In 1753, global superpowers England and France each claim the Ohio Country of America. The English establish settlements, and the French build a line of forts from the Great Lakes southward. Into this unstable setting steps 21-year-old George Washington, an ambitious youth. Within months Washington touches off a war that soon goes global, and leads troops to face the French. His first campaign ends in defeat, but prompts King George II to send two regiments of redcoated regulars to the Ohio Country under the command of Gen. Edward Braddock of the Coldstream Guards. The historic march of Braddock's army culminates in a brutal forest battle recreated moment by moment in this highly acclaimed documentary.
When the Forest Runs Red uses the narration of award-winning actor Michael Rothhaar, large-scale battle reenactments, and the commentary of an international roster of acclaimed authors to tell the story of Washington's mission to the French forts, the Great Meadows campaign, and Braddock's Defeat.
The DVD contains almost two hours of extras, including the completely remastered When the Forest Ran Red feature documentary, which has been broadcast on PBS, honored by the American Association of Museums, and recognized by the Smithsonian Institution.
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The struggle between the British and French to control the land beyond the Appalachian Mountains triggered the French and Indian War in 1754. When the French built a chain of forts south from Lake Erie to what is now western Pennsylvania, a young George Washington served with British General Edward Braddock's army to repel them. This well-presented film carefully examines the horror that unfolded when the Anglo-American army was ambushed by the French and Indians south of Fort Duquesne. --American History, April 2002
Scholarship is deep, structure is interesting and engaging. Nice mix of reenactments, paintings, sketches and drawings. Good job of presenting a seldom-studied part of our past. --MUSE Award Committee, The American Association of Museums
In the summer of 1755, British General Edward Braddock set out from Williamsburg with an army of over 2,000 regulars and Virginia militia to expel the French from Fort Duquesne, strategically located at the point where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers converge to form the Ohio River (the site of present-day Pittsburgh, PA). Braddock's great accomplishment was to blaze a road through dense forest, and subsequently move his troops, wagons, and artillery to within 40 miles of Fort Duquesne. Braddock then split his force (on the advice of his aide-de-camp, a young George Washington), and sent a flying column ahead, which after fording the Monongahela above Fort Duquesne, was ambushed and virtually annihilated by a much smaller force of French and Indian fighters. Robert Matzen's When the Forest Ran Red engagingly tells the story of this military disaster, a defeat that did much to precipitate the French and Indian War. Rich in detail and primary source information, this would make an excellent addition to any social studies curriculum dealing with Colonial America, and would be of interest to general history buffs. Highly recommended. --Video Librarian, July-August 2002
Filmmaker Robert Matzen wrote and directed his Saga of the French and Indian War over a period of six years. Pursuit of Honor followed the highly successful When the Forest Ran Red and George Washington s First War. Matzen writes, produces, and directs motion pictures for NASA and other federal agencies. He is also the author of five books, including the forthcoming Errol & Olivia: Ego & Obsession in Golden Era Hollywood.
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