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The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross (3-Disc) [DVD]

 Exempt   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross (3-Disc) [DVD] + The Knights Templar [DVD] [2000] + RICHARD THE LIONHEART - CRUSADER KING [DVD]
Price For All Three: £24.84

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Product details

  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Subtitles: None
  • Dubbed: None
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: None
  • Audio Description: None
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: History Channel
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Sep 2009
  • Run Time: 183 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002N7OPE0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 52,040 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

DVD-R: This title is manufactured-on-demand when ordered from The Canny Store using the highest quality DVD-R discs.


The Christian invaders were regarded as infidels. The Arabs were scorned as lawless pagans. The Westerners saw their quest as literally a sanctified crusade, while the Muslims launched their own holy war, called a jihad, in retaliation. Sound familiar? It should, because although the events depicted in the History Channel's The Crusades - Crescent & The Cross took place nearly a thousand years ago, they are but a distant mirror to what's going on in the Middle East right now. This two-part, three-hour program, released here on two discs (the second includes over an hour of bonus material), impressively details all three Crusades, starting in the late 11th Century, when Pope Urban II dispatched a huge force to reclaim Jerusalem, which had been under Muslim control for some 400 years. For the knights and others who made the journey, it was a noble spiritual quest, not to mention an escape from Europe's petty wars and famines; in the end, the fact that many of them were greedy butchers who murdered Muslims, Jews, and even other Christians indiscriminately (sometimes even eating the flesh of the vanquished) detracted not at all from their conviction that they were acting in the name of God. Of course, so were the Muslims, who, after the bloody first crusade succeeded in seizing the holy city, mounted a massive counter-attack under leaders like Nur al-din and his son Saladin, who managed to take back Jerusalem (from whence Mohammed was said to have ascended to heaven) and hold on to it through the failed second and third crusades, the latter led by England's Richard the Lionheart.

All of this is presented by way of techniques that will be recognizable to History Channel buffs. They include modern-day historians, who re-trace the routes of the crusaders and examine the ancient sites where the action took place, as well as actors who portray characters of the time (chroniclers, knights, and others); numerous re-enactments, aided by excellent cinematography and skilful use of CGI (whereby a few dozen extras could be made to look like many thousands), vividly illustrate the battles and other events that took place during this roughly 200-year period. Add to that a bonus documentary about the Knights Templar (the soldier-monks in charge of protecting the Kingdom of Jerusalem) and a decent "making of" documentary, and you have an absorbing, enlightening look at events that prove one thing above all: the more things change, the more they stay the same. --Sam Graham

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Had me riveted 27 Dec 2009
By JamesA
Whether you're a scholar, just got a passing interest or like a bit of 'boys own' this is a great boxed set. Having loved the fiction movie Kingdom of Heaven I wanted to know more about the Crusades. As the previous reviewer said - very informative and unpatronising. Unlike the other reviewer, I liked the spooky religous guy. Added a bit of theatre - and he's quite funny in parts (unintentionally). It delivers all of the facts - but not in a crusty and dry old way. More kind of docu-drama. Recommended.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Crusades crescent and the cross (DVD) 3 Jan 2010
By Jaycee
An excellent DVD for all those senior students out there. Not many suitable books are available for this period of history for students at A-level, so this DVD is a very helpful addition.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wasted Potential 26 Mar 2011
In truth I would give this three and a half stars if I could; it's not worth four but three seems a little harsh. And why isn't it worth four (or more) stars? Firstly, it only covers the first three crusades, whereas the blurb here (and on the DVD cases themselves) gives the very definite impression of covering the entire period, until the fall of Acre in 1291. In fact everything after the third crusade, almost one hundred years of history, are dealt with in less than five minutes right at the end of disc three. Still, there are undoubtedly those who wouldn't be too worried about getting something that's not what is advsertised. Therefore we turn to a worse problem with this series - the narration.

The inclusion of a good number of famous crusade historians, from both sides of the religious divide, gives the series an authority sadly lacking in so many other documentaries. This should have been a winner then, but the narration entirely lets it down. Firstly, it's done by an American who insists on pronouncing everything incorrectly. Secondly, the content of the narration is often at odds with the crusade experts and, indeed, with itself. It also seems to have been written by someone following their own agenda rather than simply sticking with the history, which is very unhelpful. Unnecessary superlatives are the order of the day and many statements are made without context.

Having said all that, anyone watching this who has no or little knowledge of the crusades will definitely come away much better informed, if with the occassional odd idea.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Critique 30 Nov 2009
Very informative, scholastic and unpatronising. Input from a variety of university lecturers. Especially good and (balancing) input from Tariq Ali. It would have got a five had it not been from the slightly creepy religious input (maybe this was for the US market, or there was some level of funding provided by a christian sponsor).

One major negative, a perpetual dirge of Gregorian chant/church music throughout the DVD which was too loud, tedious and distracting.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Well presented and dramatised 23 Jan 2011
I have seen parts of this documentary on History channel and decided to buy my own copy to enable me to enjoy and watch from the beginning to the end. It is very well dramatised and presented from variety of perspectives; muslim and christian chronicles. Music is excellent and supports the story line very well. Crusades 1 and 3 have necessary detail and extended coverage. Crusade 2 is presented in less depth and that was a pity. I would have loved to learn more about the French King and his inspiring wife Elena (who later divorced him). That was a bit of missed opportunity. However, the overall series is very well done and highly recommended to anyone who has some interest in history or teenagers who study it at school. They will learn a lot in very enjoyable manner.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Trip Into Muslim & English History 18 July 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This 3 Disc set of an Historic Journey into the past and into the world of Christians and Muslims left me blown away.
What an educational Journey this was.
With the acting intertwined with the documentary side of things it gave a different dimension and made it more realistic and believable.
Well worth getting and adding it into your library.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY! 8 Mar 2012
This was terrible. Absolutly poor, it skips very lightly over the first and second crusades then simply says, 'and then there was a third crusade led by Richard the Lionheart! History for 2 year olds. Such a let down!!!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great 3 April 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Good informative DVD. My son is studying this in history A level and found it very helpful.would recommend as a learning tool.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very informative and academic
Published 6 days ago by elizabeth collinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by bryan money
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
very balanced account well done
Published 1 month ago by Stephen C.
4.0 out of 5 stars i get distracted easily.
havent finished watching it yet, i get distracted easily.
Published 1 month ago by josie paige
5.0 out of 5 stars The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross review
This 3-disc set contains the material shown previously on History Channel & other sources detailing the history of the Crusades. Read more
Published 7 months ago by cercia
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice little documentary
An enjoyable view with good commentary and cinematography.
I like a fair chunk of what the History Channel produces so its hard to fault this
Published 13 months ago by kyri christodoulou
4.0 out of 5 stars informative
I never really covered this history in my schooling but I thought that this was a fairly good enough presentation of what happened.
Published 13 months ago by Brendon John Orr
5.0 out of 5 stars Super!
Quite simply the most accessible drama documentary of the Crusades enjoyable for all age groups - 8-70! Read more
Published 18 months ago by the definitive reviewer
1.0 out of 5 stars Very very basic
Right rant begin, these 3 dvds are very short and ONLY really cover the last crusade.
The whole thing is told from the Muslim point of view with very little from the western... Read more
Published on 4 Sep 2012 by punisher78
3.0 out of 5 stars Missing crusade
I thought that this was a reasonable re-construction of the first three Crusades. The comparative humanity of Moslem Saladin towards the christians in Jerusalem compares very... Read more
Published on 29 April 2012 by James Wells
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