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Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music Director's Cut (40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition with Amazon Exclusive Bonus Disc)

4.4 out of 5 stars 843 customer reviews

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(Jun 09, 2009)
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40th Anniversary Director's Cut
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(Mar 26, 1997)
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The Director's Cut
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(Jun 09, 2009)
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Director's Cut
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This director's cut of Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music, released to coincide with the 40th anniversary of that legendary concert event, has to be one of the most impressive DVD releases of 2009 or any other year--and that's even before you put the discs in your player. The box is designed to resemble a faux fringe jacket (with an iron-on patch attached), and inside are all manner of shiny bells and whistles, including a lucite paperweight with images from the event, a reprint of LIFE Magazine's original festival feature, and reproductions of various Woodstock memorabilia, right down to notes left by concertgoers ("Please meet me in front of stage. I have your insulin pills") and a three-day ticket to the event.

The movie itself now weighs in at nearly four hours long, and is presumably the way director Michael Wadleigh wanted it in the first place. The transfer is definitely an upgrade, as is the soundtrack, which was originally recorded on 8-track tape under less-than-ideal conditions. (Using modern digital technology, audio engineer Eddie Kramer, who was hunkered down in what passed for a recording booth at the Woodstock site, has painstakingly restored the soundtrack--even bringing in some of the musicians to re-play their original parts, as on Santana's "Evil Ways," one of the previously unreleased bonus performances. Considering that the event is something of a sacred cow by now, this trick may strike some as blasphemous. Then again, this is hardly the first time that a live concert recording has been sweetened, re-recorded, or otherwise enhanced. In fact, it'd be hard to find one that wasn't. And the additions would have gone largely unnoticed if we hadn't been told about them.) In the end, though, there's only so much improvement possible, and Woodstock was never about technical brilliance anyway. Nor was it mostly about the music, either. Nor was it mostly about the music, either. There are some terrific performances, from acoustic numbers by Richie Havens and Crosby, Stills & Nash to powerful electric contributions from Santana, Sly & the Family Stone, and Joe Cocker. But the truth is that Monterey Pop, which happened two years earlier, was the more exciting concert, and of the several artists who appeared on both bills (including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Who, Jefferson Airplane, and others), all of them made better music at the California festival. But Woodstock was always less a concert than an overall cultural happening, and Wadleigh and his crew, often employing an effective split-screen technique, do a superb job of corralling and conveying the remarkable atmosphere and spirit of it; you didn't have to be there to recognize that this was the zenith of the Age of Aquarius (it was also the twilight; with Altamont looming, things would never be this peaceful and idealistic again).

Of principal interest on the bonus discs will be two hours of additional musical performances, including both additional tunes by those who are in the main feature and appearances by five artists who for various reasons (ego, money, quality, time) never made it into the film at all; of the latter, Creedence Clearwater Revival is excellent, Paul Butterfield and Johnny Winter are good, Mountain is mediocre, and the Grateful Dead, with an interminable (38 minutes!) "Turn on Your Love Light," are awful. Meanwhile, "From Festival to Feature," a new, hour-long look at the making of the movie, is absorbing and minutely detailed. The Amazon-exclusive content (included on disc 4) is an additional 20 minutes of never-before-seen performance footage in from Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Country Joe and the Fish plus three bonus featurettes. --Sam Graham

Product Description
1969 was a year unlike any other. Man first set foot on the moon. The New York Mets won the World Series against all odds. And for three days in the rural town of Bethel, New York, half a million people experienced the single most defining moment of their generation; a concert unprecedented in scope and influence, a coming together of people from all walks of life with a single common goal: Peace and music. They called it Woodstock. One year later, a landmark Oscar®-winning documentary captured the essence of the music, the electricity of the performances, and the experience of those who lived it. Newly remastered, the film features legendary performances by 17 best selling artists.


Stills from Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music Director's Cut



Special Features

4-Hour Director’s Cut of the film

New Over 3 hours of New Bonus Content

2+ Hours of Performances Not Included in the Director’s Cut Including Newly Discovered Performances in their Entirety from Santana, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and more

1+ Hour Featurette Gallery – Woodstock: From Festival to Feature, showcasing interviews with Martin Scorsese, Michael Lang, Michael Wadleigh, Hugh Hefner, Michael Shrieve, and more and exploring topics including 3 Days in a Truck, No Rain! No Rain!, Living Up To Idealism and many more

New retrospective The Museum at Bethel Woods: The Story of the Sixties & Woodstock

Collectable premium items including a 60+ Page Life magazine reprint, a Woodstock patch, a lucite lenticular display featuring 3 vintage festival photos and more


Product Details

  • Actors: Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Roger Daltrey, Joe Cocker, Country Joe McDonald
  • Directors: Michael Wadleigh
  • Producers: Bob Maurice, Dale Bell
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009
  • Run Time: 184 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (843 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001V9LRV0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,039 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music Director's Cut (40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition with Amazon Exclusive Bonus Disc)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Bynum on June 9, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Woodstock, the 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition is an wonderful box but far from perfect. If you have the 1994 Director's Cut you already have the meat of this box set. The extra songs are great (really!) but only worth paying for if you're itching for any new footage. Of course, if you don't already have a version of the Woodstock concert on DVD, then by all means get this box. The extra DVD contains three songs from the Creedence Clearwater Revival set which is fantastic to finally see (along with extra songs from another dozen groups). And PLEASE buy if from Amazon as they include their own exclusive DVD with a few very rare songs (limited time). The Life magazine reprint is fun but I would have preferred they replaced most of the "stuff" with another DVD. My personal peeve is the absence of Melanie. Even it you get this box set, it will still be worth the money to buy the 2 DVD set of +Jimi Hendrix: Live at Woodstock+ and (if you still have a VHS player that works) its also worth seeking out the VHS tape from 1991 titled, +Woodstock: The Lost Performances+ which contains a hour of songs that are not in the new box set. The extra songs in the new box set are not integrated into the Movie, so you will have to change DVD's to see all the songs of a particular group. Perhaps when the 50th Anniversary rolls around we will finally get a box that puts all the performance footage together as it ought to be. If not, maybe we can have our Cryogenically frozen heads defrosted in time for the 100th Anniversary (don't count on it). Oh, as to the complaints of others about the songs being "corrected", just ignore them, the sound is great.
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Format: Blu-ray
Since Amazon is ALWAYS very lacking in details about their DVD or Blu-Ray products, here is the press release that gives more detail (was on The Home Theater Forum):

WHV Press Release: Woodstock 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition (DVD/BD)

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"Few documentaries have captured a time and place more completely, poignantly, and ... entertainingly." -- Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert

"Not just a great slice-of-time documentary but the ultimate rock concert movie."
-- Los Angeles Times, Chris Willman

Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music
The Director's Cut
40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition

Celebrating the Greatest Rock Concert in History!
On Blu-ray and DVD June 9 from Warner Home Video

Three hours of enhanced content includes two hours of
bonus performances, some unearthed after four decades,
with five groups who performed but never appeared in the film

Burbank, CA, March 11, 2009 - Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music - the four-hour director's cut of the 1970 Oscar®-winning documentary about the landmark music event that featured some of the greatest rock 'n' roll performers in history -- will be released June 9 in a spectacular new limited, numbered Blu-ray and DVD Ultimate Collector's Edition (UCE). With two extra hours of rare performance footage -- some of it newly-discovered, some only seen in part and some never seen at all -- the UCE is destined to make its own history. Details of the new releases will be featured at the South by Southwest Music + Film Festival where Warner Home Video will offer festival goers a first look at the new high definition picture and sound on March 21.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
3 hours 44 minutes 19 seconds long (edit), probably the greatest music event ever, a remarkable documentary; finally meets the sound and visual treament it always deservered (Blu-Ray and Dolby TruHD).

For those familiar with the movie, you've never seen this film in such perfection. A pristine or incredibly well cleaned print of this film was lovingly transfered to 1080p resolution. The transfer is so good, you can actually see the grain of the film. There is no more that can be done to improve video at home. I'm pretty certain that the theater sound systems were nowhere near up to the level of home theater today. The addition of rear channels and subwoofers, and given the limitations of the original recording, just can't get better. Since this film is all about the music, what could possibly be better? There were times when the couch rattled with the power of the bass. The one nit, the surrounds tend to be a bit loud, so the soundstage gets a little confused. I'll take that any day of the week to hear this music the way it was recorded.

For those new to Woodstock - buy this version. The music: some of the best rock, folk, and blues music ever. Hendrix, The Who, Jefferson Airplane - the gods of rock and roll. Crosby, Stills and Nash, Joan Baez, John Sebastian, Janis Joplin, Arlo Guthrie - the crossover gods of folk music. Canned Heat, Joe Cocker, Ten Years After - crossover blues.

The Jimi Hendrix' three songs are almost worth the price alone - the greatest guitar player ever, playing to a very small crowd at the end of Woodstock (that will teach people that leave early to beat the traffic).

The movie is what documentary film making is all about, capture the moment, render the feeling, place the audience in the event.
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