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THE STATUE OF LIBERTY

Review by Chastity Campbell

Narrator: Jack Perkins
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Studio: A&E/History Channel
Features: See Review
Length: 50 Minutes
Release Date: February 24, 2004

ďWe will not forget that liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen alter be neglected.Ē  - President Grover Cleveland

Film ***

Standing, arm stretched high, holding the light of freedom, she symbolizes the gift given to those who arrive in this country seeking a chance to begin again.   

The year was 1875, and Frenchman Frederic Aguste Bartholdi began construction on one of Americaís most prominent icons.  It was to be a gift given from the French to the Americans.  Their idea was a statue to stand as a symbol of the American peoplesí hard won freedoms and liberties.  What it became was an image that every person knows, and no one ever forgets.  

After watching the A&E presentation The Statue Of Liberty I looked around my home, where I am constantly inundated with images of Old Glory.  Thereís a flag throw on one of my chairs, my dishes are bordered with American flags, as are my coffee mugs.  From the trivet on my stove to the towels in my closet the American flag dominates all aspects of my home dťcor. 

Now, you would think a patriotic home such as mine would have at least one image of Lady Liberty hanging around somewhere.  Alas, she is not, but rest assured that once I do acquire a statue of the tall robed one, she will be placed atop one of my tallest cabinets, possibly next to my plastic 1776 signing of the Declaration Of Independence serving platter.

This DVD features a gigantic history lesson in the form of some amazing early twentieth century film footage as well as black and white still photographs.  The narratorís dialogue takes you from concept to reality and beyond as Lady Liberty goes from an idea to the image we see standing in New York harbor today. 

There is so much information in this DVD that itís hard to catch it all the first time around.  Fear not, because this is one DVD you will want to watch over and over again. 

The black and white photographs were amazing.  They chronicle the construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction the Statue Of Liberty went through before she was finally finished in 1886.   

The video footage of early immigrants, and New York circa the early 1900ís was by far some of the best quality Iíve seen.  You canít really say the quality was comparable to todayís standards but place it next to other things I have seen which were filmed in that era, and this DVDís footage wins hands down.  

The only down side to this DVD was that the narration was a little bit flat.  That, however, is minor, and can easily be overlooked. 

When you want something educational, itís not always fun to watch.  A&E presents educational programming in a way that leaves you wanting more every time. 

Pick up The Statue Of Liberty today, and take her for a spin, but donít keep her too long, someone else might be trying to find the way home!

Video **

The 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen production of this DVD was quite good.  The black and white images were for the most part clear as well as vivid.   The dirt and grain visible was due to the fact that these prints and the video footage that sometimes accompanied the prints were all shot in the early part of the twentieth century.  You have to remember all this happened before innovative filming, and production companies like DreamWorks and ILM were even a gleam in their creatorsí fathersí eyes!

Audio ***

As with all A&E productions, this DVDís audio quality was mixed and balanced very well against the underlying music beds.  The narratorís dialogue was even throughout the entire DVD, and his voice never seemed overpowering or invasive. 

The Dolby Digital Stereo mix works very well with these documentary style films. 

Features **

The extra features on this DVD will liberate you!

A featurette entitled Save Our History: Ellis Island takes you through the steps all immigrants faced upon arriving in America.  Just because you bought the ticket and made the journey, it didnít mean you got to stay!

Statue Of Liberty Facts is a very informative and easy way to learn all the facts surrounding Lady Liberty as well as her history.

Interactive menus, along with individual scene selection allow you to navigate this DVDís features quickly, and easily.              

Summary:

Wonderful still photos and early twentieth century video footage give this DVD wonderful historic appeal.  If you have children, The Statue Of Liberty is one DVD that will certainly give them an American History lesson they should never forget.