Jack Le Vien’s “The Valiant Years”
Would you happen to have any inside information on when, if ever, the BBC will release “The Valiant Years” documentary in DVD format? Various rumors continue to circulate on the Internet but there doesn’t appear to be any source with definitive information. —H.A.
It has been in the thoughts of many to reproduce Jack Le Vien’s famous documentary. Although a shorter production, “The Finest Hours,” narrated by Orson Welles, has been reproduced on a commercial CD (left), the multiple-part “Valiant Years” was not until just recently. It is now available on DVD from MediaOutlet.com. To go to the ordering site, click here. I have “The Valiant Years” on a set of VCRs which a friend recorded from a 90s re-run on the A&E Network. I guess I should convert them to DVD. Of course they are dated. My impression is that they shade heavily into the hagiographic. But the film footage is fantastic. Richard Burton hated Churchill, but this is not apparent in his narrative, or in his later role as WSC in the original “Gathering Storm” production.
6 thoughts on “Jack Le Vien’s “The Valiant Years””
Contact in Switzerland bought the series from MediaOutlet and says they are of decent quality although at least one episode (advertised) is missing (“The Ravens Remain”). Maybe it was an oversight; I haven’t asked him yet. The music (theme) is available in many places including YouTube, Amazon.com and here….
Once upon a time I also had the Valiant Years on VHS as well as the complete 26 audio segments on reel to reel, the vinyl record of Richard Rodgers’ suite for the Valiant Years, and Producer Jack LaVien’s companion book, The Valiant Years. Alas, all are decomposed in the bottom of Mississippi Sound following Hurricane Katrina. I, too, would enjoy seeing the series on DVD as well as showing some of it to my U.S. and World History classes.
The music to The Valiant Years is on You Tube:
The Valiant Years had a wonderful theme tune composed by Richard Rodgers. I am trying to find a copy of this music (for my wonderful Auntie) but it seems to be a rare work indeed. So bring on the re-release before my beloved auntie loses her hearing!
If whomever has those VCRs is willing to sell them I will buy.
BURTON LOVED THE BOTTLE MORE THAN CHURCHILL THOUGH