A seven-part series focusing on the many ways in which the Second World War impacted the lives of American families.
Reviews
Popularity
4,647 ( 468)

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
2007  
Won 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Prohibition (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The story of the American activist struggle against the influence of alcohol, climaxing in the failed early 20th century nationwide era when it was banned.

Stars: Peter Coyote, Pete Hamill, Catherine Gilbert Murdock
The Dust Bowl (TV Mini-Series 2012)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A documentary about the 1930s drought of North American prairie farm land, and its consequences during the great depression.

Stars: Dorothy Williamson, Donald Worster, Timothy Egan
Baseball (TV Mini-Series 1994)
Documentary | History | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  

A documentary on the history of the sport with major topics including Afro-American players, player/team owner relations and the resilience of the game.

Stars: John Chancellor, Daniel Okrent, Ossie Davis
The West (TV Series 1996)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Stephen Ives' "The West" is a PBS 4-Video Series co-produced by Ken Burns: - "Death Runs Riot" 85 min. - "Fight No More Forever" 85 min. - "Ghost Dance" 58 min. - "The People" 82 min.

Stars: Peter Coyote, Philip Bosco, Murphy Guyer
The Civil War (TV Mini-Series 1990)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  

A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.

Stars: David McCullough, Sam Waterston, Julie Harris
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The history of the U.S. National Parks system, including the initial ideas which led to the world's first national parks and the expansion of the system over 150 years.

Stars: Peter Coyote, William Cronon, Dayton Duncan
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

A documentary that weaves together the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.

Stars: Meryl Streep, Edward Herrmann, Paul Giamatti
Documentary | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

The story of the most important American exploration expedition in American history and the participants in it.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Hal Holbrook, Adam Arkin, John Logan Allen
WWII in HD (TV Mini-Series 2009)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Follow the lives of soldiers who lived World War II, through previously unseen color footage.

Stars: Gary Sinise, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Charles Scheffel
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A biography of the life and work of the American architect.

Directors: Ken Burns, Lynn Novick
Stars: Edward Herrmann, Philip Bosco, Julie Harris
Jazz (TV Mini-Series 2001)
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A survey of the musical form's history and major talents.

Stars: Keith David, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet
Mark Twain (TV Movie 2001)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A biographical film about the acclaimed American humourist and author.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Keith David, Kevin Conway, Philip Bosco
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Himself - Narrator (7 episodes, 2007)
Katharine Phillips ...
 Herself - Resident of Mobile, Alabama (7 episodes, 2007)
...
 Al McIntosh / ... (7 episodes, 2007)
Paul Fussell ...
 Himself - Infantry (6 episodes, 2007)
Quentin Aanenson ...
 Himself - Resident of Luverne, Minnesota (6 episodes, 2007)
Burt Wilson ...
 Himself - Resident of Sacramento, California / ... (6 episodes, 2007)
Sascha Weinzheimer ...
 Herself - Resident of Sacramento Valley, California (6 episodes, 2007)
Sam Hynes ...
 Himself - Marine Pilot (5 episodes, 2007)
Daniel Inouye ...
 Himself - Infantry / ... (5 episodes, 2007)
Rebecca Holtz ...
 Reader (5 episodes, 2007)
Glenn D. Frazier ...
 Himself - Prisoner of War / ... (4 episodes, 2007)
Emma Belle Pelcher ...
 Herself - Resident of Mobile, Alabama (4 episodes, 2007)
Olga Ciarlo ...
 Herself - Resident of Waterbury, Connecticut / ... (4 episodes, 2007)
Maurice Bell ...
 Himself - Resident of Mobile, Alabama (4 episodes, 2007)
Dwain Luce ...
 Himself - Resident of Mobile, Alabama (4 episodes, 2007)
John Gray ...
 Himself - Resident of Mobile, Alabama (4 episodes, 2007)
Sidney Phillips ...
 Himself - Resident of Mobile, Alabama (4 episodes, 2007)
Susumu Satow ...
 Himself - Resident of Sacramento, California (4 episodes, 2007)
Jim Sherman ...
 Himself - Resident of Luverne, Minnesota (4 episodes, 2007)
Robert Kashiwagi ...
 Himself - Resident of Sacramento, California / ... (4 episodes, 2007)
...
 Reader (4 episodes, 2007)
Burnett Miller ...
 Himself - Resident of Sacramento, California (3 episodes, 2007)
Ray Leopold ...
 Himself - Resident of Waterbury, Connecticut (3 episodes, 2007)
Earl Burke ...
 Himself - Resident of Sacramento, California (3 episodes, 2007)
Asako Tokuno ...
 Herself - Resident of Sacramento, California (3 episodes, 2007)
Tom Galloway ...
 Himself - Resident of Mobile, Alabama / ... (3 episodes, 2007)
Jackie Greer ...
 Herself - Resident of Louisiana (3 episodes, 2007)
...
 Reader (3 episodes, 2007)
Edit

Storyline

A seven-part series focusing on the many ways in which the Second World War impacted the lives of American families.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | War

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 September 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerikkalaiset sodassa  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(7 parts)

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Soundtracks

Variations for the Healing of Arinushka
Written by Arvo Pärt
Performed by Kalle Randalu, piano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Not Burns' best, but still a great series.
20 December 2007 | by (Cambridge, UK) – See all my reviews

The six letter title ("The War") of this Ken Burns' series is remarkably illustrative of the piece. The title is not "America's War", as would be more apt in some objective sense, but simply "The War" as if you the viewer were an 19-year old American about to be shipped off to some far-off land. To you , there was only one, The War.

This seven-part series chronicles World War II through a distinctly American lens. The subjects are mostly common Americans impelled by circumstance of birth but mostly also compelled by a genuine American idealism to make war and suffer loss. What few WW2 veterans remain with us this day may be with us still perhaps a decade or two at most. "The War" gives them one last opportunity to reflect on comrades lost and horrors seen. It gives us as viewers one last opportunity to hear their stories as you might hear your grandparent tell you rather than as the cardboard cut-outs of history books. Typically for Burns', the piece is filled with well chosen period photos, moving images, and music.

And yet, as much as we want and need to remember the sacrifices of those who served, I can't help but think that this was the wrong film for Burns' to make. Sure, he will get accolades from veterans groups and politicians the country wide. But Burns should have left the story of American heroics and sacrifice to the sentimentalists - lord knows there are enough of them. A man with Burns' skill should have broadened his ken (no pun intended) to teach his largely American audience some new ways to think about the conflict and its implications for modern society.

If an American and, say, a Croat were to start discussing the war today, the American would speak about pride and sacrifice. Even if moderately knowledgeable about history, he'd have perhaps some vague sense that the Yugoslavs were somehow involved. Never in his wildest dreams would he have guessed that the Yugoslav armed forces suffered more dead than the Americans in World War II. And such are the points that need to be made in this age where 9/11, however inherently important it is, should be put into context. 3000 or so people died in 9/11. This is a blip on the radar - a bad few weeks in Iraq or a particularly bad day in any given African conflict. The message that Americans need to learn is not more paeans about the uniqueness and greatness of their sacrifice - but rather more about the universality of it. To be a world leader, America in 2007 needs less navel gazing and more outward understanding.

"The War" - "America's War" - provided none of this. It also barely touched issues of class and race in any substantive way, other than to give a somewhat embarrassingly lopsided and timid view of the internment of Japanese Americans. We need the Ken Burns' of the world. What am I saying - we need Ken Burns' to do more than pay homage to our great, brave veterans. We need him to tell the stories about ourselves and our world that Americans just don't know.


16 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Some things Burns never told you thomas-marking
eye Opening moments... anyone? mattinaustin90
Shocking German Prisoner Quote about Waterbury, CT sanfran419
'Mobile' pronunciation? ukepic
Confused about the ages. mark-1602
This should be on blu-ray lukereed89
Discuss The War (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?