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TV Preview: Vietnam in HD

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Vietnam in HD is a special event that will air on the History Channel this November eighth, ninth, and 10th at  9:00PM Eastern and Pacific. The program is produced by Lou and Scott Reda along with supervising editor Sammy Jackson.

Twenty-four million viewers watched WWII in HD when it premiered in 2009, and this one is in the same vein. Like the previous project, for Vietnam, History has scoured the globe for very rare and “never-before-seen” film, much of which was shot by soldiers themselves while in action. The press packet states the following:

Thousands of hours of uncensored footage, detailing every critical chapter of the Vietnam War, were located, restored and then transferred to High-Definition. The dynamic footage combined with powerful storytelling will provide the viewer with an immersive experience and perspective on this war as never before.

I must say that having watched the screener (which contained the first two hours) I have to agree. As a history buff, I love hearing what real veterans of the war had to say, and the weaving in of actual film shot by the veterans’ own  cameras. Wow! What a great way to learn things about this war that we just don’t learn from the history books in school. It is great hearing veterans’ own words their thoughts of reflection on the war as well as hearing actors read letters the younger veterans wrote at the time of the war.

One veteran I really enjoy in the first episode is Barry Romo, who currently lives in Chicago, IL, but at the time of the war called San Bernardino, CA home. Romo is currently an activist and leader of Veterans Against the War.  Other veterans to tell their stories include Joe Galloway, Keith Connoly, Charles Brown, Raymond Torres, Karl Marlantes, James Anderson, and Bob Clewall. In addition, Anne Purcell the wife of another veteran from Boneville, MO discusses her late husband who served in the conflict.

I agree with what Romo says in the footage about real war not being the same as you see in the movies. You don’t fight a battle and go back to the barracks and give each other high fives. Instead, you may spend 30-35 days out in the field.

However, this documentary isn’t just about the war itself. It includes footage from home as well as President Johnson’s press conferences.  Even protestors are part of this documentary.

I highly recommend that you tune into this well produced documentary beginning Tuesday, November eighth. It isn’t a program where you’ll want to miss a moment.  I know that I certainly can’t wait to see the rest of it; the two-hour screener barely whet my appetite for what is to come.

The remaining four hours will follow the same format of the two which appeared on the screener.  They consist of a Hodge-podge of never before seen video clips interwoven with interviews with actual veterans organized chronologically in six segments over the three day period.  The episodes will air as follows:

  • The Beginning (1964-1965)/Search & Destroy (1966-1967) airs 11/08/2011
  • The Tet Offensive (1968)/An Endless War (1968-1969) airs 11/09/2011
  • A Changing War (1969-1970)/Peace with Honor (1970-1975) airs 11/10/2011

Michael C. Hall narrates the work and does an excellent job of explaining what is happening so the clips and interviews sound like one fluid story.  The work gels far better with him than it would without him.

The two-disk DVD and Blu-ray release date is Nov. 15. 2011.

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  • Keith McCaughrin

    What a wonderful series, I served in 69-71.
    Just made it thru LZ Maryann.
    This TV series has been very informative for an ex GI.
    Thank you,

  • C Wilkins

    Thank You for your post J Cummings. I just watched the series and was curious if he was in fact still alive today. That is good to hear.

  • J Cummings

    Anne Purcell’s husband, Col. Ben Purcell, is very much alive. He returned home in 1973 and retired from the military in 1980. They have been married nearly 61 years and are happily living out their retirement years in northeast Georgia.