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V

( 13 )

Overview

In this sprawling television miniseries, originally aired in May 1983 on NBC, a race of seemingly human-like aliens arrive en masse on Earth. These "Visitors" promise cooperation and friendship -- then launch a clandestine takeover of the planet by accusing the entire scientific and medical community of conspiring to destroy them, then finally "benevolently" seizing power. Inspired by Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here, a 1935 account of a fictional fascist takeover of America, V uses a huge ensemble cast and ...
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Warner Home Video, 09/30/1997, VHS Tape, Very Good condition. VHS Tape. Case Good. 5 Tape set. Quality guaranteed! In original artwork/packaging unless otherwise noted.

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Overview

In this sprawling television miniseries, originally aired in May 1983 on NBC, a race of seemingly human-like aliens arrive en masse on Earth. These "Visitors" promise cooperation and friendship -- then launch a clandestine takeover of the planet by accusing the entire scientific and medical community of conspiring to destroy them, then finally "benevolently" seizing power. Inspired by Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here, a 1935 account of a fictional fascist takeover of America, V uses a huge ensemble cast and an elliptical method of storytelling to trace the contact between humans and the Visitors, from the arrival of 50 giant flying saucers in low Earth orbit to the first major victory of the underground resistance that opposes the aliens. Major characters include Mike Donovan (Marc Singer), a television cameraman who leverages his experience filming in various war-torn locales to help expose the Visitors' true nature; news anchor Kristine Walsh (Jenny Sullivan), his sometime girlfriend, who allows her ambitions to cloud her journalistic judgment and becomes a pawn of the alien invasion; Juliet Parrish (Faye Grant), a young biochemist who finds herself thrust into the role of resistance leader; Abraham Bernstein (Leonardo Cimino), the patriarch of a Jewish family divided between the lessons of the Holocaust and the need to survive; Elias Taylor (Michael Wright), a petty thief who joins the resistance after the Visitors kill his doctor brother, Ben (Richard Lawson); and Robin Maxwell (Blair Tefkin), the surly eldest daughter of a scientist (Michael Durrell) who finds his family the target of harassment and intimidation. The Visitors, who assume common human first names as their monikers, include supreme leader John (Richard Herd); sultry science and security officer Diana (Jane Badler); hunky Brian (Peter Nelson); and gentle Willie (Robert Englund). V was written and directed by Kenneth Johnson, who initially envisioned the project as a less fanciful story of fascist aggression; when his pitch to NBC seemed to be faltering, Johnson allegedly added the alien angle extemporaneously, securing himself a green light and NBC a sweeps-week hit. The success of V spawned a second miniseries, V: The Final Battle, and a weekly TV series that lasted 19 episodes from 1984 to 1985. Johnson ended his association with the world of V halfway through production on the second miniseries, but his work on the Alien Nation TV spin-off years later would resurrect many of the themes of V. Actor Singer was already known to sci-fi fans as star of The Beastmaster, while Englund would go on to portray Freddy Krueger in countless Nightmare on Elm Street films. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
Although its special effects pale in comparison to the modern CGI norm and its dialogue and characters seemed pretty wooden even when it first aired, this seminal '80s miniseries remains a watchable piece of sci-fi world making thanks to Jane Badler's campy and creepy lead villainess, former Beastmaster Marc Singer's regular-joe hero, creator Kenneth Johnson's idea-laden though heavy-handed script, and the memorable scenes in which the aliens reveal their true colors: lizard green. Although most of the effects involving space ships are obvious blue-screen jobs, and the distorted voice effect applied to the aliens' dialogue has dated poorly, nostalgia actually works in V's favor; revisiting the Reagan-era hairstyles of Badler's dominatrix-like Diana provides some undeniable though ironic entertainment value. Full of allusions to events both historical (World War II) and science-fictional (Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Day the Earth Stood Still, to name a few), V tries valiantly to please fans of both creature features and political allegory. Unfortunately, its tone is closer to a second-rate soap than to a piece of weighty "issue" filmmaking -- even when Leonardo Cimino is forced to draw painfully obvious parallels between the plight of the movie's ostracized scientists and the travails of the Jews in Nazi Germany. Johnson is on far surer ground in exploring the corrupting effects of power on Cimino's character's grandson, Daniel (David Packer), who joins the equivalent of the aliens' Hitler Youth movement and soon turns his back on everyone he loves. In a parallel plot thread, the interactions between thief Elias (Michael Wright) and doctor Ben Taylor (Richard Lawson), a pair of African-American brothers, seem in retrospect to have been fairly pioneering for '80s TV. These and other subplots provide the human-interest hook that keeps V watchable even when the mechanics of the central narrative fail. The script doesn't do a particularly good job explaining why the world's governments would so easily allow the Visitors to erode their power base, or why the alien villainization of scientists and doctors everywhere wouldn't raise a few alarm bells among the populace. Still, there are some nice bits, including the ascension of alien troop leader Brian (Peter Nelson) to Tiger Beat hunk status in the eyes of belligerent schoolgirl Robin (Blair Tefkin), whose flirtation with the handsome reptile would produce one of the more interesting plot threads -- and characters -- in the follow-up miniseries, V: The Final Battle.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/30/1997
  • UPC: 085391463832
  • Original Release: 1983
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Faye Grant Julie Parrish
Michael Durrell Robert Maxwell
Peter Nelson Brian
Jane Badler Diana
Mark Singer Donovan
Rafael Campos Sancho Gomez
Robert Englund Willie
Richard Herd John
Neva Patterson Eleanor Dupres
Andrew Prine Steven
Penelope Windust Kathleen Maxwell
Michael Alldredge Bill Graham
Camila Ashland Ruby Engels
Frank Ashmore Martin
Bonnie Bartlett Lynn Bernstein
Jason Bernard Caleb Taylor
Leo Cimino Abraham Bernstein
Diane Civita Harmony Moore
Viveka Davis Polly Maxwell
Stephanie Faulkner Assistant Director at News Room
Myron Healey Arch Quinton
Mary Alan Hokanson Ruth Barnes
Joanna Kerns Marjorie Donovan
Evan Kim Tony Wah Chong Leonetti
Richard Lawson Dr. Ben Taylor
Curt Lowens Dr. Maurice Jankowski
Marin May Katie Maxwell
George Morfogen Stanley Bernstein
Jenny Neumann Barbara
David Packer Daniel Bernstein
Tommy Petersen Josh Brooks
Stack Pierce Captain Jake
Hansford Rowe Arthur Dupres
William Russ Brad
Jenny Sullivan Kristine Walsh
Michael Swan Bob
Blair Tefkin Robin Maxwell
Michael Wright Elias Taylor
Technical Credits
Kenneth Johnson Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Daniel H. Blatt Producer
Joe Harnell Score Composer
David J. Latt Producer
John McPherson Cinematographer
Robert Singer Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    gimme some more

    I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. A little long at parts but I was left wanting more and more. Be wary that the first two episodes are out but it is like watching a boxing match and the power goes before the knockout punch!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    My impression of the V dvd.

    I bought this DVD and really enjoyed watching it. The quality was quite good and I liked that it was letterbox. One thing that I did not plan on was that it was not complete. I thought I was buying the complete series when really it was just the original series. There was the impregnating of the girl but no lizard baby. I did a little research and it appears that V - The Final Battle (I think is what it is called) is what is missing. Overall it is an excellent DVD, but I want the rest of the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hold on to your hats if youre a fan

    First let me comment. If youve seen this when you're a kid, you know there was a follow up. I saw both V and the V final battle recently, and I was surprised how great it still was. Not as campy as I thought it might be. Second, if you loved these like I did and do now, your prayers have been answered. Theyre in production NOW making a "V - The Second Generation" for 2007. And most of the original players are involved. (ie Marc Singer / Mike Donovan, Faye Grant / Dr Juliet Parris, Jane Badler / Diana, even Michael Ironside as Ham Tyler!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2006

    V for Vunderful (hehe)

    I think the confusion arose because in the U.S. V:TO aired as a 2-parter & V:TFB was aired months later, whereas in the UK they were shown back-to-back over 5 consecutive nights, leading people to believe that it was just one series. As a 10-year-old I didn't notice the profound change of direction style or scriptwriting but as an adult it's pretty obvious. Both are still great fun though & the DVDs are available, as is a box-set of the vastly inferior "dynasty in space"-esque 19-episode weekly series that it spawned.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    shocked out of my mind

    That title means more than one thing. The mini series is great. It shocked me out of my mind, but the advertising of the V company sucks and shocked me out of my mind. I recently went to blockbuster and renterd V The Final Battle, and got home to see that I picked it up in the middle of the series. None of the rental places around here have the rest. Beware of the advertising. The series is one of the best but needs to be put together in a box set

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2002

    Great SCI-FI for kids!

    Parents who want their childern to grow up with good morals and not get poluted by tv, a must see movie from the 80's.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2002

    snookered

    i purchased the dvd thinking i had the complete series. i didn't read the review here. left hanging, i was furious. the movie just stopped. there was at least half the series missing. i saw it eons ago and loved it. there is nothing on the box stating that it was incomplete. i am purchasing the boxed set and will see if it is complete.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2002

    Jipped

    Although I loved this series, I agree with the last review. I too bought V and no where on the DVD did it say it was not complete. Of course I was expecting to see the entire thing, like the miniseries on TV how I remember it. I wish I had seen this before I wasted my money and was left hanging with only a partial movie. Now I have to wait to buy The Final Battle since it isn't released until August 6 2002. None of what they are doing makes any sense, I want my money back. If the 2 series were sold together like it should be, and like this one appears to be, I would have given it a clear 5 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2002

    This box set is the one you want

    V is an incredible mini series. Though it is now dated by the style of clothing (I must be getting old) The story line is still refreshing with many simularities between it and hitlers rise to power. All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing. This box set contains the complete story and should be the one you buy. If you go with the two box set or DVD you'll be left hanging wondering what happened kinda like I was. Be prepared for multiple sittings as you'll be watching not one, but two mini series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2000

    v is spectacular

    i thought v was just incredible i even enjoyed the series but then they changed characters and it ruined the show i really enjoyed the movie all the way around

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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