The "Timeline" DVD Series --- Highly Recommended
David Von Pein | Mooresville, Indiana; USA | 01/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The "Timeline" series of programs from "Whirlwind DVD" are like have a portal back into the time featured. Via archived "Newsreels" of the day, you can view a glimpse of the past. The picture quality on these Newsreel segments can vary, but generally I'd say they were in very good shape. Sound is good and clear too.Boasting 44 individual Newsreels in the "Video Chapter" portion of the DVD, this "1962" volume takes us on a fairly comprehensive trip around the world, circa 1962, a year that had John F. Kennedy in the White House, John Glenn becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, the introduction of the ground-breaking "Telstar" communications satellite, President Kennedy's battle with U.S. Steel, the deaths of Eleanor Roosevelt and Marilyn Monroe, and the biggest story of the year: the Cuban Missile Crisis in October, when the United States and the Soviet Union stood on the edge of nuclear catastrophe.There is also a "Bonus" video chapter, which has Marilyn Monroe, less than three months before her sudden death, singing "Happy Birthday" to JFK, just prior to the President's 45th birthday in May '62. This bonus video clip runs for 3 minutes and 50 seconds and is a longer version of the Marilyn/JFK event than the normally very short snippet that is usually seen.All the "Timeline" DVDs also feature an "Audio" section, with many top pop hits of that year presented. Here we get 10 of the top hits from '62, including "Twist And Shout", "Town Without Pity", "Let's Dance", and "Palisades Park". Audio quality is quite good for the musical section of the DVD. Pretty close to CD quality I'd say.Also included in the "Audio" chapter of the disc, there's a "News" section, featuring radio accounts of major news stories of the year. Including: Richard Nixon's famous "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore" speech (after losing his bid to become the Governor of California). This is quite an extensive audio clip too, some 16-plus minutes long. And there's also a lengthy (nearly 20 minutes) audio account entitled "Cuban Missile Crisis As It Unfolded". In addition -- The "Timeline" series includes an "Interactive Chapter", which consists of text screens, with info such as who won major awards during that calendar year, plus other lists and miscellaneous data.Still More -- Yes, even more on tap here. .... There's an "Entertainment" area, which features a complete episode of the radio drama "Suspense" (one of my favorite Old-Time Radio shows). This episode, entitled "2464" (starring Lawson Zerbe) aired originally on radio stations across America just as the brand-new year of nineteen hundred sixty-two was dawning, on the night of January 2nd.There's also a very nice, multi-page insert included here. It's an informative booklet, which folds out to paint a word picture of an even more detailed "1962 Timeline", with many news items shown that are not included as part of the video program.There are many other years available in Whirlwind's "Timeline" series of programs on Digital Versatile Disc (available separately), including "1939", "1959", and "1961", which are three more that I'd also recommend highly. A quick FYI regarding that 1939 volume --- The "Entertainment" chapter on that one contains the complete 60-minute "Lux Theater" radio play of "It Happened One Night" (with the original stars from the movie version, Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert). With a satisfying total running time of 3 hours, 15 minutes, I'd regard "Timeline 1962" as a bargain at twice the price. Take a few hours off from 21st-century life, and set the ol' Time Machine back to 1962. Whirlwind's exhilarating "Timeline" DVD will take you there. It's worth the trip."
If this gets reissued, don't miss your chance again!
Michael F. Ferguson | Honolulu, Hawaii | 04/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, let me say that I'm a firm believer in not buying DVD's issued by "no name" publishers...Whirlwind Media/Ryoko, in this case. However, everyone gets it "right" once in awhile, and this set proves it. Most of the video archives are pleasantly sharp in focus, and the few that aren't can be forgiven due to the age of the source material. This chronical of the War Years was extremely interesting, as the video is not dry textbook stuff, but the very same newsreels that Americans at Home watched in movie theatres during the war. In addition, each of the discs contain hours of material (more, I think, than is advertised)...there's the video, then a whole section devoted to the music of each year (focusing on a few artists each time), and finally radio recordings, including news broadcasts, speeches from Churchill, Roosevelt, and others, and even movie trailers of the day.I can't believe no one else has ever reviewed this DVD set here, and I'm sorry to see it's apparently out of print, but if you ever get the chance to get this set again...don't miss it!"