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|The Century-America's Time (Boxed Set) [VHS]
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Covering the entire 20th century in one video series is an ambitious project, but one that Peter Jennings and ABC News are up to. In The Century: America's Time, a 12-part documentary on six videotapes that is a companion to the book of the same name, Jennings guides us through a century of technology and advancement like no other. As he says in his introduction to episode 1, "Seeds of Change," "Unlike previous centuries where leadership was defined by royalty and other rulers, the 20th century more than any other was shaped by the will and actions of the common man." The series is a sweeping presentation of the United States of the 1900s and tries to encompass a mind-boggling amount of history. And while at moments the videos may leave you longing for more, Jennings does an excellent job of creating smooth segues between disparate pieces.
The first episode, for instance, begins with the influx of immigrants at the turn of the century and touches on Jim Crow laws, moving pictures, planes, Henry Ford, the sinking of the USS Maine, child labor, suffragettes, the Panama Canal, imperialism, and more, right up to the beginning of World War I. The archival footage is stunning and interviews with historians, veterans, journalists, POWs, politicians, authors, celebrities, and common people help bring the past to life again. Mickey Spillane discusses the speakeasies of the 1920s; Dennis Hopper talks about Easy Rider in the '60s; Tom Wolfe reads from The Bonfire of the Vanities for the episode on the '80s. Eudora Welty, E.L. Doctorow, Martin Scorsese, John Updike, Pat Buchanan, Oliver Stone, Stephen E. Ambrose, among many others, lend their voices to this documentary. Yet, despite the great names, at times the pictures and people are allowed to speak for themselves, without intrusive narration--the stark images of the Challenger explosion or the sad words of a political activist mourning the death of his partner to AIDS are more powerful because of it. This chronological tale (with the exception of the last episode, "Then and Now," which is arranged thematically) is an insightful and poignant reminder of all the marvels--and tragedies--of America in the 20th century. --Jenny Brown
|Sarah Plain and Tall (Hallmark Hall of Fame) [VHS]
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Sarah Plain and Tall (Hallmark Hall of Fame) [VHS] (1991)
Glenn Close (Actor), Christopher Walken (Actor), Glenn Jordan (Director) | Rated: G | Format: VHS Tape
GUARANTEED SCRATCH FREE - LIKE NEW - PREVIOUSLY ENJOYED - The most-watched made-for-television movie of the 1990s (50 million viewers upon first broadcast in 1991), this fine adaptation of Patricia MacLachlan's novel stars Glenn Close as Sarah, a Maine schoolteacher who responds to a Kansas farmer's newspaper ad seeking a bride. Set in 1910, the story follows Sarah's trial run as stepmother to the children of the widowed Jacob Witting (Christopher Walken). The tough part of the experiment is the conflicting expectations the would-be couple have over Sarah's role in the household.
The most-watched made-for-television movie of the 1990s (50 million viewers upon first broadcast in 1991), this fine adaptation of Patricia MacLachlan's novel stars Glenn Close as Sarah, a Maine schoolteacher who responds to a Kansas farmer's newspaper ad seeking a bride. Set in 1910, the story follows Sarah's trial run as stepmother to the children of the widowed Jacob Witting (Christopher Walken). The tough part of the experiment is the conflicting expectations the would-be couple have over Sarah's role in the household. The kids, too, have their doubts about a substitute for their mother, and Jacob isn't ready, emotionally, for a new beginning. But in short order the strong-willed Sarah brings happiness and vitality into the house, and love and understanding eventually blossom between the two lonely adults. Everything is right about this Hallmark production, from a bright script cowritten by MacLachlan to Glenn Jordan's sensitive direction and a pair of first-rate leads making every moment worth watching. A wholesome tale from the heartland, this is a good movie for any viewing situation, from an audience of one to an entire family. --Tom Keogh
- Sarah Plain and Tall (Hallmark Hall of Fame) [VHS] (1991) Glenn Close (Actor), Christopher Walken (Actor), Glenn Jordan (Director) | Rated: G | Format: VHS Tape GUARANTEED SCRATCH FREE - LIKE NEW - PREVIOUSLY ENJOYED - The most-watched made-for-television movie of the 1990s (50 million viewers upon first broadcast in 1991), this fine adaptation of Patricia MacLachlan's novel stars Glenn Close as Sarah, a Maine schoolteacher who responds to a Kansas farmer's newspaper ad seeking a bride. Set in 1910, the story follows Sarah's trial run as stepmother to the children of the widowed Jacob Witting (Christopher Walken). The tough part of the experiment is the conflicting expectations the would-be couple have over Sarah's role in the household.
|War Dogs: America's Forgotten Heroes [VHS]
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List price: $14.95
Brand: Nature's Recipe
War Dogs is the amazing saga of the heroic dogs who served in the Vietnam War.
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|Horses a to Z [VHS]
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|Naked Jungle [VHS]
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A self-made man who has carved a plantation out of the South American jungle and filled it with pristine possessions, orders a bride by mail but is intimidated to find she is not a virgin. However, when his empire is threatened by a swath of Army Ants 20 miles long, her love might be all that survives.
|Our Friend Martin [VHS]
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This animated time-travel adventure features a stellar cast and is a delight for kids and adults alike. When Matt, a black teenager, has to go on a class field trip to the museum of Martin Luther King Jr., he thinks that he'd rather play baseball. But the trip turns into an exciting adventure when he and his best friend, Randy, who's white, are sent back in time to meet Dr. King.
The story is also remarkably moving, as Matt and Randy learn what Dr. King did for humanity, and come to see him as a real person, not a historical figure. Matt and Randy experience segregation firsthand when they aren't allowed to eat on a train together. Together, they witness the bus boycott, the Birmingham riots, and the "I Have a Dream" speech. They discuss the theme of "non-violent resistance" with their new friend Martin and the work of Ghandi in India. As King tells Matt, "We must meet hate with love. It will take time, but somebody's got to start." Authentic historical footage blended with animation make this an excellent choice for teaching kids about the legacy of Dr. King. --Elisabeth Keating
|Night and Fog [VHS]
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Hailed as one of the world's greatest documentaries, Night and Fog is the definitive film on Nazi concentration camps and a devastating record of man's inhumanity to man. Like a master conductor, director Alain Resnais (Hiroshima, Mon Amour, Last Year at Marienbad) weaves contemporary images of the abandoned camp at Auschwitz with newsreel footage of the atrocities that occurred there. Juxtaposing color and black-and-white film, Night and Fog brings the horror of the Holocaust to the present. An elegy on memory and immeasurable sorrow, this tightly structured half-hour film foreshadows Resnais' remarkable feature films. Upon its release, Francois Truffaut called it the greatest film ever made.
Though only a short subject, this groundbreaking documentary remains one of the most influential and powerful explorations of the Holocaust ever made. Director Alain Resnais bluntly presents an indictment not only of the Nazis but of the world community, and the film is all the more remarkable for its harsh judgment considering the time in which it was made, less than a decade after the end of the war, when questions of responsibility were not yet being addressed. Juxtaposing archival clips from the concentration camps across Germany and Poland with the present-day denials of the camps' existence, the film seeks to once and for all expose the horrifying truth of the Final Solution, as well as to address the continuing anti-Semitism and bigotry that existed long after the war's end. An invaluable resource and testament to history, this film was a profound influence on all films to address issues of the Holocaust, from Judgment at Nuremberg and Shoah to Schindler's List. Night and Fog remains an essential and indispensable document of the 20th century. --Robert Lane
|Union Pacific's Moffat Line [VHS]
Lowest used price: $43.92
Stirring images and eye-catching graphics collide with insightful commentary to unravel the history, operations, and rolling stock of the Union Pacific's Moffat Line - 130 miles of breathtaking railroad between Denver and Bond, Colorado. Narrated by TRAINS Editor Kevin P. Keefe. 60 minutes; VHS; all-digital format; color; stereo sound.
|The Queen [VHS]
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List price: $29.95
|Walt - The Man Behind The Myth [VHS]
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List price: $14.99
From Mickey Mouse to MARY POPPINS to Disneyland and beyond, Walt Disney touched the hearts of millions with his special brand of magic. In this revealing portrait, you'll discover the man behind the myth as never before. Inspired by daughter Diane Disney Miller and hosted by Disney legend Dick Van Dyke, the film features all-new interviews with friends, family, collaborators, and experts plus never-before-seen home movies. Through good times and bad, including a brush with bankruptcy during World War II, Walt remained a driven innovator and perfectionist behind studio gates and devoted family man at home. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of his birth, WALT: THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH offers the most intimate look yet at the man whose legacy continues to inspire the world.
Dick Van Dyke (Mary Poppins) narrates this made-for-TV special, which focuses on the high points in Walt Disney's life and career. Over 70 friends, relatives, and associates were interviewed. Critics, however, weren't given much of a chance to have their say, which prevents Walt from presenting a fully rounded picture. Fortunately, this two-hour story of the great man's rise--and rise--makes for compelling viewing anyway. It doesn't merely cover his work, but personal life, as well. Milestones, such as his marriage, are brought to life using footage from a copious home movie collection. Furthermore, a few Disney animators do mention some of the great man's more negative traits, such as his legendary toughness, but such criticisms are passed over quickly. Smaller viewers may find it boring, but Disney fans 10 and older are sure to be riveted by this fascinating man's life story. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
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