of Shame", one of the most famous documentaries of all time. A must watch for those who want to see what television has the potential to be and do. There was only one Edward R. Murrow. Unfortunately, a heavy smoker, he died from lung cancer at the age of 57. Nostalgia for some, but maybe a challenge and a goal for those considering journalism and the media as a career.
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