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The Great War - BBC Series 6 Disc Boxset [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

Price: £199.99
Only 1 left in stock.
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Product details

  • Format: Box set, 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: 6
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Simply Media
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Nov. 2009
  • Run Time: 1036 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002VPXZ0Y
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,614 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The Great War is one of the most ambitious and prestigious series ever produced by the BBC. Drawing on over one million feet of film, hundreds of exclusive interviews and contemporary diaries and letters, this documentary masterpiece is by far the most comprehensive film history of World War One ever made. A truly epic production lasting over seventeen hours, it was surely the inspiration for A World At War, which it closely resembles. Narrated by Sir Michael Redgrave and featuring the voices of many other leading actors of the day including Sir Ralph Richardson and Marius Goring, this magnificent series is now available containing all 26 episodes, complete and uncut.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This a marvellous collection from both a documentary and historical standpoint. It comes with a 63 booklet encapsulating the material on each of the 6 disks. It demonstrates what the BBC can do well. First broadcast in 1964 and it would appear only recently being committed to DVD format. It is superior to recent DVDs on the subject eg World War I in Colour and The First World War. Of particular interest are the interviews with World War I veterans both Allied and German combatants, at a time when they were far from being in their dotage. It is on a par at every level with The World at War.
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I bought this DVD set after watching the World at War, a similar series on WW2. I was not disappointed. This has to be one of the best documentaries, and now that the first world war has passed from living memory, at least to the extent that all british soldiers who fought have now passed on, this is also a very important documentary. This is one of the few places to find first hand accounts of the battles in Belgium, Mesopotamia, and Africa etc. I found the criticism of the government of the time for failing to provide the necessary ammunition to fight a war rather telling given that the same criticism has been made of recent governments! Although I dont think todays soldiers have to make grenades out of old beef tins!

Highly recommended. "He who keeps one eye on the past is blind in one eye. He who ignores the past is blind in both eyes..." Not sure if that is a real quote but I like it like that. If you want to know the start of the story that leads to the modern British involvement in Iraq it starts here in WW1.
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Format: DVD
The World at war is known as a landmark production in television, without doubt the best WW2 documentary ever made and this is well established.

The Great War is a BBC production that predates World at War by almost 20 years. A black and white documentary that follows the course of World War 1 in a series that puts World War 1 in the best context that I have ever seen and I often rewatch the episodes.

World War 1 is often passed over as a stagnant trench warfare, yet it was far more dynamic and it shaped the world as it is today, including World War 2 as is often remarked, the last bullet fired in World War 1 was the first of World War 2.

The documentary is different in style then what we are used to today but it has such class that I think it has aged very well. It also surprised me to see how much actual film footage was available from the war. It is heavily narrated and quoted with poems and letters of great men of the time but this is simply the way it was done then and the BBC have always taken their job seriously. To this interviews with veterans from the war are added and it becomes a rare insight into the first world war.

I have seen several episodes since about events of World War 1 but no series does the whole war as much justice and completeness than this series. If you are interested in military history then this is a set to be owned.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
These wonderful recordings were made in 1964 when there were still living many survivors from both sides in their sixties and seventies, fully compos mentis and with vivid memories. Their accounts and the expert commentary - and also the wonderful narration, with the unforgettable Welsh voice of Emlyn Williams reading the words of Lloyd George - make this series. Add to that extraordinary photography - some of it no doubt staged but not all; Allenby walking into Jerusalem is unforgettable.

When it was broadcast (before the VCR was invented) it became the main event of the week and social events were not arranged for the night it was shown because nobody would show - the pubs and restaurateurs hated it!

There will never be anything this good again. Buy it. Today.
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The Great War (First World War/WW1) was a major divide in world history. It destroyed four empires and mortally wounded a fifth. It laid the foundations for the current Middle East conflict and the advance of the USA to the leading position it still holds - and of course the foundations for the much greater catastrophe 25 years later. It also triggered the beginning of the end of European colonialism and massive social upheavals such as the advancement of women.

Having recently seen ITV's classic "The World at War", I was reminded of this earlier BBC series of the earlier conflict, which had appeared on the then-new BBC2 during my student days. Sir Jeremy Isaacs, producer of "The World at War", frankly confessed his admiration for it. I found to my surprise that it has only recently been made available on DVD, having hidden in the BBC archives for half a century. It is a LOT more expensive that the ITV series.

Is it worth it? For amateur students of human folly such as myself, most definitely yes. In retrospect, it is astounding that it was made at all. The BBC put a lot of authentic film together - I was surprised at how much there actually was, and found the quality sometimes amazingly good. There is quite a bit of clearly acted footage ( "All quiet on the Western Front"?), and the same shots are often repeated (the German soldier throwing a "potato masher" grenade comes up time and again). And then there are the big guns and explosions - lots and lots of big guns and explosions. Lots of the same big guns and explosions. Understandable, I guess, as massive bombardments were a feature of the battles of the Great War.

A particularly nice feature is the mass of interviews of veterans from all nations.
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