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Showing 1-10 of 259 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 272 reviews
on December 3, 2016
I was so afraid of this being a movie I remembered differently than it was. I hadn't seen it in OMG! 40 damn years?! Oh- sorry 'bout that! Any whoo- this movie was wonderful!!! I felt like it was edited only slightly, but not enough that it effected the story. I am very grateful the quality was top notch! And the production aspect was absolutely phenomenally detailed. Right down to the wooden planks for plates, leaf beds and the hazards of just being human.
The story is an amazing recount of how life WAS as we moved west. Conrad Richter (original author) was a naturalist, worried about the sanctity of the land. It comes through wonderfully, not preachy until the end but it is so appropriate you only feel in agreement.
Today we hear the words "pioneering woman" and we tend to think of "off-grid" living. But the journey this brave, fairly smart but "un-educated" woman takes is PURE. It may surprise you to see how scarce and unpolished people were; how somethings were greatly different but human interaction so much the same. The splendor and brutality of Nature revealed: un-developed and just life in general, played out in a time long ago and not often revealed to our "modern minds".
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on May 10, 2010
The story is about pioneers in the Ohio country in the early 1800s. It deals with life as it really was in those days. The story mainly revolves around Elilabeth Montgomery and how she deals with all the hardships that she and her broken family go through. There are many side stories dealing with other members of the family and neighbors. The acting was good and the locales were acurate. It was very entertaining. I would highly recomend this mini-series.
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on December 30, 2012
"The Awakening Land" happens to be a late 70's mini series based upon Conrad Richter's book trilogy. The story illustrates a frontier style tale, showing a group of settlers moving to the very rural Ohio Valley in the late 1700's, and ultimately developing a thriving town and region well into the mid 1800's. The story is excellent at showing the viewer the transformation and progression of the individual characters, as well as the overall development of the Ohio area. The production quality of this mini series is very high, with excellent casting, great acting, and spectacular filming locations to match the wonderful cinematography. The pacing for this mini series is not particularly "slow" or "fast", just very steady and even keeled.
Just Great!!!

The DVD set offered by Warner Archive Collection is of excellent quality. The five and a half hour mini series is segmented into 3 parts, with one part on each of the 3 discs. Each disc opens with a short descriptive advertisement about the Warner Archive Collection, and then advances to the most simplistic "menu" screen you will ever see on a DVD, with basically one option offered, to "play" the DVD content (no chapter menu, setup, etc). The simplicity of the DVD's happens to be more than made up for with an excellent 16:9 (1.77 to 1) picture quality, smooth playback, and crisp/clear audio with adequate volume. Segments (discs) number 1 and 2 each have a runtime of approximately one hour and forty minutes, with the 3rd segment (disc) running longer at approximately 2 hours and fifteen minutes. The total runtime for the mini series is just over five and a half hours.

When played using a nice upscaling player, and viewed on a decent quality HDTV, the overall picture quality is probably an "8" out of 10. While there happen to be a few very brief scenes showing dust or light artifacts in the print, it is extremely minimal (hardly noticed). The contrast is excellent, the colors are strong, and the clarity is very nice. The audio soundtrack is fairly simple, but does offer crisp and clear sound without any noticed concerns. Overall, the viewing experience is very enjoyable, even beyond the subject matter.

A well crafted story, the well known and very effective primary cast, quality acting by the supporting cast, scenic filming locations, and cinematography techniques, all greatly enhance the entertainment value of this 3 disc, 3 part, 5.5 hour, late 1970's mini series.

Watching this series happens to be a great way to spend a "rainy" Saturday or Sunday.

"The Awakening Land" is definitely worthy of your time.

Hope this helps, . . . GOOD LUCK!!!
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on April 18, 2011
When my mom saw this movie on TV 30 years ago, she was so inspired by Elizabeth Montgomery's portrayal of a strong, empowered woman that when she had me a year later she named me Sayward. Since I was a little girl my parents have raved about this movie, so when I saw that it was finally for sale I bought it for my mom's birthday a few weeks ago and we've been meeting up to watch the installments together. We've only watched the first two disks, but haven't had any problems with sound or picture quality like others have mentioned.

Since this movie has so much personal significance to us, I didn't mind paying the $30+ price, but considering some poor editing and the low budget nature of the movie, I don't know if that price would be worth it to everyone else. It's important to keep in mind that this is a 1970s TV mini-series, so production expectations should not be high. By today's standards, the low budget scenery and costumes, choppy story line, and poor editing have only added to our fun and have made the movie more enjoyable. Although the lack of transitions in the plot is a bit frustrating, the characters and acting are great. The movie has a great mix of history, romance, action, tragedy, and suspense. I love the main character and can see why I was named after her.

If you're interested in pioneer stories and frontier life, or want to watch Elizabeth Montgomery fend off a rapist by biting off his ear, you'll love this movie.
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on October 10, 2013
I happened to read Conrad Richter's trilogy in High School just a year or so before this miniseries was shown on tv, and loved the adaptation when the series aired. I felt at the time it was better than the books. That was many years ago and though I still have the books I have been looking and waiting for another chance to see the series ever since. I re-read the books a couple years ago and was not as impressed these many years and many books later as I was as a teen. In fact I was quite disappointed by the careful attention to detail and plot which then would jump ahead, skip details and switch focus and lose the depth and momentum it had so painstakingly crafted to that point. The books were written and published many years apart and it shows in the differences in the writing.

I was worried that like some other movies and series I had enjoyed so much in earlier times, that after years of anticipation when I finally would have an opportunity to see them again I would be greatly disappointed -- but this was even better than I had remembered. I had planned on watching one episode at a time over several days, but couldn't stop watching.

Anyone who has any interest at all in history, how and why or ancestors came to settle the "wild west" of Ohio, in romance, nature, family drama will truly enjoy this. The acting is superb -- the best of the books is presented. The characters well written and portrayed. Elizabeth Montgomery and Hal Holbrook truly mastered their parts. I had forgotten Jane Seymour was in this, it was before she came into her own and she also is excellent. It ends where the books should have.
I can't recommend this highly enough, it truly is an "experience" to watch as much now as over 30 years ago.
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on August 15, 2017
Fabulous story and acting. You see things you'd never think about. Like, "what if a person was attacked by a rabid animal?" "How did pioneers face the challenges life brought to them? "What were some of the qualities that made settlers successful?"
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on July 9, 2015
I recorded this on VHS tape when it originally aired but missed the first ten minutes. I think I also missed some scenes when I forgot to resume taping after commercials. Needless to say, that tape was pretty grainy, incomplete, and hard to watch after all this time. I was so happy to finally find this mini-series on DVD. I love the story and think it is Elizabeth Montgomery's best work. Her character, Sayward, is just enchanting. She is illiterate and uneducated but has more common sense and gumption that about any character you will ever see. She named her first child "Resolve" because she thought it was important to give a child a name that requires something of them. This movie portrays the hardships and loneliness the early settlers must have experienced. I have no idea how historically accurate it is, but it is a captivating depiction of early settlers. While the DVD's don't have any bonus features, they are of high quality and are obviously cut from the master and are NOT copies of VHS tapes like some DVD's of movies from the 1980's.
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on December 17, 2012
I read the books and they are among my all time favorites. Even though the TV series is not quite the same as the books, it was still worth watching at the time and memorable enough that I had searched many times over the years for a home video version. The books by Conrad Richter are beautifully written and depict the stark circumstances frontier people faced in the late 18th century. The TV series packages the human stories better for our contemporary audiences. I hope some viewers will feel prompted to read the books and enjoy the true artistry of language and early American stories they contain.

Having so enjoyed the books, some of the changes, omissions, and contrivances of the TV series were distracting. The discs can only fast-forward or rewind in 10 minute chunks, not with the fluidity we normally expect even on tapes. It is wonderful to see the series again after all these years of waiting. The entire series, over 5 hours, is presented, without commercials, of course, on 3 discs . There are obvious fades for the commercial breaks, but none long enough for a bathroom break. Sitting through an entire disc was challenging in that regard. There is an apprecated option for captioning. Worth the wait, the cost, and the viewing length. I recommend the series and the books upon which it is based. Real stories of the beginnings of our country and its progress over time.
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on January 17, 2015
I'm so glad the movie became available in DVD. Loved the books ,loved the miniseries I loaned the DVD to a friend, who loaned it to a friend etc. Guess I will have to buy another copy. My mother (who has passed), loved to read and told me of the books by Conrad Ritcher. At around 16 years old, I found the books at a used bookstore and found myself transported back in time.The movie provides a a more realistic view of what life was like for the pioneers who settled this country. The movie follows Sayward from a young teen, to an married woman, and recounts the struggles for survival that were required. It depicts how hard life was for the women who helped found this country, and shows how one woman could influence those around her. The series is not the typical TV movie, where the women don't have a hair out of place, are dressed nicely etc. I'm tired and need to clean up the kitchen, so I'll cut this short and say: Gather your girlfriends, their daughters and spend a weekend treat with this series. It will be worth your will.

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on December 13, 2015
It took me over 30 years to get around to viewing this one. Was it worth the wait? Well... As far as realism is concerned, I can say that this great grandson of sod-busting pioneers was comforted to know that the people who settled Ohio never had trouble finding plenty of milliners, clothiers, hairdressers, barbers, & pure soap & water. The sketches &, (later) photographs I have of my ancestors suggests a rather more primitive existence. Now that I think of it, this series is less a depiction of the hardships of pioneers than a soap opera set among trees. Still. I have to admit that once I put aside my incredulity, the series did have its enjoyable moments. Not quite a dead loss, just more about histrionics than history.
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