This review is of the St. Clair Vision 2-disc edition of "D-Day Remembered". I'm very surprised by the low ratings given to this entertaining, bargain-priced 2-disc set. Yes, the picture quality ranges from fair to awful, but at such a cheap price I can't complain much, especially considering the age of these wartime documentaries. The total length of both dvds is over 4 hours, and the bonus features are in my opinion the best part!
Disc 1 contains the academy award-winning "The True Glory", which chronicles the Allied victory in Europe, from D-Day to Berlin. Bonus features for disc 1 include: a short wartime documentary on the August 19, 1942 Allied raid on Dieppe, France, which predictably downplays the fact that it was a disaster for the largely Canadian attacking force of commandos; "Hollywood goes to War", a nice collection of footage showing how Hollywood's actors, actresses, and directors contributed to the war effort, including Humphrey Bogart talking about war bonds, and behind-the-scenes footage of the patriotic musical "This is the Army"; "Strictly G.I." is my personal favorite part of this entire dvd. It has footage of Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, and the beautiful Lana Turner who's shown cooking a steak for the troops! There's even a tantalizing dance by a hot "pin-up" girl! "Summer 1944" is a brief collection of footage from D-Day to the liberation of Paris. There's also footage of troops of the 82nd and 101st Airborne showing them in training and their contribution to the Allied success on D-Day. And, for those who care, there are some patriotic cartoons with Superman and Bugs Bunny!
Disc 2 contains Frank Capra's "Prelude to War", part of his famous "Why We Fight" documentary series; "D-Day: Invasion of Normandy", with the same footage of the D-Day landings that you've probably seen hundreds of times already in other documentaries; "The Battle of France", which focuses mainly on the 82nd and 101st Airborne dropping into the Cotentin Peninsula, as well as the American 1st division at bloody Omaha Beach. Bonus features for disc 2 include: footage of the Andrews Sisters singing one of their biggest hits of the war, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy"; "Hollywood Bond Cavalcade", showing more of your favorite stars, including Carole Lombard and Bing Crosby; "Stage Door Canteen", which shows the famous nightclub where famous stars and performers entertained and fed the troops; "German Surrender", a brief collection of footage showing the German occupation force surrendering at Paris; "Winning Your Wings", an incredibly corny documentary hosted by Lt. James Stewart that strongly urges young men to join the Army Air Force; footage of Martha Raye dancing, and more wartime patriotic cartoons.
Obviously you can't believe the ludicrous claim on the dvd cover that these old films are "carefully re-mastered for best possible picture quality", but most of the footage is at least watchable. My favorite parts were the clips of famous Hollywood stars, and overall I'd say this 2-dvd set far exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend it to all history buffs, as long as you're not a snob about watching 60-year-old documentaries!