Jack Le Vien’s “The Valiant Years”

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”

  1. 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….


  2. 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. 

  3. 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!

  4. If whomev­er has those VCRs is will­ing to sell them I will buy.

    Ron Smith

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