The World at War

The World at War

Director: Michael Darlow, Hugh Raggett Cast: Jeremy Isaacs, Laurence Olivier
4.0 51


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The World at War

The World at War is considered by many to be one of the definitive documentaries about WWII. This 11-disc set offers all 26 episodes in the series presented in standard full-frame transfers that preserve the original aspect ratio of 1.33:1. English soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. Supplemental materials include a making-of documentary, seven bonus documentaries, and a retrospective about the 30th anniversary of the landmark series.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/24/2004
UPC: 0733961713749
Rating: NR
Source: A&E Home Video
Time: 22:37:00

Special Features

Bonus documentaries: "The Making of the Series," "Secretary to Hitler," "The Two Deaths of Adolf Hitler," "Warrior," "Hitler's Germany: The People's Community 1933-1939," "Hitler's Germany: Total War 1939-1945," "The Final Solution: Parts 1 and 2," and "From War to Peace"; "Making the Series" - A 30th anniversary feature-length retrospective; "Experiences of War" - Unseen interviews from the film archives of the Imperial War Museum; "The Making of The World at War"; Biographies; Gallery of photos from the Imperial War Museum collection

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Vol. 1
1. National Socialism Gains Power [9:28]
2. Restoring Hope for a Future [10:37]
3. Economic and Social Recovery [11:24]
4. Peace Time Militarization [6:52]
5. European Tensions Increase [12:14]
6. Credits [1:13]
1. A State of War Declared [9:26]
2. The Defense of Britain [11:28]
3. English Morale Bolstered [5:18]
4. Norway and Finland Invaded [15:28]
5. Political Change in England [8:49]
6. Credits [1:11]
1. Tactics of an Older War [9:09]
2. Actions and Consequences [12:50]
3. The Invasion of France [8:46]
4. A Defeated Homeland [9:48]
5. Negotiations for Peace [10:30]
6. Credits [1:12]
1. Cast in a New Light [5:56]
2. Genuine Material Only [10:26]
3. Newsreels of a Nation [13:08]
4. Eyewitness Interviews [11:46]
5. Television Narrative [6:14]
6. Credits [:50]
Side #2 -- Vol. 2
1. The Retreat at Dunkirk [9:41]
2. For King and Country [9:35]
3. Battle Over Britain [11:51]
4. The Bombing of London [9:35]
5. North African Operations [9:34]
6. Credits [1:11]
1. Camouflaged Intentions [9:53]
2. Bitter Rivalries [10:01]
3. The Russian Frontier [10:37]
4. Moscow Under Siege [9:46]
5. No More Victories [10:48]
6. Credits [1:12]
1. Aggressive Actions [9:42]
2. Ultra Nationalism in Japan [10:38]
3. Politics of War [7:43]
4. The Attack on Pearl Harbor [11:56]
5. Conflicts in Southeast Asia [10:37]
6. Credits [1:12]
1. An Isolated Nation [9:58]
2. Arsenal of Democracy [9:39]
3. The Enemy Within [11:48]
4. Early Pacific Conflicts [7:54]
5. The Turning Point in the Pacific [11:58]
6. Credits [1:12]
Side #3 -- Vol. 3
1. Dreams of an Italian Empire [9:21]
2. The Desert Fox [11:19]
3. Tug of War [8:49]
4. Supply Line Importance [9:32]
5. Montgomery's Command [12:03]
6. Credits [1:12]
1. Into Southern Russia [9:39]
2. Not One Step Back [10:50]
3. Precarious Position [9:31]
4. Germans in the Pocket [10:11]
5. Never Surrender [10:19]
6. Credits [1:12]
1. Coastal Pirates [12:37]
2. Inside Information [5:59]
3. The Atlantic Lifeline [9:51]
4. Iron Coffins [12:32]
5. Final Days of the U-Boat [9:32]
6. Credits [1:12]
1. Scorched Earth [11:11]
2. The Siege of Leningrad [10:05]
3. A Season of Bitter Endurance [8:14]
4. An Inspired Confidence [9:48]
5. Russian Counterattack [12:08]
6. Credits [1:13]
Side #4 -- Vol. 4
1. Strategic Bombing [9:01]
2. Radar Improvements [9:05]
3. Close Formation Flying [12:17]
4. Escalated Efforts [8:47]
5. Deep in Enemy Territory [11:48]
6. Credits [1:12]
1. Operation Torch [10:29]
2. Invasion of Mainland Italy [10:45]
3. Changes of Attitudes [7:56]
4. The Anzio Abscess [10:20]
5. Destination: Rome [9:37]
6. Credits [1:11]
1. A Territorial Shield [9:47]
2. Burmese Expedition [9:28]
3. An Equal Ground [10:32]
4. Prisoners of War [9:29]
5. Pitched Battle [11:46]
6. Credits [1:13]
1. Civilian Services [9:09]
2. An Island Fortress [10:31]
3. Political Rivalries [8:44]
4. A War Economy [12:08]
5. Forward to the Front [10:34]
6. Credits [1:12]
Side #5 -- Vol. 5
1. A Triumphant Return Home [10:25]
2. An Eastern Enemy [9:56]
3. Total War Declared [9:17]
4. Race and Empire [9:24]
5. Political Resistance [12:06]
6. Credits [1:12]
1. The Dawn of a New Day [9:14]
2. Preparations for an Invasion [10:40]
3. Naval Bombardment [9:51]
4. Amphibious Assault [10:03]
5. Liberation at a Grievous Price [10:59]
6. Credits [1:12]
1. Holland Surrenders [10:14]
2. A Subjugated People [10:11]
3. Appeasing the Rulers [10:37]
4. The Solution in Holland [7:01]
5. Resistance to the Occupation [13:09]
6. Credits [1:12]
1. The Champagne Campaign [10:01]
2. The Failure at Arnhem [10:17]
3. A Forgotten Poland [9:22]
4. Desperation in the Ardennes [9:36]
5. Push Towards the Rhine [11:44]
6. Credits [1:12]
Side #6 -- Vol. 6
1. The Elite Guard [9:27]
2. Bottom of the Heap [11:14]
3. The Final Solution [8:52]
4. New Arrivals [9:42]
5. Hell on Earth [11:32]
6. Credits [1:28]
1. Total War [10:11]
2. The Fall of Berlin [9:40]
3. Surrender [8:04]
4. Inside the Bunker [12:18]
5. German Losses Unknown [10:39]
6. Credits [1:13]
1. Subdued Doubt [9:14]
2. Patriotic Virtues [9:07]
3. The War Comes Home [9:48]
4. Fight for Survival [11:35]
5. Mainland Bombing [9:52]
6. Credits [1:15]
1. Island by Island [9:25]
2. The Marinas [10:07]
3. The Philippines [6:35]
4. Iwo Jima [14:22]
5. Okinawa [8:59]
6. Credits [1:12]
Side #7 -- Vol. 7
1. Target: Hiroshima [9:44]
2. Two Atomic Bombs [11:26]
3. Moves Toward Peace [8:44]
4. A Final Ultimatum [9:07]
5. Truman's Decision [11:59]
6. Credits [1:11]
1. Counting the Costs [9:38]
2. Rebuilding Germany [10:36]
3. Nuremberg Trials [9:28]
4. Allied Occupation [9:35]
5. Post-War Impressions [10:46]
6. Credits [1:12]
1. Remember the Dead [9:48]
2. Fear and Fun [9:28]
3. Scarred Survivors [10:28]
4. Collective Guilt [9:01]
5. Generation Gap [9:33]
6. Credits [1:26]
Side #8 -- Vol. 8
1. Post-War Depression [10:14]
2. Propaganda and Terror [8:15]
3. The Jewish Boycott [10:56]
4. Relief and Hope [10:01]
5. Another Step Forward [9:32]
6. Strength Through Joy [8:14]
7. Unity and Equality [16:30]
8. Credits [1:02]
1. An Uninformed Public [10:15]
2. A Web of Fear [8:12]
3. Victory Beyond Belief [5:51]
4. Hitler Turns East [:37]
5. Civilian Targets [13:26]
6. The Reich Under Siege [8:50]
7. An Abandoned Nation [14:08]
8. Credits [13:51]
1. Closing Days of the Third Reich [10:37]
2. The Last Hours of Hitler [11:10]
3. The Remaining Evidence [6:13]
4. Genuine Clues [13:04]
5. A Crucial Conclusion [4:43]
6. Credits [1:02]
Side #9 -- Vol. 9
1. Grave References [5:09]
2. The Point of Defeat [8:22]
3. Inside the Bunker [8:43]
4. Credits [:57]
1. Chain of Command [10:24]
2. The Sounds and Smells [8:16]
3. Sacrifices of a Soldier [11:03]
4. Loss of Humanity [9:50]
5. The Cost of War [8:37]
6. Credits [2:08]
1. East Meets West [8:10]
2. A Divided Country [6:02]
3. Global Outcome [7:36]
4. Credits [:51]
Side #10 -- Vol. 10
1. A Sense of Duty [3:06]
2. Defeated and Bitter [12:51]
3. A New Government [13:35]
4. Renew and Improve [8:39]
5. Total Obedience [9:27]
6. "Reasonable" Anti-Semitism [6:39]
7. War Against Poland [7:37]
8. Re-Germanization [9:25]
9. The Ghettos [7:14]
10. Sub-Human Enemies [7:07]
11. Murder Squads [8:59]
12. Credits [:58]
1. A Demonstration [10:25]
2. The Jewish Problem [9:17]
3. Surviving the Journey [6:25]
4. The Railway Men [9:30]
5. The Next Step [9:04]
6. Reduced to a Number [9:31]
7. Where Is the Whole World? [11:44]
8. The Resettlement Story [2:51]
9. Jewish Resistance [8:37]
10. A Moment of Life [2:58]
11. Liberation [8:27]
12. Credits [:58]
Side #11 -- Vol. 11
1. A First for the Medium [11:36]
2. High Expectations [7:52]
3. Faces of the Battlefield [12:53]
4. The Music of the Series [11:36]
5. Narrative Contributions [5:02]
6. A World Abound With Film [16:23]
7. Personal Experiences [10:50]
8. The Big Interview [14:45]
9. The Final Solution [8:11]
10. Moral Choices [2:07]
11. The Changing Nature of War [11:40]
12. Credits [9:34]
1. The Battle for the Atlantic [11:55]
2. A Gentleman's War [3:56]
3. British Pows [10:18]
4. D-Day Landing [5:09]
5. Bomber Escort Tactics [9:57]
6. A Draftee in Okinawa [8:32]
7. The Stress of War [5:21]
8. Respected Men [3:17]

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The World at War 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
harperbruce More than 1 year ago
Thirty years ago, the many old men who witnessed the events of World War II were many more, more middle-aged men, and their memories were still relatively fresh. Thames Television, one of the old British television networks before some law changes there, put together a multi-part documentary on the years leading up to the second War to End All Wars, as well as the events themselves, and released it to the international market as well. Many American television stations syndicated the documentary and showed it to their viewers.

"The World at War" was narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier, perhaps Britain's answer to James Earl Jones as having an almost instantly identifiable voice. His factual, at times ironic delivery captured the dry facts, combined them with the archival footage provided by the Imperial War Museum and other sources, and the personal reminiscences of people from the time, and created a compelling story of the years that helped set the stage for the next 45 years or more of world history.

It has been, as I say, thirty years since this was first broadcast. But "The World at War" still holds its power. Other projects done since have their various excellences, but many of those focus on single events, or take angles that don't entirely work. (Excepted from this is Ken Burns' "The War.") If you want a discussion of some of the most important years of the 20th Century, you can do much worse than come to this collection.

A warning: "The World at War" pulls no punches, especially when you get to the Holocaust. The footage you will see concerning the most monstrous atrocity in known world history _is_ graphic, not sugar-coated; and children should be talked to both before and after seeing this, to help them understand without potential trauma.
empeegee More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this very much. So often we tend to forget the war was going on for a few years before we were brought into it; we were the beneficiaries of what the British Commonwealth and European exiles did before us, especially in North Africa. While some may not like the information presented, it is a fact that Montgomery was the man in charge in North Africa for two years and he pushed the Axis troops back to Tunisia when American troops entered. Eisenhower and Montgomery worked in coordination to finally defeat Rommell. And like it or not, Stalin's USSR was part of the Allied forces. This is a British production and the perspective is British. It doesn't ignore the US role in the war, nor is it disparaging of the US role. I would recommend this to any teacher who is teacing a class on World War II for its unique perspective.
kicho More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best historical films about World War II, the amount of data and information are descriptive about that specific point in time. I saw it for first time in 1970's, since then I always like it! I think everybody who likes historical films and documental films should have it in his/her video-library. Excellent Item. Awsome original images and very complete.
Walter_L More than 1 year ago
For anyone interested in the who, what, where, why, and how of WWII, this is the series to watch and learn from. Rare footage from long lost/forgotten military and civilian files add to the telling of this historical spectacle of humanity's inhumanity towards fellow mankind. I have been to some of the areas shown in the series - especially the concentration camps as they are historic landmarks that allows the general public to come and see some of the horrible, inhumane things done against other human beings. As a baby boomer who's parents and grandparents went the the depression era and the war, it is a lesson that unless it has been experienced, one cannot fully understand what went wrong. I say this not pointing fingers at anyone. My mother, just hearing some of the sounds and music from the documentary was transported back in time , as a young child - living and growing up in wartime Germany of the Nazi era. She had a hard time sleeping for a week. She lost people in the camps - both nazi and russian. It is an excellent tool to be utilized in teaching all those not familiar with the war or for those too young to even know that this has happened. The series covers the opinions and experiences of both the Axis countries and the Allies. It puts into perspective how people felt at that time. You witness the bombing run against the enemies of one's country. Its like being in a time machine and traveling back to a time not that long ago - when the entire planet was turned upside down. And unfortunately, the end of the war gave us a number of other problems that we are currently witnessing. But the series made clear how all of us were affected by the war. War is an extension of diplomacy when it fails - you see this in the series. The dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki days apart from each other. You get to see previously unseen footage of both cities and their victims.
JBGoode More than 1 year ago
I've seen this whole series on TV at least 3 times . Each time I watch it, I feel like I'm revisiting a certain period time that featured a certain mentality and afterward, changed the whole dramatic attitude of the world.
If there's one thing I'm really thrilled about, it's the fact that it's now available in DVD. Also, the adding of color is fantastic.
The DVDs in this box set are very well done. Superb! The digital remastering is fantastic. The fact that it was done in Wide Screen is great.It's probably one of the best things I've purchased this year. The price was extremely good. In my opinion, there is no other WW 2 depiction like it. It's not something that can be only watched once and because it's so well made, I doubt that people will only watch it once. Wanna do yourself a big favor? Buy this classic DVD box set. You'll never be sorry.
Iulievich More than 1 year ago
Made long enough after the war for perspective and information to overcome the pure propaganda, the series was nonetheless soon enough after the war to include the personal recollections of a great many participants -- many highly placed, many ordinary people profoundly affected by the struggle. For this alone, the series is an astoundingly important accomplishment. As the war slips further and further from the consciousness of the average person, it becomes more and more important that something like this be available to help people understand what a different world existed prior to 1939 and how the unutterable devastation of this struggle essentially wrenched the world off its axis, as well as to understand the sense of affirmation that overwhelmed the victors and shaped the world that we have lived in. In addition, the further the war slips into oblivion, the greater the need for this hard-hitting visual recollection to remind us of the vigilance required to preserve those institutions and values whose subversion during the 1920's and 1930's spun the civilized world into the absolute depths of barbarity. Finally, those who triumphed in this maelstrom, those who suffered defeat, and those who simply managed to live through it all deserve to be remembered. In fact, I strongly recommend that the episode titled "Remember" on volume 7 be the first episode watched. There are as many as four DVD's here of material that never aired -- at least as presented here -- on the BBC series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent! I had not seen some of the footage before which was really good. I enjoyed the series very much and would recommend it to anyone interested in the war.
HistoryFanatic1 More than 1 year ago
This series may be 37 years old but it remains the benchmark for all Documentary series on the Second World War. This is the first to make an effort to cover all aspects and all theaters of the greatest, most horrific conflict Humanity has known. Other documentaries can only build upon what was done here. Among everything else it has interviews with many of the participants before they passed from the scene. While it may have some flaws no Historical Video Library can be said to be complete without it.
lovingreaderKJ More than 1 year ago
Just a fantastic presentation! Somewhat biased toward the English, but, still informative and makes most people want to study other historical presentations. Too bad someone like EinsteinVA doesn't appreciate it. It just so happens that many soldiers came home and had children and grandchildren because of the bombing of the German country; without that sad situation many of us wouldn't be here. War crime? The only crime is the non-appreciation by EinsteinVA for all of the men and women who died in WWII just so someone could complain.
SeaDogJF More than 1 year ago
Complete history. A bit of bias to England and USA. Great work to have in library.
MRL More than 1 year ago
Full of info for those who want an overview of the entire war. Can be graphic and depressing. Interviews with participants and film footage bring realism and first hand viewpoints from those involved. Although difficult to watch in some cases, very good from a historical standpoint. Made shortly after the war, so historical revisionists haven't influenced the film.
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The best documentary series on WWll I've seen yet...
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