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The History Channel Presents The Spanish-American War - First Intervention

18 customer reviews

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The History Channel Presents The Spanish-American War - First Intervention + U.S. Mexican War 1846-1848 + Crucible of Empire: The Spanish American War
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Editorial Reviews

Over the course of 113 historic days in 1898, the United States established itself for the first time as a true international power, expanding American reach around the globe. The major battles of the war were fought simultaneously in Cuba and the Philippines, proving the might of a newly reorganized U.S. Navy. From the sinking of the USS Maine to the Battle of Manila Bay and the Rough Riders' legendary charge up San Juan Hill, some of the most iconic stories and images of the new American superpower were forged in this short war. In THE SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR: FIRST INTERVENTION, THE HISTORY CHANNEL® presents the conflict that set a precedent for American intervention in foreign engagements, the results of which continue to resonate today.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, 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: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NO240W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,143 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jean E. Pouliot on September 4, 2008
I may be biased about this DVD, having seen the excellent PBS documentary "Crucible of Empire: The Spanish American War". This DVD, I thought, came up short in some ways, much of it having to do with the heavy use of actors and reenactors, the distracting attempts to recreate the look and feel of old film stock and the near-jingoistic view of the fighting. The film allowed actors to speak the words of the principals -- TR, William McKinley, Philino rebel Edwardo Aguyinaldo and others -- and interact with one another in set piece fashion.

First Intervention covers the origins and subtleties of the conflist rather lightly, and spends (I think ) an inordinate amount of time on the Battle of San Juan Hill, which made an enduring name for Teddy Roosevelt. The battle -- a one-day affair in a 3-1/2 month war -- was a one-sided affair with 10,000 Americans battling 750 Spaniards. But the DVD spends quite a bit of time on it, making much of the courage of the Americans. The good news is that it seems to depict the battle accurately, with most of the Rough Riders advancing without their horses, in opposition to later illustrations. Another questinable aspect of the filk is its depictions of black American soldiers. I have no issue with depicting the involvement of these "Buffalo Soldiers," who were among the few battle-tested portions of the American invasion force. But the chuminess they have with whites seems problematic. I rather doubt that blacks and whites -- given the racist overtones of the day -- sang and drank and smoked around campfires as shown here. And some of the reenactors looked mighty old and heavy to be playing young recruits, as the occasionally snippets of actual footage indicate.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rev. Hunter on April 9, 2008
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Even though the Spanish American war is a small blip in history, this film does an excellent job in connecting why we went to war with Spain over Cuba and how it reflects the overall history of this country at the end of the 19th century and leading into the 20th century. The director has taken an interesting approach in having many of the individuals involved in this conflict speak for themselves through the actors that portray them. Their words play a major role in understanding the various perspectives on both sides as well as the journalists who witnessed the events up close. Through this war America became a world power for the first time. Anyone who wants to understand the path that has lead us to our current world view as a nation should see this film. The documentary included on the DVD on how and why the film was made will make you appreciate the passion, dedication, and creativity behind this body of work.
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By Dana C. Jackson on February 23, 2011
The Spanish American War was really the first event to totally unify the country after 33 years of grudges and animosities caused by the War Between the States. This, in reality, is also what really ushered the United States into the 20th century. This DVD is a good effort in getting authors together who definitely know something about the war and gives the viewer much insight into information the average American citizen, military or civilian, would not have been in a position to know at the time. As a military buff, I was not impressed with the way the cavalry was portrayed. While I refuse to take away the exploits of the Rough Riders and the 2 black cavalry regiments (9th and 10th Cavalry), I was taken by the total absence of the 1st, 3rd, and 6th regular U.S. Cavalry regiments, who definitely carried their share of the load. Other than that, this is a DVD well worth having and I recommend it to anyone, along with "Crucible of Empire" and "Birth of a Superpower".
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A strange little war. Over relatively quickly. Not as quickly as the first Gulf War but pretty quick for it's day. Spain has never been a world power ever since. I went on board the Olympia, which was Admiral Dewey's flagship in the Phillipines, at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia on the Delaware River when I was going to Temple U. in 1970. Very interesting ship. The United States became a world power after this war. As I write this I actually haven't viewed the DVD yet. It's a documentary so I'm sure I'll enjoy it. I bought the DVD because I was collecting DVDs about each of the United States' wars.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By thedr on April 9, 2011
In teaching my students about the Spanish-American War, this is the only source I found that gave so much credit to the "Buffalo Soldiers". Granted, the African-American regiments are to be commended, but this video spends more time talking about the "Buffalo Soldiers" than anything else, including Roosevelt himself! I could not find any other source in my public library that even indicated that the African-American soldiers were even called "Buffalo Soldiers" (a name given by Native Americans) during this war.

This is not a credible source if you want a serious study of the Spanish-American War.
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By Jerry on January 29, 2014
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Learned so much more than I had known about he mobilization and the war effort in Cuba. Very informative. Wish there were more actual footage from that era. The supplelmental part on TR was very good too.
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By Raggedy Mann on January 27, 2014
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A Documentary worth watching for it's content, a must see if you've an interest in history, it's short but it covers a decent amount of the history of this tital
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The History Channel Presents The Spanish-American War - First Intervention
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