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Woody Guthrie: This Machine Kills Fascists [DVD]

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Woody Guthrie
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Snapper Music
  • DVD Release Date: 4 July 2005
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002N4ZE2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,933 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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This is as much a historical document as the life story of an iconic songwriter and activist. If you are looking for film of Woody singing, then there is a lot of footage included, but you really have to see this film as the telling of his life story. As such it is more a chronological documentary than anything else. His songs are consistently and very well placed within both the historical context of life and events in America at that time, and the relationship between Woody, his songs, events in America and the world, his family and folks around him is also made very clear.
This is a fascinating film and is added-to enormously by Billy Bragg's comments and commentary. The only other films of this type that I can think of which are of comparable excellence are the music documentary films by Martin Scorcese.
If you're a fan of Woody Guthrie or have an interest in the development of modern folk music in America, then this DVD is essential viewing.
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By A Customer on 7 Aug. 2005
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This is an indepth account of the life and influence of Woody Guthrie. I really can't fault it. This is fully endorsed by the Guthrie family and includes commentary by Arlo and his sister Nora.
There is no attempt to gloss over the darker side of Guthrie's life. His life was beset by personal tragedies which I'm sure would have broken the strongest spirit making his legacy an even greater triumph.

Even though it's lengthy it will bear repeated viewings.
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...for nostalgia buffs. To be honest I didn't know about Woody Guthrie till Bob Dylan sang his praises back in 1962/63, and I was fascinated to get to know his music. The only thing I didn't like about this DVD was that I wasn't able to isolate the songs and listen to only the songs when desired. Maybe I'm missing something as I'm not much of a technologist, but that was my experience.
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I really enjoyed sitting and back and watching this DVD. I have quite a lot of Woody Guthrie music and also a few books on this iconic music legend.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x90eecb4c) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x910ff33c) out of 5 stars Could have been better 30 Aug. 2005
By Dave Essel - Published on
I bought this DVD, prompted by a positive review in Mojo magazine. However, in my view it's a waste of money.

The 2-hour plus DVD has been put together as a production for MTV-brained folk with a 15-second attention span: not one song is played in full and the interviews are lightweight reminiscences.

On the positive side there are nice period newsreel excerpts and period stills and some talk. However, even these items are kept brief, presumably to match the 15-second attention span the producers condescendingly think is the most a viewer is capable of.

People interested in Woody Guthrie are not like that!
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9119ee1c) out of 5 stars This machine created a huge legacy 8 Sept. 2005
By Jay Pfeiffer - Published on
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I have been a fan of Woody Guthrie since the days of the "folk revival". I have had high regard for his written musings and have followed renditions of his music since his own recordings to the Billy Bragg/Wilco disks. I was travelng a few months ago and heard an excellent review of a Bob Dylan exhibition sponsored by "No Depression". I was particularly interested in Dylan's early visits to the master while he was in the hospital. Indirectly, this review lead me to the "This Machine Kills Facists" DVD. I thoroughly enjoyed this fresh look at the life and legend of Woody Guthrie and recommend it to all with an interest in his music and background. I would like to see a follow-up that focuses on his legacy - his influences on the music we hear today and will continue to hear in the future.
HASH(0x910ffeb8) out of 5 stars Get to know about Woody 11 Feb. 2008
By Jackaro - Published on
Having loved and sung Woody's songs for almost 50 years, I think this film will be worthwhile to anyone who a) knows a little about Woody or b) can identify with a man who wrote, sang and lived as he had to and didn't give a damn about commercial considerations. A great film it's not, but what does come across is how truly rare and wonderful it is to even be in the third hand presence of such elegant simplicity, truth, directness, emotional quality and beauty, from Woody himself and from the telling of Woody's relatives and comrades. Interviews with his sister, daughter (who still has unheard songs?) son Arlo, Pete Seeger and others move the story along. By comparison, Billy Bragg's narrative jars, however sincerely it might have been meant. The long "projector" shots introducing chapters don't work and even some of the chapters hold too much irrelevant detail. The anonymous guitar plucking annoys. I thoroughly disagreed with the comment that Woody's "Sacco and Vanzetti" collection did not work. That was passed over too quickly and should have been at least presented for others to judge. And, if nothing else we should have heard "This Land is Your Land" all the way through, with the "censored" verses. We also missed out on Woody's explicit erotic writing, which, whether or not influenced by his disease, was certainly way ahead of its time. I would favour a recut, more voice over- we don't really need to see that much of Billy Bragg standing there reading- and more complete songs. Nevertheless, with so many young people unaware of who he was, anything which gets his genius across is worth watching. -Jack Warshaw
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x910ff48c) out of 5 stars Interesting documentary 30 Jan. 2006
By Sven Erick Alm - Published on
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in particular the many interviews, especially with Guthrie's daughter Nora Lee.

I was disappointed by the musical content and the special features.
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x910ff798) out of 5 stars Replacement 8 Mar. 2007
By Kindle Customer - Published on
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Purchased a copy and put aside for a gift. Six months later opened and found disk defective. Replaced swiftly and without question. Fantastic!!
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