A filmed historical survey of the First World War.






1965   1964  


Series cast summary:
 Narrator (26 episodes, 1964-1965)


A filmed historical survey of the First World War.

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Release Date:

22 September 1964 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

World War I and The Civil War
1 March 2007 | by (N Syracuse NY) – See all my reviews

I currently have two wars going on in my house. I'm watching The Civil War on the DVD player in my living room, (Ken Burns' Civil War), and World War I, (CBS's) on the VHS player in my bed room. I adore Ken Burns work but am amazed at how good CBS's 1964 classic on "The Great War" is. I think it must have influenced Burns whose work is different in many ways but which has the same emphasis on the effect of war on its participants, as opposed to "what the Kings and Generals did".

I note on Wikipedia that Burns is credited with developing "panning" as a technique to show still photographs in a way to suggest movement. WWI uses a striking technique of showing old film, where they pan and focus on one part of the image, usually when Morton Gould's striking score rises. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is that the same musical tracts are used over and over again for WWI, keeping the tone rather constant whereas Burns changes his music and uses multiple narrators to change the mood. TCW is a potent brew but so is WWI from a generation earlier.

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