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Original Title :
War and Remembrance
Genre :
TV Series / Drama / War
Cast :
Robert Mitchum,Jane Seymour,Hart Bochner
Type :
TV Series
Time :
Rating :
Ricordi di guerra Online

The saga of the Henry family, begun in "The Winds of War" continues as America is attacked by Japan and enters World War II. For Victor Henry, an upwardly mobile naval career sets him in command of a cruiser with sights on selection for the Admiralty. At the same time, however, Victor must struggle with a failing marriage as well as a love affair with the daughter of a prominent British radio news reporter. Victor's son Byron has equal success as a submarine officer, eventually selected to command his own ship, yet all the while must deal with the separation of his wife and son who are held in German custody as enemy alien Jews. Through other such characters as Professor Aaron Jastrow, Naval Pilot Warren Henry, and the noble German General Armin von Roon, "War and Remembrance" unfolds into an all encompassing and fascinating story of the Second World War.
Series cast summary:
Robert Mitchum Robert Mitchum - Victor 'Pug' Henry 12 episodes, 1988-1989
Jane Seymour Jane Seymour - Natalie Henry 12 episodes, 1988-1989
Hart Bochner Hart Bochner - Byron Henry 12 episodes, 1988-1989
Victoria Tennant Victoria Tennant - Pamela Tudsbury 12 episodes, 1988-1989
Polly Bergen Polly Bergen - Rhoda Henry 12 episodes, 1988-1989
Sami Frey Sami Frey - Avram Rabinovitz 12 episodes, 1988-1989
William Schallert William Schallert - Harry Hopkins 12 episodes, 1988-1989
Jeremy Kemp Jeremy Kemp - Brig. Gen. Armin Von Roon 12 episodes, 1988-1989
Steven Berkoff Steven Berkoff - Adolf Hitler 12 episodes, 1988-1989
Robert Hardy Robert Hardy - Winston Churchill 12 episodes, 1988-1989
William Woodson William Woodson - Narrator 12 episodes, 1988-1989
Zevi Wolmark Zevi Wolmark - John Simms 12 episodes, 1988-1989
Topol Topol - Berel Jastrow 11 episodes, 1988-1989
Ralph Bellamy Ralph Bellamy - President Franklin Delano Roosevelt 11 episodes, 1988-1989
John Gielgud John Gielgud - Aaron Jastrow 11 episodes, 1988-1989
David Dukes David Dukes - Leslie Slote 9 episodes, 1988-1989
Joachim Hansen Joachim Hansen - Lt. Gen. Alfred Jodl 9 episodes, 1988-1989
John Malcolm John Malcolm - Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel 9 episodes, 1988-1989
Sharon Stone Sharon Stone - Janice Henry 8 episodes, 1988-1989
Barry Bostwick Barry Bostwick - 'Lady' Aster 8 episodes, 1988-1989
Ian McShane Ian McShane - Philip Rule 8 episodes, 1988-1989
John Rhys-Davies John Rhys-Davies - Sammy Mutterperl 7 episodes, 1988
Bill Wallis Bill Wallis - Werner Beck 7 episodes, 1988
Michael Wolf Michael Wolf - Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering 7 episodes, 1988-1989
Ian Jentle Ian Jentle - Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels 6 episodes, 1988-1989
Robert Morley Robert Morley - Alistair Tudsbury 5 episodes, 1988
Leslie Hope Leslie Hope - Madeline Henry 5 episodes, 1988-1989
Barry Morse Barry Morse - Col. Gen. Franz Halder 5 episodes, 1988-1989
Hunter Schlesinger Hunter Schlesinger - Louis Henry 5 episodes, 1989
Christian Ebel Christian Ebel - Rattenhuber - SS Security Chief 5 episodes, 1988-1989

The producers considered replacing seventy-year-old Robert Mitchum with fifty-nine-year-old James Coburn, due to concerns that Mitchum was too old and ill to reprise the role of Victor "Pug" Henry.

The series performed disappointingly in terms of viewing figures compared to The Winds of War (1983).

Most Captains in the U.S. Navy were in their thirties or forties during World War II. Robert Mitchum turned seventy during the filming of this mini-series.

Ralph Bellamy was eighty-three when he played President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died at the age of sixty-three.

During a break in filming, Robert Mitchum played a role intended for John Huston, who was dying of pneumonia and emphysema, in Mr. North (1988).

The one thousand four hundred ninety-two page script included two thousand seventy scenes, three hundred fifty-eight speaking parts, seven hundred fifty-seven locations around the world, and employed more than forty-four thousand actors, actresses, and extras.

Costing over one hundred ten million dollars, it was, at the time, the most expensive mini-series ever.

In the "death camp" segment, there is a shot of several nude "bodies" showing women's breasts. This was the first time that nudity was shown on network television in primetime.

Paramount Pictures, who financed The Winds of War (1983), passed on financing this sequel, so ABC paid for it.

The scenes at Hitler's Reich Chancellery in Berlin, were shot in and around the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.

The mini-series failed to attract young audiences when it was shown in North America.

Pat Hingle served in the U.S. Navy, in the Pacific Theater, which means he served under the command of Admiral Halsey, who he played in this mini-series.

Sir John Gielgud worked eight months on this project.

E.G. Marshall previously played General Dwight D. Eisenhower in Ike (1986). This is also his second time in a Herman Wouk adaptation. He previously played the prosecutor in The Caine Mutiny (1954).

The mini-series was criticized for downplaying Soviet atrocities. The Soviets had invaded Poland and Finland in 1939 before invading the Baltic States in 1940.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill were played in this mini-series by Ralph Bellamy and Robert Hardy, respectively. Both actors had played those roles in movies as well. Bellamy played the role in The Winds of War (1983) and Sunrise at Campobello (1960). Hardy played Churchill in Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981), The Woman He Loved (1988), and Bomber Harris (1989). The first of those films also featured Günter Meisner as Hitler, a role he also played in The Winds of War (1983). Hardy has also played President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

When this mini-series was shown on the ITV network in the U.K. in the late 1980s, several of the graphic concentration camp scenes were shown out of sequence. This was to ensure they were transmitted after the 9:00 p.m. "watershed". There is an unwritten rule that potentially "offensive" images are never shown before this time.

Byron ultimately finds his son Louis in England, courtesy of a Royal Air Force program to find adoptive homes for Jewish orphans. That program existed in real-life. Jane Seymour's first husband, Michael Attenborough, had two aunts who were adopted through the program.

Sir John Gielgud took over the role of Aaron Jastrow from John Houseman. Gielgud was one of several actors who passed on the role of the law professor in The Paper Chase (1973), before Houseman was cast.

The authenticity of the selection scenes at Auschwitz were helped by several former inmates of the camp, who were given advisory roles and appeared as extras, thus reliving their own experiences more than forty years later.

Final mini-series role for Howard Caine (Lord Beaverbrook). Arguably Caine's best known role was in Hogan's Heroes (1965), where he portrayed Nazi Gestapo Major Wolfgang Hochstetter.

Although the U.S.S. Northampton is portrayed with the second main gun turret located aft of the bridge, which is incorrect, all of the World War II U.S. heavy and light cruisers that could have portrayed the ship had either been scrapped; converted and scrapped; mothballed; or preserved as a museum ship. It appears that a ship was offered for use during filming, and had to be converted. The ship used could not have physically had a second main gun turret included forward, as this is pretty obvious, so it had to be added to the aft section behind the bridge.

This was the first production to be filmed on-location inside Auschwitz, after Dan Curtis lobbied the Polish Communist government for permission to film. A full scale replica of Krematorium II was built alongside the original site, as the building had been destroyed by the Nazis at the end of 1944.

Edmund Pegge believes he was not asked back to play Burne-Wilke because of a blunder with a pipe during filming of The Winds of War (1983), so the role was given to Michael Elwyn instead.

Final mini-series role of John Dehner (Admiral Ernest King).

Final television project of Harold Kasket (Dr. Paul Eppstein).

Geoffrey Beevers was cut out of this mini-series.

The role of Werner Beck was offered to Ronald Lacey.

Jane Seymour took over the role of Natalie from Ali MacGraw. Both of them were connected by marriage to a star of The Great Escape (1963). MacGraw was married to Steve McQueen, and Seymour was married to Michael Attenborough, son of Sir Richard Attenborough.

Brian Blessed said on a U.K. chat show, that he was initially offered one of the Auschwitz roles, maybe the John Rhys-Davies role. but turned it down, as he thought it would be too depressing.

Jane Seymour and Hart Bochner previously played mother and son in East of Eden (1981). In The Winds of War (1983), Natalie quips to Byron that she must remind him of his mother.

Aaron Jastrow mentions that he receives coffee from Bernard Berenson, who is never seen. Berenson was actually a real person, an American Jewish expatriate, art historian, convert to Christianity, and a major inspiration for Jastrow's character.

Milton Johns and Kenneth Colley previously appeared together in Star wars: Osa V - Impeeriumi vastulöök (1980). John Rhys-Davies and Wolf Kahler previously appeared together in Indiana Jones kadunud laeka jälil (1981).

Günther Maria Halmer previously played Rudolf Hoess in Sophie's Choice (1982).

According to the story, Natalie Jastrow, Pamela Tusdbury, Leslie Slote, and Phillip Rule all once shared a flat together in Paris before going their separate ways. Pamela is the only character of the four to have a scene with Phillip Rule, she only appears in one scene with Leslie, and never has a scene with Natalie.

User reviews



Without doubt the most stunning work of filmmaking I have ever seen, "War and Remembrance" is a massive experience to watch that will haunt you always. This last great mini-series dramatizes the ENTIRE Second World War, and does so at times with a raw honesty unseen before or since on network TV.

Shot on location around the world, the soap opera stories are always intriguing as we follow the various members of the Henrys, an American Naval family as they encounter every major event of the war.

The heart, though, is the central plot of Jane Seymour, in a heartbreaking career-best performance as an American Jew trapped in Europe, and John Gielgud, mesmerizing as her uncle. As they are slowly, inexorably pulled into the Holocaust we follow them, step by agonizing step, to the final horrors of Auschwitz, filmed entirely on location.

The movie is aided by a brilliant, unforgettable score by Bob Cobert, especially the main theme which seems to encapsulate every single emotion of the thirty hours into its two minutes.

It may be a bit of a commitment to watch this, but it is worth it. "War and Remembrance" is as close to time travel as is possible, and makes that dark period of history come powerfully alive.


I own the entire DVD collection for both "The Winds of War" and "War and Remembrance." As a university professor, it is required viewing for my 20th century world history class. All elements of this production are astounding: casting, acting, writing, historical accuracy, filming, locations, not to mention the haunting music.

Many of my students have told me that seeing this series changed their view and motivation of the importance of historical knowledge and the passing of it from generation to generation. They have even formed outside discussion groups because the allotted class time is never enough to accommodate the forum required for voicing and digesting their thoughts and feelings brought on by the film. This is a film for the ages.


The broadcast of "War and Remembrance", based on Herman Wouk's novel, was a television event. Although recapturing the excitement of watching the miniseries can cost you around $180, it is well worth it. From its beautiful opening and closing score to its unforgettable images and people, "War and Remembrance" is like no other. Because it was an epic miniseries, which cost around $110 million to make, the television powers that be were able to film at various locations around the world and bring vastly different (yet interconnected) stories of the war to the small screen. In that sense, it is like several miniseries rolled into one.

"War and Remembrance" revolves around the lives of two families, the Henrys and the Jastrows. The connection between them is provided through the marriage of Byron Henry and Natalie Jastrow. The Henrys are a naval family: Victor "Pug" Henry serves both as a diplomat and as the commander of a destroyer at various times in the series, Byron Henry serves on a submarine in the Pacific, Warren Henry is a naval pilot married to the daughter of a Senator. Byron's wife, Natalie Jastrow is an American Jew in Europe trying to escape the Nazis along with her uncle, Aaron Jastrow, and her son with Byron, Louis Henry. Aaron Jastrow's cousin is a Jewish Polish soldier trying to survive Auschwitz. Those are just some of the characters whose stories captivate the audience. There are also the experiences of their spouses, lovers, and the relatives of their spouses and lovers.

The audience is also given a glimpse into the thinking of the Nazi leadership, with Steven Berkoff providing a chilling and brilliant portrayal of Adolf Hitler. Here was a look at the Holocaust and the events and decisions leading up to it that was unprecedented at the time that the series debuted in 1988.

It is unfortunate that I have not found many libraries that carry copies of this miniseries on either VHS or DVD, forcing many people to either buy it or miss out on experiencing it. I, for one, have chosen to buy it, and I do not regret it for a day. I also recommend reading the book.


I actually saw this film not that long ago on History Channel, after seeing the entire Winds of War on network TV when I was down with a back injury years ago. Networks no longer make these sweeping miniseries. In one way, it's good, because so much of the time is spent on inconsequential scenes just to fill time. On the other hand, it's a shame. This particular miniseries brought the horrors of what the Jews suffered in World War II right into your living room, and it was pretty harrowing. Watching it on History Channel was an education, as historians discussed the movie during the break. They agreed that War and Remembrance was incredibly accurate in its depiction of the war.

Of course, having John Gielgud in the cast didn't hurt! He was absolutely marvelous. I can only say that the entire story arc concerning Gielgud and his family was remarkable. The scene where Natalie eats the apple brought to the cattle cars by the Christians was incredible, as was the entire cattle car saga. The concentration camp scenes, the depiction of the commandant and his family, the entire cover-up aided and abetted by the Red Cross, Natalie's will to survive and be reunited with her son -- they are etched in my heart and will stay there forever.

I heartily recommend this miniseries. Look for it on History Channel to get the commentary. This was superior work by Dan Curtis.


This is one of the most powerful dramas I have ever seen. I read the book over 10 years ago, so when I saw the miniseries at my local video library, I decided to have a look. Seven tapes, about three hours each, but I would gladly have watched seven more.

I'm not a great "war movie" fan, but War and Remembrance succeeds in capturing the enormous scope of the Second World War while also telling the stories of personal sacrifice and heartbreaking tragedy.

One of its many great strengths is the way it brings out the fact that not all the Germans were bad, and not all the members of the Allied forces were good. There were noble, patriotic members of Hitler's staff who were horrified by what he was doing. And there were also shortsighted clowns among the Allied forces and in their political ranks.

*****MILD SPOILER ALERT**********

To illustrate this, Aster's action against the fleeing Japanese seamen showed that the Germans and Japanese weren't the only ones who committed atrocities. I know Aster was a fictional character, but it's very likely that things like that did happen.

It would have been great to have had a closer look at what was going on among the Japanese too, but I guess I'm just being greedy!!

*********ANOTHER MILD SPOILER *********

The acting is mostly good, and a lot of it is outstanding. I loved the narrative voice-overs of the battles and other historical facts. Scary to think how close the Battle of Midway came to being a disaster for the Americans. The war might have had a very different outcome. The combination of "documentary" and "story" really works well.

The portrayals of Hitler, Churchill and Roosevelt were great -- better than most of the "main" actors, in my view! A lot of this War and Remembrance is difficult to watch, especially the concentration camp scenes. But painful as it is, it's right to remember that horrors like that did happen. Again, the film does make the point that it wasn't ALL Germans who advocated for such treatment of the Jewish people.

The only reason I haven't given it a "10" is because there are so many characters that somebody who has not read the book might get confused.

But it's an excellent, praiseworthy film. One that I think I'll be reflecting on for a long time.


I doubt anyone could afford to produce this miniseries today. I saw it when it first aired and I watched it again this month on DVD and it is amazing how well it holds up. The only possible improvement would be to the special effects in the naval battle scenes because of how far we've come in 20 years with CGI graphics; but that's it! This is a masterpiece and I include the "Winds of War" in that category. The attention to detail of the period, the vehicles, costumes, locations, and interiors just take your breath away.

The cast was superb and right down the line. I can't think of a weak link among them. I did see a comment here about Robert Mitchum being a "lazy" actor in this role as "Pug" Henry but I think he played it just right. He was first and foremost a dedicated military man, not a Lothario. For an interesting contrast to his on-screen relationship with Polly Bergen as his wife Rhoda Henry, you should see the chilling dynamics between the two in 1962's "Cape Fear". By any measure Mitchum was a great actor.

Although other actors in this miniseries have more on-screen time than does Mitchum, Mitchum is clearly the anchor. And, although the performances throughout the entire cast were stellar, I have to mention that John Gielgud's Aaron Jastrow was absolutely brilliant. John Houseman, who played Jastrow in "Winds of War" was magnificent in his own right but John Gielgud made Jastrow his own in a way that I doubt even Houseman could match.

There are very few guarantees in life but "War and Remembrance" is worth every viewing minute. Just be sure to watch the "Winds of War" first.


As a college instructor of modern problems and history- I am appalled by the total lack of knowledge today's students ( and fellow instructors ) have regarding the issues surrounding WWII. Moreover- many of these same persons have no ability ( or desire ) to make the connection of those years( 1933-1945 ) as to how the world is now formulated. Director Dan Curtis has exhibited both the will and ability to take both Herman Wouk's novel and incorporate it so successfully into this massive, and titanic film. I believe, that both WoW and W & R, along with "Saving Private Ryan " should be required film watching for all graduating high schoolers. Admittedly many of the films realistic and gritty scenes are difficult to watch- but unfortunately reality is often a cruel place. Both WoW and W&R give an honest lesson on the eventual triumph of the forces of good over evil which the world faced in the middle of the 20th century. The side stories of the characters involved and their individual romances and escapades only solidify the historical significance of the film. My favorite scenes involved the accurate depiction of the battle of Midway. Midway probably saved several years of hard Pacific fighting and thousands of lives as a result of the American victory. Grade A+ performances for Robert Mitchum and Jane Seymore. Steven Berkoff was masterful as Hitler and Jeremy Kemp continued his credible role as the sympathetic and loyal General Armin von Roon. Barry Morse also deserves credit for being able to switch roles from the slimy Wolf Stoller in WoW to a wise but challenging General Halder in W& R ( One goof- Halder was not executed in the aftermath of the July 22, 1944 attempt on Hitler as depicted in the film- he survived the war ). Both the Winds of War and War and Remembrance are films that must be seen!


Dan Curtis, the producer of this epic, must have been obsessed. His vision of the war years 1936 through 1945 as depicted in this and the companion work "The Winds of War" is unquestionably the best view of the impact of war on simple human beings as could ever be imagined in fiction and on film.

Based on a novel by Herman Wouk, with a screenplay written by him, the events of the pre war and war years are played out through the eyes of the family of Victor Henry a fictional middle aged naval commander and close confidant of President Roosevelt who is, at various times, posted in Berlin, Moscow, Pearl Harbor and ultimately made captain of a cruiser in the pacific. Captain Henry and his family are witness to the rise of Hitler and Mussolini in Europe, the conduct of Hitler's "Final Solution", the Russian front, and the war in the pacific. The graphic detail of this production will literally bring tears to your eyes. It is hard to watch at times as you become so very intimate with the characters.

Robert Mitchum turns in a fabulous performance as Victory Henry the no nonsense patriarch of the family. Polly Bergen plays his flibbertigibbet wife Rhoda to perfection. The rest of the cast is all really remarkable but my favorite was G.D. Spradlin who portrayed Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance , fleet commander during the Battle of Midway, above and beyond understanding.

If you're into accurate historical drama, and can deal with reality, go to your library and check this out. If you haven't seen it, you should. If you don't you will miss a genuine historical document.


I really enjoyed this maxi series. It's too long to be a mini! This and the final portion are a whole lotta video..they total 14 DVDs. The initial smash series, Winds of War, was several more DVDs. So all in all, this was a long series! As I said, I enjoyed the entire "package". However, with 5 years between the first and the second series, much happened and the result was a number of actor/actress changes that make the second series confusing after seeing the first. Major characters, such as Natalie Jastrow-Henry, played by Ali McGraw in the first, Jane Seymour in the second. Aaron Jastrow, John Houseman, Sir John Gielgud. There are some others as well. Robert Mitchum and Polly Bergen reprise their superb performances as Capt. and Mrs. Pug Henry. Overall, despite the change in personnel, the acting remains great throughout the entire series. It's just kinda confusing having two different Natalies, two Aarons, two Byrons, two Janices, etc. I'm rambling, sorry. This series is long, but doesn't PLAY long. It moves along nicely and has enough plot twists to keep the viewers interest. I like this whole thing well enough to have paid to own it from start to finish. At least rent this a couple of DVDs at a time. It's worth your time!
Yellow Judge

Yellow Judge

I am a WWII buff (and history in general as well). This series (hardly a "mini") covers both the European and Pacific theaters of WWII thru the eyes of the Victor Henry family. Not only is it a very interesting story about the lives of these specific people, but also tells a lot about WWII and it inhumanity. So, on both accounts it is excellent, and depicts most of the WWII major events, although not all equally.

Back in those days, there was no CGI, so what you see is either real life, or models. Obviously, the war scenes are a combination of both, but very well done so you believe you are actually there in the battles, on the ships, or in the planes.

While this series (War & Remembrance) is 6 DVD's (30 hours), I was striving for more when it was all done. I watched it when it was aired in 1988/1989, so it was not new for me from the DVD set. Nonetheless, I was still captivated, and will gladly watch it again. The sound is also updated and very good (DD 5.1).

I would recommend this to anyone who cares to look into WWII and its horrors. It gets a bit graphic with the Jewish persecution and extermination, but doesn't touch on the horrors commented by the Japanese in the Pacific. So, if this sort of realism offends, either skip over those parts or don't watch it. But remember, the name of the book (and hence, of the series) was so designed and selected such that we as a human race never forget all the terrible things that happened and that caused so much world pain and destruction.

Jane Seymour, John Gigliold, and Robert Mitchum are all excellent and make you believe they were these people. I don't know why Jane & John weren't used in the original series (The Winds of War) since they were so marvelous and believable and held true to their characters throughout. The very end is heart wrenching, so have your Kleenex ready!


After reading the book The Winds of War and watching the first mini series in 1983, I waited for War and Remembrance to premier in 1989. I own the tape sets and re-watch them every one in a while! Herman Wouk's novel was GREAT and Dan Curtis was outstanding in both mini series. The ABC television network should re-run both mini series for sweeps week. I bet it would be a hit 2nd time around in the 21st century!
Rose Of Winds

Rose Of Winds

The cast changes made between the series were perfect. I enjoyed Winds of War, although I didn't really care for Jan Michael Vincent as Byron or Ali McGraw (who I never found attractive) as Natalie. Hart Bochner is excellent as Byron and a much better actor than Vincent, and Jane Seymour as Natalie delivers the performance of a lifetime. The scene where (SPOILER!!!) she eats an entire apple, seeds, stem and all, on the train car taking her to Auschwitz is stunning in its power, its portrayal of true hunger and of Natalie's indomitable will to survive and see her son again.

John Houseman is a fine actor, but rather cold and unreadable, so replacing him with Sir John Gielgud, with his warm and expressive grandfatherly face, was a smart move. And anyone with a lick of sense would have replaced that comical, cardboard cutout of a Hitler from the first series. Steve Berkoff does a pretty good job in that role. And Sharon Stone is ... hmmm ... delicious as Janet. You can understand why Byron is so attracted to her.

I guess they couldn't replace Bob Mitchum as Victor Henry, and he does a fine job, but I kind of wish they had chosen a younger actor for the role originally. Mitchum was in his 70's and in the novels "Pug" is in his early to mid 50's. Still, he does give the role a gravity that perhaps not many actors in their 50's at that time would have been able to pull off.

Anyway, after Winds of War I remember someone saying in an article in TV Guide or someplace that they would never make War and Remembrance because it was just too big. Then a few years later here it is (I wasn't even aware they were filming it ... that would never happen today with the Internet, lol). I was so excited when I saw it was coming to television (I was in my early 20's at the time) and I watched every minute of it and taped most of it. It is one of the most amazing productions I have ever seen. I was mesmerized.

The death camp scenes, shown without commercial interruption, are graphic and gut-wrenching to watch. War may be hell but this deliberate, calculated, methodical "processing" of men, women, and children plumbed the deepest depths of human evil. What is truly terrifying is that the Auschwitz commander, Rudolf Hoess (Gunther Halmer) is never portrayed as an out-and-out "evil" man. He feels some guilt for what his job calls on him to do but feels he nevertheless must do it as best and efficiently and "humanely" as he can. He is just another fellow, a family man, trying to do his job and get ahead. It just so happens that his "job" is presiding over a mass slaughter of helpless men, women, and children whose only crime was being Jewish.

Other standout scenes for me included the submarine battles, which were every bit as suspenseful and terrifying and claustrophobic as "Das Boot." The final scene is perfect in every way--I've watched it dozens of times. It's done a little differently than in the book but the changes are just right. I won't describe it but it will lift your heart and make you cry like a baby at the same time. Powerful and deeply moving.


.....of War" But as reasons, they cited production values centering on shooting locations, authentic sets, care in staging shots, and other technical aspects of production. No one said the very obvious: "Remembrance" is better than "Winds" because of the higher caliber of acting. Jane Seymour's nuanced portrayal of Natalie was certainly better than Ali McGraw's one-dimensional haughty, petulant and flibbertigibbet Natalie. Gielgud was more professorial and a really convincing intellectual Jew compared to Houseman. His delivery of that sermon on the biblical Job as a "stinking Jew" (an epithet Jews were required by the SS to use in introducing themselves in the concentration camps) was very moving. The noble but conflicted Byron characterization by Hart Bochner is certainly not the shallow hot in the pants Byron portrayed by Jan Michael Vincent. For some reason, I also preferred the Warren Henry of Michael Woods over that of Ben Murphy who wasn't bad at all but Woods had the charisma or the "glow about him" that Pamela Tudsbury (Victoria Tennant) described. Polly Bergen's acting or maybe her role as Rhoda much improved in "Remembrance" because in "Winds" she was just this overly excited and artificially cheerful navy housewife bowled over by the seeming glamor of Nazi Germany. Now in "Remembrance" she displays a fuller range of acting descending into regret and downright pathos as she realized that she flirted away her marriage and family. I realize I may not be being fair in blaming the actors named. For all we know, Herman Wouk's screen writing skills improved in the five-year interim between "Winds" and "Remembrance." Similarly, Curtis' directorial savvy may have also improved. And that brings me to the matter of comparison between the book and the screenplay. The film generally succeeds in bringing to the TV audience the gist of the story (stories actually) in "Remembrance," but actually it is not a faithful rendition of the book's narrative. Certain contrivances were used to bring key characters to interact with each other to get the audience into the flow of the epic. For example, in the film Pug and Armin von Roon were personally acquainted or even friends in a sort of way. But in the book they never met as far as I can recall. Admiral Henry was writing a memoir or a postwar analysis of the battles and the conduct of the war and was using a book written by Von Roon as a reference which he was refuting on several points. I was somewhat sympathetic to the Von Roon character in the book but still he was presented as somewhat of an opportunist who supported Hitler as long as he was winning the war and turned against him only when Germany was losing. In the film, however, Von Roon (excellently played by Jeremy Kemp) was shown to be an early critic of Hitler and hinted at as one of the plotters of the failed assassination of the Fuhrer.

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If you want to measure how much television production and mass entertainment has regressed over 20 years you should check "War and Remembrance" and compare it with trash aired on television and theaters right now. Characters straight from Herman Wouk's original novel are dramatic , have feelings , fears , struggles , personal agonies , accomplishments and failures. They are real as much as they can be in fact too real in stark horrific reality of wartime. We see two families Henry's , Wastrows and people around them living , struggling , trying to survive and move on in these extraordinary conditions of greatest war mankind ever made. Meanwhile we witness main events and personalities of war , battles , diplomatic events etc. And yes best produced holocaust scenes ever made in television. Horror of what Nazis had done to Jews , Slavs , Gypsies , Communists and other undesirable minorities were sampled and brought to screen with dramatic acting , intense detailed production values. I fact same high production value standards is in entire miniseries itself. From cold bitter merciless concrentation camps to wartime America , from occupied France to Germany to naval battles at sea everything has an authentic look of 1940'es. It is very informative in historical sense.

Although characters are depicted like in novel not all characters are well written ( both in novel and in miniseries ) Romance story of Captain Pug Henry with Pamela Tudsburry who is half his age is very unconvincing and compared with stark brutality of what Jastrows enduring at hands of Nazis it is just pointless and trivial. Same thing can be said for Polly Bergen's character , Rhode Henry , Pug's drunk wife and her relationships and manners in comfortable US. Instead they could give us some more battle scenes and other stuff about war and contribitions of characters. Fortunetely rest of casting and character writing is very very good. Jane Symour and John Gielgund are just awesome as Aaron and Natalie Jastrow , Jews who are trying to survive in Nazi occupied Europe. Hart Borchner is also giving a good performance as US submarine officer Byron Henry who is trying to reach his wife Natalie and his child trapped in Europe. Victoria Tenant , Robert Morley are not bad either. Rest of cast and supporting characters are also showing very admirable performances. Stefan Berkoff as Adolf Hitler is quite entertaining to watch for example.....


es, I've seen hundreds of WWII/Holocaust films. No other has the emotional impact as well as the realism of War and Remembrance. Of course it is the longest such film ever made at over 30 hours, which gives director Dan Curtis the time to portray everything of Herman Wouk's book. Made as a sequel to the miniseries Winds of War, this is superior in many ways. The first half on this DVD set covers the years 1941-1943, beginning with Pearl Harbor and weaving the Henry family into all the events of the war. Jane Seymour is excellent as Natalie and John Gielgud perfect as Aaron as they play cat and mouse as American Jews stuck in Europe while Aaron's "good friend" Beck keeps tracking them.

With a cast of thousands, an exhaustive list of stars, and on location in ten countries, a lesser director could never have pulled it off, and Dan Curtis rises to the occasion of recreating the events to a tee, including graphic depictions of the Holocaust. A few different story lines run through. Most interesting to me is that of Natalie and Aaron and their attempts to escape Europe. Gielgud and Seymour cannot be praised highly enough for believability and complexity, their plight being the most emotion provoking. Milton Johns gives a chillingly intense portrayal of Eichmann. The next of interest is Slote (David Dukes) as a U.S. official in Europe trying to bring the Holocaust to the attention of Roosevelt, but to no avail. Pug (Robert Mitchum reprising his Winds of War role) has an interesting segment in Russia, but the Pacific War, submarine battles and all, though well done, didn't hold my interest.

Prisoners at Auschwitz attempt to smuggle out film to the Allies, and the depiction of Holocaust events is realistic beyond belief. Volume 1 contains the Baba Yar massacre, Himmler observing a "Special Action", and the digging up of mass graves. Volume 2 is even more graphic. Steven Berkoff as Hitler is great with his over-the-top ranting and raging...hey you can't BE too over-the-top in portraying Hitler. Volume 1 ends after living in relative luxury with Aaron and Natalie being transported to Theriesenstadt. On the way a lady says, "We bought an apartment there with a view by the lake". Needless to say there was no lake.

War and Remembrance towers over Schindler's List in every way. Up to the present W&R is the most realistic dramatic portrayal of the events. Some have learned the lessons of WWII and the Holocaust. Those currently running the world have not.


Only Dan Curtis with his genius for horror could portray the holocaust for the horror that it actually was. Watching this series can give one nightmares, and they can be more frightening because this all actually happened. Never before or since have I seen such gruesome details about what went on in places like Auschwitz and Thereisenstadt.

I loved the documentary style in which they told this story. The only thing I didn't like about this series was that the bombing of Hiroshima seemed to be glossed over in the end. It was like an "Oh, by the way..." thing. A brief comment about the war being over, and on to look for the kid. Such an important moment in the movie--and history--deserved more attention than it got. But I guess at that point, they were in a hurry to finish the thing because it was eighteen hours long as it stood. Except for the hurried ending, it was a great series.


This movie is quite simply one of the best I have ever witnessed. The historical events portrayed in this film are extremely accurate and provide the viewer with a window to the past without actually being there. But just like any other movie, it is also very entertaining and keeps you in your seat from beginning to end. I have seen all the other war movies, and along with "The Winds Of War", "War And Remembrance" is a very good history lesson and by far the best movie depicting World War Two you will ever see.


I loved the Herman Wouk novels THE WINDS OF WAR and WAR AND REMEMBRANCE. They are brilliant books and are among the finest fictionalized accounts of war available (i.e., the places and events are real but the characters are fictionalized amalgams of real people). Each book is about 700-800 pages long and it was wonderful to see them brought to the small screen instead of the theaters. That's because some magnificent person at the TV networks decided that the books MUST be made into 2 separate mini-series mega-events. And, even more impressive is that the movies are so true to the books and fascinating. I loved how the series bounced back and forth to the different characters and locations. In this followup series, the movie bounces from the sub war of the Pacific to diplomatic meetings throughout the world (particularly in the USSR) to the horrors of the concentration camps. It really was a major work of love that probably will never be repeated again. Brilliant and wonderful throughout--my highest possible rating. The only MINOR problem you will find is that the actors playing several key characters changed between the two series. Also, do NOT watch this until you first watch THE WINDS OF WAR to set the context for this miniseries.


*Very minor spoilers*

This unsurpassed mega-series along with it's prequel "The Winds of War" is beyond stunning, it is shattering. This is a compelling, mesmerizing, heartbreaking yet inspiring epic which towers above all other depictions of World War Two and the Holocaust. In fact this body of work, taken in total is in a category all its own: there is simply nothing to compare it to and nothing remotely like it. Rarely has a work of art affected me so profoundly. It asks, and even answers, some of the biggest questions: what is evil? how can one live a meaningful life in the face of such senseless, brutish evil? What is a full life? How should one live? How should one die? As above, this is in a category all of it's own: while it has flaws they cannot take away from the overall impact of the story. However it is simply flabbergasting at times how the story can shift from casting an intense, even hypnotic spell in its unflinching, devastating depictions of the Holocaust to showing long, boring, drawn out scenes straight out of a daytime soap opera (albeit with superior actors). I must admit I fast forwarded through most of the scenes featuring the vapid, hysterical, and generally loathsome Rhoda Henry (Polly Bergen). Also the amount of drinking and smoking without anyone (except President Roosevelt) suffering any ill effects was odd, given the otherwise brutal realism. At one point a Russian General drinks an entire fifth of vodka in about 15 seconds. Several hours later he is neither tipsy nor showing any ill effects (or indeed effects of any kind) whatsoever. The amount of drinking in this film is simply astounding, but may be historically accurate, I don't know. One thing that absolutely takes away from the overall greatness of the film is it's one-dimensional depiction of anyone non-white. Any Blacks or Asians (even the Japanese Generals) are utter flat cartoons and this is troubling especially in the context of an otherwise powerful anti-racist message. Perhaps if this had been made today such an error would not have been made.

One other odd aspect of this series, which people find jarring to various degrees is that different actors fill major roles in the first and second series. While both sets of actors who play Natalie and Aaron Jastrow are excellent and soon seem natural, I found the switch from Jan-Michael Vincent to Hart Bochner as Byron Henry totally distracting from beginning to end. Mr. Bochner, while talented, simply could not fill the inspired, natural reading of the role by Jan-Michael Vincent. I also found the switch in actors playing Adolph Hitler distracting, but to a much lesser degree. In The Winds of War, Gunter Meisner gave a chilling and serious reading of the evil genius, but in War and Remembrance, I found Steven Berkoff's over-the-top, even clownish, reading of the Fuher to be unfortunate. An excellent companion piece to this would be Downfall (Der Utergang), the film about Hitler's last days in the bunker featuring an astonishing and courageous performance by the Swiss actor Bruno Ganz as Hitler. Robert Mitchum, despite being older than the character the role originally called for, was simply perfect as Captain (Later Admiral) "Pug" Henry: I was not overly familiar with him and am pleased to have found a new favorite! One other minor quibble was that some of the Nazis had ridiculous Colonel-Klinkish accents while others spoke like Oxford-educated Americans, depending on how "evil" they were. This was silly, but easy to overlook given the overall greatness of the piece.

I am a student of history and the historical accuracy in this piece is far beyond anything I have ever seen in a work of fiction. There is a time commitment in watching this: over 30 hours, all told, but it is more than worth it. In fact, I plan to revisit this monumental, tour-de-force, this unbelievably touching, yet oddly uneven masterwork more than once. Rent it. See it. Love it.

Warning: this is not for the innocent. Unless you are ready to let your children start to let go of childhood and begin to ask very deep, very troubling, and very adult questions don't let them watch it. This is absolutely guaranteed to give younger children nightmares, and very likely to seriously traumatize them.


It is long, but it is a true epic saga of the most momentous conflict in human history, The length allows time for the multiple story lines of the various characters in all their complexity, to unfold. The story of WW2, in all its courage, profundity, terror and tragedy could never really be told any other way. TV, of course, does have its limitations as a tool for teaching history, but with a production like this, it comes close to transcending them. The acting, particularly by Mitchum, Seymour and, most especially Gielgud, is consistently excellent. By my own measure this may even be the most profound role of Gielgud's long and illustrious career. Anyone interested in quality historical drama - or simply in the human tragedy of WW2 - should put this production on their "must see" list.


War and Rememberence is a definite masterpiece of a saga ever to be shown on television. Since after it was aired there has not been a mini-series in production. It had reached its high water mark. The secret to this min-series success was that it incorporated the fictional characters of Henry family for the "Winds of War" novel and aka television "prequel" with real history; real events; real facts. How it impacted the Henry family, and showed us why we should care about them now than the first series. It had showed us about events of World War II, an all the horrors of a world at war. Why we, no matter when you were born, should never forget. It had showed us background of historical facts not taught in school or openly lectured by mainstream historians. I am very much surprised that the History Channel or A&E has not showed this on their stations already.


War and Remembrance is a 12 part mini-series based on Herman Waulk's novel. This movie tells the story of the second world war and it's horror like no other film. This film has boldly went where no other film has gone before. This movie contains alot of characters and sub-plots. This film can get quite boring at times. There is alot of "talky scenes" and romance scenes. As I watched this movie I felt like I was experencing this horror with the charectors. I was really moved when one sub-plot involved an American Jewish female and her Uncle are trapped in Europe by the Nazis and thier freedom and thier lives are at stake. The Holocaust is depicted in great detail in this movie and the holocaust scenes are graphic and disturbing images that will remain inside you forever. You wonder how could people mercilessly slaughter other people like that. It is a very good series. This movie is extremely lengthy so plan on several nights to watch it. The best way to watch it is to pace your self and watch about 2 hours a night.


Casting Mitchum was the worst possible choice the producers could have made. In each scene in which Mitchum appears, your eyes immediately notifier your brain that something is very wrong here, RM was 25 years too old to play the part. And with Mitchum and his sunken, hound dog face, age could not be erased through makeup or some other miracle the make up people dreamed up. Mitchum was regarded as "the worst pain in the ass, we have ever worked with" by many of his co-stars, his directors and producers. You might say that he paid the producers back double for handing him the role. I didn't find Polly Bergen convincing, her talent runs quite shallow when playing a character through such a long period of time and in so many changes. With so many 1 hour segments (44 minutes w/o ads) you have to be pretty disciplined to devote the time to see each in order. There is some review of the previous segment but not enough to catch you up if you missed one. It's very worth seeing, but be prepared to shake your head at Mitchum's miscasting.


After watching the Winds of War, I looked forward to War and Remembrance. I found the sequel far more depressing and less entertaining than the original. Perhaps that was its intent but it is difficult for the average viewer to sit through so many hours of endless anguish. Not for the faint hearted. That having been said, the acting is excellent and far superior to the original. I could not see the wise cracking Ali McGraw playing the holocaust scenes in the camps. Jane Seymour was superb and it is probably the finest thing she has ever done. John Gielgud demonstrates why he was one of the foremost actors of his century. Mitchum was effective in serious scenes involving war and politics but unconvincing and without passion in his scenes with the very desirable Victoria Tennant. I thought the portrayal of Hitler, as in the original was a characterture and clownish and difficult to take seriously. Hardy Krueger was more realistic as Rommel and a pleasant contrast to all the stereotypical German villains. While I recognize it is difficult to accurately portray military events of WWII in the 1980's, some obvious inaccuracies were evident to any WWII veterans or history buffs. A scene of Roosevelt aboard the cruiser Baltimore was obviously filmed on a battleship. As a former submariner, I found the interior submarine scenes accurate and realistic. However, the exterior scenes showing depth charges repeatedly exploding within feet of the submarine would have been unsurvivable. The final surface engagement between Bryan's submarine and a Japanese destroyer was totally ludicrous. No attempt was made to fire any torpedoes at the approaching destroyer and choosing to exchange broadsides under those circumstances would have been suicidal. The submarine did more damage with one shot from its deck gun than the destroyer was able to do with far more firepower. As the submarine blithely sailed away from the burning destroyer, it strains credulity as it ignores the considerable talent and élan demonstrated by the Japanese navy throughout the war. The death of Bryan's former skipper was an accurate portrayal of an actual incident as was the machine gunning of Japanese survivors which did occur during the war. War and Remembrance might be an informative narrative for a history student unfamiliar with that era, but it is not for the squeamish seeking television entertainment.
Wooden Purple Romeo

Wooden Purple Romeo

The battles in the Pacific Theater of Operations are legendary in their scope and the fierce strategical maneuvering between American Naval forces and those of Imperial Japan are a cat and mouse game of epic proportions. The title of this much acclaimed mini-series would lead one to believe that it is, first and foremost, a re-telling of the Second World War. This monumental undertaking focuses our attention on one family whose involvement in that war is total and unfolds on both fronts, the War in Europe and the War on Japan. The premise would have been a "pip" had they made the characters more interesting and the acting less contained. For that we can thank the writers, one of which was the author of the novel and the director, who was also one of the writers of the screenplay. It would have also helped had the set director taken the time to realize that while Ralph Bellamy makes a wonderful F.D.R., as evidenced in his portrayal of the president in "Sunrise At Campobello" the photographs used of the real F.D.R. were not appropriate. They look nothing alike but Bellamy captured the absolute essence of the man who was our 32nd president in that film. I would be certain that he was chosen for this role as evidence of that portrayal. The actor portraying Adolph Hitler, Steven Berkoff, was not so fortunate and the same photographic error was made in that instance, however, Berkoff portrayed Hitler as a complete and utter madman from beginning to end which was so unrealistic as to border on the laughable. Only marginal attention was given to Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind behind Pearl Harbor and the Commander-in-Chief of the Combined Fleet of Japan. Japan's heavy losses at Midway literally turned the tide of the war, and the subsequent fall of Guadalcanal put Yamamoto on a collision course with death. His plane was shot down near Bouganville on April 18, 1943.

In actuality, the story suffers at both ends of the spectrum despite its 12 hours of screen time. Add to that the runner up to War and Remembrance, "The Winds of War," and you have about 30 hours of viewing time. I should think 30 hours is enough to tell both stories in their entirety and yet, throughout the series I had a feeling of missed opportunities in characterizations, relationships and content. Despite some rather larger than life names on the marquee the actors don't seem to mesh in the way they could or should. My impression, knowing all the major and most minor players, is that the job was merely adequate. This cast should have been spectacular but they never really took off, as it were. Speaking of which, even the aerial sequences, most of which I had seen before due to their use in other films, were not used to their fullest advantage in the battle scenes. The characters were not developed fully and they should have been for a saga such as this with actors such as they had available. The pairing of Robert Mitchum, as Capt. Victor "Pug" Henry and the much younger Victoria Tennant as his paramour, Pamela Tudsbury, is all but laughable and the reasons do not lie in the age difference. One has to wonder what it is she actually sees in this man! Polly Bergen, as Rhoda Henry, "Pug" Henry's wife, is totally miscast as the woman who may lose this sea faring lonely-heart to a much younger, much more worldly and intelligent woman and yet she has her own dalliances and does little more than smile too much, travel too little and attend all too many functions! Robert Morley as Alistair Tudsbury and John Gielgud as Aaron Jastrow are worth their weight in gold. Both seasoned actors know how to get the very most from even a cameo appearance in any film. High marks also go to David Dukes as Leslie Slote, Barry Bostwick as "Lady" Aster, Robert Hardy as Winston Churchill and Ian McShane as Philip Rule. They took the best within themselves and used it well. Bill Wallis, as Werner Beck, gives an admirable portrayal of a former student of Aaron Jastrow who is sympathetic to the plight of this prominent "Jew" awaiting transport to Palestine via ship just as Germany invades Poland. He offers his protection and assistance to his much admired professor and convinces him to leave the guaranteed protection of this arranged sailing and go back to live in Italy, where Jastrow has a home. He and his niece, Natalie Jastrow Henry, who is married to Byron Henry, Captain Henry's son and played by the lovely Jane Seymour are completely taken in by this former student although Natalie suspects something is amiss.

So many other recognizable names are in this cast that it reads as a veritable who's who of that eras actors with some great older names peppered in. I cannot tell you this is a complete waste of time or a series to by-pass but I am advising that you not expect too much. Based on other reviews I have seen here many are thrilled by its making! In the event you do have the opportunity to see it, I would suggest you first take another inordinate chunk of time to first view "The Winds of War." This will set up some of the characters for you so you don't feel you walked into the middle of something. There were 5 years that elapsed between the two undertakings and that is far too long to expect viewers to have been waiting with baited breath for a sequel. Both should stand alone as complete enactments of a story with total understanding for each character within it.