The True Story of Alexander the Great (History Channel)
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Top Customer Reviews
For anyone who really likes this documentary, I would highly recommend "In the Footsteps of Alexander" by Michael Wood. In that DVD, Alexander's footsteps are re-traced from the time he left his home (never to see it again) until his death. It has many memorable scenes and fine commentary by Wood. Neither documentary provides an exhaustive portrait of the man but they do help you get there with further research.
However, if you know even the basics of what Alexander did, you'll find yourself a bit concerned with the way events are told.
If you're an expert, you'll feel bitter at how this "documentary" is very biased.
It tells a very informative account of Alexander's exploits, with the typical documentary style of a narrator along with the side-angle shot of historians and experts talking about subjects, along with some re-enactments of some events and the commercial breaks, even re-enactments of Plutarch, Arrian, Curtius Rufus, and such telling us directly what they wrote about Alexander.
However, the documentary leaves no room open for ambiguity, as the historians give their one-sided opinions on Alexander's character and the documentary goes along with that without showing other views.
For one, the documentary (this includes many of the experts' testimony) takes the ancients' words and twists their ambiguity for their own interpretation. Alexander is portrayed as a power-hungry, greedy, drunken little boy who isn't happy doing anything but conquering people. When he kills Philotas, he is obliged to kill Parmenion, but the documentary simply leaves it at "he also had his father Parmenion killed" without further explanation, leaving non-experts feeling as if Alexander brutally had Parmenion killed just because he was Philotas's father.Read more ›
The battle scenes and the enactment of the drama are very amateurish. It's almost like you'd rather see Peter Woodward sitting behind a desk talking about Alexander. I didn't even really consider the bias elements that another reviewer noted as I sat uninterested through the program. It would have been okay if I was catching it on TV, but I soon felt that it was a waste of money and not deserving of being in my collection of all things Alexander.
You'll get a LOT more out of reading a few good books about Alexander and watching the Oliver Stone movie (the third 'Final Cut' version). It's better than worthless as it attempts to teach the viewer at least something about Alexander - hence two stars - but it'd be best to catch this on the History Channel sometime rather than spending the money on such a poorly conceived program.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this after watching Stone's "Alexander, Revisited." Was a good, more comprehensive, reality check. It was entertaining enough to keep two teenage boys interested.Published 23 months ago by M. Atherton
Having waded through Oliver Stone’s lengthy “Alexander” and coming away with not much understanding of what made Alexander great, this short-by-comparison documentary (150 minutes)... Read morePublished on March 20, 2014 by J.D. Romann, 'Whet' author
This item arrived before estimated time. Get ready hear the story of one of the greatest Generals of all time warts and all from his problems with his father to his alcoholism and... Read morePublished on December 30, 2013 by Avenger
Hard to cram a 20,000 mile march of conquest to save western civilization and unite most of the known world into an hour but I'd rate this effort well worth watching.Published on April 26, 2013 by Col D.
...I did and was glad to save over $10 compared to other retailers on this excellent docudrama about Alexander the Great's life. Read morePublished on October 27, 2011 by nettie7
Great addition to my history collection. I seen several documentaries and read many books on Alexander.....no matter what i learn about him, he was still an amazing leader of men.Published on June 28, 2011 by Alexa Thatcher
A must buy for anyone who is interested to learn about the history of Alexander the great. It is really awesome to watch this DVD and it should be a collector's itemPublished on December 12, 2010 by Aveek
I ordered this movie right around Christmas time and I was super worried that it wouldn't arrive before Christmas but it was delivered immediately and in perfect condition!Published on January 24, 2010 by Jessica A. Figueroa