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Woody Guthrie: This Machine Kills Fascists


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Product Details

  • Actors: Billy Bragg, Arlo Guthrie, Harold Leventhal, Pete Seeger, Nora Guthrie
  • Directors: Stephen Gammond
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Snapper UK
  • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2008
  • Run Time: 160 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FP2ZY4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,875 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

This film chronicles the life and achievement of Woody Guthrie, the most important folk/protest singer of his generation, whose significance today can be measured by the pantheon of artists including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Bono and Willie Nelson who acknowledge their debt to him.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This is a highly informative, enjoyable documentary life of Woody Guthrie. It is filled with a host of interviews with people who either knew Guthrie (including his sister and some of his children) or have been students of his life. There are a lot of great photos, footage shot in locales key to Woody's story, and what little footage there is of Woody performing. But despite all this, the documentary, despite the richness of the source material and collaborators, lacks a lot in the production department. It is filled with odd with odd decisions, such as having a large percentage of the narration by Billy Bragg take place onscreen. Indeed, the decision to use Billy Bragg is odd. I love Billy Bragg, own many of his albums, and have seen him twice live, and I understand the role that Bragg has played in promoting his music, but I just can't believe that Bragg, with his heavy English accent, was the best choice to narrate this quintessential American story. Aesthetically, the documentary feels like something made for a local PBS station.

Nonetheless, the film is a treasure trove of interviews about Woody. I'd read earlier Joe Klein's biography of Guthrie (back when I thought the now right-wing Democrat Klein -- seriously, why does the man still even call himself a Democrat? -- was a leftist) and even Woody's own somewhat fictional account of his own life BOUND FOR GLORY. So even while this is not a lovely film, it is just an essential resource. The great interviews just keep coming and coming, some of them humorous, some of them insightful, some of them tragic. The tragic ones come from the stories from when he suffered from Huntington's Chorea. The story of his losing his abilities due to the disease is part of the lore of American music. And it is sad.
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Format: DVD
Most of the points made in this space in an April 1, 2006 review of Woody Guthrie's CD "This Land Is Your Land", reposted directly below, and his place in the folk pantheon, his work and his influence are germane to this extremely informative, well-produced almost three hour film documentary of the life and times of the legendary folk troubadour, "Woody Guthrie And His Guitar: This Machine Kills Fascists". I will make additional points at the end:

"*A Populist Folk Singer For The Ages- The Dust Bowl Refugee- Woody Guthrie

CD REVIEW

This Land Is Your Land -Woody Guthrie, Smithsonian Folkways, Washington, D.C., 1997

Although this space is mainly dedicated to reviewing political books and commenting on past and current political issues literary output is hardly the only form of political creation. Occasionally in the history of the American and international left musicians, artists and playwrights have given voice or provided visual reminders to the face of political struggle. With that thought in mind, every once in a while I will use this space to review those kinds of political expression.

This review is being used to describe several of Woody Guthrie's recordings. Although I have listened to most of his songs and recordings these represent those songs that best represent his life's work.

My musical tastes were formed, as were many of those of the generation of 1968, by Rock & Roll music exemplified by The Rolling Stones and Beatles and by the blues revival, both Delta and Chicago style. However, those forms as much as they gave pleasure were only marginally political at best. In short, these were entertainers performing material that spoke to us. In the most general sense that is all one should expect of a performer.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence Cohn on August 13, 2008
Format: DVD
Excellent omnibus of modern
American folk music. Made
w/love and care. Should be
in everyone's collection.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Megan on January 6, 2009
Format: DVD
I haven't watched it because I gave it to my boyfriend for Christmas, but he was very happy with it. Item was exactly as described and shipped quickly. No complaints!
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