The World at War
January 6, 2015 10:06 AM   Subscribe


 
Like.
posted by Melismata at 10:15 AM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is a very good series, the amount of detail is fascinating. Remember watching this growing up in the UK.
posted by arcticseal at 10:19 AM on January 6, 2015


I used to watch this as a kid. The black and white images, combined with the narrator's dour voice made this pretty memorable.
posted by Nevin at 10:22 AM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


This was on some cable channel within the last 5 years or so and I watched all the episodes at least once and also highly recommend it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:23 AM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


This transfer is terrible, is this an official release? Is there a higher res viewing option available? I'd really like to watch this, but right now it looks like a black and white Minecraft video.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 10:23 AM on January 6, 2015


the narrator's dour voice

I thought that was Olivier?
posted by Trochanter at 10:26 AM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


That music. Sternly unrepentant Nazis in 1970s clothes. Laurence Olivier's idiosyncratic pronunciation of 'Ukraine' and 'Stalin'. It's the most peculiarly and grimly atmospheric documentary series I can think of.
posted by sobarel at 10:26 AM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


It was made less than 30 years after the war. We are further from 1973 then it was from WWII.
posted by stbalbach at 10:38 AM on January 6, 2015 [8 favorites]



I thought that was Olivier?


Richard Burton!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:42 AM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


No! I'm wrong! It was indeed Olivier!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:43 AM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's the most peculiarly and grimly atmospheric documentary series I can think of.

Out of everything it was the horses freezing to death on the road that got me.
posted by The Whelk at 10:44 AM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]




I'd love to watch this, but I can't deal with the incessant commercial interruptions. Thankfully, it's on Netflix too.
posted by monospace at 10:48 AM on January 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


black and white

I've been dipping into World War II in Colour on Netflix. Seeing the footage in colour somehow makes it more real than the B&W did, heightens the horror somehow. Hoping never to see it in 3D.
posted by arcticseal at 11:13 AM on January 6, 2015


heads up...

I followed one of the links, 21. Nemesis: Germany (February – May 1945), and my virus scanner in Chrome went bezerk just as I was getting a popup message that my Flash needed updating.

My Flash is up to date.
posted by bricksNmortar at 11:27 AM on January 6, 2015


21. Nemesis: Germany (February – May 1945)

Uh. I've had no problems. Anybody else?
posted by cwest at 11:35 AM on January 6, 2015


I watched this series a few months ago. Very good documentaries. The quality on the Dailymotion site linked here is horrible, it is available in much better quality on DVD.
posted by Berend at 11:51 AM on January 6, 2015


My dad watched it all the time when I was a kid. Or maybe it just seemed like it was on all the time. He (barely) lived through the war as a child in Europe. I guess he was trying to... I don't know... get some perspective... or something.

It's a great series, and one of my vivid childhood memories is watching it with him.
posted by freakazoid at 12:09 PM on January 6, 2015


An utterly flawless, landmark series made when a lot of participants and eye witnesses were still alive. I doubt any future TV series about modern history will ever be this magisterial though it would be good to see something this detailed about Vietnam or Iraq.

The first couple of minutes of the first episode before the titles is Olivier at his hammy best.
posted by epo at 1:29 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


The most priceless bits of WatW remain the interviews with a variety of persons who directly participated in the events being examined, from Hitler's secretary to Albert Speer, Lord Mountbatten, and the Marquis Kido, chamberlain to Hirohito. IMHO, Lord Olivier's narration--idiosyncratic pronunciation and all--holds the series together. The newer series, such as "WWII in Colour" all have "Ersatz Larry" narrators who attempt, without success, to emulate the original's matchless enuniciation and dramatic flair.
posted by rdone at 1:53 PM on January 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


It was made less than 30 years after the war. We are further from 1973 then it was from WWII.
This is a strange thing to get my head round.

My mother taught a late class Wednesday nights, she would buy fish and chips on her way home and we would eat them watching this series. The memories are a mixture of pleasure (the fish and chips) and guilt (enjoying our selves while watching this harrowing series). It is comprehensive and very very good. My takeaway from the series is the suffering of ordinary people in war, a senseless suffering for no reason. Bitter. You wonder, at some of the documentary footage, who could have had the heart to be holding a camera at such a time? What was their motivation? And what was wrong with them?

It was vital knowledge for my mother, who grew up in the tail end of the war and expected to be drafted at age 16. For her, it was kind of a sacred history of a justified struggle. Britain changed so much for the better after the war and it's story is one of the foundational myths of the Welfare State, I think.

The Mail offered the series in DVD's as a promotion some years ago and I got all of them, in spite of having to buy the paper to do so. Still think it was worth it to have them, but don't know if I'll ever watch them again.
posted by glasseyes at 6:09 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is by far the best WWII documentary series there will ever be. I liked that they showed the African theater English and German troops reuniting for beers and singing in the early 70s.
posted by Locobot at 8:50 PM on January 6, 2015


I've never seen the entire series but I remember watching the episode that dealt with the Pacific War which showed airplanes trying to land on carriers and failing to stop, it was heartbreaking.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:38 AM on January 7, 2015


This is a strange thing to get my head round.

It is. Consider how old the typical 25 year-old soldier in 1945 was at the time. So in 1973 he would have been ..25+(1973-1945) = 53 years old. If your 53 you can watch the documentary like your watching something about 1987 or so. But then that is totally confusing.
posted by stbalbach at 5:50 AM on January 7, 2015


Yes. Because the period of time when my children were young is all a sort of amorphous 'just yesterday' for me. A sneaky yesterday that turns out to be an age ago, during which time I got old. I try to avoid noticing that.

Another thing that's quite disconcerting that you hint at is comparing the ages of the people participating in these historic events with the way one experiences the ages of family and friends. For instance, when I was reading Robert Graves' autobiography Goodbye to All That, one of my daughters was 19 and just transferring to Uni in another city away from home. It was so strange to feel the normal worries a parent has about that and realise that Graves, just after school, was being sent to command men in the trenches at the same age with nothing much more than class expectations and a teenage stint in the cadets to keep him going.
posted by glasseyes at 9:20 AM on January 7, 2015


Well, the stream is horrific because of the insane ads, building in frequency the further you get.

But my frustration led me to go out the next day and buy it, and it's fucking fantastic.

So, thanks, cwest!
posted by TheRedArmy at 10:19 PM on January 12, 2015




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