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The 1964 World's Fair

2.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

List Price: CDN$ 25.92
Price: CDN$ 17.90
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Product Details

  • Actors: Judd Hirsch
  • Directors: Rich Hanley
  • Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • Release Date: Jan. 2 2001
  • Run Time: 52 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000055XOB
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #197,399 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Relive the dazzle, wonder and fun of The 1964 World's Fair. An extraordinary documentary, narrated by Judd Hirsch, that takes a fresh look at the sights and sounds of this once-in-a-lifetime event. Part futuristic exhibition, part glittery strip mall, the 1964 New York World's Fair was planned amid the optimism of the late 1950s, but the Fair's two-year run often mirrored the chaos of the 1960s. The Fair was a brawling, costly and altogether chaotic event, but few of the 52 million people who attended noticed. So jump in that old station wagon and take a ride back to the 1964 New York World's Fair!

Fast on the heels of the Seattle World's Fair, New York's bid to hold another fair in 1964 was turned down by the international commission. That didn't stop Mayor Robert Wagner, who stubbornly launched the symbolic 250-ton "unisphere" stainless steel globe onto its pedestal in Flushing Meadows, Queens, for the two-year fair. While including fond remembrances from visitors who reminisce about sneaking in, indulging in first kisses in the Coca-Cola Pavilion, and the like, much of this 52-minute video is dedicated to examining the fair's failures. Dubbed "an old fair in new time," it was criticized for being the opposite of the city's 1939 fair: rather than predicting the future, it floundered in the postwar boom of the decade prior. Shots of its construction, promotional films, and news footage provide the documentary with its visuals, while historians and fairgoers examine the fair that ran the gamut from Michelangelo's Pietà to General Motor's Futurama exhibit. --Kimberly Heinrichs

Customer Reviews

2.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

I was very pleased and interested in this video. As a world's fair collector, I found the content, footage and the fairgoers' recollections very compelling and a joy to watch. I couldn't get enough and wanted more. I learned some interesting facts about this fair I did not know before viewing this video. I own the "World of Tomorrow" video about the 1939 New York World's Fair and consider 1964 World's Fair "Part II" of the other video. The only improvement I can see is losing the "90s" background music which I found extremely annoying and out of place with the time this fair took place. Judd Hirsch did a wonderful job narrating the video. If you are interested in World's Fairs or are just curious, this DVD is a must. By the way, I had an awful hankering for a Belgian Waffle when this videw was finished--can't explain why, just did.
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I'd have to give this video a C minus- for anyone who cherishes the '64 World's Fair the way that I do, it's a severe disappointment. There were SO many sights and sounds to relive, they could have filled the entire video with glorified home movies and still photographs for 2 hours, and it would have satisfied fair buffs better than this. (Too much time was spent on the history of the fair's planning, interviews with fair attendees, etc..) Apparently, the "filmakers" were obsessed with only using actual "moving film footage" and had to hedge the rest with the interviews, etc. (Perhaps they should have taken a cue from Ken Burns, since there is a MOUNTAIN of still photographs from this memorable event that could have been used.) If you want to relive the fair, try to only rent this video if you can, and supplement it by finding old "Viewmaster" reels and collectible fair photo books- this video brings back a few memories, but not enough.
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Despite the previous post, I find this DVD is a must-see for anyone who lived through the era of the 1964-65 World's Fair. Relive the nostalgia through newsclips, film and interviews. Several interesting things are brought to light - such as the little-remembered lobby against the fair. The footage (probably filmed in 8mm color) is not slick by today's standards, but still serves as a window to the past. The interviews are touching as just plain people relate their magical experiences at the fair during that bygone era. One kid actually lived in the park for several days until he was caught. If you visited the fair as a kid, you will find certain footage jogging pleasant memories long buried.
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By A Customer on April 6 2002
Half of the 52 minutes of this DVD is spent on aging baby boomers reminiscing in their living rooms about their experiences at the fair. Then there's the obligatory fair "expert and social commentator". (This guy really needs to find a job). By the time we get to the actual sights and sounds of the fair -- all that's left is the construction of the Unisphere, a shot of a middle-aged couple eating the famed Belgian Waffles, and finally...a few minutes spent inside the GM pavillion. We might have seen more of the fair if those aforementioned baby boomers had showed us their scrapbooks. This video just has no soul. Should be in the dollar bin next to the checkout counter.
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