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The World At War: The Ultimate Restored 40th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] [Region Free]

Peter Tiffin    Exempt   Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (514 customer reviews)
Price: £25.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

The World At War: The Ultimate Restored 40th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] [Region Free] + World War II: Lost Films (WWII in HD) [Blu-ray] [Region Free] + Apocalypse [Blu-ray]
Price For All Three: £55.88

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Product details

  • Directors: Peter Tiffin
  • Format: Box set, PAL
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 9
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Sep 2010
  • Run Time: 1949 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (514 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003IN7YPU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,010 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

When this epic series was first broadcast in 1973 it redefined the gold standard for television documentary; it remains the benchmark by which all factual programming must judge itself. Originally shown as 26 one-hour programmes, The World at War set out to tell the story of the Second World War through the testimony of key participants. The result is a unique and unrepeatable event, since many of the eyewitnesses captured on film did not have long left to live. Each hour-long programme is carefully structured to focus on a key theme or campaign, from the rise of Nazi Germany to Hitler's downfall and the onset of the Cold War. There are no academic "talking heads" here to spell out an official version of history; the narration, delivered with wonderful gravitas by Sir Laurence Olivier, is kept to a minimum. The show's great coup was to allow the participants to speak for themselves. Painstaking research in the archives of the Imperial War Museum also unearthed a vast quantity of newsreel footage, including on occasion the cameraman's original raw rushes which present an unvarnished and never-before-seen picture of important events. Carl Davis' portentous main title theme and score underlines the grand scale of the enterprise. The original 26 episodes were supplemented three years later by six special programmes (narrated by Eric Porter), bringing the total running-time to a truly epic 32 hours.

Now digitally remastered The World at War looks even more of an impressive achievement on DVD. Available in five volumes, each handsomely packaged double-disc set comes with a detailed menu that places the individual programmes along a chronological timeline. Better yet, chapter access is laid out to allow you to select key speeches or maps or newsreel footage. The World at War was a landmark television event; its DVD incarnation underlines its importance as an historical document. --Mark Walker

Product Description

The World at War: The Ultimate Restored Edition is the definitive version of one of the greatest documentary series ever made. Each frame has been painstakingly restored and the audio enhanced and upgraded so that this is the best this award-winning series has ever looked and sounded. Narrated by Laurence Olivier and first broadcast in 1973 when memories of the Second World War were still clear in people's minds and the war's veterans numerous, over 26 episodes this unique series assembled these recollections, together with archive footage, to create one of the most powerful and successful historical documentaries ever seen. The voices of those that fought, worked or watched during the war gave each episode a vivid sense of what it was like to be there and was the hallmark of the series. Brand new to this DVD boxset for the first time ever: Hard of hearing subtitles, New widescreen presentation, 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound audio. Over 10 hours of special features includes: Brand new - Restoring the World at War - narrated by Sir Jeremy Isaacs, this feature explores every element of the restoration process, 11 features including the making of the original series, Photo galleries, Biographies Speeches and songs, Newsreels and maps.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Authorative (but the menu is *utterly* hopeless) 26 Dec 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I agree with the previous reviewer - the dreadful chapter-navigation interface on this collection makes it almost impossible to locate any particular episode.
I found it irksome and confusing both before (and after) I understood the structure of the index: it's a great pity that this transfer of an important TV documentary series to DVD has been subject to such an amateurish and user-unfriendly index of the episodes. I assume the newer version (recently made available and advertised by Amazon at twice the price of the discs reviewed here) has a better interface.
More positively - the interviews. Whether from high-ranking officials or well-placed combatants (from all sides), some of whose names are known only as footnotes in the histories, much of WAW’s gravitas comes from interviews with people whose decisions, experience, trauma or hopes were instrumental in creating the ÒWorld War TwoÓ of common imagination. To hear Albert Speer or Christabel Bielberg or Traudl Junge or innumerable other witnesses discuss "their war" is as unique an experience as can be found outside the archives of the Imperial War Museum.
Almost all these witnesses are now dead. In an age when Revisionist theories are creating dramatic new perspectives on WW2, and on our understanding of how they impact on our contemporary political world-view, the testament of those ‘who were there’ takes on an even greater significance.
An essential part of any historian's reference collection.
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142 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular and important piece of work 27 Nov 2002
Format:DVD
In 1970, producer Jeremy Issacs wanted to create the " definitive televisual history of the Second World War" that "should balance out the 'view from the top' with the 'view from the bottom'". The World at War (TWaW) achieved this mammoth task and more, collecting nearly a million feet of interview and location film.
Preserved indefinitely on DVD format (on 10 discs), this series, as other reviewers have already commented, is impressive (to say the least). Added gravitas is provided by the great Sir Laurence Olivier as narrator. There seems no need to re-iterate the praise this DVD very much deserves/
The full episode contents of the DVD special edition are as follows:
* The Making of World at War (exclusive to DVD)
* A New Germany : 1933 - 1939
* Distant War : 1939 - 1940
* France Falls : May - June 1940
* Alone in Britain : May 1940 - June 1941
* Barbarossa : June - Dec 1941
* Banzai - Japan Strikes
* On Our Way - America Enters The War
* Desert - The War in North Africa
* Stalingrad
* Wolfpack
* Redstar - The Soviet Union : 1941 - 1943
* Whirlwind - Bombing Germany : September 1939 - April 1944
* Tough Old Gut
* It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow
* Home Fires
* Inside the Reich : Germany 1940 - 1944
* Morning
* Occupation
* Pincers
* Genocide
* Nemesis
* Japan 1941-45
* Pacific
* The Bomb
* Reckoning
* Remember
* Secretary to Hitler
* Who Won World War II?
* Warrior
* Hitler's Germany: 1933 - 1939
* Hitler's Germany: 1939 - 1945
* The Two Deaths of Hitler
* The Final Solution - Auschwitz Part 1
* The Final Solution - Auschwitz Part 2

Not only for the specialist or enthusiast, this is now a crucial collection of material that the forthcoming generations who should learn about their ancestors and the value of peace. This is a non-patronising series that is a must for every DVD collection.
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117 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic WWII Films 27 Dec 2005
By A Customer
Format:DVD
The World at War (30th Anniversary Ed.) has 26 films that give a unique insight into the war as well as 8 presentations. The films have 3 elements. The archive black and white film runs for the majority of the programmes, the interviews of people who survived and lastly the narration of the story of WW2. Compared to modern series of WW2 these films have several attractions: Thoroughness, there are no general outlines of events with the whole war packed into 50mins. There are no actors. The narration is first rate and well researched. There is originality, even if you’ve read books on WW2 you will still find interest here, things you didn’t know, a memory, idea or opinion that makes you think.
These films portray the horrors of war with executions, concentration camps and bodies lying. This is war in its vulgarity. It is something that makes you feel sad. It also shows the form of this war in infantry, naval, aerial combat, and tank warfare to name a few. People interested in computer simulations of this period may be interested to see what these sims are aiming for. I found the main 26 episodes to be a great insight into WW2. The additional 8 presentations I didn’t like so much. This was mainly due to repetition. Even with my memory I recall previous interviews and archive scenes that were on the original series. This takes some of the originality away. If the 8 presentations are watched in isolation then this is fine. I did like some of the presentations and they are well researched, its just after the original I found them a little disappointing. I did find some trivial dislikes of the DVD package: The making of the series as the first film - this should be at the end.
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224 of 234 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I read all the reviews above and opted to buy the blu-ray version. Obviously anyone reading this knows what an incredible ground breaking series this is. I am simply looking at the Blu-ray version. The new edition is presented in fantastic boxset, with amazing sound and extras.

BUT
The cropping issue is just so difficult not to notice. I found it a continual distraction. Especially in each an every interview, with chins and tops of heads missing. The quality of the picture is fantastic with amazing clarity. Why oh why did they have to do a hatchet job and cut what looks like about a 3rd out of the picture. SURELY they could have released with both original 4:3 and 16:9 options on the Blu-ray. Supposedly the makers claim you are just losing "non-important" material. But even on opening scene of the devastated french town I had to cringe when I saw how tops of buildings were cropped and the wrecked car seemed awkwardly cramped into the screen.

I wouldnt consider myself a 4:3 "purist" and in fact am more of a 16:9 blu-ray enthusiast. I awaited keanly for the Blu-ray release. I read the reviews and kept my fingers croosed I wouldnt notice the cropping. However now I have to say I am reconsidering whether to sell the blu-ray in favour of the DVD. I am going to buy the 2004 DVD special edition now and compare them side to side. I think as long as the DVD looks acceptable I will probably switch to this. After all this is a historical documentary NOT a hollywood movie. Hence I favour lower def but with the complete documentary non-cropped. I hope seriously the makers read these reviews and consider using the high def material they have to re-issue a 4:3 version in blu-ray, although sadly I doubt it. I think the high def/cropping will be a 50/50 dividing issue for most people. Shame the program makers made us all have to make this choice! Otherwise this would have been an ultimate edition.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a great film
Published 2 days ago by Raymond Griffin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An excellent restored version. Recommended.
Published 11 days ago by D M REED
5.0 out of 5 stars ... this for my husband at Christmas thinking he would love it but he...
Got this for my husband at Christmas thinking he would love it but he has been too busy as yet to watch it.
Published 11 days ago by Mrs. E. A. Brockway
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Series.
Just what I expected, can't really fault the DVD. There was a comment about cropped heads but I don't find this a problem. Read more
Published 14 days ago by JohnNAG
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great series, nice extras
Published 18 days ago by Jim Black
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The best yet. A magnificent effort to restore this masterpiece.
Published 25 days ago by Humberhawk
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate WWII series.
The ultimate WWII series.
Published 25 days ago by Kris
5.0 out of 5 stars New look for old series
My husband loved the original series so was delighted to receive this redigitised version.
Published 25 days ago by vixclix
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsary Watching
Should be compulsory for anyone under the age of 60 and a must in every school in the UK Tells of the horror of WW2 does not glorify war tells the tale as it was good and bad. Read more
Published 25 days ago by spanish magpie
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the complainers
Some have criticised this blu ray release for the chopping off of the top of heads in order to accommodate 16:9 ratio.
Ignore them!! Read more
Published 29 days ago by The Wolf
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Discussion Replies Latest Post
Subtitles 11 2 Feb 2013
The DVD box desing seems bit flimsy.. 2 26 Jun 2012
Widescreen Formatting 8 1 May 2012
Question about the 5.1 Sound? 3 21 Sep 2010
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