The World at War (30th Anniversary Edition)

The World at War (30th Anniversary Edition)
(A&E Home Video)

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“The World at War” series is the most comprehensive history of the Second World War ever presented on television. It can be compared to Ken Burns’ “Baseball” and “Vietnam: A Television History” in terms of the massive amount of material presented. Originally shown on the BBC in the 70’s, the entire set is presented on a special three-disk DVD/Blu-ray celebrating the 30th anniversary of the show. For those who remember watching it as kids or have never seen a comprehensive history of World War II on television, this is a must-have.

Narrated by Laurence Olivier and including interviews with a lot of the participants, this DVD presents original black and white and color footage from the war. Along with one of the most haunting scores by Carl Davis, which opens every episode with a montage of faces and images, brings those that lived the experience to life in front of your eyes.

The DVD is broken down into 25 episodes, which cover different aspects of the campaigns as well as the politics involved within. But what sets this apart is the uncensored video of the effects the war had on civilian populations during that time. In addition, the excellent footage of the various locales that one may have only previously read about, is presented in living color.

What also makes this set valuable are the various viewpoints shown in the succeeding chapters. The view of the countries, Allied or Axis, are represented in interviews and video footage. The philosophies that drove the war are represented equally. The effects on the various conquered nations are fully shown whether it was the Soviet campaign, Burma, England, or even Norway, and what it felt like to be under the foot of the conquerors in the early stages of the war as well as sharing the relief of liberation.

The bonus footage on this set include coverage of Hitler’s Germany pre-conflict, during the war, and his death.

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