Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Korean War > Korean War In Color

Korean War In Color


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



Why is the Korean War forgotten?  With the DVD Korean War In Color (2002), it is not from a lack of full color footage.  This is the war often written off as a “police action” (whatever that means) when it turns out to be a smaller-scale version of our hop3ed-for non-escalating way to ballet Chinese Communism when terms were far more shut-off and the stakes were much higher.  Perhaps it is that thinking of China, then the Soviet Union as Communist countries at once would expose the myth that Communism was mono-centric, which fueled failure for the U.S. in Vietnam.  This DVD breaks down the events in Korea as follows:


1)     Trouble On The Horizon

2)     Invasion

3)     Protecting Pusan

4)     Inchon

5)     The Road To Seoul

6)     The 38th Parallel

7)     The Chinese Surprise

8)     The Frozen Chosin

9)     South Bound

10)  The Real M.A.S.H.

11)  Shifting The Balance

12)  The Iron Triangle

13)  Pressure For Peace

14)  The Air War

15)  The War Winds Down


I was pleasantly surprised how well rounded the nearly 90-minutes-long main program was.  It is to the point and never talks down to its audience.  The system of Capitalism that made the United States a success and succeed Britain as the most influential country in the world and this disturbed the alternate Communist and Socialist societies and their elites.  It is also a reminder when the United Nations was a much smaller organization consisting of the Western powers, though China was not part of the competing Warsaw Pact, which was headed by the now-defunct USSR.


The color footage is also interesting as, though it is faded and lacks definition here and there, it opens up the events in a way that feels like more than just Hollywood newsreel cameramen were coldly filming the events in black and white so some narrator could talk at the audience and water-down the events.  Some of the footage is even outright graphic.  In all this, the footage is above average overall, and it could even be argued that some of the color stocks used are rare and even experimental.  Of course, the stocks are not identified, but the diversity is interesting beyond their assemblage here.


The sound has been remixed for Dolby Digital 5.1 AC-3 sound, but that is only on the main program and cannot disguise the age of the original audio that is presented here.  Still, it is better than mono or simple stereo, so this is an asset for the DVD.  Extras include silent footage of Marilyn Monroe’s visit to the troops, stills, a graphic sequence of south Koreans being shot by firing squad and then all shot in the head at point blank range to make sure they were dead, biographies of Truman, Eisenhower and MacArthur form newsreels, stills, a timeline, isolated footage from the soldiers by name and a TV interview (with difficult audio) of Senator Joseph McCarthy on a Longines Watches’ sponsored TV interview show.  This is a terrific set of extras that really back up the main program in a strong way.


The upsurge of history programming and interest in it is still not a substitute for what the school system is having problems teaching, but school and documentaries are only as good as their content.  Korean War In Color is an exceptional volume of history on DVD everyone should see.  This and many other outstanding history DVDs are available form Goldhil at their website: www.goldhil.com, where they are available for on-line orders.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com