Friday, February 12, 2010

What a GREAT way to enjoy a blizzard!

I bought this last week- the 21+ hours miniseries from 1978-79, based on James Michener's book. I had read the book when it came out in the 70's- yes I am a Michener fan and really did read his books all the way through!

Is this the greatest miniseries ever? No- although dozens of user/reviewers on IMDB would disagree. But, it is a great pleasure to watch and especially in a short period of time. It covers 200 years of Colorado history and incorporates so much of our nation's history by putting things into the personal contexts of the individual characters. It has a strong environmental message, and also tells the brutal, savage and tragic story of how this country treated, and continues to treat, Native Americans.

It has a cast of hundreds, and we especially enjoyed seeing good work from actors no longer with us, like David Jannsen, Dennis Weaver and Brian Keith, as well as signature work from Richard Chamberlain, Robert Conrad, Alex Karras, Gregory Harrison and others. Overall, the cast is excellent! It would take pages here to list all the actors who made a strong contribution to this film.

DH and I watched this over the last three days. We really enjoyed it very much. It encouraged us to look lots of things up- we were checking maps, historical pictures, and lots of websites to find out which events and characters had actual counterparts in real history. Centennial can certainly be enjoyed and appreciated passively by just watching it, but it also can stimulate a lot of interest in finding out more. We actually kept either my laptop or my iphone handy during all the episodes and frequently stopped the film to check something out.

Visually the entire film is gorgeous- the scenery is spectacular and the sets and costumes are lush. Intellectually it is intriguing; emotionally it is moving and satisfying.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a good story, good acting, good production, a long lesson in American History, or just a good film.


Karen said...

Hubby and I have this one and have watch it many times. It is finally snowing in SC so that might a good one to take out and watch this weekend.

Shirley said...

I love his books. I still remember how much I enjoyed each one. He really did his homework on the histoical parts too.