The World at War
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Unsurpassed in depth and scope, its 26 hour-long programs feature an extraordinary collection of newsreel, propaganda, and home-movie footage drawn from the archives of 18 nations, including color close-ups of Adolf Hitler taken by his mistress, that present an unvarnished perspective of the war's pivotal events. Penetrating interviews with eyewitness participants--from Hitler's secretary to Alger Hiss to ordinary citizens who stood outside the battle lines--add spine-tingling, first-hand accounts to an already unforgettable viewing experience.
Informative and unbiased, THE WORLD AT WAR is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an International Emmy Award, The National Television Critic's Award for Best Documentary, and knighthood for its creator, Sir Jeremy Isaacs.
- 26 original episodes plus over 12 hours of bonus material (3 hours of new material)
- The Making of The World at War
- Bonus documentaries: "Secretary to Hitler," "The Two Deaths of Adolf Hitler," "Warrior," "Hitler's Germany: 1932-1939," "Hitler's Germany: 1939-1945," "The Final Solution," "From War to Peace"
- 30th anniversary feature-length retrospective film
- Gallery of photos from the Imperial War Museum collection
Top Customer Reviews
I'm going to focus my comments on the Blu-ray release for those who have the DVD release and are wondering if it's worth purchasing again on Blu-ray. I've had it on DVD for a while. When I made the move to Blu-ray part of me liked the idea of having my favorite documentary on Blu-ray, but I had to wonder how much value there would be in a Blu-ray version of bunch of WWII-era footage that was mostly black and white.
Thanks to the efforts of the folks at FremantleMedia, apparently quite a bit. Because the original The World at War was produced on tape for TV instead of on film there really wouldn't have been any value in simply transferring the original to Blu-ray. Old films transfer well to Blu-ray because film offers a lot of detail, but anything where the original source is tape produced for TV lacks the needed resolution to produce a quality Blu-ray.
So they did the only thing that made sense and basically recreated the series from scratch, starting with the original film and restoring that instead of working with the original series, and the results are by and large very successful.
Here's what you'll notice if you compare the two:
- The first thing you'll notice is that everything has been reframed to get a 16:9 image instead of the original 4:3. The purist in me doesn't like that as it means some portion of the image is always cut off.Read more ›
Narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier and covering all aspects of the war, this definitive series is used by many colleges and universities as a source for History and Documentary Film courses. There is an incredible depth of archive footage used; skilfully woven with interviews of major figures in the War from Britain, US, Canada, Europe and Japan. Many major eye-witness leaders and ordinary people who were still alive in 1981 contributed sometimes surprising, sometimes incredible, and sometimes haunting interviews. Yet, for all its skilful editing and historical sophistication, it is clearly presented and emotionally compelling. In my opinion, it is, along with Kenneth Clark's "Civilisation", the best ever produced British documentary.
What makes this a stellar and overpowering account of the War is Olivier's narration. Never blustery, patriotic, or theatrical, Sir Laurence delivers pointed, thoughtful analysis with his incredible command of English and oration. Music for the series was composed by Carl Davis and even the opening credits set an unforgettable tone in a haunting image of a child in a photograph, dissolving in flames. This series is for those trying to make sense of a 6 year period when the world went mad. Five Stars PLUS.
This brilliant television series deserved better. Thankfully, excellence of material far outweighs those errors A&E Home Video committed in producing the boxed set; but they are none the less aggravations which distract the viewer and hence detract from this release's expected quality.
My rating of three stars is the best compromise I could think of, between the one-star rating A&E Home Video deserves and the five-star rating I'd give the television series itself. One wonders, doesn't one, why no quality control was implemented prior to release of this product?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is an amazing series that combines actual wartime footage with interviews with actual participants from the war, from all sides. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Valerie Owens
A more in depth and 'cerebral' series, or maybe it's just Sir Laurence's narration. One of my favorite series!Published 15 days ago by Mrblotto
Best and most comprehensive World War II documentary ever! Great unseen original footage.Published 22 days ago by Dominik Katko
The World At War 1973/2013 A&E TV DVD version not rated
And wow I’m glad the fighting is over, because this is one mega-series. Read more
They re-broadcast this mini series on the American Heroes Channel occasionally and I have watched almost every episode some more than once. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Patrick
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|Difference between the 30th Anniversary edition and the original DVD...||
The difference is simple: The 30th Anniversary Edition (PBS calls it "The Collector's Edition" -- same thing) contains over 3 hours of bonus material. You want this one, not the earlier version.
Aug 2, 2006 by James Goodfellow | See all 6 posts
|Question about the history channel dvd||
The HBO version which precedes the A&E by three years is 1920 min long vs. the A&E which is about an hour or so longer (note specs as listed on Amazon are misleading: the timing quoted for the A&E is only for the core documentary, to which you have to add about 8 hours of supplementary material;... Read More
Dec 26, 2009 by I. Martinez-Ybor | See all 6 posts
|I Want to Know If The Set Has Closed Captions (CC), Than You||
Yes Sir it is denoted in the product description as having Closed Captions...
Oct 25, 2006 by Anonymous | See all 7 posts
|Blu-Ray version coming September 2010||
How do you know the original war footages were in 4:3? Maybe they had to be pan & scanned for the original video and now we are getting the full video?
Jul 9, 2010 by Amazon Customer | See all 8 posts
|English Closed Caption||
I just got this set for my dad and it does not have closed captions. Are you sure yours work?
Dec 19, 2006 by Duperdella | See all 9 posts
|The World At War||Be the first to reply|
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