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Battlefront Europe (World War II Collection)

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WWII Collection: Battlefront Europe (DVD) (5-Pack)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 27 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Five different looks at one world war Aug. 10 2008
By mrliteral - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm sure there are statistics out there somewhere that could verify it, but my guess is that more movies have been done about World War II than any other war. Certainly, if you wanted to come up with a boxed set of movies about the War of 1812, you'd be hard-pressed to come up with one (the only one that comes to mind is The Buccaneer, dealing with Andrew Jackson, Jean Lafitte and the Battle of New Orleans). The WWII boxed set, Battlefront Europe, provides a sampling of stories taking place in the European Theater of Operations.

The first two movies in the set (based on when they were made) both deal with the Battle of the Bulge, that last real offensive by the Germans. Battleground is the better of the two, focusing on one group of soldiers involved in a battle that's bigger than they can fully grasp; they just do their part. As in all of these movies, some will live and some will die. The Battle of the Bulge is one of those all-star, big budget epics that Hollywood produced in the late sixties and early seventies (others include A Bridge Too Far and The Longest Day) that were often big on spectacle and short on real substance. The Battle of the Bulge has its moments but it is almost too ambitious and makes it seem like Henry Fonda's character was solely responsible for winning the battle (and maybe the war). Other stars include Charles Bronson, Dana Andrews, Telly Savalas and Robert Ryan.

Ryan, Bronson and Savalas would also be in the next movie, the fictional Dirty Dozen, in which Lee Marvin plays a plays-by-his-own-rules major who fashions a team of convicted soldiers to perform a special mission prior to D-Day. If they succeed, they get their freedom. While it is entertaining, it does take a long time to get to the actual mission. On the other hand, in the other truly fictional movie in the set - Where Eagles Dare - the mission kicks in almost immediately. In this movie, Richard Burton leads a small crew of soldiers (including a young Clint Eastwood) on a raid of a German castle where an American general is being held prisoner. There are some twists, however, in exactly what the mission is supposed to accomplish (from a plotting standpoint, this is easily the most sophisticated movie in the set).

Finally, there is The Big Red One, more specifically, the reconstructed version that adds close to an hour to the movie. The title refers to the insignia worn by the soldiers who are the principals in this movie, that of the U.S. 1st Infantry. Lee Marvin plays a grizzled sergeant (and WWI veteran) who leads a group of soldiers in what seems like every major battle in the ETO (as well as North Africa). I have not seen the original version, so I can't fully say whether the longer version is an improvement, but it is a decent movie.

In fact, all of these movies are decent, though not outstanding. I think if you were creating your own boxed set of WWII movies, none of these would make the top five, though not all would miss the cut by much. There are a few extras in the set, including some "making of" features and a commentary on The Big Red One. Overall, I'm rating this four stars: it's worth watching, but it's not the best there is.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Thrilling War Films July 25 2006
By J. Bogdon - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I recently purchased this DVD European War collection and I'm enjoying these wonderful war films at a price that's so affordable it must be seen to believe. This World War II DVD Collection-European Warfare includes 5 outstanding War epics that were received by the movie-going public as fascinating with a great story line and many action-packed scenes that most critics moved to give these films a thumbs up. It's difficult to point out which film ranks the best. You can choose any 5 exciting war epics, my favorites "The Dirty Dozen" and "Where Eagles Dare" were given 3-1/2 - 4 Stars. The picture transfer on all 5 are crisp and clear and the sound is remarkably full-bodied stereo. Five stars for a great collection of War films that can be watched over and over again.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
"The Big Red One...Reconstructed, don't miss out..." Oct. 2 2010
By BBD - Published on
Format: DVD
I am a big fan of the Big Red One movie with Lee Marvin, and I always knew the movie likely had been editted horribly or cut short for t.v., then I see this movie set with four other movies, good ones, locally for just $20, and yeah, I got lucky at that price, but full price would be okay for this set if one didn't have Battleground like I didn't, nor Eagles Dare, and especially not a reconstructed "Big Rdd One" version which is the shining star of this collection, don't miss out, cause I know what alot of folks think about the horribly editted version of the movie, but this is the restoration, the best they could do with what they had, some stuff from the widow of the director. Remember, Lee Marvin was a WW2 Pacific War veteran who got his foot heel pretty much shot off.
Battleground is a battle of the bulge presentation of the airborne divisions, like "Band of Brothers", but just a movie length early presentation of the US forces of that time, and if I am remembering rightly, seems some real former veterans of that campaign and the airborne divisions were called upon to play in this movie, and I didn't own it previously. An unforgettable scene, "forget what basic training taught you, just shoot back if you can't see them", from the scene where a newer soldier had to just shoot his m1 garand blindly into the treeline, and surprisingly he gets a german who was shooting from cover of darkness. How about the scene where a us soldier is shot and cries "mom, mom", well, a stark reality in wartime for especially young soldiers, they had some shot germans suddenly calling "mutti, mutti"(mother, mother). Battle of the Bulge, a commander inspects a german "sturmgewehr" mp44, the first assault rifle, and comments it hasn't even ever been shot, off a young german likely used as a decoy to be captured.
These are the movies before cgi, and before they had plenty of mock up tanks to look like the real thing, and if they use an m48 tank from the fifties, or captured arab/russian soviet tanks lent by Israel, oh well, at least it aint CGI(computer graphics interface), but the real thing, be thankful, it was a more simple world back then in the 40's to 80's.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great collection WWII movies July 14 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a great collection of WWII movies. They are individually packaged movies. The Big Red One: Great movie with Lee Marvin, this version is the extended edition more like a directors cut. They did a very good job on bringing the old footage back into the movie and cleaning it up so that everything looks like it belongs. Excellent movie captures the flavor of surviving small infantry group during WWII. The Battle of the Bulge, great action movie. Not Historically accurate but a good blend of action and adventure. The Dirty Dozen, great movie worth owning all by itself the fact that you get packaged with other movies is just gravy. Battleground, maybe the original Band of Brothers from 1949. Won 2 Academy awards. A good movie that shows the hardships of being a soldier.
Where Eagles Dare, you may have to watch this one two or three times just so you don't miss all the surprises and plot twist.
This is one of the better WWII sets. Lots of action and fun to watch. Maybe get your kids interested in history of what happen durring WWII.
Five World War Two films in one set Jan. 23 2013
By Ulysses - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Battleground (1949, b/w) is a solid war movie about the 10st Airborne at Bastogne (it won two Academy Awards: Best Cinematography and Best Story and Screenplay). While it has a bit of the stereotypical in terms of the squad personalities and squad dialogue, the film really is grounded in the real and the loss and hardships of war. The Dirty Dozen is a classic and star-filled tale about criminals and misfits sent on a suicide mission. Trini Lopez (musician) Clint Walker(Cheyenne), Telly Savalas (Kojack), Jim Brown (football), and Charles Bronson(Deathwish) are some of the more memorable cast members. The Battle of the Bulge, starring Henry Fonda and Robert Ryan is a solid and realistic version ot this important tank duel where the Germans suprise the Americans and force them to engage in a desperate action. Where Eagles Dare lets Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood try to free a U.S. General from a German Alpine fortress--the film is well-done with some real suspense, twists and turns, and, of course, many Germans biting the dust in several pitched gun battles. Great as all these films may be, the best film by far is The Big Red One (1980) directed by combat veteran Samuel Fuller. Lee Marvin shines as the tough U.S. First Infantry sergeant who leads his squad from North Africa to Normandy and into Germany. The film pulls no punches in showing the fierceness of war, but this is mitigated by the closeness of the G.I.s in Marvin's squad. The version here adds over 40 minutes to the original film; it is in color, it is gripping in its realism, and it has epic sweep. This set includes these five films that cover several cinematic approaches and subjects. There is not a clunker in the bunch. Good to great World War Two films for a great price. If you like war films, you will enjoy this set!