They Shall Not Grow Old

They Shall Not Grow Old

Blu-ray Disc - 2019
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Marking the centenary of the First World War, internationally renowned director Peter Jackson uses the voices of the veterans combined with original archival footage to bring to life the reality of war on the front line for a whole new generation. Footage has been colorized and transformed with modern production techniques to present never-before-seen detail.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, [2019]
Edition: Blu-ray
Branch Call Number: 940.3 T344
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (99 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.
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Sep 19, 2020

Well done, and deserving of my engagement. I think this is as good a bridge between industrial revolution and modern tech as we will ever see; lasting, crafted proof that no fiction could match. We needed something like this, to stand alone so future generations can see how utterly pointless, demoralizing, and deadly war is. I loved some of the closing quotes, but won't give them up here.

I had initial doubts, but the veteran voiceovers served perfectly as narration for something more significant than a documentary stuffed with facts. Same with sound bytes, as I assume the moving pictures were originally silent. The colourizing was great as well, notching up the realism to within arm's length. The overal experience felt like it was assembled from a planned movie storyboard, which I'm sure was the goal.

Not too much drama, not filled with attempts to make you vomit, just soldiers recalling their experiences and emotions beside horrific images. I'm very glad the film started with propaganda and recruitment posters, and the wrap up included so many declarations and feelings that ran against the grain for returning hero stereotypes. They sounded like they could have been returning from Vietnam if not Europe.

chrisatwork Jun 04, 2020

Amazing and heartbreaking at the same time. Highly recommended.

Jan 20, 2020

I had high expectations based entirely on the trailer. And when its good its very good. But overall its not terribly unique or insightful. But in the scenes where it "re-creates" old footage, its very good. If the entire film was just that, without any narration, it might have been great.

Jan 07, 2020

Very well done to add color and have vets tell their story. What a horrible killing field of blood and guts. What a waste of human life and resources. I doubt if we will ever put and end to killing one another. Am grateful I served in the Navy during peace time in the 1950's

JCLBetM Dec 27, 2019

Wow. This was heartbreaking and raw and fascinating. So much care went into restoring this footage and bringing these men to life. Getting to hear actual veterans tell the story was remarkable, as well as the fact that Jackson actually recreated all the sound for the footage (including getting a lip reader to give the men their voices back). Definitely watch the "making of" documentary that explains Jackson's process.

ArapahoeChristineS Dec 22, 2019

Spectacular!! Peter Jackson (yes, that Peter Jackson!) restored and colored the film and hired lip readers who carefully discerned what was said by the soldiers, bringing to life old silent footage and telling the stories of the soldiers of First World War. It includes interviews from British soldiers who fought. Trench warfare was absolutely horrific, but I think it's important to see the devastating reality of war. I have watched it twice and appreciate Jacksons effort to not let these men and what they went through in service to their country be forgotten by time.

Dec 11, 2019

Does a good job of making the First World War experience of British, Canadian and other Commonwealth soldiers very relatable, using their own words. The colourization doesn't start until a few minutes in, so be patient. It's worth it! The colourization brings distant, removed black and white footage to life. All of a sudden the subjects appear as real people, caught up in vivid horror. Be prepared to see the horror of the war. It's not pretty.

Dec 07, 2019

The footage was incredible, but it was so tragic, it made me wish I hadn't been born.

Dec 07, 2019

The first 20+ minutes are black & white, as are the last 5 or 10 minutes, as one would expect for WWI footage. In between there is one hour of pristine color footage with sound recording and all. I'm pretty sure Jackson somehow got his hands on a time machine and brought modern equipment with him. Of course, since such devices are still classified, they had to concoct a cover story about "restoring" footage. The use of a cover story also sidesteps the bigger ethical issue of not having just created a compelling reason for Archduke Ferdinand to avoid traveling to the Balkans. Anyway, the film brings to life and brilliantly tells the soldiers' story of WWI.

Nov 18, 2019

Sad and poignant but essential viewing. The title of this movie first caught me as how these young soldiers would stay eternally young in our minds due to their sacrifice. On further thought perhaps it meant that those who never survived would never grow old. All told in the actual voices of those who lived through WW1 and with actual archival footage restored and 'updated' it opens our eyes to the War To End All Wars unlike any other documentary you may have seen.

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