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.

Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life

A star in baseball's golden age, Joe DiMaggio's celebrity status and tumultuous marriage to Marilyn Monroe brought him pain.

John Brown's Holy War

Murderer, martyr, hero - John Brown's violent crusade against slavery would divide the nation and spark the Civil War.

john and abigail adams

John and Abigail Adams

From letters of the second U.S. president, John Adams, and his wife, Abigail, this film explores their tumultuous times.

Portrait of the Kennedy family

The Kennedys : 3 hrs

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


With data compiled from tens of thousands of sex questionnaires, Alfred Kinsey changed America's views about sex with the Kinsey Reports.

Kit Carson

Kit Carson : 90 mins

The ultimate frontiersman, Carson inspired popular novels before being associated with the "Long Walk" of the Navajo people.

American Experience

Knute Rockne and His Fighting Irish : 1 hr

Football coach Knute Rockne of Notre Dame was a pivotal figure in the sudden rise of sports to a position of power in American culture.

Lyndon B. Johnson

LBJ : 4 hrs

Lyndon Johnson pushed progressive programs before the Vietnam War eroded his support. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.


The first man to fly across the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh was unprepared for the attention, particularly after his son was kidnapped.

Lost in the Grand Canyon

John Wesley Powell's epic journey into the unknown Grand Canyon was filled with adventure as his team mapped the Colorado River for the first time.


General Douglas MacArthur led American troops in World Wars I and II before being fired by President Harry Truman during the Korean War.

Malcolm X - Make It Plain

Malcolm X, a man who both terrified and inspired, expressed the anger and struggle of black people for freedom in the 1960s.

The Man Behind Hitler

Joseph Goebbels, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany, was the mastermind behind Adolf Hitler's success.

Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind

Marcus Garvey, a black nationalist leader from Jamaica, had great successes and failures before being jailed and deported from the US in 1927.

Mary Pickford

Silent film actress Mary Pickford played a pivotal role in bringing Hollywood into the center of the motion picture industry.

A Midwife's Tale

Martha Ballard was a midwife and mother in Maine following the American Revolution.

Minik, the Lost Eskimo

In 1897, Arctic explorer Robert Peary caused a sensation when he returned from Greenland with five Eskimos.

 The Mormons

The Mormons : 2 hrs

From Joseph Smith's discovery of gold tablets to persecution, migration, and settlement in Utah, the film explores the history of the most American of religions.

Mr. Miami Beach

Creating Miami Beach from a narrow spit of Florida swampland, Carl Fisher made a fortune until a devastating hurricane and the stock market crash of 1929 wiped him out.

American Experience

Mr. Sears' Catalogue : 1 hr

Richard Sears and Alva Curtis Roebuck brought consumer goods to the hands of every American with their Sears and Roebuck catalogue.

Richard Nixon


Richard Nixon faced impeachment but also ended the Vietnam War. Part of the award-winning Presidents collection.

Nixon's China Game

President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger initiated a secret diplomatic breakthrough with Mao Tse-tung that shocked and changed the world.

American Experience

One Woman, One Vote : 2 hrs

The women's suffrage movement won the right to vote when the 19th Amendment passed in 1920.

Oswald's Ghost

A look at JFK's assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald and the subsequent investigations that lead to a widespread loss of trust in government institutions.

Partners of the Heart

At the height of segregation, an unlikely alliance between a black medical genius and a white surgeon led to a pioneering medical breakthrough.

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.

Public Enemy #1

Legendary bank robber John Dillinger garnered the admiration of many struggling Americans, but FBI took him down with a message: crime doesn't pay.


The remarkable and tragic life of the third Kennedy son, Robert F. Kennedy.

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.

The Richest Man in the World: Andrew Carnegie

A look at the poor Scottish emigrant boy who built a fortune in telegraphy, railroads and steel, and then began systematically to give it all away.

Producer Picks

Stonewall Uprising

Stonewall Uprising : 90 mins

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


JFK : 4 hrs

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

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.

The Abolitionists

The Abolitionists : 3 hrs

January 1, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.