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Explore the history and horror of World War II from an American perspective by following the fortunes of so-called ordinary men and women who became caught up in one of the greatest cataclysms in human history. This epic film focuses on the stories of citizens from four American towns taking the viewer through their personal and harrowing journeys, painting vivid portraits of how the war altered their lives. Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

User Reviews
The Matty Action 2020-04-22
Was $24.99 Yesterday and I made a bank transfer so I could buy it. Suddenly it is now 39.99. Please drop the price again. I would love to see this series.

Starfaced5 2018-12-31
Ken Burns and company may never truly understand the depth of their discovery and presentation. Saw The War in its entirety before Dad died, though he did not see it. He was wounded at Guadalcanal. His dear friend was wounded at Okinawa. An uncle lost an eye in the Battle of Pelelui. We, growing up in the 50's and 60's, knew that they had been at war. No one knew the depth of the bravery and the despair. They never spoke of it. Having lived it, they didn’t need ever to speak of it, even amongst themselves. Before Burns' film, we could say that we were robbed of this history. As I thanked my dad for his service, I apologized for all of us—that we did not know. The history was in a thousand places, historians knew. It took the magic of the computer and the master storyteller and prophet, Ken Burns, to bring it together, for our study. Burns' mastery, further, is his informative delivery of another cruelty, the American cruelty of prejudice against African Americans who faced discrimination when they came home. We never knew, but should have known. Ken Burns' film is a magnificent monument as surely as the WWII Monument in Washington. The film is a testament to the enormity of that war and the men who fought it, and the families who waited for their return. As I said to my dad....he and his thought you were defending your country. You were not defending your country. You saved the world. You saved Our World.

14marsh1215 2017-12-05
Although I'm disappointed to see that there's no HD version of this amazing documentary, I have to say that I am enamored with The War. I grew up with this documentary back when I was about 12 years old and let me tell you, it was one of the most moving experiences in media I've ever had. The documentary talks about the stories of people from America be it white, black, hispanic, or asian and it goes into how each of these different people lived the second world war. There was one quote from the documentary I remember to this day and it was from a hispanic gentleman who fought in Japan during the war. He said "one night we were trying to sleep and one guy kept yelling for his momma. I got so frustrated and mad that I told him to go die. The next morning I found out that soldier was one of my buddies who was injured from shrapnel. He died that night." Chilling isn't it? Buy this documentary if you're new to the history of WW2, are a WW2 know it all, or if you're a parent who wants to educate their pre-teenager on the war. Definitely worth buying.

Gomez7270 2017-10-06
I thought i knew a lot about WWII… then i saw this and realized i hadn't had seen it from the proper perspective. The people interviewed and featured in this program are among the most impressive human beings that have walked the face of this earth. Hearing their views on life, death injury and war is life changing. This should be shown in all high school history courses, there is no way a teacher or book can deliver this type of information.

Osu paul 2017-09-10
The documentary is AMAZING (5 STARS)!!!! 1 star is for iTunes not having HD! All the others are offered in HD and it is free on netflix (in HD). Wish I would have known this before I bought it on here!

Doonptrt 2017-07-08
They were there with the rockets red glare, they were on that beach where we saw all those boys die in that video game. Yes they shot the guns and flew the planes, trudged thru the mud in the pouring rain. Bled and died so we could all live free here. Oh thank God they were there.

SirGawainOfSpring 2011-05-03
An exelent documentary on the War and the soundtrack is just so fitting, if they release the score I must buy it.

hammer197 2011-03-30
After a barrage of WWII movies I was hesitant to watch yet another series of the same genre, however, Ken Burns comes through again showing the place and time through the eyes of those who experienced each episode. I highly recommend this series for any history buff.

slimthugster 2010-05-01
All PBS shows are ridiculously over priced. I do not mean to discredit Ken Burns or this documenary, however I think Americans have ahd enough with greedy companies robbing from the public to fill their fat pocket books. PBS needs to stop complaining about not getting enough money because they arleady get our tax dollars and now they are over charging us for TV? Absurd. Do not buy this product unless PBS, iTunes, and/or Ken Burns agrees to lower the price. Otherwise this is theft of our hard earned dollars.

Salvaticus 2009-12-03
The only word I can think of is "sublime." After the final episode I cried hard for a while. I'm not ashamed to admit that. So many people gave us so much and we take it for granted and waste it. I don't usually go in for the jingoistic stuff... but this is the real deal. This isn't about nation states or maps. This is the legacy for every human lviing on Earth. My only complaint is that it wasn't presented from the viewpoints of the Axis soldiers as well. Their governments made really bad decisions. Their fighting men and their families endured all of the same things ours did... perhaps even worse. They hurled themselves at each other because that's what their homelands asked of them and in doing so they worked out a bunch of important stuff for all of us. I would love to see this remade by Ken Burns from the other side's perspective. Also, coverage of the Russian contribution was lacking. Thanks to the dead soldier half-burried in the sand on some island in the Pacific... We remember you.

fully_me 2009-11-26
ts A wonderful insightful show but the price is way too steep! I understand public broadcasting needs as much as they can get and I always donate when I can but 9.99!!! per episode!!!!

McOregon 2009-11-22
A great in depth history lesson, especially of the Pacific theatre which is so often ignored by popular media. However, the "Ken Burns" effect is beginnning to make me dizzy, and many of the images are used repeatedly. Perhaps each episode could be cut down by 15-20 minutes by limiting the slow zoom and redundant images? Overall, and excellent documentary (at least the first two episodes!)

dirtymag 2009-11-16
Buy the season. It's worth it!!! Real soldiers tell their stories and it has the best footage that I have seen in any documentary. WWII in HD is great too, yet I feel Ken Burns has a real gift for film making. His use of music from the time period helps your imagination connect with the history. I honestly believe that PBS specials are the best. If you only buy one WWII film special, this one should be it. Not to say it's perfect. I'm a big WWII fan, this was the deadliest war in history and one that needed to be fought. Yet it seems to focus on only American hardships, like most if not all WWII documentaries do. I would like to hear from the people in other countries as well, like Poland, France, England even Germany and Japan. That to me would make the ultimate WWII film. Other countries endured so much, we had an ocean to protect us they didn't. So in that respect it's missing a very important perspective.

Conservative History Lover 2009-11-13
I beleive this is a great film that releases to the public the hardship, depression, and anguish these men went through during the war and the emotion of the public outside of war that reacted. Although I've heard the Civil War was made best I truly beleive within heart that this documented peice reveals our moment in history that changed America and the world of its time. This war will be never forgotten and neither the soldiers, veterans, and many others in that time and place that gave their lives and served for the better of their knowledge to fight for freedom or for what was right.

Choo Pi4 2009-11-11
I have seen many Ken Burns documetaries and this is of equal caliber and quality to that of the Civil War Series.... Absolutely gripping and heart shattering. It is truly the ONLY depiction of WW2 I have seen that puts it straight in your face - the horror, the failure, the close to being there (heaven forbid) that I ever care to be. God bless.. Ken Burns has done it again. 5 stars without doubt.

mrmcsmitty 2009-11-11
While I wish that men did not need wars, I realize that we do not live in Utopia. This series however helps me to appreciate what so many people experienced during this time of a necessary war. I am proud to own this. WWII footage was obviously not HD. How could this be offered in HD?

travelscott 2009-11-10
If you are Ken Burns fan, then you do not need to read further, this is his best since the Civil War. Unlike most historic documentaries, however, his ambition is not to retell the entire story of World War II. Instead he decides to explore it by choosing a handful of US soldiers and following their stories - from their hometowns, their families and friends, and the soldiers' own story through some of the major campaigns. The heart of the movie is the narrative by the soldiers. This is an intentionally US-centric tale of the war. Compellingly told, augmented with lots of historic footage as you would expect, it really gives you a sense of what it was like to live through this period of time as a soldier, a citizen, a relative of those who went off to fight. I came away with a much better understanding of the period than I have gotten from watching more conventional documentaries on the subject.

melanias 2009-11-10
NO HD! Put it in HD and I'll buy it, if not, you can keep it.