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The War: A Film by Ken Burns [Blu-ray]

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,590 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The War will is a seven - episode series, produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, that will examine the myriad ways in which the Second World War touched the lives of every family on every street in every town in America. By telling the stories of ordinary people in four quintessentially American towns Waterbury, Connecticut, Mobile, Alabama, Sacramento, California, and the tiny farming town of Luverne, Minnesota the series will portray this enormous worldwide catastrophe on an intimate, human scale. The War will intertwine vivid eyewitness accounts of the harrowing realities of life on the front lines with reminiscences of Americans who never left their home towns, and who tried their best to carry on with the business of daily life while their fathers and brothers and sons were overseas. The film will honor and celebrate the bravery, endurance, and sacrifice, of the generation of Americans who lived through what will always be known simply as The War.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Box set, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Pbs (Direct)
  • DVD Release Date: January 2, 2013
  • Run Time: 900 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,590 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007BMIFI4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,754 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By BK on September 25, 2007
Format: DVD
This series is not a comprehensive account of the Second World War - it was not meant to be. It is unabashedly Americentric - and a "Peoples History" of WWII. It does not chronicle every detail of American involvement in places like North Africa( for that, read Rick Atkinson's Pulitzer winner An Army at Dawn - 5 stars). There are no generals or politicians. It fails to chronicle the struggles of my in-laws during the Blitz or much of the suffering felt around the globe during this terrible period of our history. It is not the BBC's The World at War. Why remake The World at War? I was fortunate enough to attend the premier in Waterbury Connecticut, where Mr. Burns addressed all of these issues. The War tries to convey how this momentous period defined the lives in four American towns that could really be Anytown, USA. It tries to explain why my grandfather has never really been able to speak about his experiences and his refrain of, "I don't need to see the movie, I starred in the original." It also explains much about my grandmother and the world my parents grew up in. Some of the hundreds of veterans at the screening were watching with their families for the first time what they had spent half a century trying to forget and had never been able to talk about. The emotion in the Palace Theater by the end of the screening was almost overwhelming. Most of the men who fought this war are dead, and the rest soon will be. The documentary tries to capture what remains of their stories before it is too late. I doubt most of the men fighting over there were as overly concerned with a complete picture and full understanding of the war as they were staying alive and hoping to return home. Few documentaries have explored in great depth the homefront beyond the newsreels of Rosie the Riveter.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
It sure would be nice if people would quit trying to project their own agendas onto this documentary. Ken Burns didn't set out to make the ultimate World War Two narrative; just because a bunch of people expected that he would, doesn't mean that his film is somehow lacking.

Burns did exactly what he said he was going to do: tell the American experience of World War Two from the point of view of everyday, average American citizens.

I'm sure that Burns and co-producer Lynn Novick would be the first to agree that viewers looking for more "big picture" information (about political alliances, military strategy, technological development, the war's global impact) would do well to supplement this series with other sources of information. Burns isn't telling those stories, and the omissions are on purpose. This film looks at the war from a different angle, adding a new layer of social history to the big stories that have already been told. I think people should judge this work on the merits of the goals that Burns set out for himself, and not simply project their own personal historical and political wishlists onto it. (Axton)
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By Diane M. Crook on September 30, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After watching the latest episode of "The War" - FUBAR...I now know why my father who served this county during WW II did not like Thanksgiving. All those years of never knowing, and to learn 20 years after his death why he felt the way he did. I'm sure that by the end of the series, I will understand why he felt the same about Christmas. Till the day he died, he refused to talk about being a Army medic in WW II. I have kept all the letters he and my mother wrote each other during this time. I've never been able to read these letters, but now feel it is time to do so.......My prayers and respect for all who served. For those still alive - God Bless.
9 Comments 261 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After watching the HBO DVD program "Band of Brothers" this summer I became interested in WWII history. As a late baby-boomer I had forgotten much of what I had ever learned about this time period other than Pearl Harbor, D-day, and the two atom bombs the US dropped on Japan.

Ken Burns has done an outstanding job with this new series. He tells the history of the war in it its many theaters, but more importantly, he tells the history from the average person's viewpoint. This is what makes the series sometimes hard to watch because it makes the horrors of war all too real. Hearing a private fighting in the Phillipines realize that his life is "expendable", hearing a d-day veteran who lost his brother in the same campaign say that he would have rather returned without his arms and legs than without his brother, seeing the massive toll of lives in lesser known (at least to my generation) operations such as market garden brings the history of this war into our hearts and minds. I've learned about America's isolationist policy before entering the war as well as much more detail about the war. It was a horrible war and my heart aches for all of the lives lost. I hope this scope of war is never again fought on our planet. This is why I'm purchasing this series - for my children to watch and learn from when they are old enough. This is history that should not be forgotten. Thank you Ken Burns.
8 Comments 56 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I think people should see all seven parts before passing judgment. A recent review labeled THE WAR "garbage", indicating it was too "feminist". If this person had seen the episode entitled FUBAR and Burns' description of the Peleliu campaign, she would, I think, feel otherwise. Burns relied on the reminisces of E.B. Sledge whose WITH THE OLD BREED AT PELELIU AND OKINAWA is largely considered one of the finest memoirs to come out of the Pacific war, if not the entire war itself. The segment shows horrific footage of the savage fighting on the island and is anything but "girly", an extremely immature and poorly chosen term, especially for college student. In my estimation THE WAR is the most unique documentary yet on the conflict. Many have indicated a preferece for WORLD AT WAR, which was excellent in its own right, but Burns has given us a different perspective of l941-l945--a perspective that humanizes perhaps the most inhumane period in history.
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