IMDb > "The Unknown War" (1978)

"The Unknown War" (1978) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 1978-

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Rod McKuen (script adaptation)
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Release Date:
22 June 1978 (USA) See more »
Documentary film history of the Nazi-Soviet conflict in world War II. Full summary »
Plot Keywords:
DVD Playhouse--May 2011
 (From The Hollywood Interview. 9 May 2011, 12:13 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
if this ever comes out on DVD, i'm buying it See more (15 total) »


 (Series Cast [1])

Burt Lancaster ... Himself (unknown episodes)

Series Directed by
Roman Karmen (unknown episodes, 1978)
Isaac Kleinerman (unknown episodes)
Series Writing credits
Rod McKuen (unknown episodes)

Series Produced by
Isaac Kleinerman .... executive producer (unknown episodes)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
1040 min

Did You Know?

Produced with Soviet cooperation after the release of The World at War, which the soviet government felt paid insufficient attention to their part in World War II. Released in 1978, The Unknown War, sympathetic to the Soviet struggle against Nazi Germany, was quickly withdrawn from TV airings after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.See more »


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24 out of 28 people found the following review useful.
if this ever comes out on DVD, i'm buying it, 8 September 2006
Author: (jana-87) from United States

I remember our entire family watching the series diligently - on communist television in former Czechoslovakia. I must have been late seventies or early eighties, I don't know anymore.

I still remember the magical words 'Hello, I'm Burt Lancaster' that opened every episode.

It was amazing (to us) to see "such a famous American actor" talking about the evens between 1939-1945 we had been brainwashed about ever since we could remember (my parents were born right after the war ended.)

We had seen many, many movies about the WW II - the government made sure of it - but, of course, none of those movies was free of communist propaganda. The invincible Soviet Union lead the world (and some insignificant allies) to victory; D-Day was, pretty much, an obscure episode; and the end of war was celebrated on May 9th. And that was that.

The Unknown War was the first documentary that didn't stink of brainwashing and yet, it was showing the same basic facts and much more. For someone, who grew up under communism, it was absolutely refreshing and amazing to watch.

Even from an adult perspective, and with the Berlin Wall down, this TV series was very well produced and would be enjoyed by any intelligent person no matter where they were born. And they don't even have to be history geeks.

I do agree with the (insuradj02) about the Soviet government controlling all the resource material at the time the series was produced; naturally - many important and atrocious events are not mentioned here, but I wouldn't go as far as dismissing the commentary as biased and inaccurate. (I mean, please, how many Americans knew of the Japanese internment camps or were even aware of what exactly was holocaust? To many of my educated and smart American friends Spielbergs Schindler's list was a revelation!)

I moved to Seattle form Prague in 2001 and have been scouting local video stores for the Unknow War without success. If it ever comes out on DVD somewhere, please let me know.

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