Judy Garland: By Myself

Culled from recordings Garland made in preparation for an autobiography she never finished, her writings and archival interviews, By Myself uniquely reveals Garland as she saw herself. In the first film that drew on Garland’s own words to tell her story, Garland says, “Do you realize how many people have talked about me, written about me, imitated me? Well, it’s high time to stop. This is the story of my life and I, Judy Garland, am gonna talk.”

Premiered February 25, 2004

August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand

The film premieres Friday, February 20 on PBS to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Wilson’s birth, the 10th anniversary of his death and Black History Month. Unprecedented access to Wilson’s theatrical archives, rarely seen interviews and new dramatic readings bring to life his seminal 10-play cycle chronicling a century of African-American life. Wilson won two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama.

Premiered February 20, 2015
Video expires February 20, 2019

Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice

This portrait of the inimitable magician Ricky Jay delves into the mysterious world of sleight-of-hand and its small circle of eccentric devotees. Jay is also a best-selling author, historian, actor and a leading collector of antiquarian books and artifacts. Told largely in Jay’s own distinctive voice, the documentary traces the story of his achievement and that of other master magicians.

Premiered January 23, 2015
Video expires January 23, 2016

Bing Crosby Rediscovered

Bing Crosby (1903-1977) was the most popular and influential multi-media star of the first half of the 20th century. For more than three decades, through radio, film, television and records, he reigned supreme. For this new documentary, Crosby’s estate granted American Masters access to the entertainer’s archives, including never-before-seen home movies, Dictabelt recordings, photos and more.

Premiered December 2, 2014
Video expires December 2, 2018

The Boomer List

The baby boomer generation (1946-1964) has significantly and uniquely changed our world. The year 2014 marks an important shift in American culture, as the last boomers turn 50. American Masters: The Boomer List tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers. Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

Premiered September 23, 2014
Video expires September 22, 2018

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

This documentary takes the audience on a year-long ride with Joan Rivers in her 76th year of life; it peels away the mask of an iconic comedian, laying bare both the struggle and thrill of living life as a groundbreaking female performer. The film is by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg.

Premiered September 23, 2014