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10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America (History Channel)

4.3 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Offering a fresh perspective on the American experience, 10 acclaimed documentary filmmakers direct ten pivotal moments in United States history and the often unexpected changes they triggered.

These critical but unsung pieces of history include a local rebellion that inspired a national constitution, bullets fired in Buffalo, New York, and even a crooner from Memphis who couldn't stand still. These are just a few of the fascinating subjects explored in 10 DAYS THAT UNEXPECTEDLY CHANGED AMERICA--10 riveting one-hour documentaries by 10 award-winning independent filmmakers. Together, the documentaries represent compelling stories about less well known events that serve as a lens with which to view the range of the American experience.

From the first massacre of Native Americans to the single bloodiest day in American history, from a courtroom battle of science vs. religion that still rages today to the racial murders that led to the Voting Rights Act, these are the events that tested America's soul and forged her destiny.

Amazon.com

Thoughtfully conceived and brilliantly executed, 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America is History Channel programming at its finest. As its title suggests, this series of ten one-hour documentaries does not necessarily represent the most important and well-known moments in American history (though some of them arguably qualify), but rather they are pivotal milestones that helped to forge and define the American character--events which, in retrospect, have had a profound influence on our ever-changing society. With this as their editorial mission, the History Channel's producers recruited ten highly acclaimed documentary filmmakers to direct each one-hour episode, each contributing their own unique approach to the material. Featuring several well-chosen and prestigious narrators including Jeffrey Wright, Martin Sheen, Joe Morton, Terry Kinney, and Campbell Scott, the results are uniformly excellent, representing a broad spectrum of documentary styles, visual techniques, and painstakingly accurate recreations and dramatizations of the chosen events.

From the very first slaughter of Native Americans by English settlers in 1637 ("Massacre at Mystic") to the civil rights movement's "Freedom Summer" of 1964, each episode places its one-day event in vivid historical context, concisely demonstrating how these events had a ripple effect on America's national identity. Some episodes are more experimental than others: Directed by Emmy-winner R.J. Cutler, "Shay's Rebellion: America's First Civil War" (1787) employs the uniquely expressionistic animation of Bill Plympton, far removed from the more familiar (but no less effective) style of dramatization included in "Einstein's Letter" (about the famed physicist's 1939 letter urging Franklin D. Roosevelt to develop nuclear weapons) or "Scopes: The Battle Over America's Soul" (about the sensational 1925 "Monkey Trial" over the teaching of evolution). With varying degrees of documentary ingenuity, other episodes cover the California gold rush of 1849; the Civil War's bloody battle of Antietam; the violent 1892 "Homestead Strike" of united laborers against Carnegie Steel; the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley; and the dynamic appearances of Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. Presented in chronological order, these ten films offer lasting value to history buffs, teachers, and anyone interested in understanding how American history was forged in the furnace of tumultuous change. The sole bonus feature is a 30-minute survey of each episode's director and their distinct methods of completing their assignments. Their cumulative efforts combine to form one of the most wide-ranging and fascinating series the History Channel has ever presented. --Jeff Shannon


Special Features

  • 30-Minute Behind-The-Scenes bonus featurette
  • Filmmaker Bios & Filmographies
  • Interactive Menus
  • Scene Selection

Product Details

  • Actors: Amy Arbizzani, H.W. Brands, John Milton Cooper, Kathleen Dalton, Ron Ferraro
  • Directors: Barak Goodman, Bruce Sinofsky, David Heilbroner, James Moll, Jeffrey Friedman
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: History Channel
  • DVD Release Date: June 27, 2006
  • Run Time: 460 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FBFYR8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,095 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America (History Channel)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Shannon Burwell on November 12, 2006
Format: DVD
I love these documentaries. I don't quite understand the viewpoint of the other review. I work in the film industry and these docs are extremely well made by the best directors in documentary filmmaking.

They picked days in history that lead up to great events - turning points. They highlighted parts of our history that we rarely hear about in school or otherwise and I found them fascinating. My husband and I watched them together and would have wonderful discussions afterward. The subject matter was thought provoking and I felt showed how events from our past affect the future.

Each one was done in a different style with a different director. It seemed to me that content dictated the each style - very well executed. I highly recommend these films. Bravo!
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I teach US History I & II and this 3-disc DVD set is a great supplement for my curriculum. The episodes are 30-40 minutes, which are a perfect lengths for my classes. The segments are age-appropriate and not too boring for high school students. This is a must-have whether you teach US I or II.
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This is very well done. I was able to show my classes the McKinley Assassination after catching this epeisode on TV. The students found it interesting and it definitly kept their attention. The portrayal of the famous people are genuine and helps you understand the importance of the event. Recommended addition for the US History classroom.
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we only watch three documentaries as part of this collection, but they are historical and thought provoking. the students are amazed at the reality of their history and the conversations are fascinating.
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As a high school teacher I was looking for a quality video to supplement my lecture and this fit the bill perfectly.Easy to follow and my students realy found each lesson enriching.
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The segments are a great companion to embed into my US History class. I usually teach about the subject and use the visuals to re-teach. The HS students enjoy them.
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Was Exactly What I Expected. Great Job On The Delivery time.This Series Is Really A Lot Better Without Commercials.A Very Educational series On So Different Dates In American History.
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I use it in school. Some very interesting things on it. The only problelm is that the sections are so long, the students sometimes looses interest.
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