VICTORY AT SEA
Review by Mark Wiechman
M. Clay Adams
Narrator: Leonard Graves
Audio: Dolby 2.0
Picture: B & W
Length: 11.5 hours total, five discs
Studio: A & E Home Video
Release Date: September 30, 2003
of the first miniseries in TV history, NBC's Victory at Sea ushered in an entirely new genre and won thirteen
awards including an Emmy, Peabody, and U.S. Navy's Distinguished service awards.
the series is from 1953 and the History Channel has released so many other
excellent series, it is a challenge to review this five-disc set's strengths and
footage is really amazing, despite occasional repeats of exciting battle footage
and of course it was a revelation at the time, millions of Americans watching
thirty minutes a night for more than eleven hours total to see for themselves
what troops around the world went through in this terrible conflict.
Prior to this, only by going to movies would anyone see footage of
battles in the newsreels shown before the feature presentations.
Gosh, how did they live without CNN 24-7?
are very few comments or introductions of the famous figures on the screen, such
as FDR and Churchill, but perhaps it was assumed that the audience viewing this
series soon after the war's end knew these men. Major battles are named, but very little actual information
is imparted, no why or how behind the battles. This is definitely more for the
WW II enthusiast or veteran than a student.
I would not recommend it for the classroom. The narration by Leonard Graves is especially dated, there
were only good guys and bad guys in this war and no confusing the two.
The Allies were always right and the Axis was always wrong.
black and white (of course) but you can imagine people seeing footage of a war
which they had heretofore only known from radio broadcasts and newsreels.
stereo and one of the quietest programs I have ever played on my system, but
naturally we should allow for 1953 sound quality and technology.
I would say that it is 85% overblown orchestral music and the rest a
melodramatic narration, but very much of its time.