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.

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie & Clyde : 1 hr

The true story behind the most romanticized, infamous outlaw couple in U.S. history and their gang.

The Pilgrims

The Pilgrims : 2 hrs

The converging forces, circumstances, personalities and events that propelled a group of English men and women west across the Atlantic in 1620.

american comandante

American Comandante : 1 hr

American comandante William Morgan went to Cuba to help Fidel Castro return the country to a democracy. Instead, four years later, he was executed.

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.


Edison : 2 hrs

Accounting for America's most famous inventor and his role in America's future.


Ripley: Believe It or Not : 1 hr

Meet the Wizard of Odd. Robert Ripley was a new media star and the most popular man in America.

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

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 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.


1964 : 2 hrs

America came apart in 1964 and has since been reborn.


JFK : 4 hrs

Forever enshrined in myth by an assassin's bullet, Kennedy's presidency long defied objective appraisal. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.

henry ford

Henry Ford : 2 hrs

The story of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century.

The Rockefellers

The Rockefellers : 2 hrs

Head of the most powerful family in America, billionaire John D. Rockefeller's vast philanthropy changed his family's reputation.

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.

Jesse James

Jesse James : 1 hr

America's Robin Hood who robbed not only the rich but the poor and defenseless as well, always saving the treasure for himself. Part of the Wild West collection.

silicon valley

Silicon Valley : 90 mins

Robert Noyce's invention of the microchip launched the world into the Information Age.

jesse owens

Jesse Owens : 1 hr

His stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world even as it infuriated the Nazis. Premiering May 1.


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.

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp : 1 hr

A central figure in the narrative of how the west was won, Wyatt Earp and his story became an American legend. Part of the Wild West collection.

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.


Seabiscuit : 1 hr

Thoroughbred racehorse Seabiscuit was the long shot that captured America's heart during the Depression.

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.

The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer

The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer : 2 hrs

A brilliant scientist, Oppenheimer was tasked with the development of the atomic bomb during World War II.

Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee : 90 mins

Robert E. Lee, the leading Confederate general of the American Civil War, remains a source of fascination and, for some, veneration.

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.

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter : 2 hrs

A peanut farmer who rose to become America's 39th president. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.

Ronald Reagan

Reagan : 270 mins

The life of the president who saw himself as the heroic defender of the "shining city on a hill." Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.

Ulysses S. Grant

U.S. Grant: Warrior : 90 mins

A revealing portrait of one of America's most paradoxical leaders.

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.

Portrait of the Kennedy family

The Kennedys : 3 hrs

A saga of ambition, wealth, family loyalty and personal tragedy.

Producer Picks


JFK : 4 hrs

The latest addition to our Peabody Award-winning Presidents collection, JFK is a four-hour biopic of our 35th president.

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


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.

death and the civil war

Death and the Civil War : 2 hrs

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War