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History DVDs

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26 replies to this topic

#1 of 27 OFFLINE   Dean M

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Posted December 13 2001 - 07:49 AM

Can somebody direct me to a resource for history DVDs?

What are your favorite history based DVDs? Whether they be a complete series, conspiracy theories, war, history of music, or anything else. I would love to hear your suggestions.

#2 of 27 OFFLINE   Matthew_S


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Posted December 13 2001 - 07:57 AM

Born on the Fourth of July

I'll try to think of more as they come to me...I love these types of movies.

#3 of 27 OFFLINE   Dean M

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Posted December 13 2001 - 08:05 AM

I love those movies as well but I'm thinking more along the lines of BBC stuff, documentaries, history of war etc.... as well as motion pictures.

#4 of 27 OFFLINE   John Tillman

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Posted December 13 2001 - 08:09 AM

I'm up to disc 6 of the 7 disc "History of New York City" series by Ric Burns. Yes it can be a dry documentary, but it's a fabulous dry documentary Posted Image.

#5 of 27 OFFLINE   Greg Krewet

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Posted December 13 2001 - 10:33 AM

You might also be interested in
Napoleon, Islam, and a House Divided. All 3 are recent releases from PBS and I have only found them at Borders.
Also A and E has a grerat many historical documentaries
such as Founding Fathers, Christianity, The first 2000 years
and then there is Crusades(with one of the Python members)
and Mark Twain, both released on Jan 8th

#6 of 27 OFFLINE   Shane Gralaw

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Posted December 13 2001 - 12:10 PM

Synapse has a really nice version of Triumph of the Will, the ultimate historical DVD with a really informative and slightly ascerbic commentary.

As for historical dramas, you can't beat I Claudius! The behind-the-scenes lives of Rome's first four emperors over thirteen episodes. This has a terrfic cast including Derek Jacobi as Claudius, John Hurt as Caligula, Patrick Stewart- with hair- as Tiberius' evil right hand man Sejanus, Brian Blessed(Flash Gordon, Black Adder I) as Augustus, and Sian Phillips (Dune) as the scheming evil empress Livia. Loosely based on Seutonius' Twelve Ceasars this plays like one long engrossing soap opera of affairs and intrigue. Check it out!

#7 of 27 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted December 13 2001 - 07:20 PM

Dean, if you go to:


you can access the DVD section and then 'documentaries'. You'll find a reasonably range of history stuff there. You'll find, however, that a high proportion of it is WWII (if you're interested in this area, then I'd strongly recommend 'The World at War', though the full series is expensive). There probably are more specialist titles out there, offered by educational suppliers, but they aren't advertised to the general public and tend to be *very* expensive.

If you want to find out what the BBC are up to, you can always try:


which has a BBC section in the DVD part. Even if you only have a R1 player, you can at least find out what's appearing in the UK - it's often a good indicator of what will be released in R1 within a few months.

#8 of 27 OFFLINE   Richard F

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Posted January 31 2002 - 11:42 AM

I would like to recommend the PBS dvd on Napoleon.Very well done documentary narrated by David McCollough tells the story through portraits of historical figures as well as battlefield recreation scenes by reenactors in France.Although 4 hours long and slightly expensive at $25 it is very entertaining and instructive for those interested in learning more about this historical figure.The audio and video quality is superb.The production is divided into 4 segments,tracing Napoleon's rise to power from a minor figure in the French army to ruler of the largest empire since the Roman empire and ends with his sudden decline and defeat at Waterloo.Equally interesting are his relationships with the women in his life.I'm looking forward to the other titles in the PBS series.

#9 of 27 OFFLINE   Aaron Silverman

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Posted January 31 2002 - 04:57 PM

I like World War II In Color. There's another disc with a very similar title which I hear is good, too.

Check out the History Channel 2-disc sets. . .mucho cheapo and some neat documentaries- Great Escapes Of WWII, The Rat Pack, etc.

Does Walking With Dinosaurs count?
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#10 of 27 OFFLINE   Juan C Toro

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Posted February 01 2002 - 03:55 AM

How about some American history?


Also, the recently released Uprising.

Unfortunately, one of the best miniseries ever made, Holocaust, is not yet available on DVD.

Also, in documentary format, try anything by Ken Burns

#11 of 27 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted February 01 2002 - 04:01 AM

One of my favorites from my collection are the DVDs of PBS's excellent, two-part American Experience documentary, The Kennedys. Parts one and two are two separate DVDs. Excellent film, and you feel like you're watching PBS--only with better video quality.

#12 of 27 OFFLINE   Kyle McKnight

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Posted February 01 2002 - 06:28 AM

I wish Discovery would get "Neaderthal" out on DVD. They've got 300 vhs copies ready to ship, but no DVD Posted Image
Kyle McKnight

#13 of 27 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden



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Posted February 01 2002 - 06:42 AM

For a nice combination of film and US history, you can buy the PBS American Experience documentary "The Battle over Citizen Kane" and get a not too shabby free bonus movie with it. Posted Image

Ken McAlinden
Livonia, MI USA

#14 of 27 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted February 01 2002 - 07:53 AM

Yes, Ken--that would be a Warner title wouldn't it? Posted Image

#15 of 27 OFFLINE   Bill J

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Posted February 01 2002 - 08:12 AM

My favorite documentary has always been For All Mankind from the Criterion Collection.

A combination of film and history would be the AMC documentary on war films called Cinema Combat: Hollywood Goes To War.

#16 of 27 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden



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Posted February 01 2002 - 08:17 AM

I have fond childhood memories of watching 16mm film versions of "The World at War" series in my elementary school gym if we had extra time at the end of Boy Scout meetings. Unfortunately, it only appears to be available on DVD in R2 & R4.

Ken McAlinden
Livonia, MI USA

#17 of 27 OFFLINE   Steve_AA



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Posted February 01 2002 - 08:40 AM

Being a WWII buff, one of the best documentaries I remember was 'Victory At Sea'. Very memorable music score.

Alas, it doesn't appear to be available on DVD...at least in R1. I'd buy it for sure.

#18 of 27 OFFLINE   Eric Paddon

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Posted February 01 2002 - 04:12 PM

The American Experience presidential bios I think are all on DVD and are definitely worth a look (I don't know if they duplicate the VHS packaging of grouping Democrats in one set and Republicans in another). Also "The Civil War". "Baseball" though is lacking in too many areas and I think is only worth it if you've got the extra money to burn.

A great sports history DVD that's now out is the HBO documentary on the 1980 Olympic hockey team and the Miracle Of Lake Placid that I think is worth seeing even if you're not a sports fan.

#19 of 27 OFFLINE   Mark Klaus

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Posted February 01 2002 - 04:15 PM

Re: The World at War

It's available since November in Region 1. Fabulous collection for any history buff.

#20 of 27 OFFLINE   Robert Dunnill

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Posted February 01 2002 - 04:43 PM

Mein Kampf and Mein Krieg are a couple of the more obscure documentaries in my collection.

Ask Warner for a DVD SE of Here Comes The Navy (1934)!