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When It Was a Game: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray]


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When It Was a Game: The Complete Collection [Blu-ray] + Baseball Golden Age of America
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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : General Audience (G)
  • MPAA Rating: G
  • Studio: HBO
  • Release Date: Nov. 22 2011
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004QRUN8M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,071 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

When It Was a Game The Complete Collection (BD)

Amazon.ca

This HBO documentary is based on a highly original idea: tell the story of baseball from the Great Depression era through the late 1950s using footage from home-movie cameras shot by fans and players. The result is a marvelous look at baseball in America as seen from the ground--the culture of stadiums, the ritual of afternoon games, the spiritually sustaining rivalries. Among the truly unexpected sights is color footage of the 1938 World Series, not only from inside the stadium walls but from the street as traffic cops, crowds, and vehicles amassed. It also covers World War II's impact on the game, and, of course, the heroes, often caught in relaxed, unselfconscious moments.

Arguably more defined and even more lyrical than its predecessor, When It Was a Game 2 moves from a general celebration of baseball culture in America to a specific focus on various facets of the game's history, including the special relationship between game announcers and fans and the farm-team system during the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. Brooklyn's assimilation of the Dodgers into their community identity is covered quite winningly as is the heartbreak of the team's desertion to California. Last, the film takes us on a tour of some of the game's legends and presents a touching tribute to the extraordinary Babe Ruth. --Tom Keogh

When It Was a Game 3 focuses on the 1960s, a time of change for all of America. Through sharp, incredibly clear color footage of players and fans, the film shows how Major League Baseball slowly but surely evolved from pure sport to moneymaking entertainment. Covering the mighty Yankees, the western expansion of both leagues, the increasing inclusion of black players, and the rise of free agency and increased salaries, the film shows the growth of baseball from adolescence to adulthood. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By clark beardslee on Dec 13 2001
Format: DVD
I have been an avid baseball fan since 4 yrs. old. (1951) I am a collector of baseball sports memorabilia going back to late 20's. The series, "When it was a game" was an absolute delight. It finally placed faces to names I have collected for over 50 yrs. The 8 and 16 mm made the viewing even more spellbounding. It made me feel like I actually took the photos. It is refreshing to see my hero's in everyday circumstances; snapshots of the best of the best as ordinary people. The movies were well-done, I was not able to stop viewing until I have watched all three DVD's. This is the best collection of home movies of hall of famers I have ever seen. I would recommend this collection to any baseball fan who truly wants to reward himself with the very best footage of his favorite leaguer. I will cherish the entire set.
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By J. Cox on April 23 2001
Format: DVD
The when it was a game series is one of the best baseball documenturies that I have ever seen. The extreamly rare footage of baseball's greats with commentation is a very good mix. You'll love to relive the history and remember those great days "when it was a game."
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 48 reviews
120 of 123 people found the following review helpful
When it was a game-3 pack Dec 13 2001
By clark beardslee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I have been an avid baseball fan since 4 yrs. old. (1951) I am a collector of baseball sports memorabilia going back to late 20's. The series, "When it was a game" was an absolute delight. It finally placed faces to names I have collected for over 50 yrs. The 8 and 16 mm made the viewing even more spellbounding. It made me feel like I actually took the photos. It is refreshing to see my hero's in everyday circumstances; snapshots of the best of the best as ordinary people. The movies were well-done, I was not able to stop viewing until I have watched all three DVD's. This is the best collection of home movies of hall of famers I have ever seen. I would recommend this collection to any baseball fan who truly wants to reward himself with the very best footage of his favorite leaguer. I will cherish the entire set.
52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Priceless Footage Honors the National Pastime Dec 6 2005
By Mark J. Fowler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"When It Was A Game" was a labor of love, and when it was first televised on HBO the eyes of baseball fans were riveted and amazed. All 3 of these projects consist of "home movies" (usually shot in 8 mm), often shot by the players themselves. But almost all of these films are in vivid color - and to see the names that haunt Cooperstown in lifelike tones is an almost religious experience. It would be similar if it were possible to see color footage from the Civil War or the Constitutional Convention. Okay - I'm stretching it a little, but not by much. Baseball fans have always had a little historian in them, and although you'd be hard-pressed to find, for example, the sports fanatic who could tell you how many touchdown passes Unitas threw or how many points Wilt Chamberlain wound up with, even casual baseball fans knew numbers like 61 (the number of Home Runs Roger Maris hit in 1961), 56 (the number of consecutive games Joe DiMaggio hit safely in during the summer of 1941), 714 (Babe Ruth's lifetime home run total) and zero (the number of Brooklyn Dodgers who got on base during Don Larsen's perfect game of 1956.) If you took only the "named events" of the New York Giants at the famed Polo Grounds you could start with "the shot heard 'round the world" (Bobby Thompson's home run off Ralph Branca winning the 1951 National League pennant) and "the catch" (Willie Mays' amazing over-the-shoulder catch of Vic Wertz' 475 foot drive to deep center field, saving the game and inspiring the Giants to win the 1954 World Series.)

For fans who like their baseball heroic, "When It Was A Game" brings their heroes to full-color life.

Appropriate music and reverent narration add to the historic but vibrant qualities of the works. "When It Was A Game" was eye-catching when it debuted, and so popular that it spawned a sequel that was more or less more of the same. The third volume may be the most interesting of all (especially if you're old enough to remember watching baseball from the 1960s on), but it also adds the historical context that the innovative National League completely dominated the old boy network of the American League because of their willingness to sign Black players like Willie Mays and Hank Aaron and Latinos like Roberto Clemente. The NL won 19 out of 20 All-Star Games starting in 1962, and this little documentary doesn't mind saying that it was the narrow-mindedness of the American League that allowed Morgan, Stargell, Banks, Gibson, Marichal and McCovey to join Mays, Clemente and Aaron on teams that regularly trounced the other, whiter, league.

Like Ken Burns' "Baseball", this set is a video love-song to baseball.
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Colorful baseball from a 'Black & White' era June 28 2005
By John Cannon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Released prior to Ken Burns' wonderful documentary, 'BASEBALL,' this 3-part series offers a priceless collection of color 8mm home movies depicting images of everything to do with major league baseball. You get the superstars, the forgotten, the ballparks - there's a little bit of everything. We see an aged Cy Young and a retired Babe Ruth with a young Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle. The beautiful original musical score sets an attitude of reverence for the entire film. There are interviews with several former players detailing life in the 'big leagues,' and all the reflections are heard amidst the original color film. For those of us in our forties and younger, our mindset of life in America during the first half of the twentieth century exists primarily in black and white images - this series alters all of that. It was fascinating for me to see the original colors of the uniforms and panned sequences of stadiums long since gone. All in all, this is a superlative effort by individuals who truly cared about what they were doing. This is a 'must own' for long time baseball fans. (I own the VHS tapes of this series and have yet to see the DVD; as a result, I am unaware if any additional sequences have been included)
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
"When It Was a Game" retrospective March 19 2007
By ngbobme - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I have owned the VHS version of WIWaG II for years and rewatched it a few weeks ago. After seeing it, I decided to order the full DVD set. As a boy growing up in the fifties and sixties, baseball was everything for myself and my friends from end of snow to start of snow; it was literally what we lived for. So, this set, especially the volumes II and III, is heaven on earth. The memories it brings back are crystal clear- baseball cards, sitting at Fenway watching Williams, Piersal and Malzone, and Saturday afternoon games on TV with Dizzy Dean and Buddy Blatner.

However, in that "idyllic" youth, there were obviously some things that I missed as well. All three of the DVDs, but especially #III, provide some outstanding social commentary about the people and the times, The players were essentially serfs for the owners and the racial injustices and inequities were horrific. In many ways, I'm not sure that things today are much better, but they certainly are different.

This set is a wonderful remembrance of a time that, for many of us, was almost mythical in its enjoyment. In addition it provides a healthy dose of reality for those of us who, even today, might remain somewhat jaded by the past. I heartily recommend it to baseball fans of all generations!
40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Baseball History on DVD April 23 2001
By J. Cox - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The when it was a game series is one of the best baseball documenturies that I have ever seen. The extreamly rare footage of baseball's greats with commentation is a very good mix. You'll love to relive the history and remember those great days "when it was a game."


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