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

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • 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: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B004QRUN8M
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,519 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

When It Was a Game The Complete Collection (BD)


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.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
If 1960's baseball is your thing, I can't recommend this highly enough. If like me, you find 1920-1955 more interesting, because you've seen a lot less footage of that time period, this item is not quite as good. The third segment covering the 1960's was great, covering Mays, Mantle, getting quotes from the players themselves. And unlike the first two segments for earlier years, the actual footage was less "New York - centric". Personally, I would have preferred a little more on Jimmy Foxx or Bob Feller (playing in Philadelphia and Cleveland) and little less on the Yankees and Dodgers. But I guess New York was were the majority of the footage was taken. Still, was great to see the ballparks that inspired the current "retro" phase - and Wrigley Field before the ivy. If you're a fan and want to know history that is becoming forgotten (actually footage of the on-armed pitcher!) I definitely recommend.
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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: 4.8 out of 5 stars 68 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BASEBALL BEFORE FREE AGENCY!! June 21 2009
By Loves To Read - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This HBO documentary is divided into three one hour segments, each remembering a different era. You can buy or rent them individually but I recommend watching all three. The entire series consists of 8mm and 16mm clips shot entirely by fans and players. Almost all are in color and none are done by professional photographers. The quality is amazing considering the sources -clear, sharp pictures. There are special features on Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and others. This is for those of us who remember or want to know about when players lived in our neighborhoods, shopped at our stores and had second jobs during the off season to make ends meet. Dick Raddatz recalls making $6,000 pitching for the Red Sox during the season and $11,000 during the off season as a furniture mover. We lived for several years next door to Camilo Pascual, the great pitcher for the Senators and Twins. We would play catch in the back yard and my sisters would babysit his children. Jim Kaat shopped at my (future) in-laws corner grocery store and lived down the block. They were real heroes to all of us and they were regular people, too. This series starts in the 30's (they really did have color film) and ends in 1970 with the advent of free agency, which arguably changed the game forever, whatever you might think of its validity. This is nothing but three hours of fun and nostalgia. If you're a baseball fan, it would be hard to recommend anything else that would be as much just plain fun. None of us can turn back the clock but for three hours you can relive those years when baseball was just a game. Enjoy.
60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Game At It's Best July 22 2016
By Ron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I first saw this when I was a child, seeing it now on Blu-ray is AWESOME!!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific for real baseball fans Feb. 14 2007
By Stan Watson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are some terrific clips in these three videos. I liked the third one best, probably because I recognized most of the players. The first two videos have shorter clips and obviously are older, and I would have liked to see some sub-titling identifying some of these players. Definitely a nice watch for fans who like baseball from decades past.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baseball History at it's best Aug. 29 2008
By P. J. Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For those who love baseball there is no better history of the greats from the past. It is great to see player on film that in some cases were gone before I was old enough to watch them play. You get a view of the old ball parks and uniforms. A must for baseball fans every where.