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4.6 out of 5 stars60
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 21 July 2009
I find this compelling. It preserves and communicates all the feelings and emotions of the astronauts on the hazardous Apollo missions better than any other film has. They tell the story, as it happens, through their own "home video" taken throughout all the Apollo missions. It's an irony that we've become so familiar with the jerky, spontaneous style of home recording recently- a result of You Tube, mobile phones and films like Cloverfield. This film made use of the intimacy of this style long before any of those were around.

I first saw this documentary film when it was screened on the BBC around the time of the 20th anniversary of the moon landings in 1989. I recorded it on videotape and watched it over and over again throughout my late teenage years. Unfortunately, my life moved on and the VHS format became obsolete. By the time I finished university, my parents had thrown it away. So, now I'm reserving a DVD copy and expect to be hooked all over again.
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on 10 January 2010
I've been looking for a copy of this ever since I dumped my old VCR - along with an old VHS recording - and figured I'd take a punt on the Blu-Ray version as it wasn't much more than the standard DVD.

Having seen some other supposed HD documentaries covering this period I wasn't holding out much hope for more than a cleaned up video transfer but Criterion have done a stunning job here - this has to be the best quality I have seen of the Apollo era. Obviously there is some low quality footage - in particular from some of the on-board handheld cameras & TV transmissions but for the most part everything else is superb (presumably much coming from the 16mm scientific camera's that most missions carried).

For All Mankind presents the Apollo story in a unique way - bringing together clips from all the missions to combine and tell the story in the form of a single trip to the moon and back. Accompanied by occasional inciteful quotes from the Astronauts involved and underscored by Brian Eno's wonderfully atmospheric soundtrack this is a 79 minute journey that you really feel you are accompanying those 24 fortunate men on.

If you are looking for a documentary with in depth narration then look elsewhere you won't find what you are looking for here - there are countless formal documentaries out there (try NASA's Greatest Missions as a start).
For All Mankind is something else - a grand story told as such - and that's what makes it so special.
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on 21 November 2009
Having seen a larger number of documentaries and series on the moon landings , this is by far the best. The primary reason being the rare footage , the perfect quality of picture and sound, the music by Bryan Eno fits simply perfectly. When Eagle 1 ( of the Apollo 11 mission) leaves the moon surface the only background sound is 'Ascent ' by Bryan Eno, these 2 minutes or so is probably the climax of the approach this dvd has : less narrative and more music, footage taken from the astronauts not previously seen in other documentaries. In my opinion for this scene only its worth having this dvd. Apart from this scene, other footage is breathtaking and I recommend this dvd to anyone who has an interest to mankind's greatest achievement to date perhaps
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on 23 August 2012
This is a spectacular documentary film. Chronicling the events that occurred during the Apollo missions. Showcasing the greatest achievement that man has ever undertaken, landing on the surface of another world. It is accompanied by the brilliant work of ambient artist Brian Eno (formerly of Roxy Music), creating soundscapes that make you feel as you're floating in space with the astronauts. If you're looking to understand, or you already understand, just why the Apollo missions were so important for humanity. Then I advise you watch this. If you're a moon landing conspiracist or against the NASA budget. Then I would advise something more to your taste- such as Ancient Aliens or recordings of most Republican TV show hosts.
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on 30 December 2009
Over the years I have watched and owned many of the various DVD, and now all the Blu Ray, releases of documentaries on Space Exploration and this really is a phenomenal docu/film. As has been stated by other Amazon buyers, the NASA's Greatest Missions boxset on Blu Ray is a superb record of NASA's achievements but, apart from some of the shuttle footage, it doesn't really benefit from the Blu Ray format: For All Mankind is a totally different story! The quality is truly breathtaking. Having wanted the Criterion region A version since release I was thrilled to see the same version being released in the UK by Masters of Cinema. The film footage has been scanned from the, unfrozen, original NASA film archives with eye-popping clarity. This coupled with the candid interview dialogue track from 20 of the 24 Apollo Astronauts has created a cinematic tour de force. If you are at all interested in Space Exploration this is by far the most accessible and visually stunning of any Blu Ray or DVD release you can buy on the subject.
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on 18 May 2010
This documentary is, believe it or not, already twenty-one years old. How time flies...
Made sixteen years after the last Apollo mission was flown (I consider the Spacelab Missions as being a further stretch of the Apollo Program, just like the Apollo-Soyuz Mission being originally named "Apollo 18"), this is a complex "collage" of all the Lunar Apollo Missions ever flown (from Apollo 8 to Apollo 17 - I don't think I have spotted any material from Apollo 7, but I may be mistaken).

What is celebrated here, is not A single mission, but the entire development of the program. Therefore, many segments jump from mission to mission, choosing the best ever filmed material, in order to form one single mission.

The whole work is accompanied by the actual soundtrack of comments and communications made during the missions, together with a very well chosen music track by Brian Eno. Never overbearing, this musical compilation appears discreetly throughout this relatively short documentary.

What it does achieve, in the end, is to recreate the feel and the ambiance felt by those who lived these missions at the time they were flown.

This is truly a tiny masterpiece in the documentary genre.

This DVD is never boring. Moreover, it has some very poignant and emotionally charged moments and the images are strikingly vivid and clear.

Originally released by Criterion in the United States, this DVD also includes new interviews with the Film maker and the custodian of the NASA film vaults.

Well worth watching and highly recommended by someone who knows something about the Apollo Missions...
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on 21 July 2010
I rented this Blu-ray of For All Mankind. I grew up with quite a fascination about space exploration but had only ever seen dated or damaged materials related to the Moon landings. This Blu-ray was therefore a real treat for me - only marred by being slightly shorter than I expected and lacking virtually any footage from the return journeys of the Apollo missions.

The picture has been nicely restored. There is no dated 'colour cast' that I've always previously seen on archive footage from these missions. This gives the footage a real up-to-date feel and relevance. You feel like you are part of the missions and a contemporary observer of the events. This is really quite remarkable and gives this Blu-ray a timeless quality - e.g. the kind of thing you show to your children as a record of one of humankind's significant achievements.

The footage is generally good and lots of it I'd never seen before anywhere. There are quite intimate and insightful commentaries over the footage from many of the astronauts involved in the missions.

The music is great - although I do note one other reviewer's comments about it being only a partial inclusion of the source material. There is also the issue - again highlighted by others - that the film ends rather abruptly due to a seeming lack (or exclusion) of footage from the return journey. This is a real shame, as it would be interesting to see the crews post-landing - and to hear their views after having been through such an unique experience 'on behalf of all mankind', as it were.

Sadly, as it was a rental I didn't have time to check out the extras. However there seemed to be quite a few of them.

Overall, a 4/5 because of the lack of return voyage material. However it's still something very special to see, to share with others so you can discuss the historical and current significance of 'for all mankind' ventures like this given what was happening at the time and what has happened since. A bit of a 'movie event' really. Highly recommended!
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on 9 July 2010
This film is an essential record of one of the key events in the science and technology of the mid-20th Century, especially since the history of the manned space programme [including the Apollo 11 landing itself ] is barely mentioned in schools today.

In common with a few other reviewers, I first saw this particular film as a TV broadcast in 1989 to mark the 20th anniversary of the first moon landing, and taped it off-air onto VHS; I've been looking for a better quality copy ever since...

The quality of the Blu-ray disk is very good, bearing in mind that most of the source material was taken from 16mm filmstock, or possibly even 1960's video recordings. Thankfully the producers have very wisely decided to preserve original picture aspect ratios; and whether in plain stereo or in it's new multi-channel mix, Brian Eno's soundtrack is still as evocative and appropriate as when I first heard it on this film more than twenty years ago.

Keep this film. Show it to your children when they ask what 'old people' mean by "Apollo", or when they ask whether humans have ever been to the Moon!
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on 12 May 2011
I first saw this documentary when it was aired on the BBC in 1989. I found it visually and audibly stunning. Luckily, I videoed it at the time and was able to enjoy this masterpiece time and time again.

However, in time VHS gave way to DVD and I was no longer able to enjoy it. Recently, I was delighted to buy the Masters of Cinema DVD version and eagerly sat down to watch it at home.

Sadly, I was hugely disappointed, as for some reason, parts of the music backing have been changed from the original.

If you were to watch this documentary for the first time, this change would not be a problem, because the film is still compelling, in my opinion. However, if like me, you had grown used to the version aired in 1989, you might be as disappointed as me.

For me, the music tied in beautifully with the visuals and I want that version again. Also, on many occasions, when the original music is used the volume is very much lower, so that it is a barely audible background.

Very, very disappointed. If anyone knows of a DVD with the original broadcast soundtrack, please let me know.
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on 2 November 2010
A very well made high quality documentary with the most stunning material ever brought together.The footage of the orbit which clearly shows footage of camp fires in n africa is beyond description. Im buying more copies for christmas gifts as they are a must have for anyone.
Throughout the entire dvd is breahttaking non stop thought provoking comments by the astronaughts.The computer technology used would stretch beyond a calculator used today. As i sit on a sony laptop dual cpu loads ram many thousands perhaps milloin times more powerful than used on the early apollo missions.I read and watch loads of dvds mostly physics,nuclear tests,trinity and beyond,the manhattan project but rate this one as no 1. The picture of Earth from the Moon is one ive seen on my i touch and is awesome
Make me think Are We Alone?
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