Films: Biographies

Browse the entire American Experience series featuring over 250 films. Watch full films online, download teacher’s guides, go behind the scenes, and learn more about your favorite films.


1964

1964 : 2 hrs

America came apart in 1964 and has since been reborn.


The Abolitionists

The Abolitionists : 3 hrs

How five abolitionist allies turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation.


A House Divided

Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided : 6 hrs

The six-part story of a frontiersman farmer and a wealthy Confederate slave-owner's daughter.


American Experience

Adam Clayton Powell : 1 hr

A civil rights leader in Harlem before entering politics, Powell was one of the most charismatic black leaders of the 20th century.


Alexander Hamilton

The founding father laid the groundwork for the nation's modern economy, including the banking system and Wall Street.


Alone on the Ice

In 1934, American polar explorer Richard Byrd became the first to experience winter in Antarctica's interior.


Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart : 1 hr

The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, Earhart disappeared in 1937 during an attempt to circumnavigate the world by airplane.


the amish

The Amish : 2 hrs

Their intense faith and strict adherence to 300-year-old traditions have by turn captivated and repelled, awed and irritated, inspired and confused America.


Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley : 1 hr

As the star attraction of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Annie Oakley thrilled audiences around the world with her shooting feats. Part of the Wild West collection.


Ansel Adams

The life of the legendary photographer, known best for his black and white images of the wilderness of the American West.


Around the World in 72 Days

Intrepid journalist Nelly Bly went on a journey around the world breaking the record of Julius Verne's fictional character.


American Experience

Ballad of a Mountain Man : 1 hr

Bascom Lamar Lunsford and his campaign to preserve mountain music and dance.


American Experience

Barnum's Big Top : 1 hr

P.T. Barnum -- huckster, con man, promoter, entertainer and founder of "The Greatest Show on Earth".


Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid : 1 hr

The boy behind the myth, who in just a few short years transformed himself from a skinny orphan to the most feared man in the West and an enduring icon. Part of The Wild West collection.


The Boy in the Bubble

The unusual life of David Vetter, who lived permanently inside a germ-free environment due to severe combined immunodeficiency.


A Brilliant Madness

Mathematician and paranoid schizophrenic John Nash's work became a foundation of modern economic theory.


Buffalo Bill Cody

Buffalo Bill : 1 hr

William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's legendary exploits helped create the myth of the American West that still endures today.


Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid : 1 hr

A biography of the last outlaws of the American Wild West


The Carter Family: Will the Circle Be Unbroken

The influential musical pioneers from Appalachia whose recordings lifted spirits during the Great Depression.


Citizen King

An African American minister whose dream of ending racism galvanized millions of Americans in the civil rights movement.


clinton

Clinton : 4 hrs

A president who rose from a broken childhood to become one of the most successful politicians in modern American history, and one of the most complex and conflicted characters to ever stride across the public stage.


George Custer

Custer's Last Stand : 2 hrs

The Last Stand, the final act of General George Custer's larger-than-life career, played out on a grand stage with a spellbound public engrossed in the drama. Part of the Wild West collection.


American Experience

Daley, the Last Boss : 2 hrs

For 21 years, Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley ruled the city, building the Sears Tower and O'Hare Airport.


Daughter from Danang

The story of a Vietnamese mother, the Amerasian daughter she sent away for adoption, and their reunion 22 years after the Vietnam War.


Dolley Madison

Dolley Madison : 90 mins

America's first First Lady defined the role of the President's wife and in the process changed the face of the American presidency.


American Experience

Duke Ellington - Reminiscing in Tempo : 2 hrs

The African American jazz composer and bandleader performed regularly at Harlem's Cotton Club, leaving a legacy in music.


Edison's Miracle of Light

"The Wizard of Menlo Park," Inventor Thomas Edison, built the first practical light bulb and revolutionized the world.


Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower was one of America's least understood presidents. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.


eleanor roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt supported the President's New Deal and advocated for civil rights, becoming one of the 20th century's most influential women.


Emma Goldman

The story of a Russian immigrant and anarchist who is said to have inspired the assassination of President William McKinley.





Producer Picks

Triangle Fire

Triangle Fire : 1 hr

Triangle Fire is one of three AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentaries to be honored with a win at the 71st Annual Peabody Awards.


Relevant Now

freedom summer

Freedom Summer : 2 hrs

2014 is the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer


jfk

JFK : 4 hrs

The Fall of 2013 will mark the 50th Anniversary of JFK's assassination. No president since Kennedy has earned higher approval ratings.