TEDDY ROOSEVELT: AN AMERICAN LION
Review by Chastity Campbell
Stars: Theodore Roosevelt
Director: David DeVries
Audio: Dolby Digital Stereo
Video: 1.33:1 Standard Fullscreen Color/Black & White
Features: See Review
Length: 200 Minutes
Release Date: March 25, 2003
they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present’
or 'Not guilty!'” - Theodore Roosevelt
With a domineering spirit and an unwavering faith in his
abilities, Theodore Roosevelt would go down in history as one of the most
celebrated and influential Presidents American history has ever known.
Now, through A&E’s double disc presentation of Theodore
Roosevelt An American Lion, you can watch the life of the 26th
President unfold right before your eyes.
Through the use of black and white still photographs as
well as some of the first video footage ever shot, A&E has yet again given
us a beautiful and brilliant look into the life of one of history’s brightest
stars. The still photographs
used were of a very high quality. The
care with which these photographs have been handled over the years has not
allowed them to loose a single ounce of detail.
The black and white video footage, while silent, gives you
the ability to watch Mr. Roosevelt interacting with people, family, and friends.
I personally feel you can learn a lot from just watching someone’s
actions, and through the use of this footage you get a glimpse of the passion
with which he delivered his speeches. It
was his abilities as a public speaker that helped to carry him so far. Visibly obvious in the footage was the determination behind
each and every spoken word that earned him the nickname Lion!
Richard Dreyfuss lends his vocal talents to this biography,
and packs one heck of a punch as the voice of Teddy himself.
The conviction with which Richard delivers his lines during political
speeches and rallies helps add that third dimensional feel to this biography.
Rounding out this wonderful two disc DVD set is a collage
of various historians, scholars, and Roosevelt family members.
These individuals, help to fill in the gaps that even modern technology
cannot compensate for. Scholar Edmund Morris (author of Theodore Rex)
gives us insight into the various career choices Teddy made over the years.
From cleaning up the streets as New York Cities Police Commissioner to
his stint as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Roosevelt never stopped
pushing forward on his journey through American History.
I think the biggest thing this Biography brings forward
about this man is how human he truly was, and how far ahead of the times he was.
I truly believe Theodore Roosevelt was light years ahead of his fellow
delegates in terms of policy, procedure, and determination.
The conviction with which he attacked each and every task is a wonderful
example that modern day leaders could learn a lesson or two from.
A&E delivers a beautifully packaged and very
educational look at the life and times of Theodore Roosevelt. While it does run a tad bit long at 3 hours and a half, it is
time well spent when considering the wealth of information you will walk away
with. Definitely take the time to
watch these DVDs; I guarantee it will be time well spent!
How do you rate the video quality of a DVD that uses black
and white still photographs from the late 1800s and video footage from some of
the first cameras every built? Easy
- you grade it on a curve!
Presented in a 1.33:1 standard fullscreen format, this DVD
was a brilliant mix of old and new. The
black and white photographs were filled with detail that was brought vividly
forward by their transfer to the digital world.
The video footage, while very grainy and dirty, was still in my eyes a
completely amazing and beautiful experience considering the time period in which
it was shot. The re-enactments with modern actors were visually
superb. The use of shadow and light
during the re-enactments was wonderful. Just
the right balance of each to give the illusion that Theodore Roosevelt himself
took part in the making of this DVD.
I think everyone out there will be able to appreciate the
quality and work that went into the video presentation of these discs.
While I was thoroughly impressed with the video quality of
these DVDs the audio quality was a little disappointing.
This two-disc set was presented in a Dolby Digital Stereo mix. I wish the mix had been more balanced and stable but the truth was it fluctuated quite a bit near the beginning of disc one. The problem seemed to be corrected toward the end of disc one and throughout disc two, but it was annoying while it was happening.
I did notice that throughout both DVDs the words of Mr. Roosevelt read aloud by Richard Dreyfuss tended to be quite loud. This could have been on purpose or by accident, but in conjunction with the fluctuations in the beginning of disc one, it lent to my annoyance with the audio as a whole.
This double disc set contained a nice set of features,
A Theodore Roosevelt Background and Interesting Facts file
can be found in the features menu of disc one.
It’s an interesting written account of little known facts about the 26th
President of the United States. Add
to that a look at the Teddy Roosevelt Family tree, and the biography and
filmography of Richard Dreyfuss, and disc one is nice indeed.
Disc two’s features contain another biographical look at
Theodore Roosevelt in Roughrider To Rushmore, one of A&E’s Award-Winning
Interactive Menus, and Scene Selection bring to a close
this set’s DVD features.
Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. These words spoken by Mr. Roosevelt himself in 1903 are a testament to his way of handling life and everything it can throw at you. These DVDs will make a wonderful addition to anyone’s collection. Don’t let history stay in the past…bring it alive on DVD today!