Films: Popular Culture

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.


American Experience

French Dance Tonight : 1 hr

French settlers in Louisiana merged with African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans and others to create Cajun and Zydeco musical traditions.


American Experience

G-Men - The Rise of J. Edgar Hoover : 1 hr

Of all the alphabet agencies of the New Deal, none captured the public's imagination like J. Edgar Hoover's FBI.


God in America

God in America : 6 hrs

For the first time on television, God in America will explore the historical role of religion in the public life of the United States.


grand central

Grand Central : 1 hr

A marvel of engineering, architecture, and vision, the story of the Beaux Arts structure on 42nd street that forever changed midtown Manhattan.


Great Famine

The Great Famine : 1 hr

The American effort to relieve starvation in Soviet Russia in 1921 during the worst natural disaster in Europe in 500 years.


The Greely Expedition

The Greely Expedition : 1 hr

A daunting story of shipwreck, starvation, mutiny and cannibalism amongst a group left abandoned in the high Arctic.


Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst

The bizarre saga of the Symbionese Liberation Army and Patty Hearst's kidnapping and conversion to her captors' cause.


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.


Houdini

The world famous escape artist could escape from everything - except his own mortality.


American Experience

If You Knew Sousa : 90 mins

John Philip Sousa was America's favorite bandmaster.


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.


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.


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.


Peoples Temple leader Jim Jones

Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple : 90 mins

In 1978 over 900 people led by Rev. Jim Jones died in the largest mass murder-suicide in history, at Jonestown, Guyana.


American Experience

Journey to America : 1 hr

Between 1890 and 1920, 12 million people emigrated from Europe arriving in New York Harbor and Ellis Island.


Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory

In the decade after the Civil War, former slaves sing their way into a nation's heart with spirituals, the religious anthems of slavery.


Kinsey

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


Las Vegas: An Unconventional History

Originally settled as a mail stop, Las Vegas changed from an Old West vacation town, to a mafia haven, to the "Atomic City" and "Sin City."


American Experience

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men - Revisited : 1 hr

An updated look at the Alabama tenant farmer families that Walker Evans and James Agee documented in their 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning book.


American Experience

The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter : 1 hr

A look at five real-life "Rosies," the reality of working in defense plants during World War II and then having to give up those jobs for returning GIs.


Lindbergh

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


Mary Pickford

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


The Massie Affair

in 1931, Grace Hubbard Fortescue received a one-hour sentence for murdering a local Hawaiian accused of raping her daughter.


American Experience

Midnight Ramble : 1 hr

The little-known story of a black independent film industry that produced nearly 500 feature films for African American audiences.


Miss America

The country's oldest beauty contest has become a battleground and a barometer for the position of women in society.


Monkey Trial

John Scopes' free speech trial pitted science against religion after the teacher presented Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in a Tennessee school.


 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.


Murder at Harvard

Accused by a janitor, a respected Harvard professor was hanged for the murder of Dr. George Parkman, one of Boston's richest citizens, in 1849.


Murder of the Century

A sensational story of power, class, and revenge in New York City when Harry Thaw murdered Stanford White over showgirl Evelyn Nesbit.


 new orleans

New Orleans

From Reconstruction to the 1960s, this film offers a portrait of New Orleans that reflects the best and the worst in America.





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.


Relevant Now

The Abolitionists

The Abolitionists : 3 hrs

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


death and the civil war

Death and the Civil War : 2 hrs

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