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

3.9 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

Dispatched from and sold by Magic Movies Ltd.
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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • 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 Sept. 2009
  • Run Time: 183 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002N7OPE0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,283 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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7 Comments 29 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This 3-disc set contains the material shown previously on History Channel & other sources detailing the history of the Crusades. As documentaries on the subject go, it's one of the best, dramatizing the time as well as covering the entire Crusader period from the earliest (first) Crusade to the final battle. It is a deeply engrossing story which will reward repeated viewing.

Series like this make you want to type in 'The history channel dvds' into Amazon and start collecting...
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Format: DVD
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.
6 Comments 26 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
While this is entertaining and educational at once, I bought it to watch with my son. The degree of violence, however, makes it inappropriate for children. While it's true that the facts themselves are very violent, so one should be forgiving of a director who wants to portray them in their full intensity, omitting the graphic nature of the reeanctments would have made this available to a wider audience.
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Format: DVD
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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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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