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The Winds of War
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Actors: Robert Mitchum, Ali MacGraw, Jan-Michael Vincent, John Houseman, Polly Bergen Producers: Branko Lustig Format: Box set, Collector's Edition, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Miniseries Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) Subtitles: English Dubbed: English Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only.) Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Number of discs: 6 Rated: NR (Not Rated) Studio: Paramount DVD Release Date: May 25, 2004 Run Time: 883 minutes
From the Back Cover
Set against the backdrop of world events that led to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, "The Winds of War" stars Robert Mitchum as Victor "Pug" Henry, a career naval officer who along with his family, learns to navigate the waters of his dangerous times in the late 1930s. While Germany expands and proceeds to seize several border countries, Italy attempts to establish a Fascist Colonial Empire under Mussolini and Japan prepares for a major battle with China. Meanwhile, the Henry clan finds itself drawn into the center of the conflict as they deal with the drama, romance, tragedy and heroism that lead to America's involvement in World War II.
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I was anxious to make sure this DVD measured up, so I watched it with my old VHS playing at the same time, and switched back and forth occasionally on the remote to see the difference. It's nothing less than astonishing. The old Winds videos look unwatchable when compared to the new image, which probably looks as close as possible to the way it was shot.
This is, of course, a TV miniseries from 1983, long before anyone imagined the resolution of DVD, so it's not going to look perfect. Still, almost every time I switched to the VHS, then back, I literally said "wow." Colors are distinct and deep, details are sharp and the variously-colored hazes that afflicted most of the VHS are gone. Having only seen the series this way, the DVDs were a revelation. These discs represent what is best about DVD and its success, bringing a long-quiet catalog title back to life.
Although Paramount usually mixes new 5.1 audio tracks for their old films, with 15 hours of film here, they can't be blamed for leaving the existing mono tracks, which are certainly decent and don't detract at all from viewing the film. (I can't understand the other reviewer who gave the DVD set one star, largely because of the audio. Doesn't he understand how prohibitively expensive a new sound mix of that length, for such a complex series, would have been? We're very lucky with what we've got.)
Paramount also fixed some framing mistakes on the VHS edition. Large portions of episodes 5, 6 and 7 were noticeably off-center when compared to the re-aligned DVDs.Read more ›
This is a very well-done presentation of Wouk's masterpiece--essentially tracking an American Naval family through pivotal events just prior to America's entry into the Second World War. The viewer is introduced to prewar Nazi Germany, the Nazi invasion of Poland, Britain's early struggles against the Nazis, issues surrounding President Roosevelt's attempts to prepare America for its inevitable entry into the War, and its aid to the British. As other reviewers have mentioned, the casting is fabulous. Robert Mitchum is perfect as Victor Henry, Jan Michael-Vincent is a great Byron Henry, John Houseman is wonderful as Aaron Jastrow, Victoria Tennant is magnificent as Pamela Tudsbury. All of the leads do very well in my opinion. Further, the script is very faithful to the novel, rarely deviating from it, and this is a plus, because the novel moves at a steady pace with a solid storyline. The result is that this is a miniseries that does not feature much in the way of draggy pointless interludes the way so many miniseries sometimes do. Every minute of TWOW is enjoyable and worth watching, which is why I am so pleased that this DVD version is uncut, presenting the entire miniseries.
This is a wonderful value and a fabulous viewing experience about one of the very best novels dealing with World War II.
Most recent customer reviews
I watched the series 30 plus years ago and thoroughly enjoyed this time around. I enjoyed it so much the I have ordered " War and Rememberence ".Published 1 month ago by John W. C. Lake
The DVD set I received was not in NTSC format but in PAL which is unreadable on my DVD player, Had I been informed of this on purchase I would not have ordered it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
We love it. After waiting many years to get the series on DVD we be able to enjoy our spare time watching this great mini series. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
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