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Winds of War
Winds of War
An engrossing, 1983 television miniseries based on a bestselling work of historical fiction by Herman Wouk, The Winds of War is an admirable production reminiscent of the era of Hollywood's epic features. At the center of ...  more »


Movie Details

Format: DVD
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
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Movie Reviews

The definitive mini-series-- Outstanding!
Baltic Books | Portland, OR USA | 10/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Herman Wouk wrote an absolute masterpiece. Winds of War is without a doubt the very best historical novel in the war genre. Dan Curtis equally directs the benchmark that mini-series will be measured by for years to come.Casting for Winds of War was perfect when it came to matching Wouk's characters. Despite the age differences Ali McGraw and Jan-Michael Vincent were absolutely perfect as the independent and fickle Natali Jastrow and the bull-headed Byron Henry. Robert Mitchum is the glue that holds the story together in a flawless performance as Victor "Pug" Henry, the man that meets everyone that is anyone in his role as a Naval Attache stationed in Berlin in the pre-World War II years. One of the best ever ensemble casts include stand-outperformances by Polly Bergen as Pug Henry's hard-drinking wife Rhoda, not to mention Topol, David Dukes, Victoria Tennant and John Houseman.Winds of War has become a semi-annual event for our family. It is simply so entertaining that it never grows tiresome. The historical value alone makes it worth having in your home library."
A great min-series that stays true to the book.
Archie Mercer | Yorba Linda, CA | 03/24/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I first read The Winds of War by Herman Wouk back around 1972. The book just absolutely grabbed me. When I heard that ABC was filming a mini-series I was a little skeptical. Very few "made for TV" movies from books really capture the true feel of the original work. THIS ONE DOES! First of all it has a great cast. Robert Mitchum was just awsome as Comander Pug Henry. Both Jan Michael Vincent and Ali McGraw were credable as older actors playing young adults. Polly Bergen, John Houseman, and Peter Graves round out an exceptional cast. The fictional account of a family caught up within historical events continues to draw my attention, even though I have watch this many times since it originally came out. Some of the many highlights include the special effects of the bombing of London, the Japanesse attack on Pearl Harbor, and the wonderful re-creation of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Hitler by Ralph Bellamy and crew. In comparing this series to War and Remembrance, which was the sequal in both book and mini-series, I would have to give the nod to this as the better. If you're looking for an accurate and riviting account of the early years of WW II, then grab this up. Yes, the cost is high but it's well worth it."
Well done, Paramount
James Luckard | Los Angeles, CA | 07/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Paramount deserves major congratulations for doing right by The Winds of War with their DVD release.I was anxious to make sure this DVD measured up, so I watched it with my old VHS playing at the same time, and switched back and forth occasionally on the remote to see the difference. It's nothing less than astonishing. The old Winds videos look unwatchable when compared to the new image, which probably looks as close as possible to the way it was shot. This is, of course, a TV miniseries from 1983, long before anyone imagined the resolution of DVD, so it's not going to look perfect. Still, almost every time I switched to the VHS, then back, I literally said "wow." Colors are distinct and deep, details are sharp and the variously-colored hazes that afflicted most of the VHS are gone. Having only seen the series this way, the DVDs were a revelation. These discs represent what is best about DVD and its success, bringing a long-quiet catalog title back to life.Although Paramount usually mixes new 5.1 audio tracks for their old films, with 15 hours of film here, they can't be blamed for leaving the existing mono tracks, which are certainly decent and don't detract at all from viewing the film. (I can't understand the other reviewer who gave the DVD set one star, largely because of the audio. Doesn't he understand how prohibitively expensive a new sound mix of that length, for such a complex series, would have been? We're very lucky with what we've got.)Paramount also fixed some framing mistakes on the VHS edition. Large portions of episodes 5, 6 and 7 were noticeably off-center when compared to the re-aligned DVDs. This had never caught my attention before, but when flipping back and forth, I could see that the tops of people's heads were actually lopped off quite frequently on the VHS.I've read horror stories of missing scenes when TV shows find their way to DVD, so I was especially anxious to be sure that wasn't the case. Rest assured, every moment of the VHS version is here. The only difference is that the commercial break spots have now been lengthened to about five seconds, where they were almost instant cuts on the VHS. This gives more of a breather between acts, which I totally approve of. (As for the other reviewer who found scenes that were not on their old VHS, I can't imagine what they were watching, but it wasn't the official Paramount 7 VHS set, which was identical to this new DVD in film content.)The extras are also pretty thorough for a title that's clearly not going to sell millions of units. There are a series of featurettes that actually run into a pretty comprehensive feature-length documentary. Almost all the surviving cast and crew are interviewed, with the standout being series producer/director Dan Curtis. Just what a labor of love the series was for him is quickly apparent, and he has wonderfully clear memories of the production, which he is given ample time to share. Bravo, Paramount, for giving this landmark miniseries the careful treatment it deserved."
The Winds of War Soar
!Edwin C. Pauzer | New York City | 09/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Because I read the book years before this became a production, I waited with anticipation. This time the author Herman Wouk made sure that the book was faithfully recreated. I found the result and the theme music immensely pleasurable in spite of some critics who labelled it "World at Bore."

The story centers on one family just before the start of World War II when Victor "Pug" Henry is assigned as a naval attache to Berlin. The events of the world swallow up this navy family as the reader follows the other family members around the world at war. You learn about the people they meet, political and personal.

The acting and character roles are an excellent match from A to Z with the exception of the letters A and M for Ali McGraw. Although she fits the description of Natalie Jastrow, her acting requires someone behind the curtain with a very long cane. Truly, she pulls off one scene so poorly, it will give you the chills of embarrassment. Her redemption comes in the form of the other actors such as Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen, Victoria Tennant, and John Houseman. These actors play their characters superbly.

This story, book or DVD is an epic. For this one, you turn off the phone, turn down the lights, get the popcorn ready, and get set to be entertained. It would help if you have a healthy love and knowledge of history, particularly World War II.

Your only disappointment may be the realization that the end leaves you in mid plot, and you will have to get the sequel, "War and Remembrance" if you want to find out what happens to everyone.

This is a stunning sweep of history, time, people and events. The Winds of War Soar."