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History of the 80's
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A major appeal of the series is the broad sweep of the project -- some ten hours devoted to reviewing the entire decade, with approximately an hour devoted to each year. That is certainly far more ambitious than any other available documentary on the '80s.
Another draw is the use of footage drawn from the ABC News archives. During the 1980s, ABC News had some of the finest journalists and news operations in the business, especially in the area of foreign affairs. That international orientation is readily apparent, as much time is devoted to Lebanon, the Soviet Union, Libya, etc. Most of the rest of the series focuses on domestic news events. For those who are primarily interested in the cultural phenomenons of the 1980s, like breakdancing, the Rubik's Cube, Pac-Man, or Boy George, this documentary will be a disappointment.
In the end, despite the somewhat amateur trappings of this series, if you're interested in a good introduction to the domestic and international events of the 1980s, you will be pleasantly surprised. This is one of MPI's more solid offerings.
The first episode on each dvd starts off with a fast retrospective of what events are upcoming on that dvd. This isn't necessary at all and a waste of time.
Each episode is one year in the 1980's. The events for each year are mainly news-related and they should have stuck to that and not also include a bit about top current movies out in each year. Really, the news events themselves were plenty.
It is interesting to see again the news stories of the failed rescue mission to release the hostages in Iran, the Russian denial of shooting down Flight 007, Middle East tensions and alliances, the resistance to equal pay for women in the US, and Reagan's happy announcement on the White House steps regarding deregulating the Savings and Loans industry. I found the dvds interesting from a historical perspective 20+ years later. This set would be good for teachers to assign a follow-up of the events, politics and significant people of that decade in these news stories.
The quality of the picture and sound is on a par with tv broadcast news video at that time. I found the set engaging and recommend it.
Much has already been mentioned by the 2 reviewers prior to me. At first, it seemed very amateur, as the intro went on for nearly 5 minutes, and featured very brief clips of news from that specific year, 1980, where I began with this documentary set. I fast-forwarded, hoping this was not all the documentary was; a background of the planet earth with news clips flying in and out.
Thankfully, it wasn't, and things picked up with the narration, more focus on each subject, etc. I have yet to watch all the years in this set, but so far it's off to a good start and I'm happy with my purchase. Each year seems to be about 55 minutes long and there is only so much information can be crammed into that block of time. Still, it's interesting enough and if I feel something is covered in not enough depth, I can search on the computer.
Vintage newsclips help to keep this from being boring, and the narration is decent. Reading on Amazon that this documentary is nearly ONLY newclips was part of what sold me on this set. The narration seems to only be there when needed, and never seemed obtrusive.
I don't think it's worth the Full retail price, maybe half of it at the most Look at Amazon's marketplace to find it for less.
This was not a reasonable decision but an emotional one. I might have acted hastily but what was done was done.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a dated (1990) collection produced by ABC News. As you might imagine, it's very news-y...in fact it's world news-y, as the source for nearly all of what is included is the... Read morePublished on March 18, 2014 by The Phantom
Man; we seem to forget how much was going on in this time. So much political and social unrest was going on. Makes what’s going on now look like child’s play.Published on December 28, 2012 by Joseph
A good basic overview of the 1980s. Presents the material in a straightforward, but uninspiring manner. Read morePublished on June 1, 2009 by Jeffery W. Fallis