Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Documentaries Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Joel Chesser




Location: Oklahoma
Joined: 23 Oct 2003

Posts: 714

PostPosted: Wed 20 Apr, 2011 2:53 pm    Post subject: Documentaries         Reply with quote

Over the years I have seen several posts on various "documentaries" from The History Channel etc. These (understandably) tend to lean more towards griping about historical inaccuracies. For this topic I am looking for suggestions on Documentaries that you like and that are historically accurate. It seems like Biography used to do some good ones, and I have always heard great things about Ken Burns, but I am wanting information on earlier time periods as well. I am not looking for any specific culture or period, just trying to get a compilation of various quality sources. Consider this to be a "Show us your..." type thread. Any participation would be appreciated.

To start us off, I was given a copy of Monarchy http://www.amazon.com/Monarchy-Complete-Colle...amp;sr=1-1 several years ago for Christmas and found it to be an interesting and well done introduction to the history of the British monarchy.

Looking forward to getting other suggestions and opinions. Happy

..." The person who dosen't have a sword should sell his coat and buy one."

- Luke 22:36
View user's profile Send private message
David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 769

PostPosted: Wed 20 Apr, 2011 6:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've got two right off the top of my head:

Culloden:
http://www.amazon.com/War-Game-Culloden-Olivi...amp;sr=1-1

Filmed in a "you are there/newsreel" fashion, this documentary shows the battle and it's after effects. Despite being shot on a rather limited budget, with limited special effects and personnel, it pretty vividly conveys the horror and the carnage of the battle.

Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni:
http://www.amazon.com/Great-Queens-England-Bo...amp;sr=1-4

My favorite documentary on this "rebel queen" (better than the History Channel ones, IMHO), this British production utilizes some of the best reenactment groups in the UK (including the Ermine Street Guard). Andrea Mason portrays Boudicca, and does a better job than Alex Kingston did in that dreadful miniseries.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

Now available on Amazon: Franklin Posner's "Suburban Vampire: A Tale of the Human Condition -- With Vampires" https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072N7Y591
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Bruce Tordoff
Industry Professional




Joined: 13 Aug 2007

Posts: 120

PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject: Documentary         Reply with quote

Hi Joel,
Funnily enough I'd just come on myArmoury to post a new thread about a new documentary, when I saw you post. So here's mine, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7MJMeIyotg

Its entitled '778 La Chanson de Roland', which for those of you that don't speak French, is '...the Song of Roland'
Its a doc. filmed on Location where the battle (of Roncesvalles) is thought to have taken place, in the region of Navarra in North Western Spain a few clicks south of France.
With Interviews with both French and Spanish Historians and Archeologists involved in the excavation of particular sites relating to this campaign and those that have made this story their particular area of study.

Along with dramatised scenes, shot in the original locations (or as near as dammit.) using actors from Spain, Germany and the UK.
The Director, Olivier van der Zee, has attempted to tell this story faithfully and without resorting to 'Hollywoodisms' in the action scenes with regard to combat style.
The film drama scenes do however include, very well done CGI footage, to recreate the Frankish camp at Paderborn, the Sacking of Pamplona and other stunning vistas.
The Full film documentary, as far as I am aware is due to be aired on History Channel. I am not privy as to which countries it will be aired in, although I do know the Narration is dubbed in Spanish, French and English (UK & US) versions.
Enjoy, regards
Tjordulf
View user's profile Send private message
Bruce Tordoff
Industry Professional




Joined: 13 Aug 2007

Posts: 120

PostPosted: Sun 24 Apr, 2011 3:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ha Ha,
Just realised, my Avatar pic, the one with the bloodied gash on my head, is actually from one of the fight scenes where the Basques ambush the Frankish army. I still get the headaches now! I've included a pic (of me) from one of the locations.
Tjordulf



 Attachment: 71.83 KB
brussi.jpg

View user's profile Send private message
M Davis




Location: San Antonio, Tx.
Joined: 09 Nov 2010

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 8:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a good thread, thanks guys.

I streamed Culloden last week. At first, the newsreel motif is a bit odd, but after the first couple of minutes the movie felt just like any other war documentary. I still only have a passing acquaintance with the Jacobite rebellion and the hard and soft kits that would have been appropriate, but in my single viewing I didn't catch any glaring anachronisms. The arms and equipment looked great to me. I also appreciated his use of non-professional actors and the various accents and languages they brought, such Highland and Lowland Scot, London, and Welsh. The voice-over translations (not sure which language(s) they were for) were also a nice touch. Even some of the accents had me rewinding and thinking "Wait, I think that's supposed to be English..."

Culloden gave me a rough idea (well, I suppose Watkins' and Prebble's idea) of the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing forces. The leadership on both sides is cast in a decidedly negative light, aside from one or two individuals. I was a little skeptical of Watkins' characterization of the British Army's Officer Corps; it is presented as venal, immoral, and ineffective, with no redeeming features. Again, I'm no expert on the subject, but it seems to me that given the British Army's accomplishments at the time, some degree of professionalism and competence must have existed within the Officer Corps. I suppose that is to be expected to some extent, as Watkins has said he wanted to draw a parallel between Culloden and the Vietnam War, specifically the U.S. Army's "pacification" program of the Vietnamese highlands.The common fighting men in both armies are treated sympathetically. Even as Watkins portrays some of the post-battle atrocities he makes an effort to present some of the individual British as hesitant and remorseful about their orders. Almost everyone in both forces is filthy; the officers a bit less so, and the Jacobite forces set the standard.

Great movie, highly recommended. I give it three thumbs up.

Thanks for the recommendation, David.


This week I've been streaming Monarchy. I'm still on the second episode, but it's a fun watch. The narration is clear and engaging, and the research seems to be spot on so far.

Thanks for the recommendation for this one, Joel.

"Although walking is authorized, it is strongly discouraged."
View user's profile Send private message
Joel Minturn





Joined: 10 Dec 2007

Posts: 232

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 8:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This may be a little later time period than you are looking for but was one of the best documentary series ever.

"The World At War" teh BBC Series http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World_at_War

It is a 26 episode series that while long is packed with all sorts of interesting goodness. As a World War 2 buff and a fan of the History Channel (at least when it had more history on it) I was supprised at how informative the series was.

Like I said it is 26 episodes and while the series goes in a chronological order (the first episodes are pre-war and the last episodes are the end of the war) each episode looks at single area and time and tells how it relates to the overall war. It is full of the usual (and uniqe) video footage from World War 2 and interviews with people who were there. From civilians to Generals. Some of the people who were interviewed were the ones making the decisions or were there when the critical decisions were made.

I could go on and on about it but the Series is on Netflicks (but not instant play sadly) so if your interested at all in the time period or just want to watch a great documentary then I highly recomend "The World at War"

My wife liked it as well. As a history major she liked the series because it was more like a video thesis that was interesting rather than a TV show trying to be informative but has to be entertaining first. (that make sense?)
View user's profile Send private message
M Davis




Location: San Antonio, Tx.
Joined: 09 Nov 2010

Posts: 19

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joel Minturn wrote:
This may be a little later time period than you are looking for but was one of the best documentary series ever.

"The World At War" teh BBC Series http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World_at_War

It is a 26 episode series that while long is packed with all sorts of interesting goodness. As a World War 2 buff and a fan of the History Channel (at least when it had more history on it) I was supprised at how informative the series was.

Like I said it is 26 episodes and while the series goes in a chronological order (the first episodes are pre-war and the last episodes are the end of the war) each episode looks at single area and time and tells how it relates to the overall war. It is full of the usual (and uniqe) video footage from World War 2 and interviews with people who were there. From civilians to Generals. Some of the people who were interviewed were the ones making the decisions or were there when the critical decisions were made.

I could go on and on about it but the Series is on Netflicks (but not instant play sadly) so if your interested at all in the time period or just want to watch a great documentary then I highly recomend "The World at War"

My wife liked it as well. As a history major she liked the series because it was more like a video thesis that was interesting rather than a TV show trying to be informative but has to be entertaining first. (that make sense?)


I love WAW. I've never systematically watched the series from the first to the last, but I'm reasonably sure I've seen every one. I remember watching the episodes on PBS as a kid, and they were constantly replayed as I grew up. Carl Davis' score is appropriately sombre, and I can still hear the opening music in my head. Olivier did a fantastic job of narration. He is respectful, thoughtful, conveys tragedy without hyperbole, and brings dignity to the personal stories of those who suffered so many indignities.

WAW did a superb job of balancing raw footage with interviews, and the two approaches reinforce each other. It is unfortunate that the Soviet gov't did not allow its citizens to be interviewed, though. There are so many stories from the Eastern front that would have been great to hear.

Re; The History Channel: I agree. I used to be a fan; now, not so much. The HC still occasionally airs some interesting shows, but for the most part they are few and far between. I understand the need for A&E to make a profit, but personally I couldn't care less about Vegas pawn-shops, Larry the Sleeves-Cut-Off Guy, or taxidermy in Alaska. Although, in the interest of full-disclosure, I don't care if Top Shot doesn't have anything to do with history; I love that show.

"Although walking is authorized, it is strongly discouraged."
View user's profile Send private message
J R Johnson




Location: Lawrence, Kansas, USA
Joined: 12 May 2009
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 9 books

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Mon 09 May, 2011 9:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bruce; that's a great location pic, but I gotta tell you, that's one tired lookin' horse! Laughing Out Loud
Semper Paratus
View user's profile
Bruce Tordoff
Industry Professional




Joined: 13 Aug 2007

Posts: 120

PostPosted: Tue 10 May, 2011 10:02 am    Post subject: Documentaries         Reply with quote

, Hi Thanks, mind you carrying 16 stone at that altitude, I'd be tired too!, Lol!
BTW, whilst on the subject of Documentaries, Just finished filming this weekend, for part 2 of the Anglo Saxon gold programme on Nat Geo. Highlighting the objects found in the Staffordshire hoard. Featuring members of our group wearing, various AS helms and kit. But also including most of the Vendel /Valsgarde helms, to stand in as further examples of Press Blech helms, as they are culturally related to the Sutton Hoo helm we felt this was appropriate.
As far as I'm aware. set to be aired around october time in the UK. Not sure about elsewhere. For anyone interested in Early AS period and comtemporary Merovingian culture, this is a must watch. But then I am biased.
Bruce,
I'll post a couple of pics soon.
View user's profile Send private message
Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue 10 May, 2011 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure what the title is, haven't watched it in a few years now (sold the DVDs), but there was a nice series produced by the BBC with this father-son team hosting it where they approached various historical battles. Oh yeah! Battlefield Britain, it was. Not sure if they had more along those lines, but I enjoyed what I had-- only 8 episodes in the set I had though, or something like that; not very many, but rather enjoyable and definitely well-explained for laymen.
View user's profile Send private message
Bruce Tordoff
Industry Professional




Joined: 13 Aug 2007

Posts: 120

PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2011 10:59 am    Post subject: Documentary         Reply with quote

Hi Guys,
here are a couple of pics, as promised.



 Attachment: 218.67 KB
[ Download ]

 Attachment: 164.6 KB
[ Download ]

 Attachment: 182.34 KB
[ Download ]
View user's profile Send private message
Bruce Tordoff
Industry Professional




Joined: 13 Aug 2007

Posts: 120

PostPosted: Fri 13 May, 2011 11:08 am    Post subject: Documentary         Reply with quote

@Jeffrey,
Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I think the 'father and son' team, you referred to are Peter and Dan Snow. Yes, It was a good series that one.
Any historical doc's presented by Bettany Hughes are usually worth watching.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Documentaries
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum