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When it Was a Game: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]

4.8 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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(Jun 07, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

For the first time in the full three-part HBO® series on Blu-ray, the greatest legends of baseball history are vividly brought to life through never-before-seen home movie footage and memorable storytelling from fans and players alike. See Hall of Famers including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Sandy Koufax. Relive precious lost moments from teams like the "Gas House Gang" Cardinals, the New York Giants, and Brooklyn Dodgers. Experience epic ballparks like Ebbets Field, Briggs Stadium, and Crosley Field. Marvel at the remarkable, changing face of baseball through the years - spearheaded by Jackie Robinson in 1947. Also featuring insightful narration, interviews, and remembrances from celebrities, stars, writers, and sportscasters, When It Was A Game: The Complete Collection captures the full magic of America's National Pastime as you've always imagined - the way it really was.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    General Audience
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2011
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QRUN8M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,317 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "When it Was a Game: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I have been an avid baseball fan since 4 yrs. old. (1951) I am a collector of baseball sports memorabilia going back to late 20's. The series, "When it was a game" was an absolute delight. It finally placed faces to names I have collected for over 50 yrs. The 8 and 16 mm made the viewing even more spellbounding. It made me feel like I actually took the photos. It is refreshing to see my hero's in everyday circumstances; snapshots of the best of the best as ordinary people. The movies were well-done, I was not able to stop viewing until I have watched all three DVD's. This is the best collection of home movies of hall of famers I have ever seen. I would recommend this collection to any baseball fan who truly wants to reward himself with the very best footage of his favorite leaguer. I will cherish the entire set.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"When It Was A Game" was a labor of love, and when it was first televised on HBO the eyes of baseball fans were riveted and amazed. All 3 of these projects consist of "home movies" (usually shot in 8 mm), often shot by the players themselves. But almost all of these films are in vivid color - and to see the names that haunt Cooperstown in lifelike tones is an almost religious experience. It would be similar if it were possible to see color footage from the Civil War or the Constitutional Convention. Okay - I'm stretching it a little, but not by much. Baseball fans have always had a little historian in them, and although you'd be hard-pressed to find, for example, the sports fanatic who could tell you how many touchdown passes Unitas threw or how many points Wilt Chamberlain wound up with, even casual baseball fans knew numbers like 61 (the number of Home Runs Roger Maris hit in 1961), 56 (the number of consecutive games Joe DiMaggio hit safely in during the summer of 1941), 714 (Babe Ruth's lifetime home run total) and zero (the number of Brooklyn Dodgers who got on base during Don Larsen's perfect game of 1956.) If you took only the "named events" of the New York Giants at the famed Polo Grounds you could start with "the shot heard 'round the world" (Bobby Thompson's home run off Ralph Branca winning the 1951 National League pennant) and "the catch" (Willie Mays' amazing over-the-shoulder catch of Vic Wertz' 475 foot drive to deep center field, saving the game and inspiring the Giants to win the 1954 World Series.)

For fans who like their baseball heroic, "When It Was A Game" brings their heroes to full-color life.

Appropriate music and reverent narration add to the historic but vibrant qualities of the works.
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Format: DVD
Released prior to Ken Burns' wonderful documentary, 'BASEBALL,' this 3-part series offers a priceless collection of color 8mm home movies depicting images of everything to do with major league baseball. You get the superstars, the forgotten, the ballparks - there's a little bit of everything. We see an aged Cy Young and a retired Babe Ruth with a young Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle. The beautiful original musical score sets an attitude of reverence for the entire film. There are interviews with several former players detailing life in the 'big leagues,' and all the reflections are heard amidst the original color film. For those of us in our forties and younger, our mindset of life in America during the first half of the twentieth century exists primarily in black and white images - this series alters all of that. It was fascinating for me to see the original colors of the uniforms and panned sequences of stadiums long since gone. All in all, this is a superlative effort by individuals who truly cared about what they were doing. This is a 'must own' for long time baseball fans. (I own the VHS tapes of this series and have yet to see the DVD; as a result, I am unaware if any additional sequences have been included)
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Format: DVD
I have owned the VHS version of WIWaG II for years and rewatched it a few weeks ago. After seeing it, I decided to order the full DVD set. As a boy growing up in the fifties and sixties, baseball was everything for myself and my friends from end of snow to start of snow; it was literally what we lived for. So, this set, especially the volumes II and III, is heaven on earth. The memories it brings back are crystal clear- baseball cards, sitting at Fenway watching Williams, Piersal and Malzone, and Saturday afternoon games on TV with Dizzy Dean and Buddy Blatner.

However, in that "idyllic" youth, there were obviously some things that I missed as well. All three of the DVDs, but especially #III, provide some outstanding social commentary about the people and the times, The players were essentially serfs for the owners and the racial injustices and inequities were horrific. In many ways, I'm not sure that things today are much better, but they certainly are different.

This set is a wonderful remembrance of a time that, for many of us, was almost mythical in its enjoyment. In addition it provides a healthy dose of reality for those of us who, even today, might remain somewhat jaded by the past. I heartily recommend it to baseball fans of all generations!
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