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1940s House [DVD]

 Parental Guidance   DVD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Price: 22.99
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1940s House [DVD] + 1900 House [DVD]
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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Acorn Media UK Ltd
  • DVD Release Date: 9 July 2007
  • Run Time: 225 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QUU7P2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 31,315 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Following on from 'The 1900 House', Channel 4 present a second documentary series in which a present day family are forced to live in the style and conditions of a bygone era. Here the Hymers - Lyn, Michael, daughter Kirstie and her sons Ben and Thomas - revisit the 1940s. Over six episodes the family experience the joys of Anderson shelters, rationing, D-Day and the Blitz.

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
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Channel 4 couldn't have picked a better family to live through the 1940s house experience than the delightful Hymers of Otley. Representing a typical WW2 household, the family comprised of a middle aged couple, their daughter and two small grandsons, and they threw themselves into the programme with infectious enthusiasm and lived through the war experience to their best ability, taking the rough with the smooth, laughing and crying and somehow drawing the viewer right into their front room in the process.

This year 2000 family was dropped into a 1939 furnished house, complete with thirties hairdos and clothes. Over the next nine weeks they were put through a simulated but of necessity fastforwarded wartime experience.

With rationing, shortages, disturbed nights in their self-built Anderson shelter (the house and shelter was wired for sound to simulate bombing raids), the misery of blackouts, 'Digging for Victory', Women's Voluntary Service Work, British Restaurant food, homespun entertainment, homemade hair dye, no TV but just a radio for company, no central heating, a V2 raid which left the house without water and power, contributions from the marvellous Marguerite Patten and several other real home front veterans, application to stringent wartime demands of recycling which would put today's average green supporter in the shade, this documentary brought to bear many of the experiences of those war years.

Not only is it a tremedously entertaining fly on the wall documentary, it is educational but also the sort of programme that makes one think a great deal after one has seen it. It has allowed me to understand my parents' generation a lot better, i.e. those who actually lived through those years of fear and austerity.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wartime History of the 1940s brought to life 22 April 2009
I absolutely love this Channel 4 production and I watch the dvd quite often. There is something quite fascinating about survival through the war years and what made the 1940s arguably Britain's finest era.

Our men went off to war, women stayed at home and did 'war work' outside the home if they were able. Every person did their bit and what's more - was expected to do so. This production is a fast-moving yet comprehensive snapshot of what it must have been like on the 'Home Front', with interesting archives and news footage on all other aspects of war time.

The family were certainly well-selected, comprising of an older Mother and Father, with their single daughter in her mid-twenties with her two young boys. The Father, who was the most keen to undertake the project, was not a fundamental part of the filming as he 'went off to work' as wartime husbands did - whilst the REAL work was done at home by the Mother and her daughter, who had to learn how to work together to make the home run smoothly, without the labour-saving devices available nowadays and no 'takeaways' available.

An excellent inclusion is the visit to the ladies by Marguerite Patten, an advisor to the Ministry of Food during the war, who calls at the house for afternoon tea... a series of culinary delights.

I loved the authenticity of the air raid sirens, the sleepless nights in the air raid shelter, the drudgery and the need for the ladies' 'red badge of courage (lipstick)' to get them through the days. The boys' performance is magical, of their childlike acceptance without full understanding of what was happening, but a willingness to participate regardless.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Changed My Life 12 Jun 2011
By Gem
For once I'm not sure how to begin my review, only by stating that I cannot rate it highly enough. The item centers around the adorable Hymers family from Yorkshire and their authentic wartime experience in the year 2000. And as you see from the title of my review, it truly did change my life.

When Channel 4 came up with the genius idea of converting a semi detached property in West Wickham into a middle class home of the 1930's, the project seemed quite a challenge. To recreate the civilian's experience of life on the home front the house had to be completely stripped bare and fitted out as it would have been in the year 1939 at the start of WW2. No car, no fridge, no television or central heating, this was not a museum or film set, everything had to work, the Hymers family were going to live in the property for 2 months to experience a real taste of life on the home front. Not the bombs that fell or the fear they inspired, but the every day restrictions felt by the British public living in the second world war.

The family consists of:
Micheal Hymers (Grammpy Mick)- head of production at an engineering firm
Lynne Hymers - Grandmother and former tax inspector
Kirstie Hymers- single parent daughter of Lynne and Michael
Ben and Thomas- aged 10 and 7, Kirstie's little boys

The family's wartime experience is controlled from the bomb proof bunker in Churchill's war rooms by the 1940's house war cabinet, a group of historian's and scientists, conrtolling everything from the amount of food they eat, the amount of coal they burn on their fire and the amount they are fined should they breach wartime regulations.

Once dropped into the year 1939 the family must learn to live as they would have during the second world war.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very interesting view
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars 1940's House Great value for money
I purchased this my my sister. I had already seen the series on TV and she is delighted with it. It gives a real insight to the domestic problems during WW2 and the famly are... Read more
Published on 24 May 2011 by Mrs. E. M. O'Neil
5.0 out of 5 stars Information DVD
These DVDs were fantastic at providing a first hand insight into what it was really like for a family in World War II. Read more
Published on 22 May 2011 by prudooles
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable history lesson
This entry in the PBS "House" series is outstanding. Here, a modern British family (husband and wife, their daughter, and two grandsons) experience life during WWII with all of its... Read more
Published on 26 Mar 2011 by Kona
5.0 out of 5 stars A real 1940's eye opener.
I am so pleased to find a dvd of this programme. I watched it when it was first on tv in 2001 and unlike the 1900 house it has rarely been repeated since. Read more
Published on 16 Jan 2011 by L. Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars and you think you have it tough
i am so pleased to finally catch up with this amazing show on dvd.

this modern day family soon found out that surviving in Britain during the war years was hard... Read more
Published on 21 Nov 2010 by daniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully revealing historic re-enactment
No sense of playacting here.

This invigorating series gets an airing in our house every year. Read more
Published on 9 May 2010 by Philoctetes
5.0 out of 5 stars 1940s house DVD
Fantastic DVD for all ages giving a good insight into all aspects of life in the 1940s. Ideal for entertainment or Reference.
Published on 1 Nov 2009 by Mrs. G. R. Beare
5.0 out of 5 stars The 1940s House
Excellent DVD detailling the trials of being in the second world war from the prospective view of the home - chronicles all different aspects from food to air raids,blackouts,... Read more
Published on 23 April 2009 by Julesq
5.0 out of 5 stars 1940s house
brilliant, worth watching, i have watched it several times over and still enjoy it. very interesting how the family coped especially with the rationing and how they all pulled... Read more
Published on 17 April 2009 by C. Knight
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