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The World at War [Blu-ray]
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Informative and unbiased, THE WORLD AT WAR is the recipient of numerous accolades, including an International Emmy Award, The National Television Critics' Award for Best Documentary, and knighthood for its creator, Sir Jeremy Isaacs. Narrated by Academy Award winner Sir Laurence Olivier and painstakingly restored in 1080p high-definition (with newly-created 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks), this is epic history at its absolute best.
Bonus Documentaries: The Making of the Series, Secretary to Hitler, The Two Deaths of Adolf Hitler, Warrior, Hitler s Germany: The People s Community 1933-1939, Hitler's Germany: Total War 1939-1945, The Final Solution: Parts 1 and 2, and From War to Peace
Making the Series A 30th Anniversary Feature-Length Retrospective
The Restoring of THE WORLD AT WAR a brand-new feature detailing the meticulous restoration process
The Making of THE WORLD AT WAR
Gallery of Photos from the Imperial War Museum Collection
Famous Songs, Speeches, Quotes and Maps
Top Customer Reviews
I'm going to focus my comments on the Blu-ray release for those who have the DVD release and are wondering if it's worth purchasing again on Blu-ray. I've had it on DVD for a while. When I made the move to Blu-ray part of me liked the idea of having my favorite documentary on Blu-ray, but I had to wonder how much value there would be in a Blu-ray version of bunch of WWII-era footage that was mostly black and white.
Thanks to the efforts of the folks at FremantleMedia, apparently quite a bit. Because the original The World at War was produced on tape for TV instead of on film there really wouldn't have been any value in simply transferring the original to Blu-ray. Old films transfer well to Blu-ray because film offers a lot of detail, but anything where the original source is tape produced for TV lacks the needed resolution to produce a quality Blu-ray.
So they did the only thing that made sense and basically recreated the series from scratch, starting with the original film and restoring that instead of working with the original series, and the results are by and large very successful.
Here's what you'll notice if you compare the two:
- The first thing you'll notice is that everything has been reframed to get a 16:9 image instead of the original 4:3. The purist in me doesn't like that as it means some portion of the image is always cut off.Read more ›
Narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier and covering all aspects of the war, this definitive series is used by many colleges and universities as a source for History and Documentary Film courses. There is an incredible depth of archive footage used; skilfully woven with interviews of major figures in the War from Britain, US, Canada, Europe and Japan. Many major eye-witness leaders and ordinary people who were still alive in 1981 contributed sometimes surprising, sometimes incredible, and sometimes haunting interviews. Yet, for all its skilful editing and historical sophistication, it is clearly presented and emotionally compelling. In my opinion, it is, along with Kenneth Clark's "Civilisation", the best ever produced British documentary.
What makes this a stellar and overpowering account of the War is Olivier's narration. Never blustery, patriotic, or theatrical, Sir Laurence delivers pointed, thoughtful analysis with his incredible command of English and oration. Music for the series was composed by Carl Davis and even the opening credits set an unforgettable tone in a haunting image of a child in a photograph, dissolving in flames. This series is for those trying to make sense of a 6 year period when the world went mad. Five Stars PLUS.
This brilliant television series deserved better. Thankfully, excellence of material far outweighs those errors A&E Home Video committed in producing the boxed set; but they are none the less aggravations which distract the viewer and hence detract from this release's expected quality.
My rating of three stars is the best compromise I could think of, between the one-star rating A&E Home Video deserves and the five-star rating I'd give the television series itself. One wonders, doesn't one, why no quality control was implemented prior to release of this product?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Husband liked this for his Father's Day gift. He is a WWII buff; seems happy with it.Published 20 days ago by Judith H. Murray
This was easily the best and most comprehensive World War 2 documentary that I have ever watched. Documentary provides different perspectives and remains objective on all subjects,... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Kai
Best I have ever seen on WWII. Hard to stop watching! Pulls you in so well you will feel like you were a part of the time!Published 1 month ago by Arthurley
Great doc! After you wach this you'll have a hard time not comparing all others by this great work!!Published 1 month ago by James
This DVD set should never have been sold to me because it does not work in NZ - its out of region or similar.
In short, it does not and will not work
Super detailed, very clear DVDs. I saw this series when it came out in the 70s. Profound interviews. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Roman Sirwinski