The World At War - Complete Set
DVD | Box Set
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Narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier, "The World at War" draws upon an extraordinary collection of WWII footage from newsreels, propaganda films, and home movies--including rare footage of Hitler taken by Eva Braun--gathered from both the victorious and the conquered. You'll hear interviews with those who were eyewitnesses to history: journalists, housewives, soldiers, and historians, as well as survivors of Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, and Dresden. Previously released on 26 tapes, this landmark boxed set is now on 9 cassettes or 5 DVDs and includes 2 bonus programs. Color and b&w, 26 hours.
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There is one negative in this edition. The original aspect ratio has been changed from 4:3 to 16:9. Some people will like this as it fills up the entire screen on today's HDTV's. I would have preferred they left it as it originally was filmed, but it's not a big deal. I still love this set.
Each episode of this series covers a specific narrative relating to the war such as starting with its causes, the fall of France, the Battle of Stalingrad, the Normandy invasion, and the war's end. Each episode mostly consists of archival footage that really show what it was like back then to fight in the war in all its horror. Also included are numerous interviews with people directly involved in the war. Most are soldiers, but there are also interviews with some civilians who got caught up in the crossfire such as those that were living in the occupied Netherlands or in Britain during the German bombings.
Not only are all twenty-six original episodes included in this DVD box set, but so are numerous bonus documentaries such as a two-part series on life in Nazi Germany and one focusing on the Holocaust.
My only disappointment in this series is that most of the focus is given to the European Theater of the war at the expense of the Pacific War.
Overall, this is an excellent series that is probably the most definitive piece on World War II. I would highly recommend this to those interested in history, especially that of World War II.
This however, was filmed in a time where people were more concerned about the Berlin wall or the USSR than whether or not X celebrity in fact broke up with Y celebrity. Accordingly, there are no mainstream influences in this documentary like there are on modern documentaries today.
You actually see unique footage, actual un-published warfare, warfare without the media's censorship, and you actually watch Albert Speer, Mantueffel, and Karl Dönitz, among others, being interviewed, and what they have to say on the war.
The actual WWII segment is about 20 hours long. And the other documentary segment is 10 hours long. More than enough to make any history buff sweat profusely in excitement for the coming hours of history.
What a great documentary. It's from the British side of things so you'll get more British fighting than American fighting... if you care about stuff like that.