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.


New York

New York: The Center of the World

Postwar New York City and the global economic order told through the story of the World Trade Center.


The Orphan Trains

Between 1854 and 1929 more than 100,000 abused or orphaned children were sent by train to the Midwest to begin new lives in foster families.


Panama Canal

Panama Canal : 90 mins

The most daring and innovative accomplishment at the turn of the 20th century.


Patriots Day

This film follows the 65 "British soldiers" and 67 "American rebels" who reenact the 1775 Battle of Lexington and Concord.


The Pill

The story behind the development of the oral contraceptive that put women in control of birth control.


poisoner's handbook

The Poisoner's Handbook : 2 hrs

The grave truth behind modern forensics was discovered in 1920s New York.


The Polio Crusade

The Polio Crusade : 1 hr

The story of the polio crusade pays tribute to a time when Americans banded together to conquer a terrible disease.


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 Quiz Show Scandal

Television game shows became an instant national phenomenon in 1955, but four years later contestant Charles van Doren admitted they were a scam.


American Experience

The Radio Priest : 1 hr

Roman Catholic priest Father Charles Coughlin used the power of radio to rail against the nation's economic system in the Depression.


riding the rails

Riding the Rails : 1 hr

The evocative stories of teenage hoboes crisscrossing America on trains during the Great Depression.


penn station

The Rise and Fall of Penn Station : 1 hr

The Pennsylvania Railroad Company accomplished an enormous engineering feat, but destroyed a great architectural monument.


Roberto Clemente

Roberto Clemente : 1 hr

Clemente was an exceptional baseball player whose career sheds light on larger issues of immigration, civil rights and cultural change.


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.


Seabiscuit

Seabiscuit : 1 hr

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


silicon valley

Silicon Valley : 90 mins

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


Sister Aimee

The life story of Aimee Semple McPherson, religious evangelist instrumental in bringing conservative Protestantism into mainstream culture.


soundtrack for a revolution

Soundtrack for a Revolution : 2 hrs

The story of the American civil rights movement is told through its powerful music -- the freedom songs that protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in police wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality.


Stephen Foster

America's first great songwriter, Stephen Foster, wrote 200 songs but died a penniless alcoholic at 37.


Stonewall Uprising

Stonewall Uprising : 90 mins

In 1969, homosexuality was illegal in almost every state... but that was about to change. The Stonewall riots marked a major turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement.


Summer of Love

In 1967, thousands of hippies flocked to San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district.


American Experience

Telegrams from the Dead : 1 hr

A new religion called spiritualism affected the nation in the era of Abraham Lincoln, P. T. Barnum and Frederick Douglass.


American Experience

That Rhythm, Those Blues : 1 hr

The evolution of rhythm and blues through the careers of singers Ruth Brown and Charles Brown, with contemporary performances by both.


Triangle Fire

Triangle Fire : 1 hr

It was the deadliest workplace accident in New York City’s history.


Tupperware!

Tupperware! : 1 hr

This funny, probing program re-examines assumptions about American culture in the 1950s.


Ulysses S. Grant

U.S. Grant: Warrior : 90 mins

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


war of the worlds

War of the Worlds : 1 hr

Explore how Orson Welles' genius use of the new medium of radio struck fear into an already anxious nation.



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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.