N. Scott Momaday: American Masters

N. Scott Momaday: American Masters

All Past Episodes

Ursula K. Le Guin: American Masters

56:46 | #3301 | TV-PG

Explore the remarkable life and legacy of late feminist author Ursula K. Le Guin whose groundbreaking work, including The Left Hand of Darkness, transformed American literature by bringing science fiction into the literary mainstream.

Robert Shaw

56:46 | #3207 | TV-PG

Trace the journey of one of the greatest choral music conductors in the world. With no formal training, Robert Shaw achieved early success in popular music and later became legendary for his interpretations of classical music's choral masterpieces.

Terrence McNally

01:26:46 | #3206 | TV-14

Explore Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally's six groundbreaking decades in theater. The film delves into McNally's pursuit of love and inspiration, LGBTQ activism, triumph over addiction, and the power of the arts to transform society.

Garry Winogrand

01:26:46 | #3108 | TV-14

Discover the life and work of Garry Winogrand, the epic storyteller in pictures who harnessed the serendipity of the streets to capture the American 1960s-70s. His "snapshot aesthetic" is now the universal language of contemporary image making.

Joseph Pulitzer

01:26:46 | #3205 | TV-PG

Discover the man behind the award. A journalist who became a media mogul with an outspoken, cantankerous editorial voice and two bestselling newspapers, Joseph Pulitzer championed what he regarded as the sacred role of the free press in a democracy.

Holly Near: American Masters

56:46 | #3204 | TV-PG

Experience the power of song in the struggle for equality through the story of feminist singer and activist Holly Near, who for the last 40 years has worked on global social justice coalition-building in the women's and lesbian movements.

Charley Pride: American Masters

56:46 | #3007 | TV-PG

Explore the complicated history of the American South and its music through the life of country star Charley Pride. Raised in segregated Mississippi, his journey shows the ways that artistic expression can triumph over prejudice and injustice.

Sammy Davis, Jr.: American Masters

01:56:46 | #2707 | TV-PG

Explore the entertainer's talent and journey for identity through the shifting tides of civil rights and racial progress during 20th-century America. Features Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and clips from his TV, film, and concert performances.

Decoding Watson: American Masters

01:26:46 | #3107 | TV-PG

Meet the Nobel Prize-winning scientist behind the double helix as he confronts his complex legacy.

Itzhak Perlman: American Masters

01:26:46 | #3006 | TV-PG

Explore the life of violinist Itzhak Perlman, a polio survivor whose parents emigrated from Poland to Israel. Conversations with musicians, friends, and his wife of 50 years tell the story of this transcendent performer.

Basquiat: American Masters

01:26:46 | #3106 | TV-14

Discover the anonymous graffiti artist turned rock star of the early '80s art scene in New York whose work ultimately commanded millions. It took less than a decade for the accountant's son from Brooklyn to rise to dizzying heights.

Andrew Wyeth: American Masters

56:46 | #3105 | TV-14

Uncover the hidden depths and complex inner life of the iconic artist Andrew Wyeth. With his life's work as a background, examine his wide range of influences, including modern artists, war, film and the African American community.

Elizabeth Murray: American Masters

56:46 | #3203 | TV-PG

Take an intimate look at artist Elizabeth Murray, voiced by Meryl Streep. This film chronicles her remarkable journey from an impoverished childhood to artistic maverick, and reconsiders her place in contemporary art history.

Eva Hesse: American Masters

01:56:46 | #3202 | TV-PG

Eva Hesse was a German-born American artist who experienced a successful career during the late 1960s and early 1970s. She is one of the few women recognized as central to the New York art scene. This documentary traces Eva's path and investigates the creative community of 1960's New York and Germany.

Ted Williams: American Masters

56:47 | #3201 | TV-14

Discover the many sides of baseball great Ted Williams, including his complex relationships with his family, press and fans, and his feelings about his Mexican-American background. Features Bob Costas, Wade Boggs, Roger Angell, and Joey Votto.

Hedy Lamarr: American Masters

01:26:46 | #3104 | TV-14

Discover the story of the most beautiful woman in the world, who was also an ingenious inventor. Her pioneering work helped revolutionize modern communication, including WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth.

Lorraine Hansberry

01:56:46 | #3005 | TV-PG

At a time when women, people of color, and homosexuals were confined to the margins of society, Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965), best known for A Raisin in the Sun, boldly challenged U.S. society to live up to its ideals. The film tells the dramatic story of the young, gifted and black woman who chose words to fight injustice on stage and off.

Edgar Allan Poe: American Masters

01:26:46 | #3103 | TV-PG

Discover the real story of the notorious author, starring Denis O'Hare as Edgar Allan Poe. The program explores the misrepresentations of Poe and reveals how he tapped into what it means to be human in a modern and sometimes frightening world.

Tyrus Wong: American Masters

01:26:46 | #3102 | TV-PG

Discover the art, life, and enduring impact of Tyrus Wong, the renowned Chinese-American painter. Wong worked for Disney and Warner Brothers Studios and later designed cards for Hallmark. He created the artwork for Disney's Bambi in 1942.

Richard Linklater

01:26:46 | #3101 | TV-PG

Take an unconventional look at the fiercely independent filmmaking style that emerged in the late 1980s-90s, sparked by Richard Linklater, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker of Boyhood, Slacker, and Dazed and Confused. Interviews include actors and collaborators Matthew McConaughey, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Jack Black, Julie Delpy and Kevin Smith, as well as colleagues and friends, including the late Jonathan Demme.

Jacques Pepin: American Masters

56:46 | #3004 | TV-PG

Chef Jacques Pepin, a young immigrant with movie-star looks and a charming Gallic accent, elevated essential kitchen techniques to an art form to become one of America's most beloved food icons.

James Beard: American Masters

56:46 | #3003 | TV-PG

Experience a century of food through the life of iconic chef James Beard. The quintessential American cook, he hosted the first cooking show on television in 1946, was a pioneer of the farm-to-table movement, and introduced Julia Child to New York.

Maya Angelou

01:56:46 | #3002 | TV-PG

Journey through the prolific life of the I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings author and activist who inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought. Interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Common, the Clintons, and others are featured.

Sidney Lumet: American Masters

01:56:46 | #2906 | TV-14

Journey through the life's work of the socially conscious director of Serpico, 12 Angry Men and Network in a never-before-seen interview. With candor, humor and grace, Sidney Lumet reveals what matters to him as an artist and as a human being.

Eero Saarinen: American Masters

56:46 | #3001 | TV-PG

Explore the life of Finnish-American modernist architectural giant Eero Saarinen (1910-1961), whose visionary buildings include National Historic Landmarks such as St. Louis' iconic Gateway Arch and the General Motors Technical Center in Michigan.

Norman Lear: American Masters

01:26:46 | #2807 | TV-14

Discover how the creator of All in the Family, The Jeffersons, and Good Times, effected social change through his groundbreaking sitcoms and activism. The program features George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Jon Stewart, Russell Simmons, and others.

The Highwaymen: American Masters

56:46 | #2905 | TV-14

Discover the story behind the pioneering outlaw country music supergroup that featured Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson.

Janis Joplin: American Masters

01:56:40 | #2706 | TV-14

Intimate letters and rare footage shed light on the life of iconic rock singer Janis Joplin. Director Amy Berg presents a portrait of a complicated, driven, often beleaguered artist. Includes interviews with Alecia Moore (aka Pink), Juliette Lewis, Melissa Etheridge, and Laura Joplin.

Loretta Lynn: American Masters

01:56:46 | #2806 | TV-PG

From her Appalachian roots to the Oscar-winning biopic Coal Miner's Daughter, country music legend Loretta Lynn struggled to balance family and her music career and is still going strong over 50 years later.

Fats Domino: American Masters

56:46 | #2904 | TV-PG

Discover how Fats Domino's brand of New Orleans rhythm and blues became rock 'n' roll. As popular in the 1950s as Elvis Presley, Domino suffered degradations in the pre-civil rights South and aided integration through his influential music.

Carole King

56:46 | #2805 | TV-PG

Delve into the hit singer-songwriter's life and career from 1960s New York to the music mecca of '70s LA to the present. King joins collaborators and family in new interviews, while rare home movies, performances, and photos complete the tapestry.

B.B. King: American Masters

56:46 | #2903 | TV-PG

Explore B.B. King's challenging life and career through candid interviews with the "King of the Blues," filmed shortly before his death, and fellow musicians, including Bono, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Ringo Starr.

Mike Nichols: American Masters

56:46 | #2804 | TV-PG

Meet one of America's legendary directors, who discusses his life and 50-year career, from comedy duo Nichols and May to Charlie Wilson's War. The program features new interviews with Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, and many others.

Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer's Journey

56:46 | #2902 | TV-PG

Discover the life and work of Mexican-American photographer Pedro E. Guerrero, who collaborated with Frank Lloyd Wright and sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson.

Althea

01:26:46 | #2901 | TV-PG

Discover the story of Althea Gibson, who emerged as the unlikely queen of the segregated tennis world of the 1950s. She was the first African American to play and win Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals. Features Billie Jean King and David Dinkins.

American Ballet Theatre: A History

01:26:46 | #2803 | TV-PG

Delve into the rich, 75-year history of one of the world's preeminent ballet companies. Ric Burns' documentary combines intimate rehearsal footage, virtuoso performances and interviews with American Ballet Theatre's key figures.

Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler

56:46 | #2802 | TV-PG

Discover the mysterious violin virtuoso through Itzhak Perlman, students, archival performances, and home movies. His story embodies the paradox of artistic genius: how a mortal man lives with immortal gifts, honored at a lifelong price.

August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand

01:27:46 | #2705 | TV-PG

This program captures the legacy of the man some call America's Shakespeare. Film and theater luminaries such as James Earl Jones, Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad, and others share their stories of bringing August Wilson's rich theatrical voice to the stage.

Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice

56:46 | #2801 | TV-PG

This film celebrates the art and life of famed American magician, prestidigitator, actor, and magic historian Ricky Jay.

Dorothea Lange: Grab A Hunk of Lightning

01:56:46 | #2704 | TV-PG

Known for her powerful images from the Great Depression, photographer Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" remains emblematic of that period.

Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun

01:26:46 | #2703 | TV-PG

Passionate ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq was struck down at the height of her career by polio at age 27. She was the muse of two leading 20th century choreographers - George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins.

Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself

01:26:46 | #2702 | TV-PG

The remarkable life of famed participatory journalist George Plimpton: writer, editor, amateur sportsman, actor, and friend to many.

A Fierce Green Fire

56:46 | #2701 | TV-PG

Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Meryl Streep and other stars narrate this exploration of the environmental movement.

Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth

01:26:46 | #2606 | TV-PG

The life of writer/activist Alice Walker, the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature is chronicled. Her story is told with poetry and lyricism, and includes interviews with Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, Quincy Jones, and Walker herself.

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love

01:26:46 | #2605 | TV-PG

Archives and interviews highlight the storied career of Marvin Hamlisch, the go-to composer for film and Broadway producers and one of the most honored. Hamlisch composed hit after hit including "The Way We Were," "Nobody Does It Better," and scores for The Sting, Sophie's Choice, and the Broadway juggernaut A Chorus Line.

Billie Jean King

01:26:46 | #2604 | TV-PG

This film looks back to the 12-year old southern California girl who played tennis on public courts, observed disparity and unfairness, and never stopped trying to remedy the situation. King presents her own story with perspective added by Rosie Casals, Chris Evert, Venus Williams, Gloria Steinem, Elton John, and Bobby Riggs' son.

Philip Roth: Unmasked

01:26:46 | #2603 | TV-PG

A profile of the American novelist Philip Roth who authored Goodbye Columbus, Portnoy's Complaint, America Pastoral, and others.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll

56:46 | #2602 | TV-PG

During the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, Sister Rosetta Tharpe introduced the spiritual passion of her gospel music into the secular world of popular rock 'n roll. This flamboyant African American gospel superstar was a natural born performer and rebel. She was a major influence on generations of black and white musicians including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, and more.

Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance

01:26:46 | #2601 | TV-PG

Tracing the struggles and triumphs of the Joffrey Ballet from 1956 to the present, the film features interviews with former and current Joffrey dancers; the breakthroughs of choreographers Twyla Tharp, Laura Dean, and Margo Sappington; and excerpts from signature works "Astarte," "Trinity," and "Billboards."

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

01:26:46 | #2505 | TV-PG

For much of the 20th century, Carl Sandburg's name was synonymous with the American experience. This program captures the burgeoning resurgence of interest in the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, journalist, and poet.

Harper Lee: American Masters

01:26:46 | #2504 | TV-PG

Explore the phenomenon behind To Kill a Mockingbird and the mysterious life of its Pulitzer Prize-winning author, including why she never published again. The documentary reveals the context and history of the novel's Deep South setting and the social changes it inspired after publication.

Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel

56:46 | #2503 | TV-PG

Discover the Pulitzer Prize-winning author behind Gone With the Wind, one of the world's best-selling novels and was adapted into one of the most popular films of all time. Margaret Mitchell was a charismatic force who challenged the stifling Southern social order and struggled with the changing role of women and the liberation of African Americans.

Cab Calloway: Sketches

56:46 | #2502 | TV-PG

A singer, dancer, and band leader, Cab Calloway was an exceptional figure in the history of jazz. Calloway was the first black musician to tour the segregationist South, as early as 1932.

Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune

01:26:46 | #2501 | TV-14

From civil rights to the anti-war movement to the struggles of workers, folksinger Phil Ochs wrote topical songs that engaged his audiences in the issues of the 1960s and 70s.

Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter

01:26:46 | #2404 | TV-PG

From 1941 to 1978, this husband-and-wife team brought unique talents to their partnership. He was an architect by training, she was a painter and sculptor. Together they are considered America's most important and influential designers, whose work helped, literally, shape the second half of the 20th century. Learn more about the influence of designers Ray and Charles Eames on significant events and movements in American life - from the development of modernism to the rise of the computer age.

James Levine: America's Maestro

56:16 | #2403 | TV-G

To celebrate his 40th anniversary at the Metropolitan Opera, conductor James Levine's life and current work are the subject of this documentary that captures the essence of his unparalleled musicianship and his singular teaching and performance style, while looking back at creative milestones since his Met debut in 1971 at the age of 28.

John Muir in the New World

01:26:46 | #2402 | TV-G

Nearly a century after his death, John Muir is remembered and revered as the father of the environmental movement and the founder of the Sierra Club.

Troubadours: Carole King/James Taylor & The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter

01:26:46 | #2401 | TV-PG

A first-hand account of the genesis of the singer-songwriter movement, centering on the historic collaboration between Carole King and James Taylor, as well as on Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Joni Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, the Eagles, Elton John, and many others.

Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides

01:26:46 | #2308 | TV-PG

Called "the most natural and least self-conscious screen actor that has ever lived," this 2010 Oscar-winning best actor embodies traits far beyond brilliance as an actor. Bridges is an exceptional musician, a photographer, an occasional vintner, and a storyteller.

Glenn Gould: Genius Within

01:56:46 | #2307 | TV-PG

Profiles the enigmatic musical poet who had a revolutionary understanding of the Baroque masters — and a sentimental love for Barbara Streisand and Petula Clark.

LENNONYC

01:56:46 | #2306 | TV-PG

With a prologue narrated by Yoko Ono, this film profiles John Lennon and Ono's years in New York City.

A Letter to Elia

01:26:46 | #2305 | TV-PG

This is a biography and autobiography — Elia Kazan's life, his sense of himself as an immigrant, as an outsider — and Martin Scorsese's early experiences seeing Kazan's films for the first time — and being forever influenced.

Cachao: Uno Mas

01:26:46 | #2304 | TV-PG

An in-depth celebration of the legendary Father of the Mambo, Israel "Cachao" Lopez, who died March 2008 in Coral Gables, Fla. Cachao's remarkable life from his childhood in Cuba, to his early career in America, to his resurgence in the 1990s, is told through performances and interviews with the maestro himself, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Arturo Sandoval, and many others. Narrated and produced by actor Andy Garcia.

Merle Haggard: Learning To Live with Myself

01:26:46 | #2303 | TV-PG

This revealing documentary follows musician Merle Haggard for two years, on tour and at home. Known for his distinctive voice, finger-picking and interpretations, the former prison inmate recently survived major lung surgery and is hitting new artistic and commercial highs. The program includes interviews with Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Ray Price, Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams, and Allison Krauss.

The Doors: When You're Strange

01:26:46 | #2302 | TV-14

The first feature documentary to tell the Doors' story uses only original footage — much of it previously unseen — shot between the group's formation in 1965 and Jim Morrison's death in 1971. Johnny Depp narrates.

I.M. Pei: Building China Modern

56:46 | #2301 | TV-G

Follows noted architect I.M. Pei as he designs a modern museum to house the antiquities of Suzhou in his native China.

Sam Cooke: Crossing Over

56:46 | #2208 | TV-PG

Portrait of Sam Cooke, who put the spirit of the black church into popular music, creating a new American sound.

Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound

01:26:46 | #2206 | TV-PG

Chronicles the private life and public career of recording artist Joan Baez.

Trumbo

01:26:46 | #2205 | TV-PG

This profile of Hollywood writer Dalton Trumbo, who refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947 and was imprisoned, is adapted from his son Christopher's 2003 play and based on Trumbo's letters.

The Brothers Warner, An American Masters Presentation

56:46 | #2108 | TV-PG

An intimate portrait and epic saga of the four film pioneers who founded and ran the Warner Bros. studio for over 50 years. Narrated by family member Cass Warner Sperling (Harry Warner's granddaughter).

Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes

01:26:46 | #2204 | TV-PG

Follows raconteur Garrison Keillor — and his crew of actors, musicians, and technical staff — as he criss-crosses the country, broadcasting, recording, and revealing himself.

Neil Young: Don't Be Denied

56:36 | #2203 | TV-PG

In his own words, Neil Young traces his musical journey, from his rise in the 60s, his solo artist period in the 70s, his 80s embrace of the New Wave and Devo collaboration, and his current pursuit of a more eclectic musical approach.

Hollywood Chinese

01:26:46 | #2202 | TV-PG

Brings together a group of actors, writers, directors - and iconic film images - to examine how Chinese people have contributed to and been portrayed in films.

Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts

01:56:46 | #2109 | TV-PG

An eventful year in the career and personal life of distinguished composer Philip Glass.

Jerome Robbins: Something To Dance About

01:56:46 | #2201 | TV-PG

Excerpts from director/choreographer Jerome Robbins' work, including never-before-seen rehearsal footage and interviews with many of his colleagues, from both ballet and Broadway.

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story - A Living Tradition 1998-2008

56:46 | #2107 | TV-14

The 1980s usher in modern moviemaking and marketing. Box-office smashes Superman, Batman, and The Matrix become franchises, and the Harry Potter series enthralls the world. Clint Eastwood creates a succession of Oscar-winning instant classics. And studio collaborations with George Clooney and other new talents pave the way to a future as fabled as the past.

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story - Starting Over: 1970-1990

56:46 | #2106 | TV-14

What the '60s start, the '70s bring to flower. The film Woodstock signals a new era, while new talent (including Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, and Stanley Kubrick) and new management spark a return to taking chances and setting trends. Meanwhile, the tough authenticity of the '30s and '40s is re-imagined in Dog Day Afternoon, All the President's Men, Dirty Harry, and other pivotal hits.

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story - Age of Anxiety: 1950-1969

01:56:46 | #2105 | TV-14

What the Depression, wireless, and war couldn't do, "talking furniture" perhaps can: TV arrives. Warner Bros. fights back with new technology (CinemaScope, 3-D, Eastman Color) and new stars such as Doris Day and James Dean. Then a showdown between Harry and Jack Warner leads to a daring new spirit and breakthrough films like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Bonnie and Clyde.

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story - War and Peace: 1937-1949

56:46 | #2104 | TV-PG

Warner Bros. becomes home to celebrated stars Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, and Errol Flynn. As the studio and the world face the twin catastrophes of the Great Depression and World War II, Warner answers with films that reflect a deep and defiant belief in the courage of common people. But after the war, on-screen noir reflects the off-screen anxiety of blacklists and political witch hunts.

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story - A Rising Power: 1923-1937

01:56:46 | #2103 | TV-PG

Four brothers from Youngstown, Ohio officially incorporate their new motion picture company on April 4, 1923, and canine superstar Rin Tin Tin puts the Warners on the map. But the studio's style soon evolves into a unique hard-boiled, hard-times cinema ethos. Tough guys James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson dominate the new gangster genre, tough dame Barbara Stanwyck headlines racy melodramas, and even the chorus kids in the dazzling musicals all seem just one bad break away from the streets.

Marvin Gaye: What's Going On

56:46 | #2102 | TV-PG

Brilliant but ultimately self-destructive Motown star Marvin Gaye challenged and changed the face of black music, embodying its evolution from roots in gospel, jazz, and rhythm and blues to sophisticated pop and sexually and politically charged soul. This profile includes performance footage and insights from Mary Wilson, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, and Mos Def.

Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun

01:26:46 | #2009 | TV-PG

Author Zora Neale Hurston was one of the most celebrated and most controversial figures of the Harlem Renaissance. She attained success in several areas, but her words and her conclusions were often mired in contention. Along the way, she was called everything from flamboyant to outrageous and from unpredictable to bodacious.

Pete Seeger: The Power of Song

01:26:46 | #2101 | TV-PG

Largely misunderstood by his critics, including the U.S. government, for his views on peace, civil rights, and ecology, folk singer/songwriter Pete Seeger went from the top of the hit parade to the top of the blacklist-banned from commercial television for more than 17 years.

Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character

01:26:46 | #2008 | TV-PG

A tribute to the entertainer who transformed herself into a one-woman army of comedic characters despite a difficult childhood.

Good Ol' Charles Schulz

01:26:07 | #2007 | TV-G

This is a quintessentially Midwestern story of an unassuming, self-doubting man who, through expressing his unique view of the world, redefined the comic art form with Peanuts.

Rivera in America

58:21 | #306 | TV-G

Diego Rivera is widely considered the greatest Mexican painter of the 20th century. His story includes a stormy love affair with fellow painter Frida Kahlo and several controversial commissions for Henry Ford and the Rockefellers in the United States.

Orozco: Man of Fire

56:46 | #2006 | TV-PG

Often thought of as the "other" Mexican muralist (beside his more flamboyant compatriot Diego Rivera), José Orozco was a leader of the Mexican Renaissance. His bold, dynamic frescoes had a profound impact on American painters and inspired Franklin D. Roosevelt to put artists to work during the Great Depression.

Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends

01:26:46 | #2005 | TV-PG

The man Frank Sinatra called "the best singer in the business" has been in it for more than 50 years, selling 50 million records and reaping 15 Grammy Awards—including two at age 80. This profile includes complete coverage of Bennett's 2005 Monterey Jazz Festival performance and interviews at his home and painting studio.

John James Audubon: Drawn from Nature

56:00 | #2004 | TV-PG

John James Audubon, who began painting birds while living on the Kentucky frontier, killed hundreds of them in order to create The Birds of America, his monumental collection of 435 life-sized avian portraits. Today, one of the country's largest conservation organizations is named for him.

David Hockney: The Colors of Music

56:46 | #2003 | TV-PG

An English-born artist based in Los Angeles, David Hockney is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Poetic and narrative, his work progressed from pop to naturalism to photo collage—while always expressing a unique, powerful approach to light and color. Most recently, Hockney has devoted his creative energy to stage design for opera.

Les Paul: Chasing Sound

01:26:41 | #2002 | TV-PG

The legendary Les Paul—father of the solid-body electric guitar, inventor of overdubbing and multi-track recording, king of the '50s pop charts, and rock 'n' roll pioneer—still holds court every Monday night at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City.

Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built

01:55:40 | #2001 | TV-PG

Ahmet Ertegun merged the African-American music he heard in segregated clubs in Washington, DC in the 1940s with a European sensibility. Then he brought the revolutionary results back to America, where he discovered Ray Charles, introduced Eric Clapton to Aretha Franklin, signed the Rolling Stones, and founded Atlantic Records.

Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens

01:26:46 | #1909 | TV-PG

Though masterful at exposing her subjects, photographer Annie Leibovitz has kept her own life private and protected. This behind-the-scenes look at her life and work visits both her hectic studio and her idyllic farm to follow the creation of a new retrospective book.

Sketches of Frank Gehry

01:26:46 | #1908 | TV-PG

A rare architect who blurs the line between art and architecture, Frank Gehry creates dynamic structures and unpredictable interiors. Directed by award-winning producer-director Sidney Pollack, Gehry's close friend.

Andy Warhol (Part 2)

01:56:46 | #1907 | TV-M

This two-part film explores Warhol's astonishing artistic output between the late 1940s and his untimely death in 1987. Obsessed with fame and a desire to transcend his origins, Warhol uniquely grasped the realities of modern society—including the functions of celebrity and mass media—and helped redraw the lines between art and commerce.

Andy Warhol (Part 1)

01:56:46 | #1906 | TV-M

This two-part film explores Warhol's astonishing artistic output between the late 1940s and his untimely death in 1987. Obsessed with fame and a desire to transcend his origins, Warhol uniquely grasped the realities of modern society—including the functions of celebrity and mass media—and helped redraw the lines between art and commerce.

Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer

56:46 | #501 | TV-G

Creator of eight dazzling, completely distinctive comedies during a four-year period at Paramount, Preston Sturges was, along with Orson Welles, the reigning Hollywood genius of the 1940s. But Sturges' star fell as quickly as it rose—for reasons that remain perplexing.

A. Einstein: How I See the World

58:36 | #603 | TV-G

At one point, Albert Einstein was unable to find a teaching job and was stuck working at a government patent office. But he went on to become one of the greatest scientists of all time. His theories on the nature of time and space profoundly affected the human conception of the physical world and set the foundations for many of the scientific advances of the 20th century.

Edward R. Murrow: The Reporter

01:56:46 | #505 | TV-PG

"This ... is London." With those trademark words, crackling over the airwaves from a city in the midst of blitzkrieg, Edward R. Murrow began a journalistic career that has had no equal. From the opening days of World War II through his death in 1965, Murrow had an unparalleled influence on broadcast journalism. His voice was universally recognized, and a generation of radio and television newsmen emulated his style.

Walter Cronkite: Witness to History

01:26:46 | #1905 | TV-PG

As a young reporter, Walter Cronkite hit the sands at Normandy and covered the trials at Nuremburg. As an anchorman, he shed tears over JFK's assassination; took us to the moon; famously deemed Vietnam a stalemate; and steadfastly adhered to his credo of fast, accurate, and unbiased news reporting to become the most trusted figure in American public life.

Marilyn Monroe: Still Life

01:00:00 | #1904 | TV-PG

Marilyn Monroe's relationship with the camera produced an enduring body of work that still dazzles and moves us, evoking both desire and pathos. This film tells her story through the work of such photographers as Eve Arnold, Arnold Newman, Elliott Erwitt, George Zimbel, and Phil Stern along with writers Norman Mailer and Gloria Steinem.

Woody Guthrie: Ain't Got No Home

01:26:46 | #1903 | TV-PG

Virtually every American who has listened to the radio or gone to summer camp knows Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land," and his music has been recorded by everyone from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to Irish rock band U2. The complex story of America's signature folk singer/songwriter is filled with frenetic creative energy and a treasure trove of cultural history—as well as personal imperfections and profound family tragedy.

You're the Top: The Cole Porter Story

57:49 | #504

A contemporary of George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Jerome Kern, Cole Porter broke from the simple sentimentality that dominated Tin Pan Alley to create songs of urbane wit and musical complexity. He wrote hundreds of songs for dozens of Broadway shows, movie musicals, and television specials.

George Gershwin

01:26:46 | #205 | TV-G

George Gerswhin began his musical career as a song-plugger on Tin Pan Alley, but was soon writing his own pieces. He collaborated with his brother, lyricist Ira, on many successful Broadway musicals and films and won the first Pulitzer Prize for a musical. Though he died at the age of 38, he remains one of America's most beloved popular musicians.

Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul

58:22 | #305 | TV-PG

Traces the meteoric rise to fame of the world-famous Queen of Soul as well as her musical development, from the raw talent she displayed as a Detroit gospel singer to the wide stylistic and emotional ranges she came to command.

The World of Nat King Cole

56:46 | #1902 | TV-G

Known for his silky-smooth vocals, Nat King Cole was also an innovative jazz pianist and a civil rights pioneer who broke through long-standing racial barriers in the entertainment industry.

John Ford/John Wayne: The Filmmaker and the Legend

01:26:46 | #1901 | TV-PG

John Ford, considered by many to be the greatest American director, won six Academy Awards, more than any director before or since. Along the way, he also transformed John Wayne from a B-Western cowboy into a larger-than-life national icon. Their friendship and professional collaboration changed the movies—and America's image of itself.

Bob Dylan: No Direction Home (Part 2)

01:56:46 | #1810 | TV-PG

The conclusion of Martin Scorsese's profile of the poet and raspy-voiced singer/songwriter and the critical five-year period during which he burst onto the folk music scene and then turned it upside-down.

Bob Dylan: No Direction Home (Part 1)

01:56:46 | #1809 | TV-PG

In the period between his explosive arrival on the downtown New York scene in 1961 and his near-fatal motorcycle accident in Woodstock in 1966, no one changed the landscape of contemporary music more profoundly than Bob Dylan, with his raspy voice, pounding guitar, and stunning lyrics. Martin Scorsese directs a powerful, intimate examination of Dylan's life and career, illuminating those pivotal years with the help of unprecedented participation by the reclusive songwriter. The film includes an archive of never-before-seen footage from childhood, from the road, and from backstage as well as unreleased interviews conducted over the past 15 years with other seminal figures from those times—some of whom, like Allan Ginsberg, are long dead.

Ernest Hemingway: Rivers to the Sea

01:26:46 | #1808 | TV-PG

During his lifetime, Ernest Hemingway was as well known as any movie star—a dashing international figure who challenged the notion that writers exist in an ivory tower. The battles, bullfights, big game, and booze he took on in real life were channeled into stark prose that created a new form of expression, describing action and emotion in simple, authentic terms. And now, more than 40 years after his death, he is still one of the most widely read, and widely written about, American authors. Kate Burton narrates a re-examination of the author's life that is based on the works themselves—the written word and the art of Hemingway's storytelling.

Willa Cather: The Road Is All

01:25:29 | #1807 | TV-PG

In 1883, the young Willa Cather was plucked from her luxurious home in Virginia and dropped into the vast tallgrass prairies of Nebraska. The experience terrified but exhilarated her and became the force behind all of her great novels: O Pioneer, The Song of the Lark, My Antonia, Death Comes for the Archbishop, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning One of Ours. Though her life remains mysterious—she destroyed much of her personal correspondence and insisted upon specific restrictions concerning her work—she has been an inspiration to women writers and a hero to women readers, rediscovered in every decade for the past 100 years. David Strathairn narrates, and Marcia Gay Harden provides the voice of Willa Cather.

Bob Newhart: Unbuttoned

01:26:39 | #1806 | TV-PG

Shy and unassuming, the "Dean of Deadpan" exploded on the comedy scene in 1960. Over the years, Newhart's cool, calculated routines became part of Americana, from his one-way telephone conversations to the "nervous monologue" sketch. He went on to create and star in critically acclaimed sitcom staples of the 1970s and '80s, influencing generations of other comics, and is still winning applause for both dramatic and comedic guest roles.

George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey

01:56:46 | #1805 | TV-PG

Filmmaker George Stevens Jr. pays tribute to one of Hollywood's greatest directors—his father. The elder Stevens' astonishing filmography includes the classics Alice Adams, Annie Oakley, Swing Time, Gunga Din, Woman of the Year, A Place in the Sun, Shane, Giant, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The Greatest Story Ever Told as well as the only existing color films of many pivotal World War II scenes, from the D-Day landing at Normandy to the liberation of Dachau. Stevens directed everyone from Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy to Cary Grant, Alan Ladd, Elizabeth Taylor, and Warren Beatty and was equally adept at capturing the liberation of Paris and the intricate footwork of Fred Astaire.

Satchmo: The Life of Louis Armstrong

01:26:46 | #404 | TV-PG

In 1918, a self-taught teenage trumpet player and singer burst onto the scene when he replaced the legendary King Oliver in Kid Ory's band. Over the next six decades, Louis Armstrong would turn the world of music on its ear and become one of the world's most recognized and best-loved entertainers. He recorded albums in every conceivable genre, toured the globe, and influenced generations of fellow musicians. He was also an outspoken symbol of the civil rights movement and a goodwill ambassador for jazz around the world. This award-winning film tracks Armstrong's life and career through recordings, performance footage, rare home movies, and interviews with friends and colleagues—including Wynton Marsalis, Tony Bennett, Dave Brubeck, Lester Bowie, Dexter Gordon, and Milt Hinton.

Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice

01:26:46 | #1804 | TV-PG

Bernice Johnson Reagon sang as a child in her father's rural Baptist church, studied Italian aria and German lieder in college, was an original member of the SNCC Freedom Singers in the 1960s, and founded Sweet Honey in the Rock in the 1970s. Ever since then, this Grammy Award-winning ensemble of six African-American women has been raising its powerful voice against injustice. Faithful to a rich cultural history spanning slavery, the foundations of the black church, and the civil rights movement, the group imparts the essence of the African musical legacy in America through storytelling; humor; and stirring a cappella performances of spirituals, hymns and gospel, blues, jazz, rap, and traditional West African songs.

Cary Grant: A Class Apart

01:26:46 | #1803 | TV-PG

Born 100 years ago into dismal circumstances in Bristol, England, Cary Grant got his start (as Archie Leach) touring in vaudeville shows, eventually arriving in New York in 1920. He walked on stilts at Coney Island and sold neckties on midtown street corners before landing small parts in Hollywood. He hit it big in 1933 as Mae West's leading man in She Done Him Wrong, then invented what would become his classy on-screen persona in Sylvia Scarlett. He worked with such directors as George Cukor, Alfred Hitchcock, and Howard Hawks; starred in a long line of classic comedies and suspense films; played opposite every top Hollywood female star of several decades; and remains one of the most adored actors in film history—one whose best role may have been playing himself.

Ray Charles: The Genius of Soul

56:46 | #608 | TV-PG

Traces Ray Charles' trajectory from impoverished blind child to ground-breaking and beloved singer, pianist, and composer. This look at Charles' musical influences and the creation of his distinctive style covers both his dark side, including a 15-year heroin addiction and his infamous pursuit of women, and his delightful side—playing chess with Willie Nelson, joking onstage with Johnny Carson, and cutting up backstage with lifelong friend Quincy Jones.

James Dean: Sense Memories

56:46 | #1802 | TV-PG

James Dean's celluloid legacy consists of only three films: East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause, and Giant. But each was crafted by a seminal director, and the brooding, mesmerizing presence of their young star turned each one into a classic. Though five decades have passed since his death in a car accident, Dean remains a cinema icon of mythic dimensions. Synonymous with adolescent angst, he also redefined the American male ideal, making vulnerability sexy and alienation desirable. And the characters he embodied so magnetically—misfits, consummate outsiders, characters in search of identity and meaning—echoed the themes of loss and abandonment in his own life.

Julia Child: American Masters

56:46 | #1801 | TV-G

The chef's life and legacy are fondly remembered and celebrated. Child introduced French cuisine to American home cooks through her television series The French Chef in 1963.

Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues

56:46 | #1706 | TV-PG

Hank Williams was a recording artist for just six years and a star for just four. Yet his hits—from "Your Cheatin' Heart" to "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" to "Hey Good Lookin'"—define country music. Riveting and charismatic some nights, a broken-down drunk on others, he has long been an enigma as well as an icon. Rare performance tapes; home movies; and interviews with family members, other musicians, and musicologists attempt to penetrate the myth that has grown up around, and obscured, the real Hank Williams.

Henry Luce and Time-Life's America: A Vision of Empire

01:26:46 | #1705 | TV-PG

Henry Luce co-founded Time Inc. in 1923 and presided over the company for more than 45 years, making an indelible mark on publishing in the process. Photographs and news footage from the company's unparalleled archives, readings from ground-breaking essays, and firsthand accounts from those who knew Luce best provide insight into his life, work, and influence on America.

Judy Garland: By Myself

01:56:46 | #1704 | TV-PG

Recordings made by Judy Garland as she prepared to write her autobiography-a book that was never published-reveal how the singer and actress saw herself and her career. Extensive material from A Star Is Born, including never-before-seen rehearsal footage, rare outtakes, and alternate takes of Garland's numerous performances, provides further insight.

James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket

01:26:46 | #309 | TV-PG

An in-depth portrait of James Baldwin, one of the great American authors of the 20th century. The program features interviews with family members, friends, and notable colleagues such as Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, William Styron, Amiri Baraka, Richard Avedon, and Bobby Short.

Balanchine

01:56:46 | #1703 | TV-G

Having created more than 450 works during his lifetime, George Balanchine is regarded as the "father of American ballet." This 1984 biography, produced shortly after his death, celebrates the choreographer's career and pays tribute to the themes of his ballets through an unparalleled collection of archival audio and video footage.

James Brown: Soul Survivor

01:26:46 | #1702 | TV-G

While the civil rights movement was reshaping American society, "Godfather of Soul" James Brown was ushering in a funky new era in American popular music. Pulsating performance footage and interviews with Brown, his closest friends, fellow performers, and celebrities—including Little Richard, Al Sharpton, Dan Aykroyd, and Chuck D—recall Brown's upbringing in poverty, his call for "black power," his controversial lifestyle, his temporary but devastating fall from the spotlight in the 1970s, and his powerful impact on two generations of musicians.

Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan and the Blacklist: None Without Sin

01:56:47 | #1701 | TV-PG

Elia Kazan's impressive directorial body of work includes On the Waterfront, East of Eden, and A Streetcar Named Desire. But in 1952, when he "named names" before the House Un-American Activities Committee, he destroyed careers, lives, and relationships—including his friendship with playwright Arthur Miller, author of All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and The Crucible. The story of the rupture of their personal and artistic relationship is also an examination of one of the darkest times in America's cultural history.

The Education of Gore Vidal

01:26:46 | #1608 | TV-PG

One of the most eclectic intellectuals in literature today, Vidal writes cautionary tales about politics, sex, art, and philosophy. A contrarian, a wise man, and a realist, he's also wickedly funny. This portrait includes behind-the-scenes looks at the 40th-anniversary revival of The Best Man on Broadway and the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles; archival footage; movie clips; interviews with author George Plimpton, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., New York Review of Books editor and publisher Barbara Epstein, and literary critics Harold Bloom and Adam Goodheart; and celebrity readings from Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Eli Wallach, and Anne Jackson.

Robert Capa: In Love and War

01:26:46 | #1607 | TV-PG

The first feature-length biography of the seemingly fearless photojournalist explores both his near-mythic life and the historical importance of his documentation of 20th-century wars.

Muddy Waters: Can't Be Satisfied

56:46 | #1606 | TV-PG

A rural Mississippi field hand and bootlegger, Waters literally electrified the blues sound, took it to Chicago, and paved the path for rock 'n' roll.

Joni Mitchell: A Woman of Heart and Mind

01:26:46 | #1605 | TV-PG

Uncompromising and iconoclastic, Mitchell has confounded expectations at every turn. Wildly innovative, her music evolved from deeply personal folk into pop, jazz, and avant-garde—prophetic of the multi-cultural experimentation of the '80s and '90s.

Alice Waters and Her Delicious Revolution

56:46 | #1604 | TV-G

Alice Waters became a major force behind the way Americans eat and think about food, launching the explosion of local farmers' markets and the edible schoolyard.

Juilliard

01:56:46 | #1603

In its 95-year history, the Juilliard School has set the international standard for education in the performing arts, from music to opera and dance to drama. This film weaves five stories of present students with the past glories and hardships of distinguished faculty members and celebrated alumni to illuminate the price often exacted for being the best.

Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces

00:00 | #1602

Interviews and footage from classic films reveal Chaney the actor, director, screenwriter, and master of horror—renowned for the lengths to which he would go to portray his characters.

Willie Nelson: Still Is Still Moving

01:26:30 | #1601 | TV-PG

The first bare-all look at this singer, songwriter, and quintessential American folk hero, captured through concert footage, conversation, and casual eavesdropping as well as interviews with family, friends, band members, roadies, fans, and other musicians and performers.

Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer

01:26:46 | #1508 | TV-G

Responsible for creating a new approach to film musicals as performer, choreographer, and director, Gene Kelly was equally determined to incorporate a distinctly athletic, American style into dance. Kelly went far beyond the grinning, beloved entertainer the world has come to know: His charisma and creativity were matched by a volatile temper, driven perfectionism, and a need for attention.

Ralph Ellison: An American Journey

01:26:46 | #1507 | TV-PG

Explores the life and work of influential author Ralph Ellison, whose novel Invisible Man was a landmark in African-American literature and won him a lifetime of awards and honors. The program features a tribute from Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison; interviews with critic Stanley Crouch, author Shelby Steele, author and political activist Amiri Baraka, and Harvard University professor Cornel West; rare archival footage; and never-before-seen photos from Ellison's family albums.

Merce Cunningham: A Lifetime of Dance

00:00 | #1506 | TV-G

Profiles one of the great 20th-century choreographers, acclaimed for his abstraction, innovation, and imagination. Cunningham opened his famous dance studio in 1953 and went on to choreograph more than 150 pieces throughout his career. Now 80 years old, he is still working—proving that he really is the dance world's fountain of youth.

Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records

01:56:46 | #1505 | TV-PG

Sam Phillips began a revolution and created an amazing personal legacy when he founded Sun Records—the place where Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and many others got their starts in rock 'n' roll.

Quincy Jones: In the Pocket

01:26:46 | #1504 | TV-PG

As a master inventor of musical hybrids, Jones has shuffled pop, soul, hip-hop, jazz, classical, African, and Brazilian music into dazzling fusions, traversing virtually every medium—records, live performance, movies, and television.

Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest Sounds

01:56:46 | #1503 | TV-G

Explores the music of the celebrated Broadway and film composer, best known for his collaborations with Oscar Hammerstein II and Lorenz Hart, and the stories behind it.

F. Scott Fitzgerald: Winter Dreams

01:26:46 | #1502 | TV-PG

Fitzgerald's complicated life is illuminated through exclusive interviews with people who knew the author and original re-creations of scenes from his novels.

Goldwyn

01:56:46 | #1501 | TV-PG

In 1895, Samuel Goldwyn crossed Europe on foot in pursuit of his dream of America. After a series of explosive partnerships with the volatile Hollywood studios, he emerged as the industry's "great independent." Today his name is synonymous with the American movie, from its beginnings through its Golden Age. Clips from dozens of movies, rare footage and photography, and first-person interviews explore how he developed the "Goldwyn touch" by hiring accomplished writers and how he launched such actors as Gary Cooper, David Niven, Barbara Stanwyck, Laurence Olivier, and Danny Kaye. Narrated by Dustin Hoffman.

Lorraine Hansberry

At a time when women, people of color, and homosexuals were confined to the margins of society, Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965), best known for A Raisin in the Sun, boldly challenged U.S. society to live up to its ideals. The film tells the dramatic story of the young, gifted and black woman who chose words to fight injustice on stage and off.

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