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The History Channel Presents The Presidents
The History Channel Presents The Presidents
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2005     6hr 0min

THE PRESIDENTS is an unprecedented eight-part survey of the personal lives and legacies of the remarkable men who have presided over the Oval Office. From George Washington to George W. Bush, THE PRESIDENTS gathers togethe...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Politics
Studio: A&E Home Video
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 05/31/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 6hr 0min
Screens: Black and White,Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Fascinating and entertaining
Kyle Vanover | Ashland, KY United States | 05/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The History Channel re-aired this series recently in a marathon one Saturday. I was at work, and it was a slow day, and we happened to turn on the TV when the programs were up to about Abraham Lincoln, in the early afternoon. For the remainder of the day, besides a few minutes here and there of having to take phone calls, my co-worker and I were absolutely glued to the TV. When 4:00 came around, I got home as quick as I could, and my fiancee and I saw and watched at least another hour of the program together.

Of course, the programs are not as in-depth as some of the more serious history buffs might have hoped for, but they were great for providing not only a general overview of each President's administration, but also for giving you a sense of the feel of the times in which each President lived; plus there was plenty of misc. trivia along the way - "useless information", as I like to call it - and I loved that, as well, because it's just interesting stuff that you would never hear in a history class.

My fiancee and I intend to buy this program and show it to our kids one day, because it seemed very much to us like something that would be good for them, and we plan to put a lot of work into their education.

In short, we HIGHLY RECOMMEND this series."
It's better with just the audio
J. Sellenrick | Chevy Chase, MD | 01/20/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Like a previous reviewer, this is my first-ever review on amazon because I felt this series was absolutely butchered by the editing and use of images.

Not only do the images flash across the screen so quickly that you cannot absorb them and they give you a headache, but it is done in a repetitive and even misleading manner. In a series about all the american presidents you'd expect to see a few shots of the white house. However, the same shot of the white house is used over and over and over, and when you get tired of that, they shoot it from a different angle and show that over and over and over. It's very distracting to watch. It's almost like they couldn't think of anything for an image half the time, so they went to that tired old shot of the white house, over and over again. I think if they put some time into it they could have found hundreds of paintings, photographs, newspaper articles, statues, locations and objects to shoot video of. Heck, even more shots of the inside of the white house would have mixed it up some.

Worse than that is the inherent misleading nature of presenting modern video (with cars!) of the white house, capitol or Washington, D.C. while you are talking about events 200 years ago. The entire city of Washington looked very different than it does today and 80% of the presented video is not accurate to the time period it is talking about. They constantly zoom in on the capitol dome when the dome was not finished until 1863, and constantly show the wrong facade of the white house for the period. At one point they talk about John Adams creating the U.S. Navy while they show a jet landing on an aircraft carrier and a submarine surface (but no shots of any ships of the period).

Sometimes the image being shown is even completely misleading. For example, when talking about ford's theater they show a wide shot of a small church in the countryside and then zoom in to the real ford's theater sign that says "ford's theater." When talking about the senate they show the interior of the library of congress. When talking about a print shop in philadelphia they show a random building in williamsburg. When talking about Congress Hall in Philly they show a shot of Independence Hall. When talking about the early years of diplomacy with Great Britain and France they repeatedly juxtapose Big Ben, the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower as imagery when NONE of those had been built yet.

These things go on and on until it gets more and more painful to watch. The script and information presented is actually not bad, though I thought they missed a lot of great opportunities to color the characters with more interesting anecdotes and stories.

Bottom line is, turn your tv off and play it through your stereo. The information is great but the video renders it unwatchable and even misleading. If you can't do that, read a book on the subject."
A MUST have!
mickeymouse2003 | 10/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I absolutely LOVED this program and have learned so much from it. the ONLY criticism I have is that, in the beginning segment of each president, they have a little info card that flashes accross the screen so fast, you can't read it all unless you pause your dvd.

other than that, it is an absolute wealth of information. I have so much more respect for the presidents now. it seems that just about every one of them - even the 'bad' ones - really tried to make this country better. so many institutions and organizations were made from these presidents, and I didn't even know that until I saw this."
The Presidents, in brief....
D. S. Thurlow | Alaska | 03/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"2003's "The History Channel Presents The Presidents" is a nicely done survey of our first 43 presidents. Each President gets a concise description of their time in office, buttressed by short commentary from various historians and a few prominent personalties. The segements include paintings, pictures, photography, and as we get closer to the present, motion pictures of each man.

No great historical depth is promised or delivered here. The intended audience is clearly the general viewer, many of whom will have forgotten some of the more obscure presidents. The narration is short, punchy, and tone-neutral. For presidents who served before the era of widely-available television, video dating as far back as the terms of William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, turns these men from statues into real, breathing, moving human beings in context.

This DVD series is highly recommended as an introduction to the history of our presidents, suitable for a wide variety of interested viewers."