The Campaigns of Napoleon Boxed Set #1

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This spectacular series tell the stories of the world’s greatest military history, and features dramatized reconstructions and re-enactments, stunning excerpts from feature films and “eye-witness” accounts of the battles.1805 THE BATTLE OF AUSTERLITZ
A superb record of the Emperor Napoleon’s greatest triumph. As the famous sun of Austerlitz rose through the pale mist on the morning of December 2nd 1805, the stage was set for one of the most decisive battles of the Nap… More >>

The Campaigns of Napoleon Boxed Set #1

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  1. There’s no copyright year anywhere on the DVD case or box, but the end of the documentaries I think label it as being from 1993 or so, and yet the video quality looks horrifying by today’s standards, and by the standards of 1993, it would be considered bad itself. It looks something like the early to mid-70s on a VHS recorded off a TV.

    So hold no bias against poorly aged footage not anywhere near digitally enhanced or fixed.

    The documentary features are very very engrossing, even featuring some computer-generated map sequences that look surprisingly 2000-ish despite being apparently made in 1993 (or if you judge like I had when first seeing it, 1971), which allow you to keep track of what’s occurring across the battlefield, and see army columns moving about where they do and around the field.

    The narration is always perfect and precise, even if the script tacks on some stupid cliche’s, and there are some acting sequences where some actors dress up (and in one humorously awkward case, stand before a very poorly done background scenery piece) and act out a historical person talking about the battle. The English captain Mercer in Waterloo is kind of awkward in his dull droning, but somehow manages to rapture us with his charisma. Then there’s also a gritty-ass French general who looks kind of like Donnie Wahlberg and sounds like a brick grinding against a block of wood, and a Prussian captain with highly fluent, understandable German and a nice sort of ambivalent smugness to him that seems to reflect Prussia’s whole “we don’t give a s***” attitude to the affairs before Austerlitz when they hadn’t joined Napoleon Bonaparte or the Alliance against him.

    Then there are the battles, re-enacted on a massive scale with (1970s) style movie filming and directing, and it is very very entertaining.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. This DVD set, though not up to the standards of many new documentaries, is well made and includes commentary from actors playing battle participants. The use of sweeping scenes from several Russian Napoleonic films showed the epic scale of these events. Its presentation of the complete destruction of 650,000 men in Russia and what might have been at Waterloo were the real highlights. This was money well spent.
    Rating: 4 / 5

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