Search - Rebels & Redcoats - How Britain Lost America on DVD

Rebels & Redcoats - How Britain Lost America
Rebels Redcoats - How Britain Lost America
Genres: Educational, Documentary
NR     2004     3hr 20min

Rebels & Redcoats or Liberty!? Much like the war itself, your preferred PBS American Revolution documentary may depend on which side of the pond you are on and what point of view you are used to hearing. While many conside...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Educational, Military & War
Studio: PBS
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/29/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 3hr 20min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Great for Teachers, Provocative for Historians
M. Patton | Santa Cruz, CA USA | 08/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I am a college composition and literature teacher who has found Redcoats and Rebels to be a superb teaching tool for my critical thinking class. I use it the day after they have read the chapter on various kinds of slanted language.
In the opening sequences and in most of the presentation, the use of slanted language (such as "agitator" for Paul Revere and Sam Adams, association with communist theorists, calling our version of the Revolution a "myth") to demean Americans and make Britain seem to be the upholders of morality in the American Revolution is just fantastic. If students have studied American history at all, they can pick up on the 97% British point of view.
I think it is a terrific teaching tool to show that two sides can be made quite persuasively as long as the truth can be skewed by language."
A Good If Somewhat Flawed British View
Roger Kennedy | 04/28/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Richard Holmes does a nice job attempting to show the British perspective of the Rev War. Perhaps one of the surprising views expressed is the notion that he believes the Revolution was more a Civil War. This is a view somewhat debated now by some newer historians. The verdict is out on that one still in my opinion.

The documentry provides a contempory look at many of the Rev War sites which gives it a nice contrast to other similer works. One suspects that the intent was to give a different, almost travelogue quality to the production. At times it seems like we are on a road trip across the North East of America!

This is a small scale production, so those looking for something like LIBEERTY or THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION documentries will not find that here. Ample use is made of re-enactors, even though some could have looked the part better. Some of the local Park Rangers and weapons experts provide a folksy addition to the discussion.

Despite being almost 4 hrs long, there are still notably gaps in the coverage of the topic. Not much is said about the Hessians, and after Trenton, the battle of Princeton is completely over-looked. The same pretty much for Valley Forge and Monmouth battle in 1778. Richard Holmes tries to show that the British worked against many odds to fight the war as they did. Still, he could have emphisized more how well they did adapt to fighting in North America. No other power of the day could have sustained such an effort acorss the Atlantic. The constant Viet Nam comparisons worked part of the time, but a little too much was made of this. Some of the discussions with Americans in the South was intended as humor more than anything else. One wonders if this production was shown in the UK!

Over all a decent production, with some different opinions which might be new to some viewers. Richard Holmes is engaging and pleasant, and the whole production comes off almost like a road trip across the Eastern Coast to track down the Rev War battle sites. It rates four stars because it was not as comprehensive as I would have liked. Still, a worthwhile production."