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The War: A Ken Burns Film, Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick [Blu-ray]


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The War: A Ken Burns Film, Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick [Blu-ray] + Ken Burns: The Civil War 2011 Commemorative Edition + Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns 1840's-2009 Boxed Set (includes The Tenth Inning)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Aanenson, Adam Arkin, Kevin Conway
  • Directors: Ken Burns, Lynn Novick
  • Producers: Sarah Botstein;Ken Burns
  • Format: Box set, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Studio: Public Braodcasting Service
  • Release Date: May 15 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007BMIFI4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,251 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

The Emmy® award-winning documentary THE WAR explores the history and horror of World War II from an American perspective by following so-called ordinary men and women who became caught up in one of the greatest cataclysms in history. This epic film focuses on the stories of citizens from four American towns taking the viewer through their personal and harrowing journeys, painting vivid portraits of how the war altered their lives.

Amazon.ca

Creating epic documentaries about war is nothing new for Ken Burns, nor is the subject of the Second World War, which never ceases to be a popular subject of films and TV shows. Yet with The War, Burns has definitely succeeded in breaking new ground, exploring in depth the effect of the war on common Americans, and not just the soldiers of The Greatest Generation that fought it. As the narration says at the beginning, "The war affected people in every house, on every street in every town in America." This is nothing less than an attempt to show how the war altered the lives of an entire nation through the portrayal of four individuals from four communities--Waterbury, Connecticut; Mobile, Alambama; Luverne, Minnesota; and Sacramento, California--that could represent any town in the country that went through the war. The result is another stunning achievement for Burns and co-director Lynn Novick. Together the filmmaking team succeeds in bringing the war home through the testimonies, letters, and footage of the people from these towns. The storytelling is compelling--Burns and Novick manage to find the most vivid, intimate, and personal dimensions of a global catastrophe--and brought to life with exceptional voice work from marquee stars like Tom Hanks, Alan Arkin, and Samuel L. Jackson. Much of the footage is brilliantly restored; even the most die-hard History Channel buff will see clips here that they've never viewed before. Many old grainy family films look almost as clean and bright as if they were just shot using a modern camera with black-and-white film (keeping in mind that most of the footage was shot without sound, the audio effects work on The War is particularly impressive and should bring attention to the underappreciated work of the foley artist). It took Burns and Novick six years to make this seven-part, 15-hour film--not surprising, really, considering the miles of footage they must have accumulated in the course of their research--and the time and effort shows in the results. The DVD also includes a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, extensive commentaries, and more, in addition to a companion book, The War: An Intimate History. --Daniel Vancini --This text refers to the DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary A. Page on Oct. 2 2007
Format: DVD
This should be mandatory viewing for all high schools and universities so that young men and women can fully understand the full horror of wars; those in the past and those in the present. By understanding the reality of war they then may work towards diplomatic means of settling differences. Ken Burns has shown us footage that is denied to us in wartime, due to propaganda.

Ken Burns has done a magnificent job.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bill Bungay on Dec 10 2011
Format: DVD
Well researched and evocative film. This is not a complete history of WWII but contains many tidbits of information that I had not seen elsewhere. If you are a history buff then this DVD set is a must see but may not be worth purchasing unless you are the type needs to own everything that is available on the subject. Could take three or four viewings to absorb all the content and is a very good reference.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I think I have seen every documentary about World War 2. This was one of the best!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 892 reviews
297 of 306 people found the following review helpful
The War Hits Home Sept. 25 2007
By BK - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This series is not a comprehensive account of the Second World War - it was not meant to be. It is unabashedly Americentric - and a "Peoples History" of WWII. It does not chronicle every detail of American involvement in places like North Africa( for that, read Rick Atkinson's Pulitzer winner An Army at Dawn - 5 stars). There are no generals or politicians. It fails to chronicle the struggles of my in-laws during the Blitz or much of the suffering felt around the globe during this terrible period of our history. It is not the BBC's The World at War. Why remake The World at War? I was fortunate enough to attend the premier in Waterbury Connecticut, where Mr. Burns addressed all of these issues. The War tries to convey how this momentous period defined the lives in four American towns that could really be Anytown, USA. It tries to explain why my grandfather has never really been able to speak about his experiences and his refrain of, "I don't need to see the movie, I starred in the original." It also explains much about my grandmother and the world my parents grew up in. Some of the hundreds of veterans at the screening were watching with their families for the first time what they had spent half a century trying to forget and had never been able to talk about. The emotion in the Palace Theater by the end of the screening was almost overwhelming. Most of the men who fought this war are dead, and the rest soon will be. The documentary tries to capture what remains of their stories before it is too late. I doubt most of the men fighting over there were as overly concerned with a complete picture and full understanding of the war as they were staying alive and hoping to return home. Few documentaries have explored in great depth the homefront beyond the newsreels of Rosie the Riveter. This documentary is the story of everyday people that live in my neighborhood and yours, who perhaps didn't see "the complete picture," but this was the war through their eyes. We can show The World at War ad nausium to school children today, but if it has no emotional attachment, garners no empathy, they gain nothing. For this reason, I feel that Ken Burn's The War is a critical part of preserving local American history and well as the tragedy of WWII. My only real disappointment was that of the 2400 people in attendance for the premier in Waterbury, only a handful were under 25-30.
156 of 165 people found the following review helpful
Give the guy a break. Sept. 25 2007
By Axton Blessendon, Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
It sure would be nice if people would quit trying to project their own agendas onto this documentary. Ken Burns didn't set out to make the ultimate World War Two narrative; just because a bunch of people expected that he would, doesn't mean that his film is somehow lacking.

Burns did exactly what he said he was going to do: tell the American experience of World War Two from the point of view of everyday, average American citizens.

I'm sure that Burns and co-producer Lynn Novick would be the first to agree that viewers looking for more "big picture" information (about political alliances, military strategy, technological development, the war's global impact) would do well to supplement this series with other sources of information. Burns isn't telling those stories, and the omissions are on purpose. This film looks at the war from a different angle, adding a new layer of social history to the big stories that have already been told. I think people should judge this work on the merits of the goals that Burns set out for himself, and not simply project their own personal historical and political wishlists onto it. (Axton)
232 of 259 people found the following review helpful
FUBAR Sept. 30 2007
By Diane M. Crook - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
After watching the latest episode of "The War" - FUBAR...I now know why my father who served this county during WW II did not like Thanksgiving. All those years of never knowing, and to learn 20 years after his death why he felt the way he did. I'm sure that by the end of the series, I will understand why he felt the same about Christmas. Till the day he died, he refused to talk about being a Army medic in WW II. I have kept all the letters he and my mother wrote each other during this time. I've never been able to read these letters, but now feel it is time to do so.......My prayers and respect for all who served. For those still alive - God Bless.
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it Oct. 1 2007
By Hui Chen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
After watching the HBO DVD program "Band of Brothers" this summer I became interested in WWII history. As a late baby-boomer I had forgotten much of what I had ever learned about this time period other than Pearl Harbor, D-day, and the two atom bombs the US dropped on Japan.

Ken Burns has done an outstanding job with this new series. He tells the history of the war in it its many theaters, but more importantly, he tells the history from the average person's viewpoint. This is what makes the series sometimes hard to watch because it makes the horrors of war all too real. Hearing a private fighting in the Phillipines realize that his life is "expendable", hearing a d-day veteran who lost his brother in the same campaign say that he would have rather returned without his arms and legs than without his brother, seeing the massive toll of lives in lesser known (at least to my generation) operations such as market garden brings the history of this war into our hearts and minds. I've learned about America's isolationist policy before entering the war as well as much more detail about the war. It was a horrible war and my heart aches for all of the lives lost. I hope this scope of war is never again fought on our planet. This is why I'm purchasing this series - for my children to watch and learn from when they are old enough. This is history that should not be forgotten. Thank you Ken Burns.
43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Unique Oct. 6 2007
By Lynn R. Fairbanks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I think people should see all seven parts before passing judgment. A recent review labeled THE WAR "garbage", indicating it was too "feminist". If this person had seen the episode entitled FUBAR and Burns' description of the Peleliu campaign, she would, I think, feel otherwise. Burns relied on the reminisces of E.B. Sledge whose WITH THE OLD BREED AT PELELIU AND OKINAWA is largely considered one of the finest memoirs to come out of the Pacific war, if not the entire war itself. The segment shows horrific footage of the savage fighting on the island and is anything but "girly", an extremely immature and poorly chosen term, especially for college student. In my estimation THE WAR is the most unique documentary yet on the conflict. Many have indicated a preferece for WORLD AT WAR, which was excellent in its own right, but Burns has given us a different perspective of l941-l945--a perspective that humanizes perhaps the most inhumane period in history.

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