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World War I in Color

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Actors: Arthur Barraclough, Kenneth Branagh, Arthur Halestrap, Harry Patch, Hubert Williams
  • Directors: Jonathan Martin
  • Format: 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: 3
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Ages 14 and over
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: July 13 2010
  • Run Time: 284 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B003AND1GY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,165 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

World War I claimed the lives of 10 million soldiers and shaped an entire century. Narrated by four-time Academy Award® nominee Kenneth Branagh, this extraordinary documentary brings the war's horror and heroism to life in a way never before revealed. Rare archival film-meticulously colorized under the guidance of expert historians-makes the past fresh, relevant, and alive.

In addition to these newly reclaimed sights and sounds, surviving WWI veterans share their experiences, personally testifying about life in the trenches, the terror of "going over the top," and the courage and sacrifice of battle. Analysis by military historians, detailed maps, and excerpts from the diaries and letters of men and women in the struggle offer a full range of perspectives on this unimaginably brutal, bloody clash of empires.

Since 1990, the British team of Philip Nugus and Jonathan Martin has created popular, critically acclaimed historical documentaries, including Hitler's Bodyguard and The Century of Warfare.

* Tactics & Strategy: Dramatic, computer-generated images provide a detailed look at tank, aerial, and submarine warfare, as well as the climactic 1918 German offensive and the British raid on the U-boat base at Zeebrugge.
* Making the Series: Philip Nugus and Jonathan Martin discuss their creative process and technical challenges in compiling World War I in Color.
* Biographies: Major political and military figures
* Timeline of Events
* General Facts

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The package arrived the day we were heading down south so I took it with the intent of watching it in the evenings rather than the TV. Overall it was done quite well with the dubbing in of the colour. Given that the original films they had to work with were 94-98 years old now it was quite miraculous to see. My only real big disappointment is how according to the series the British, French and towards the end of the War, the Americans, were basically the only ones who fought the major battles. Little mention was made of the Canadian Expeditionary Force that numbered 600,000 and the ANZAC's. What the Canadians did at Vimy Ridge was something that neither the French nor the British had been able to do previously and after that the Canadians became one of the more feared troops to the Germans and to a point it was the birth of a nation in the world's eyes. Other than that, when you realize this was a series made for British TV it was well done and has wet my appetite to check out a few more DVD's on WWI since my grandfather fought with the Royal Engineers and then was with the Occupational Territorial Forces. The interviews with the Vets were great but could have at times had the volume of their voice increased. Sadly all WWI Vets are all now dead with the exception of Florence Green who signed up in 1918 as a waitress in the mess halls out of 65 Million men and women. I would reccommend this as a purchase to anyone interested in the birth of modern warfare.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9972a2f4) out of 5 stars 60 reviews
128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9904ce70) out of 5 stars Thumbs up Oct. 28 2005
By Y. Sageev - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
WWI in Color is not simply a hodge-podge collection of colorized WWI footage. While the colorization is certainly muted and tasteful, the color is, in fact, the least significant aspect of the series. Had the footage been entirely in black and white, the documentary would still be a superb visual introduction to the conflict.

Clearly, several episodes are not enough to cover every detail of WWI, but major battles, strategies, and technologies are covered nicely. The series devotes separate segments to trench warfare, the air war, the conflict at sea, and the eastern front. A background introduction to the conflict takes up the first episode and the sixth segment presents the conclusion of the war. Two bonus segments round out the series -- a discussion of tactics and strategy and a "making of" piece.

Of course, WWI in Color contains copious footage (for the time) that gives the viewer an invaluable visual sense of the conflict. Many of the film clips are stunning and unforgettable. Yet the series also interviews the few living veterans of the war and asks military historians to expound on various topics. The well-paced narration provides numerous and interesting details.

All in all, a fine and worthy effort that deserves to be viewed.
77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9904cec4) out of 5 stars Excellent and historically accurate history of WW1 June 12 2005
By B. John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Some of the best historians of the Great War have contributed to this feature, Gary Sheffield and Norman Stone are among the finest in all of military history.

The colorization process is excellent and the historical accuracy is even better.

This is not a day by day running of the war but is rather more of an overview. This is essentially a true account of how the allies came to win the war. It is not however the accepted 'schools' version of events and is in my view all the better for that.
64 of 67 people found the following review helpful
By Harold Wolf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Stunning! COLOR makes this footage more realistic than any other documentary of "The War to End All Wars". Today's technology makes a huge difference, but the narration (Kenneth Branagh) and personal accounts from men who were in the war make even more impact. This series is a great overview-not a complete history, but certainly covers the important segments. More than that, it offers the emotion, the feel of that war, the hardships. I personally learned a great deal about the war that my American grandfather lived through. Most who will watch this amazing footage will have never talked to a living soldier that survived, there are few left, and most of today's population is too young. This is an important piece of DVD saved history, necessary in every library and historical department of school.

As important as the technologically added film color, is the educational focus on war machinery and weaponry that WWI inspired. I learned carriers, folding winged planes, tanks, flame throwers, and so much more was first used in WWI, not WWII. WWI was not all horse drawn equipment. The civilian footage (now in color) is dramatic as well. Literally seeing those early 20th century lifestyles & people on footage that is typically only found in still B/W photos is powerful.

ALL 6 episodes as well as 2 excellent Bonus segments (one longer than an episode) provide SUBTITLES. The bonus material is as interesting and well done as the episodes. 20 bios, facts bonus, a time line, plus a booklet pack even more of the war into this set. Topics reachable in scene selections: classroom friendly.

Episode details:
1___"Catastrophe" The cause: assassination in Sarajevo-1914, trenches, death, fighting, letters, wounded, survivors, diaries, air fighting, subs, steam and horse power--all there--now in color.
2___"Slaughter in the Trenches" 700+ miles of trench warfare proved a stalemate 1915-17, going 'over the top' meant almost certain death, new weaponry-more death.
3___"Blood in the Air" Dog fights, bi-planes lifting off a rigged battleship, ace hero's, bombing raids seen in color. Aerial reconnaissance, bi-planes with machine guns (fighters), Red Baron (in red), Flying circuses, sea planes, astonishing footage of air force action only 11 yrs after Kitty Hawk.
4___"Killers of the Sea" U-boats or submarines replaced battleship warfare, Lusitania-1915, Dardanelles, Jutland sea battle, ships going down, Hydrophone, depth charge, all covered with period film, now in color.
5___"Mayhem on the Eastern Front" German, Austrian & Russian western front trenches were horrific and as much a stalemate of the eastern trenches. The Russian Tzar falls leading to revolution and Lenin. Russian defeat adds to the eastern front difficulty.
6___"Victory and Despair" 1918 scenes of the bloody final year, victory, the cost, the aftermath, all of the pageantry and destruction colorized. A suspenseful final year for both sides. Then: 11th hour, 11th day, 11th month.

A quality DVD documentation of WWI with more education narration than entertainment, astonishing old footage, personal interviews, realistic action scenes, and a must see for history and/or war interests. This set's presentation you WILL NOT be able to forget.
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9972d6d8) out of 5 stars Superb series...wonderfully comprehensive! May 27 2006
By Kenneth M. Pizzi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is perhaps one of the most enjoyable documentaries I have seen in recent years. Do not be put off by the colorization process used to tint the existing archival footage; indeed, it actually improves upon the viewing experience and compliments Sir Kenneth Brannah's lucid and absorbing narration. Everything is included here and covered with enough detail to satisfy and entertain either the armchair historian or the seasoned PhD. It is good to see that more high quality documentaries are being made about WWI--in many respects a war that was truly the world's first "modern war" that changed the map of Europe forever.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9972d684) out of 5 stars Finally, a comprehensive study of WW I Aug. 2 2005
By Richard O. Forzani - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have been a student of this conflict for many years, and while it is certainly impossible to cover every nuance of this unbelievable struggle in a few hours of film, the makers of the program have come as close to the mark as one could reasonably expect. The addition of colorization only serves to bring the videos closer to the present; slowing down the motion also helps eliminate the "silent movie" jerkiness of most old flics, end result being a realistic, poignant and sobering representation of the war and the bravery with which the participants faced daily horror.

What is most notable, aside from the technical aspects noted above, is the narrative, which accurately depicts the underlying reasons for the conflict as well as the all-important opening weeks which directly led to the slaughterhouse of trench warfare. Most histories deal superficially with set-piece battle information and vague overviews. Watching this series actually presents an accurate and insightful understanding of the roots of the conflict as well as how and why events happened in the way they did. I was reminded of Barbara Tuchman's Pulitzer-prize winning "Guns of August". All in all, a somber, informative yet thrilling work.

This would be an outstanding asset for any secondary school history department.

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