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The World At War: The Ultimate Restored Edition (9 Discs) (Blu-ray)

Released on 20 September 2010

Featuring: Laurence Olivier

Format: Blu-ray | Rating: Exempt from Classification

5.0 out of 5 (5 customer reviews) | Write a review

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The World at War: The Ultimate Restored Edition is the definitive version of one of the greatest documentary series ever made. Each frame has been painstakingly restored and the audio enhanced and upgraded so that this is the best this award-winning series has ever looked and sounded.

Narrated by Laurence Olivier and first broadcast in 1973 when memories of the Second World War were still clear in people's minds and the war's veterans numerous, over 26 episodes this unique series assembled these recollections, together with archive footage, to create one of the most powerful and successful historical documentaries ever seen. The voices of those that fought, worked or watched during the war gave each episode a vivid sense of what it was like to be there and was the hallmark of the series.
  • *Artwork Subject To Change


  • Region A,B,C
  • Brand new - Restoring the World at War - narrated by Sir Jeremy Isaacs, this feature explores every element of the restoration process
  • 11 features including the making of the original series
  • Photo galleries
  • Biographies
  • Speeches and songs
  • Newsreels and maps

customer Reviews

 Average rating (5 reviews)

 4:3 to 16:9 information

| | See all robcam's reviews (1)

The decision to convert the aspect ratio from the original 4 3 to 16 9 was taken after months of tests and reviews. The primary reason for this that for most viewers now own a widescreen TV so expect programmes to be in this format and also because with any HD material for broadcast the broadcasters expect widescreen material. As the aim of the project was to create restored masters (at great expense) for multiple use (ie Blu-ray, DVD and broadcast) there was no option other than going down the 16 9 route.

It was essential that this be done as sensitively as possible. The process of aspect ratio conversion from 4:3 to 16:9 was done by firstly going back to the original materials and then using Pan & Scan to ensure that all of the essential picture detail is retained. The panning and scanning process can be notorious if done badly where the screen is basically lazily cropped losing vital information. With this in mind in this instance each frame was panned and scanned according to strict guidelines following the tests done to ensure that the focus of the picture is always on the most important action so that we retained the quality of the original series.

 Ok, I'm worried, because size is important....

| | See all BigMovieBuff's reviews (2)

Somebody who owns this tell me please - is it widescreen as shown in the description. If it is, then it has been zoomed in from it's original 4x3 ratio, and therefore IMHO, ruined. Please tell me it's 4x3 before I part with the 40 quid that I really want to spend on the most definitive documentary ever made.

 Greatest War Documentary ever produced

| | See all mattyjek's reviews (3)

This series is essential for anyone interested in the Second World War. It gives expert witness interviews and analysis of all major events, ranging from Europe, to North Africa, to the Pacific. It describes the reasons behind the start of war and why various countries became embroilled in the most devastating loss of life ever seen on Earth.

The subject matter is so vast that the collection itself must be incredibly long to fully cover all aspects and this does so wonderfully. Do not let the length put you off as it keeps the viewers attention at all times.

Laurence Olivier brings an authoritative narration to the work and at all times this series shows respect to the subject matter, never glorifying, but highlights the terrible tradgedy that befell the entire world during the period.

I cannot recommend this collection enough and in the blu ray edition, you are going to get as detailed a restoration of the original WWII records as there is ever likely to be.

With the play price currently under 21 pounds, it is an absolute bargain. Buy it.

 Stunning

| | See all Scottmw14's reviews (12)

An incredibly thorough, moving, sobering account of almost every angle of the Second World War. Picture and sound quality is excellent too.

 What are you waiting for?!

| | See all CptCronic's reviews (28)

There's no boom tizz of Hollywood here, no big grand soundtrack. What we do have here is pure solid gold, THE definitive WWII documentary. If anyone has seen the original series will know great work has been done here.
The whole release oozes quality & respect to the subject matter, playback alone is a commitment as it'll take you a while to chew through this lot.
This is a gem, best money on a Bluray release I've spent to date.

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ActorsLaurence Olivier
DirectorHugh Raggett, John Pett, David Elstein, Ted Childs, Michael Darlow & Martin Smith
CertificateExempt from Classification
Year1973
ScreenWidescreen
LanguagesEnglish - DTS-HD Master Audio (5.1)
SubtitlesEnglish for the hearing impaired
Closed CaptionsYes
Duration23 hours and 28 minutes (approx)