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Woodstock [DVD]

Joan Baez , Richie Havens , Michael Wadleigh    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
Price: 33.63
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Woodstock [DVD] + Woodstock [DVD] [2009] + The Last Waltz [1978] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Roger Daltrey, Joe Cocker, Country Joe McDonald
  • Directors: Michael Wadleigh
  • Producers: Bob Maurice, Dale Bell
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Run Time: 184 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056KAY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 303,440 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From Amazon.co.uk

The three-day Woodstock music festival in 1969 was the pivotal event of the 1960s peace movement, and this landmark concert film is the definitive record of that milestone of rock 'n' roll history. It's more than a chronicle of the hippie movement, however; this is a film of genuine historical and social importance, capturing the spirit of America in transition, when the Vietnam War was at its peak and anti-war protest was fully expressed through the liberating music of the time. With a brilliant crew at his disposal (including a young editor named Martin Scorsese), director Michael Wadleigh worked with over 300 hours of footage to create his original 225-minute director's cut, which was cut by 40 minutes for the film's release in 1970. Eight previously edited segments were restored in 1994, and the original director's cut of Woodstock is now the version most commonly available on videotape and DVD.

The film deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Documentary, and it's still a stunning achievement. Abundant footage taken among the massive crowd ("half a million strong") expresses the human heart of the event, from skinny-dipping hippies to accidental overdoses, to unpredictable weather, mid-concert childbirth, and the thoughtful (or just plain rambling) reflections of the festive participants. Then, of course, there is the music--a non-stop parade of rock & roll from the greatest performers of the period, including Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Canned Heat, The Who, Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Ten Years After, Sly & The Family Stone, Santana and many more. Watching this ambitious film, as the saying goes, is the next best thing to being there--it's a time-travel journey to that once-in-a-lifetime event. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com



Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woodstock was a milestone 5 April 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
People gripe about the quality of the sound, the picture and about having to sit through too much footage on crowd scenes, etc. They are missing the point of this movie.
For starters, this was filmed towards the end of the sixties, the technology used at the time was as good as it could have been. Obviously by today's standards it falls short. Regardless, a momentous event was recorded. This was the last cry of the Summer of Love. The movie is a much about the people who attended as those who performed on stage. This is typical of a festival goer's experience. The world had not seen anything like if before and probably will never again. As Dickens would have put it: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".
Enjoy this movie for what it is, not what you would like it to be.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only 40 years ago? 27 Jun 2008
By haunted
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Surely this was filmed 100 years ago? It was certainly another world. The innocence and kindheartedness of nearly all the people in the film is what strikes this cynic the most.

The promoters who accept they are going to "take a big bath" when they realise they have to take down the fences and make it a free concert for safety reasons.

The landowner who can't believe the amount of people who have come to his farm

The locals (most of them anyway) cheerfully giving food and water to the kids and commenting about how respectful they are

The kids going to a music festival but for some reason expecting and getting so much more - and then queuing to phone home and tell the parents they're okay!

The performers who knew something special was happening and did their bit to make history.

At more than 3 hours the film could have seemed too long but it doesn't as the performances and interviews with concert-goers mix perfectly. There are few interviews with the performers as the director recognises it was really all about the kids.

It would be interesting to see present day interviews with people in the film to see their current day view on what happened at Woodstock but in the meantime we can only enjoy this living piece of history.
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A piece of history 19 Mar 2007
By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
Everyone has their own ideas about Woodstock: the high-point of a golden age of optimism, a chaotic, badly organized mess, an uneven mixture of performers and performances, a clash between the conservative townspeople and a vast invasion of hippies, a religious experience... the list goes on. This movie does an excellent job at capturing all these aspects (and others) of the event, sometimes using multiple images to represent more than one of them simultaneously. The intermingling of the performances with other scenes creates a well-rounded picture, and makes this much more than just a concert film. Sometimes the juxtaposition is magical - one of my favourite moments is, while one camera is showing Carlos Santana as he grimaces his way through a characteristically melodic guitar solo, another is focussed on a girl in the audience as she responds to - it seems - each and every note.

There are other buried treasures in here as well - for example, I'd never realised how beautiful Grace Slick was (probably because I'd heard so many tales about her unpleasant personality) or, for that matter, how much Janis Joplin reminded me of Ozzy Osbourne in his earlier days. To be sure, some of the music is more dispensible than others (and some of the performances have clearly been cleaned up - or completely overdubbed - after the event): I could never see the point of Sha Na Na, and I still find myself nodding off during Ten Years After's "Going Home" (sure, Alvin Lee's a fantastic guitarist, but he seems to spend 90% of the song not playing it). But they're more than made up for by the magic: Country Joe getting the crowd on its feet with his impromptu "Fixin' To Die Rag", Pete Townshend swaggering through "Summertime Blues", Joe Cocker's catarthic "Little Help From My Friends" and Hendrix's appearance right at the end, as if just descended from a spacecraft: "I see that we meet again, hmmmm...".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By MC
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As above.

All the footage of the 'big hitters' is in here: Richie Havens, Crosby Stills & Nash, Joe Cocker, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, etc, but what this DVD lacks is the 'incidental' footage which made the original documentary so watchable.

There was so much footage that the screen had to be split into three to get it all in, resulting in many "WTF?" moments. Anyone catch the man dancing with the sheep? Or the naked couple 'getting it on' in the grass?

No, thought not. Almost none of the incidental footage is included in this DVD version.

To describe this DVD as a 'Director's Cut' is simply laughable: in many circumstances where the original footage split into three, on this version the 'side panels' have just been filled in with identical duotone vignettes of the main act. An irritatingly clunky cinematic device which isn't faithful to the original documentary, and doesn't tell the story.

All in, a disappointment.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most phenomenal event of the 60s. 31 Oct 2000
Format:VHS Tape
What can be said about this video only that it is an amazing video showing the most phenomenal event of the 60s. The footage is brilliant and the atmosphere is captured ecstatically. This video is well the money as it shows extra footage not seen in the movie for example the footage of Janis Joplin. This recaptures and refreshes peoples memory of Jimi Hendrix performing his famous American National Anthem, Joe cocker with his mind blowing performance of With A Little Help From My Friends and also features a young Santana. This is the festival of all festivals and you will want to see it again and again. This is phenomenal and it'll soon get you up dancing and singing along and may even get you playing air guitar along with Jimi Hendrix. This is well worth every penny as it is a collector's edition.
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