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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Civil War > Great Commanders Of The Civil War

Great Commanders of the Civil War


Picture: C Sound: C+ Extras: C+ Program: B



As part of their War Zone series, Eagle Media has issued four DVDs, two of which are on The Civil War. Though not as good as their American Civil War A Union Divided, Great Commanders of the Civil War offers a nice companion piece that has a long show devoted to Andrew Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jack Chamberlain. These are up to the quality of the sister DVD set, but simply do not go as far overall, despite also being a double-set.


Though covered briefly in the sister set, Great Commanders takes the extra time to get into these even more key personalities that dominated the happenings of The Civil War. It is an impressive set, though the total time of the programs is shorter than the other sets by nearly an hour average. They do not wear out their welcome, but some fans might want more, despite how to the point these shows are.


They are all offered full screen, with the usual variation in picture quality within, as expected from such documentary/special interest materials. However, you can still see how this was produced ultimately on analog videotape and that limit is hard to overcome. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is a bit better, but still much more typical of such programs.


Extras include another quiz, interviews about Jackson, a psychological profile (more or less) about Lee, and a 48-minutes-long documentary about the Gettysburg battle that saves this set from being even shorter. It is also up to the main program, so fans will be happy, and historians will not have much to complain about.


Many complain about companies who stretch out a program on more than one DVD, when the material offered will fit onto a single disc. Besides quality compromises, what can a second disc hurt? In the case of these War Zone titles, they need both discs, even this shortest of the initial four entries. Throw in the single-sized double case each comes in and there should be no room for complains. Great Commanders of the Civil War justifies the space.



- Nicholas Sheffo


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