The second world war comes roaring back to life in a 10-film, hi-def experience specially selected from the U.S. National Archives. Includes December 7th: Short Version (1943/34 min.), December 7th: Long Version (1943/82 min.), With the Marines at Tarawa (1944/40 min.), The Battle of Midway (1942/30 min.), Let There Be Light (1946/60 min.), Nuremberg (1946/80 min.) and four films with narration by Ronald Reagan: General MacArthur, General Eisenhower, General Bradley and General Patton (1963/89 min.). 4 Discs. Color-b&w/NR.
Critic Review An amazing collection of documentaries from the U.S. National Archives is featured on this superlative four disc set. I am more than impressed with this new four disc set of WWII in Hi Def from Topics featuring a slew of documentaries culled from the National Archives.
While there are a couple of niggling complaints I have no liner notes or insert booklet and packaging which stacks the four discs on a single spindle, as well as a very minor authoring error which will display Disc One as Disc Two and vice versa on your introductory PS3 screen if you use that system they pale when one considers the breadth and depth of material contained herein. Though you wouldn't know by the rather minimal listing on the back of the keepcase insert, this compilation includes several Oscar winners for Best Documentary, at least a couple of notably notorious releases (at least back in their day), and a who's who of (uncredited) Hollywood royalty in front of and behind the camera, people like John Ford, ...ault to the Dolby mix--when are distributors going to figure out most Blu-ray consumers want lossless audio and will choose that mix if given the choice?).
For the most part all of these features sound good to very good, within the confines of early 1940s recording techniques. A couple of the features have fairly badly damaged audio, including Battle of Midway, which easily fares the worst sound wise among the ten features included here. The short form December 7 also has some audio damage. The rest of the features, while boxy and lacking either extreme highs or lows, feature decent to excellent fidelity, albeit with hiss and the occasional pop and crack.
This is an astoundingly fine set from Topics, and kudos to the label and the producers who assembled this excellent collection of documentaries. Anyone with even a passing interest in World War II and the United States filmed history of it should have this set in their collections. Highly recommended. --Jeffrey Kauffman, Bluray.com
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