Over time she became an American legend”the loud, brassy, cocksure shooter celebrated in the musical œAnnie Get Your Gun.? But that legend had little to do with the real Annie Oakley. Although famous as a Western sharpshooter, Oakley lived her entire life east of the Mississippi. A champion in a man's sport, she forever changed ideas about the abilities of women, yet she opposed female suffrage. Her fame and fortune came from her skill with guns, yet she was a Quaker. This probing AMERICAN EXPERIENCE production examines the dramatic life of a uniquely American icon whose complex character manifested many of the paradoxes of the nation.
Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow were the most famous criminal couple in US history. During the height of the Great Depression, their gang evolved from petty thieves to nationally known bank robbers and murderers, joining the ranks of other Depression-era gangsters like John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson: so-called ˜public enemies who captured the imagination of Americans laid low by the Depression. Newsreels in movie theatres across the country flashed images of a pixyish Bonnie, handgun on her hip, and handsome Clyde, with his custom suits and Browning automatic rifles, turning them into the underworlds dark prince and princess of crime. In reality, as this film reveals, Bonnie and Clyde grew up in the slums of West Dallas and had little in common with their glamorous media images. Their two-year crime spree ended when the couple was betrayed by a friend and shot dead at a police roadblock in Louisiana on 23 May 1934.
The film is packed with action, hilarious comedy and death-defying stunts, including many famously performed by Keaton on board a moving train. Steamboat Bill Jr features the iconic scene of a house falling down around Keaton as a fortunately placed window passes over him, leaving him standing, untouched and unhurt. The shot was pulled off with no special effects or camera trickery, and it is said that had Buster been standing just a few inches off his mark, he would have been killed! Bringing the collection to a close is College, one of Keatons most cherished silent comedies, showcasing the stars peerless comic timing as well as his natural athleticism. It is a film of startling detail which demonstrates how the world of Buster Keaton never fails to surprise and delight.
In the 1890s, their thrilling exploits”robbing western banks and trains and then seemingly vanishing into thin air”became front page news and the basis of rumour and myth. But who were Robert Leroy Parker and Harry Alonzo Longabaugh? What really happened after they formed the Wild Bunch gang? And how did they manage to pull off some of the most spectacular holdups in western history while eluding the Pinkertons, the nations largest and most feared private detective force? Separating fact from fiction, the latest installment of the popular AMERICAN EXPERIENCE series The Wild West explores the last pair of outlaws to flee on horseback into the setting sun of a vanishing West.
Born on the threshold of Americas burgeoning industrial empire, Edisons curiosity led him to its cutting edge. With just three months of formal schooling, he took on one seemingly impossible technical challenge after another, and through intuition, persistence and a unique team approach to innovation, invariably solved it. Driven and intensely competitive, Edison was often neglectful in his private life and could be ruthless in business. Challenged by competition in the industry hed founded, Edison launched an ugly propaganda campaign against his rivals, and used his credibility as an electrical expert to help ensure that high-voltage electrocution became a form of capital punishment. Edison explores the complex alchemy that accounts for the enduring celebrity of Americas most famous inventor, offering new perspectives on the man and his milieu, and illuminating not only the true nature of invention, but its role in turn-of-the-century Americas rush into the future.
From the Krays to the Great Train Robbery, hear the truth about London s gangland from the man who s outlasted them all. Discover the truth about the man behind the legend that is Mad Frankie Fraser. Notorious for his involvement in Britain s gangland culture throughout the 20th century, he s the former criminal who s managed to outlast them all. Following the Frankie Fraser story is akin to re-tracing the history of gangland London. He s been part of the most famous criminal gangs of the past 100 years, while maintaining his South London roots and deep devotion to his family. In this revealing documentary we forget the celebrity myth and find out who this man really is. We strip away the well-rehearsed storytelling patter and explore his life from his wayward childhood in the 30s, through the smash and grab war years, his time spent with the powerful Soho gangster Billy Hill, to his work with the Richardson Gang... and that s not to mention the Krays, the Great Train Robbers and the numerous prison riots over the years. How did he become such an icon of criminality? Exclusive interviews with Frankie s associates and peers combine with period reconstruction and archive images, alongside fascinating insight from the man himself, to tell the story of one of the last old school gangsters
When George H.W. Bush left the Oval office in 1992, rejected after one tumultuous presidential term, his thirty year career in public service came to an abrupt and unexpected end. Despite soaring approval ratings following military victory in the Persian Gulf, his years as president after the war were marked by almost unrelieved decline. A sluggish economy and an earlier decision to raise taxes, despite an explicit campaign oath, led to his defeat. By the end of his term many observers dismissed him as an artifact of an irrelevant Cold War past. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE presents the first in-depth assessment of the forty first president of the United States, drawing upon new scholarship and unparalleled access to figures in Bushs private and public life. This film reveals Bush as a pivotal player during a critical moment in American and world history and in a powerful political dynasty. Bush's personal letters, and interviews with his closest advisors and prominent critics inform the film, which features interviews with First Lady Barbara Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Mikhail Gorbachev and more.
Grace Kelly was one of Hollywood's greatest stars and then in the 1950s she married Prince Rainieri of Monaco. 'Secret Lives' looks at her glittering career and how she turned to a strange religious sect, The Order of the Solar Temple, when being the First Lady of Monaco was not enough.
Looking closely at her tragic end, the film shows there are many questions about her death which remain unanswered, even 30 years after her the incident.
In this special programme Guy Martin, best known as the daredevil petrol-head with a passion for speed and death defying adventures, dedicates a rare week off work to a deeply personal crusade: to journey to the Baltics and uncover the truth about his late Latvian grandfather, Walter Kidals. The exact details of Walter's early life have always been unclear and so Guy decides to find out what really happened to him - uncovering an extraordinary World War II tale involving conscription into the German army. Driving a 30 year old Lada Riva around the Latvian countryside, Guy discovers the site of his grandfather's old home and school, witnesses a full scale battle re-enactment and visits the war museum that was once a gunpowder factory. Guy's trip finishes with an emotional reunion with his long lost Latvian cousins. The journey won't just help paint a picture about his granddad's life, but it will also provide some answers about the origins of Guy's own unique personality.
Directed by the legendary Preston Sturges and with the notable eccentric Howard Hughes as producer, The Sin of Harold Diddlebock is a sequel to Lloyds hit comedy The Freshman “ albeit one made several decades afterwards. Lloyd plays a down-on-his-luck teetotaller, who loses his job and ends up in a bar where he takes his first taste of alcohol. The potent cocktail, known as the ˜Diddlebock, makes him lose his inhibitions and, when he wakes the following day, he finds that hes somehow bought a circus! The Milky Way, one of Lloyds most successful ˜talkies, sees our hero play a timid milkman who accidentally becomes embroiled in a fight with a middleweight boxing champion, whom he inadvertently knocks out! A nefarious boxing promoter spies an opportunity to use Lloyd as a patsy in a series of fixed fights, but there just might be a surprise in store¦
At home, balancing work and sobriety, she has never been happier. But now the expenses of her birds has stretched Heidi to her limits and she desperately needs her fledgling businesses to take off. With the grand opening of her doggie day-care centre in Las Vegas, can Heidi handle the stress? Or will she succumb to her former demons?
But despite his success, Ford remained restless and driven, always seeking to control what lay just beyond his grasp. The creator of an urban, industrial age, Ford longed for the simpler era he had helped destroy. A hero to many ordinary Americans, he battled his workers and bullied those who looked up to him “ including, most tragically, his only son. An absorbing life story, Henry Ford offers an incisive look at the birth of the American auto industry, and a thought-provoking reminder of how Fords automobile forever changed the way Americans worked, where they lived and their ideas of individuality, freedom and possibility.
As her Majesty the Queen celebrates her 90th birthday, this unique four-disc series will take you on amazing journey through a remarkable life and an extraordinary reign.
Known as œthe Bronx Bull?, LaMotta took to the ring professionally in 1941, and archive footage on this thrilling DVD showcases many of the belligerent fighters proudest moments. Watch in wonder as he snatches the World Middleweight Crown away from Marcel Cerdan in June 1949 with a 10th-round knockout through the ropes, and witness his title defence against Laurent Dauthuille in September 1950. See LaMotta battling deaf-mute Eugene œSilent? Hairston in March 1952, a year after surrendering his champion status to Sugar Ray Robinson in the most notorious of the duos 6 encounters “ a 13-round spectacular that has been dubbed œThe Saint Valentines Day Massacre?. Married six times and one of the best takers of a punch in the business œThe Raging Bull? can also be seen slugging it out with Bostons Norman Hayes in Detroit in April 1952 and defeating œIrish? Bob Murphy in June 1952. This action-packed DVD of LaMottas great fights also includes the volatile icons final contest, when he was defeated narrowly on points by Billy Kilgore in Miami in April 1954.
Jimmy Carter traces the ascent of an ambitious country boy from a peanut farm in Plains, Georgia, to the Oval Office, it examines the failings of Carters political leadership in the context of the turbulent 1970s and explores the role religion played in his career. Jimmy Carter ran for president as an outsider. He rode into power on the post Watergate disaffection with Washington politics. But his inexperience resulted in an ineffectual and fractured administration. Inflation, recession, and a humbling hostage crisis blew his presidency dramatically off course. The crowning achievement of his one term in office, the Camp David Accords, which established a framework for peace in the Middle East, was the inspiration for his life after the White House. In the years since, Carter has recast himself as a giant of moral leadership. The film features interviews with many close to the Carter administration, including his wife Rosalynn, son Chip, Press Secretary Jody Powell and Vice President Walter Mondale.
It is the very first salvo in one womans war against the creeping scourge of slobbism that she believes has infected this country. This silent virus “ our expert believes “ undermined the confidence and ability of many women to make the most of themselves, to look “ and therefore feel “ fabulous.
Since her death, Joan has become an icon for almost everyone “ the left and the right, Catholics and Protestants, traditionalists and feminists. But where in all of this is the real Joan “ the experiences of a teenage peasant girl who achieved the seemingly impossible? Through an astonishing manuscript, we can hear Joans own words at her trial, and as Helen unpicks Joans story and places her back in the world that she inhabited, the real, human Joan emerges.
With fascinating interviews of Hal Holbrook, Arthur Miller, William Styron and many others, the story is told primarily through the words of Twain himself, so viewers of all ages can be personally introduced to this compelling yet contradictory genius, who said with some justification, œI am not an American, I am the American.?
From terrorist to peacemaker, prisoner to president, Nelson Mandela dedicated his life to the struggle against South Africa's system of apartheid.
Touted by the ruling National Party as a policy of seperate development, apartheid was the most pervasive form of racism ever practiced and fueled Mandela's lifelong quest for justice.
In a series of rare and candid interviews we hear from the people who know him best. We hear from Christo Brand, who was given the job of guarding Mandela on Robben Island and how their deep friendship eventually tore apart Brand's long held racist beliefs.
Shocking too is the transformation of Adrian Vlok, apartheid's most feared Minister of law and order, who for years was charged with controlling black protesters with deadly force.
Former Apartheid President De Klerk speaks candidly about the tremendous influence Mandela had on him personally and Mandela's daughter reveals what it was like to share her father with a nation.
Imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island Mandela had every right to hate . Instead he taught the world how to forgive.
The Story of Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela is a shining example of what one man can do to change the world. Born into an oppressive regime, he fought to overcome prejudice and hate to unify a nation. His dedication resulted in the dismantling of the apartheid regime, a Nobel Peace Prize and, ultimately, an historic role as the first black President of South Africa.
For decades South Africa had been a stricken country, ravaged by racism and fractured by apartheid. Resentment festered amongst her people and the nation went into international isolation. The healing of the nation was never going to be easy, and even today the process is delicate and continuing. Nelson Mandela initiated the repair, injecting the country with a spirit of freedom, tolerance and justice. He was the man who gave hope to his nation, and to the world.
Mandela s path was a long and lonely one but he was a brave, patient man, who knew that the darkness that had enveloped his country must eventually pass and a new dawn would come. He will always stand as an inspirational figure to all the man who showed the world the true value of forgiveness.
He opened the door for other comedians to inject social commentary and other once verboten topics into their humour. From his troubled upbringing in the slums of Peoria, Illinois to his brave battle against multiple sclerosis, examine the roller-coaster life and times of this comedic trailblazer. Though he was one of the most successful and influential entertainers of his generation, Pryor also wrestled with drug addiction and the lingering effects of being raised in a brothel by abusive parents. Featuring interviews with close personal friends and comedians he influenced, including Tracy Morgan and George Lopez, this film defines Richard Pryors lasting impact on comedy and culture “ often in his own words “ showing us why he is an American icon.
Nearly 50 years later Channel Five and C&I Network will reveal for the first time audio recordings of Biggs made by an investigative journalist who thought he had the scoop of the century. Using the 1974 audio tapes recorded by Colin Mackenzie with reconstruction scenes and new interviews with those who were there at the time, the film will tell the remarkable story of Ronnie Biggs life. We ll also examine the sequence of chance encounters that led a young journalist to land the scoop of the decade and the betrayals that would change the lives of both the journalist and Biggs himself forever. The tapes have been missing for decades, but now Ronnie Biggs: The Great Train Robber sheds new light on the crime that still echoes around the walls of Fleet Street and Scotland Yard.
This DVD is a one hour film based on that book. Gerald is still living in Australia. The two brothers were close all their lives. In this film Gerald remembers their childhood, how their mother Edith nurtured Ted's talents as a poet and how the countryside influenced him. The film looks also at Hughes' schooldays. Ted Hughes - Dream Time follows Ted Hughes' progress from childhood to maturity to his untimely all too early death. Many members of Ted Hughes' family have contributed to the film as well as Gerald. It includes contributions from Carol Hughes, Frieda Hughes, Vicky Watling, Hughes' first cousin and Steve Ely who has made a study of Hughes' childhood. David Cohen who produced Ted Hughes - Dream Time was nominated for the BAFTAs for his film on Soham When Holly Went Missing.