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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2013
I remember seeing this documentary on PBS. I in fact taped in on a VCR. The VHS tape went out of print and a complete set on VHS became difficult to find at a reasonable price. I have to say that this is one of my favorite documentaries. The criticism of the visual aspect is fair. This documentary appears to simply have been put onto a DVD without any effort to clean it up.

As far as i am concerned, I am glad to have it. I previously have made attempts to contact the producers of the documentary. I have contacted PBS. I got no where. PBS said that their license to broadcast it or produce it for sale had expired. They had no plan to renew the license. The producers said nothing. A friend of mine was able to download the series as separate parts from the internet as a bit torrent. The reproduction was often much worse than the current DVD release and would have actual problems with tracking the VHS tape. In essence, at least we do not have this problem with the picture.

The Prize is a history of the 20th century. The importance of petroleum in modern life is so great and pervasive that one cannot separate the history of petroleum with the history of the world. Both world wars would have looked very different without oil. Production of modern mass transport of people and products (along with all of the highways) would not have occurred without oil. Availability of cheap natural resources so abundant in the United States made our modern economy possible.

Get the documentary while you still can at a cheap price. VHS copies new and used are in the 100's of dollars. Viewing the VHS tapes on Hi-Def televisions will have a poor picture. This is likely to be the best copy of this documentary that you will get unless the producers properly digitize this documentary.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2013
Excellent documentary on the history of oil i saw for the first time on PBS. Have the VHS video box set so when i played this dvd i was shocked how bad the image looked compared to the VHS version. The image on this dvd release looks weak with poor color and sound. Looks like i will have to keep the video tapes. For people who don't have this documentary in their collection do buy the dvd since the VHS video set is out of print. Five stars for the movie...2 stars for the print used to make it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2013
It is difficult to understand that this fantastic educational history can be so detailed and broadly inclusive of so much and yet be so inexpensive. I was expecting much less because of the low price. There is a lot of historic information on the beginnings of oil and all aspects of it from the early days to up to date modern times and all the different aspects of so many things in todays situation and society. The relationships between producing countries and the early oil companies was very interesting and then on to the changing relationships between those parties certainly kept my interest. The role that oil played in wars ever since and including the second world war was explained also. This program held my interest from start to finish and while it was full of information, it seemed to intertain also. I have several dvds on oil and several books...and this is the most comprehensive. The only reason that I didnt give it five stars is that the quality of the DVDs do not seem the best. I can understand the historic information not being top notch since some of the photography is very old....But, it was obvious that the quality should have been much better in the more modern parts.
Even though I have knowledge on oil and the history of oil, I learned quite a lot from this program...I highly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2014
I had The Prize on VHS several years ago. Love the documentary. I am glad I was able to purchase this documentary in DVD. I would recommend this product to everyone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2014
This is a the fascinating story of the oil businesses, from its rough and tumble beginnings in Pennsylvania and Ohio to its status today as the world's most vital international resource. It contains lots of excellent footage and portrayals of key players like John D. Rockefeller. Daniel Yergin's book is the basis of it, and he is interviewed extensively, along with a couple of other historians. This must be a popular documentary, because my local PBS station used to show it during fundraisers. I have been wanting this for a long time and was delighted to see it get released on DVD. So why is it such a lousy copy? It looks it was transferred from VHS tapes or something - images are a little blurry and the colors are way off. Hopefully there will be a better version put out sometime in the future, but for now, at the bargain price of under $10, grab it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2013
If you don't study the oil industry, you don't really have a prayer of understanding the 20th century. This remarkable documentary somehow condenses Yergin's absolutely brilliant 800 page book into a crash course in oil history and oil politics. As other reviewers have noted this DVD is sub-bootleg quality, but it's still the best $5 you'll ever spend on a documentary. Some years ago I contacted Yergin's company trying to get a copy; I guess a lot of others did as well. It may be like watching old VHS tapes, but at least it's available.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2015
The "Prize" is one of those documentaries that opens ones eyes to the truth behind Oil and both Political and Economic Power. It affects all of us---and as a society we have become addicted to petroleum's use. The first episode about the exploits of John D Rockefeller the rise of Standard Oil through the last episode about the Gulf War "Operation: Desert Storm." Very informative. You owe it to yourself to watch this documentary series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining and educational. This mini-series, 8 episodes, tells the story from inception to the 1990s. Oil's great men, great product, and great ruthlessness. It's all there with amazing footage of gushers, fires, and the movers-and-shakers of the oil fields. The series is based on a Pulitzer winning book by the same name, author Daniel Yergin. Content is excellent.

The series is both color and lots of black & white due to all of the archival photos and film footage used. That's expected, and well done. The story is done well, covering much of the highlights of the oil era. It leaves the question of the most modern period, 1992-today, and the future. The only downside is the disastrous decision to release this miniseries in 2013
WITHOUT SUBTITLES.
Some accents need them desperately, and not just for the hard of hearing.
Of course, that keeps the cost down, which is minimal for a well done 7 hour documentary. It's a worthy DVD for fans of history, military, and biography; not to mention oil areas of Arabs and Texans.

Episodes:
Our Plan
Empires of Oil
The Black giant
War and Oil
Crude Diplomacy
Power to the Producers
The Tinderbox
The New Oil Order
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2014
I would definitely recommend this DVD. While the quality of the video is not the best, the subject matter is a comprehensive history of the development of the oil industry in the United States and worldwide. Daniel Yergin, the Pulitzer prize-winning author of The Prize, is featured and Donald Sutherland does an excellent job as the narrator.

Viewing this video gives the viewer a much better understanding of the many factors that play a role in the development, availability, and price of oil. An excellent follow-up to this DVD is Yergin's book The Quest which brings us up to the present on various types of energy and energy security.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2013
I've loved this doc since I saw it on PBS years ago and had purchased the VCR, which was the only way it was available until now. So happy to have it on DVD. And that it's convenientlly available and for such a great price. Everyone in the U.S.A. should put this on theur Must-See List. And watch it at least a few times.
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