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Benjamin Franklin

Ralph Archbold , Richard Easton , Ellen Hovde , Muffie Meyer    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 26.99
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Benjamin Franklin + Thomas Jefferson + John Adams (Sous-titres français)
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Now in his 70s, Franklin is the oldest revolutionary leader. Congress sends Franklin to France in an effort to secure an alliance with England's rival; Franklin's political skills help him coax the French to support the American cause, leading to final American victory at Yorktown. With peace secured, Franklin returns home. Two years later, an ailing Franklin enters the constitutional convention to guide rancorous delegates.


Everyone knows about the kite and the key, the Declaration of Independence, and Poor Richard's Almanac, but nonscholars will find much to learn in this documentary tracing the epic of Benjamin Franklin's life. Using actors Dylan Baker and Richard Easton as Franklin speaking his own words, the makers of this PBS offering bring his writings to life without resorting to corny dramatizations. The documentary first explores his education as a minister, career as a printer, and retirement to a life of science at the age of 47. The second part explores his transformation to revolutionary: his life in England and eventual rejection of its domination, the resulting painful split with his son, and his colonial radicalism at age 70. The final chapter of his life takes place in France, where he operates with subterfuge to win France's support against the English and more or less invents diplomacy. --Kimberly Heinrichs --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This is one of my favorite documentaries to date. The acting is top notch for the young Franklin, the elder Franklin, and others in Franklin's life. Re-enactments and unique footage fill the majority of scenes instead of musty paintings or drawings. The whole documentary has a fresh and witty feel.
What impressed me most, though, was how clearly and informatively the documentary sets out the life of Franklin, his character, and his effect on early America and the world. Not only is he revealed as a genius and a founding father, he is shown as a humorous man and the quintessential American. Franklin displays all the unique traits that define the American character, from the refusal to accept social status as fixed by birth to the constant search for scientific truths.
Two parts, both excellent. The documentary should have great appeal to any age with even the vaguest interest in American history.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC BIO! Jan. 28 2003
By A Customer
Not only does this documentary keeps you interested, it brings it to life with wonderful acting. The script is based on all of the letters from Franklin makes this a great dvd to own because of it's uniqueness. There are times as if Ben himself was speaking to the camera, and there are moments that will have you laughing, OUT LOUD! Great perspective on a man who we know but at the same time we do not know enough (for example, out of all the "founding fathers" he was the only one who was against slavery). A great job!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Gem July 23 2003
By fsdf
Benjamin Franklin is an impressive production about an amazing person - in the Ken Burns tradition, but better.
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5.0 out of 5 stars dvd June 16 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Benjamin Franklin is a fascinating men in the American History and this dvd covered very well his life in this period
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Series April 21 2011
This series is both entertaining and educational. The context is well defined helping viewers to see how critical this icon's skills were to an emerging America. A very modern thinker - brilliant for any age - but essential in helping America to form her partnership with France to offset the overwhelming superiority of Britain . Franklin's personal quirks, ego and biases are worked into the story as well - allowing a fully human figure to emerge. The treatment of John Adams in Paris is a useful counterfoil to the recent series on him - explaining why he and Franklin didnt get along well Both series are recommended highly.
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