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The Red Badge of Courage cover photo

The Red Badge of Courage 2003


Distributed by Discovery Channel School
Produced by Discovery Communications, Inc. (The Discovery Channel)
Director n/a
DVD, color, 88 min.

Sr. High
Literature, American Studies, History

Date Entered: 07/13/2004

Reviewed by Michael Fein, Coordinator of Library Services, Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg, VA

This Discovery Channel production is an overview and analysis of Stephen Crane’s masterpiece, The Red Badge of Courage. The production uses Civil War re-enactors to portray scenes from the novella while various talking heads, including correspondent Morley Safer, present analysis of the work and also relate the author’s life to his work. Crane is emphasized as being the first modern war correspondent. Besides scenes from the novella and the talking heads, there are still photos, shots of newspapers, and some scenes from a silent movie that portrays the Rough Riders in Cuba. The sound and picture quality of this work are superb. There are also three supplementary teaching aids including a print teaching guide and lesson plan which is excellent. On the DVD there are discussion questions which are adequate and a “slide show” of scenes from the story which is somewhat superfluous. Overall, this is a top-notch production that will do well for its intended high school audience.