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Manson 40 Years Later DVD
Manson 40 Years Later DVD
Actor: Non Provided
Director: Neil Rawles
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2009     1hr 34min

He was the mastermind of the most notorious murders in U.S. history, a crazed guru who terrified the world and plunged the city of Los Angeles into a state of paranoia and panic. This two-hour docudrama from HISTORY takes ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Non Provided
Director: Neil Rawles
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Crime & Conspiracy
Studio: A&E Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 09/29/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Docu-drama on the Manson Family
J. M. Gonzalez | Vineland N.J. USA | 09/18/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"First let me state that I'm writing this review as someone who has seen this program on TV and the History Channel DVD release which is currently available for sale. I've followed this case for many years (I'm old enough to remember when it actually happened.) I've seen many documentaries on this case and never seem to tire of them. If you are well informed on the details of the lifestyle of the'family' and the events that led up to the Tate / Labianca murders this offers no new information. The only interesting point I found in this is the interview with Linda Kasabian (who does not do many interviews) and her recollections of those days spent with the family.

There are good and bad points to this DVD. First the good points- the production quality of this program is excellent. The music and photography is well done and to my best recollection this is the only documentary (officially released) that contains the pictures of the actual crime site, although in black and white.

The bad points are in the recreation of the facts. Though Linda Kasabian accurately describes what she went through on those 2 nights of murder, the producers show a very inaccurate portrayal of the events. For example the house used for the Tate house does not resemble it one bit. Even in the layout. There is no gate the killers avoid and climb around, and they slice open the screen on a patio door! They shoot Steve Parent from the wrong side of the car, and on and on it just doesn't match what has been written about for so many years. The house that they use for the LaBianca house is also wrong and in this one there is a gate (they should've used this for the Tate house.)

You would think that after all the effort was made to put such production values in this and finding and talking Linda Kasabian into participating in it, that they would of done a little more research using photographs and information that is readily available all over the internet to make there re-creation look more accurate. But no. Things just look wrong. For people familiar with the crime, the inaccuracies are countless.

That being said, the only other problem is with the version on the DVD itself. It seems that this is the broadcast version that was used by the History Channel. For example, there are spots that jump cut or dip to black where the commercial breaks were, and the closing credits run at a high rate of speed during the last scene in the lower left hand corner, a tactic used to slam the next program in before the viewer can get away. No closing music at all. I believe this was shown overseas and a different version may exist.

All in all, as for a docu-drama this is still an interesting thing to watch, inaccuracies and all. The interviews help carry it through even though you've heard it all before.
It Could Have Been More Accurate
Robert L. Frazier | Linden, NJ United States | 09/24/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Like the other reviewer of this DVD Documentary on the Manson murders I totally agree that while the production values were adequate and the interview with Linda Kasabian most riveting, the inacurracies are numerous and ruin what could have been an excellent documentary of one of the most famous murder cases of the 20th century.

Although I was only 3 years old when the murders took place in August of 1969, I've read most of the books associated with the Tate-LaBianca murders - most especially "Helter Skelter". Two made-for-TV movies, one released in 1976 and the other in 2004 are much more accurate in re-creating the events leading up to the murders as well as the capture of the defendents and the subsequent trial.

The best thing about "Manson 40 Years Later" is clearly the interview with Linda Kasabian. Even though it's been 40 years since these horrendous murders took place, her recollection of the events are clear and insightful and it's evident that she still feels tremendous guilt, sadness and remorse for her peripheral involvement as the driver/look-out. There was a very interesting addition to her interview that didn't appear in previous books, testimony or in any other movies or documentaries done on this case. I was surprised to learn that after the shooting of Steven Parent by Tex Watson, he instructed Linda Kasabian to go into the car and take the wallet out of the dead man's pocket.

Other than the interview and recollections of Linda Kasabian, the re-creation of the family members and the murders themselves are filled with many inaccurancies and oversights. First of all, most of the actors portraying the killers looked nothing like them. For instance, the actress portraying Patricia Krenwinkel had thin red hair while the real Patricia Krenwinkel had long, thick brown hair.

As previously pointed out, the residences depicted as the Tate and LaBianca residences looked NOTHING like the real residences. The dramatizations of the murders themselves, while chilling as well as gory, were also displayed inaccurately.

I'm giving this DVD 3 stars for the interviews with Linda Kasabian, Catherine Share and Vincent Bugliosi but it's a shame that the producers did such shoddy work on the fact and dramatizations."