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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only 40 years ago?
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...
Published on 27 Jun. 2008 by haunted

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you're considering this as a replacement for the original VHS documentary - don't bother
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?"...
Published on 25 Oct. 2012 by MC


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you're considering this as a replacement for the original VHS documentary - don't bother, 25 Oct. 2012
By 
MC (Surreyshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Woodstock: The Director's Cut [1969] [DVD] (DVD)
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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only 40 years ago?, 27 Jun. 2008
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This review is from: Woodstock [DVD] (DVD)
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 (Sidmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Woodstock: The Director's Cut [1969] [DVD] (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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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woodstock was a milestone, 5 April 2002
By A Customer
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This review is from: Woodstock: The Director's Cut [1969] [DVD] (DVD)
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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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
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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68 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not forgotten, 4 Dec. 2002
By 
nick g black (London, England United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Woodstock: The Director's Cut [1969] [DVD] (DVD)
Given the media's quick move to marginalise and mock the hippie era, it's great to see this sprawling movie to remind everyone what it was all about.
Some of it has dated badly - check out Sly Stone's wonderfully cheesy looking organ on "higher", and the rambling tuneless warbles of Grace slick - but some remains as stunning as ever.
The highlights are the Brits: The Who's performance, shot in eerie slow motion at the beginning - is simply breathtaking. Ten Years After, who made a lucrative career from their Woodstock triumph, may be long forgotten but Alvin Lee's quicksilver guitar is still a joy to hear. Joe Cocker, an unlikely candidate for survivor, went for it in a big way with his impassioned "Little Help from my friends".
What the film doesn't really let on is how near to disaster it almost came. But it made huge stars of virtually all the main protagonists.
The documentary stuff is alo fascinating to look at. Yes, there are a few incoherent hippies here and there, but what really strikes home is the sheer normalcy of the crowds.. mostly collage kids on vacation having fun.
In less than 6 months the media had pronounced the era dead and gone after Altamont. But it stands as one bright shining moment the world should not forget. Maybe not heaven, certainly not hell.. just something human and endearing about it.
The directors cut includes a few performances left out of the original. Hendrix' portion is included, but the man was having an off day with a pick-up band and had not played in public for a while. Canned Heat get a shot at a great "leaving this town" plus a guy who crashed the stage. Yet the saddest of all is Janis, fading out in a desperate series of pleas and sighs.. melancholy baby.
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49 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sets the standard for all concert films, 26 Jun. 2004
By 
Gavin Wilson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Woodstock: The Director's Cut [1969] [DVD] (DVD)
Although I was a teenager soon after this concert, I somehow never got around to seeing the moving until this year. (I guess concert films don't get screened frequently on terrestrial TV.) So over the years I've become more familiar with the triple LP of the movie and, of course, the many posters the rock stars in heroic poses that dominated the early 1970s -- i.e. the Who's Roger Daltrey, Jimi Hendrix and Ten Years After's Alvin Lee.
Despite the mud and the squalor, this is an extraordinarily beautiful film, with the screen often breaking up into two or three segments. (Note on the closing credits the name of Martin Scorsese on the production team.)
It's well worth contrasting this movie with the DVD of the 1970 Isle of Wight festival. Only a year separates the two concerts, but the late 1960s idealism of Woodstock gets replaced by prototype British vandalism. The Who perform at both concerts, and make an equally good account of themselves. Daltrey's emotional delivery of 'See Me, Feel Me' helps to explain why 'Tommy' became such a phenomenon in America. Hendrix also performed at both, but his meandering solo at Woodstock was not of the highest standard.
The other highlight of the show was Santana, a Latino band only just beginning to establish themselves in California at the time. As others have noted, the drum solo by Mike Shrieve is impressive for one so young. As with the Who, Santana's album sales will have multiplied as a result of their Woodstock performance.
It's interesting how many great acts weren't at Woodstock -- e.g. Joni Mitchell (despite her song about the concert!), the Doors, Bob Dylan or the Stones. The first two clearly realised how important these festivals were in the breaking of artists into markets, and so they appear on the Isle of Wight DVD.
For most of my life, Woodstock has been a set of static images, largely taken from the cover of the album. But as this film reveals, there is so much more imagery than pictures of beautiful women bathing in the lake. Quite apart from all the idealism of passing whisky bottles and reefers around, of sliding in the mud, the film shows the flip side: of people queuing in the mud to phone home, of helicopters rescuing the sick, of helpers cleaning toilets, and of barefoot stragglers looking for a pair of shoes amid a post-concert site that looks more of a wasteland than the trenches of the First World War.
Enjoy it in all its glory and all its grime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have been to Woodstock, 23 May 2014
By 
W. Rodick (Cheshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Woodstock: The Director's Cut [1969] [DVD] (DVD)
A more complete documentary of the Woodstock music experience I could not imagine. I've had this £3 dvd for years on my shelf but never found the inclination to view the three and a half hour film. It does have an Interval at two hours which I won't spoil for how it is described.

I came away from the gathering with a clear picture of the white, middle-class youth of the time truly saying no to the status quo and no to revolution. Just being. That their journey of personal enlightenment had to be lit with a pipe is perhaps the fundamental flaw in achieving a life without fear.

I was surprised by how good the music was. The highlight must be Joe Cocker's rendition from the very bowels of the Earth of With a Little Help From My Friends. The soundtrack itself is very well reproduced on five speakers. Indeed much of the music is on the rear speakers enhancing the immersive experience.

But this is not a concert documentary. It is a document of a very special time in human discourse. Society as a rigid regimen had all but evaporated to be replaced by free thinking, uncontrolled self expression. Jimi Hendrix nailed it in sound. Everyone else enjoyed the feeling.

Much of the presentation is in the split screen format in fact I've never come across a film with such a mixture of aspect ratios! But I watch on a large plasma screen and I think this is where it should be viewed. Not just the spectacle of tens of thousands coming together in peace but for the mood of the time. Free.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great events of the 60s, preserved forever., 16 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Woodstock: The Director's Cut [1969] [DVD] (DVD)
Woodstock has become such a legendary event over the last 4 decades, that it has named a generation. At the time this footage was shot, I doubt that the filmmakers could have known that what they were filming would become the important document it is today. Michael Wadleigh and his team filmed dozens of hours of concert & crowd footage (the early cuts of this film were about 12 hours long) and after much pruning, this is the result. Less is more, as the end result is enough to convey a powerful sense of what it felt like to actually be there. "Woodstock, The director's cut" is so much more than just a concert film. It is a documentary of great variety, showing everything from some of the Bethel locals complaining at the invasion of their usually peaceful village, to a young couple talking about their lives and their hope that they will be able to get into the crowded festival. Max Yasgur addresses the crowd. A group of concertgoers take a swim in a lake nearby. Beautiful people seems to be an accurate description. Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Canned Heat, The Who, Sha Na Na, Country Joe McDonald, Janis Joplin, Arlo Guthrie, John Sebastian, Sly & The Family Stone, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Joe Cocker, Jefferson Airplane, and even a Swami addressing the crowd, are some of the scenes here. Breakfast in bed for 400 000 people is announced by Wavy Gravy. "We must be in heaven, man", he shouts out. I am not so sure about that, but I would still have loved to have been there. It is estimated that over 10 million people have claimed to have been there, as the myth and legend has grown. Sadly, I am not one who was there, but this gives a great taste of what an experience it must have been. Janis Joplin looks across at the crowd and yells :"Look at all those people!", covering her face at the thought of having to stand before that valley of faces. She is seated, wearing a lovely tie-died dress, I though she looked great. There have been so many knock-offs & wannabe hippies in film and on records since then , that it takes some reminding that this is the real deal, the one and only Woodstock. This 3 and a half hour (and it doesn't feel that long, even in one viewing) film ends as the concert ended, with Jimi Hendrix. His version of the Star Spangled Banner is still enough to send a shiver down my spine. Amazing. A masterpiece.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good and bad, 10 April 2013
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This review is from: Woodstock: The Director's Cut [1969] [DVD] (DVD)
You could divide this film into two stories in one. There is the live performances of the bands then the story of the people who attended, lived in the area and the people organising and running the festival .
The band footage is very poor. In most cases the camera is in extreme close up of the singers face totally ignoring the other members of the band. It was enough to show however how shoddy many of the performances were.
Then there was the camera and interviewer going out among the audience, to the fist aid tent, to the toilet block, to the local town. Watching the rain storm and the festival turning into a mud bath. The stage announcements. This is brilliant as it captures the mood of the event and a cross section of societies lifestyles and opinions. Pure gold.
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Woodstock: The Director's Cut [1969] [DVD]
Woodstock: The Director's Cut [1969] [DVD] by Michael Wadleigh (DVD - 1999)
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