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Case Number 24769: Small Claims Court

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Narrow Escapes of World War II

Acorn Media // 2012 // 650 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 4th, 2012

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson had a narrow escape from his pants.

The Charge

Revisit some of the great war's most daring missions.

The Case

I give up, World War II. You win. Just when I think you have no more stories to tell, that I've heard all the amazing tales of heroism and sacrifice you have to offer, along comes ANOTHER series full of amazing tales of heroism and sacrifice.

Imported from the UK and shown on The Military Channel, Narrow Escapes of World War II delivers 10 hour-long episodes detailing legitimately astonishing stories. The "narrow escapes" moniker offers a broad canvas to paint on, as pretty much any World War II tale involves someone narrowly escaping with their lives. No matter, this is simply fantastic stuff.

Disc One
• "The Amiens Raid"
• "The Doolittle Raid"
• "Wingate and the Chindits"
• "The Black Battalion"

Disc Two
• "Lucky Laycock's Escape from Crete"
• "Manstein Holds the Line"
• "The Siege of Kohima"

Disc Three
• "Roy Urquhart's Escape from Arnhem"
• "Morshed Holds Tobruk"
• "Evacuation in the Baltic"

Disc Four
• "Moore's March"
• "Operation Pedestal"
• "Breakout through Hell's Gate"

Lot of unknown names in those titles—Lucky Laycock? Badass? Yessir!—but rest assured, you'll know the ins and outs of their fascinating war stories by episode's end. I've been grinding through these WWII discs since I started my tenure at DVD Verdict, and there's stuff in this series I've never heard. It's a testament to the stunning scope of the war that there is a never-ending flow of historical storytelling…all of it is absorbing.

The stories are told through the standard combination of dramatic re-enactments, real footage, and talking head interviews with historians and former soldiers, narrated by Paul Markey, a guy who sounds like Anthony Hopkins, but is not actually Anthony Hopkins.

No matter; the lack of Hopkins does nothing to diminish the excellence of Narrow Escapes of World War II and the astonishing accomplishments of those profiled.

Acorn delivers another stand-up DVD set. Episodes receive clean standard def 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers, Dolby 2.0 stereo tracks, text profiles of select "WWII escapees," and a viewer's guide.

The Verdict

Not Guilty. A great set of a great series about great men.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 95

Perp Profile

Studio: Acorn Media
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 650 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Foreign
• Historical
• Television
• War

Distinguishing Marks

• Biographies
• Booklet


• IMDb

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