Prohibition (mini-series) - Blu-ray and DVD Releases for the Upcoming PBS Show by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
Coming to home video in early October, right around the time the program airs
Posted by David Lambert
Prohibition is a three-part, five-and-a-half-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed. The culmination of nearly a century of activism, Prohibition was intended to improve, even to ennoble, the lives of all Americans, to protect individuals, families, and society at large from the devastating effects of alcohol abuse. But the enshrining of a faith-driven moral code in the Constitution paradoxically caused millions of Americans to rethink their definition of morality. Thugs became celebrities, responsible authority was rendered impotent. Social mores in place for a century were obliterated.
Especially among the young, and most especially among young women, liquor consumption rocketed, propelling the rest of the culture with it: skirts shortened. Music heated up. America's Sweetheart morphed into The Vamp. Prohibition turned law-abiding citizens into criminals, made a mockery of the justice system, caused illicit drinking to seem glamorous and fun, encouraged neighborhood gangs to become national crime syndicates, permitted government officials to bend and sometimes even break the law, and fostered cynicism and hypocrisy that corroded the social contract all across the country.
With Prohibition in place, but ineffectively enforced, one observer noted, America had hardly freed itself from the scourge of alcohol abuse - instead, the "drys" had their law, while the "wets" had their liquor. The story of Prohibition's rise and fall is a compelling saga that goes far beyond the oft-told tales of gangsters, rum runners, flappers, and speakeasies, to reveal a complicated and divided nation in the throes of momentous transformation. The film raises vital questions that are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago - about means and ends, individual rights and responsibilities, the proper role of government.
This coming fall, PBS will bring you the latest historical documentary mini-series from Ken Burns, and from Lynn Novick: Prohibition. It tells the story of the time in the United States when the 18th Admendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed (in 1919, making it illegal to drink alcoholic beverages anywhere in the nation), to the passing of the 21st Amendment to The Constitution (in 1933, repealing the 18th Amendment and effectively ending the era of Prohibition).
While the exact date of this production's broadcasts haven't been publicized yet, the folks at PBS and Paramount Home Entertainment have this morning informed retailers that the Prohibition mini-series will come home on DVD and high-def Blu-ray Disc this October 4th. Running 346 minutes, it will be presented in widescreen aspect ratio for both home video formats, with the DVD sporting 5.1 Surround Sound, and the Blu-ray getting an English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track. Both will also come with a Spanish stereo track option, too, and bonus material which still needs to be finalized but looks like it will at least have Additional Scenes and Outtakes from Interviews. Package art and cost for either version of this title isn't available just yet, but stay tuned for updates!
In the meantime, here's a look at a YouTube-based sneak peek trailer from PBS for Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's Prohibition; the quote in this clip which grabs my attention is this one: "Virtually every part of The Constitution is about expanding human freedom, except Prohibition, in which human freedom was being limited."