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Ken Burns: Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip

Keith David , Tom Hanks , Ken Burns    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

Subtitled "America's First Road Trip," Horatio's Drive captures the remarkable odyssey of Horatio Nelson Jackson, a doctor from Vermont who--accompanied by a former professional bicyclist and a bulldog named Bud--helmed the first trip from coast to coast in a car. In 1903, after making a $50 bet he could drive to New York City in 90 days, Nelson set off from San Francisco in a used Winton two-seater than he bought for $3000 and proceeded to cross a country where most roads, if they existed at all, were still made of dirt. Pulling together newspaper articles, period movies, and Jackson's own photographs and passionate love letters to his wife, famed documentarian Ken Burns crafts a love letter of his own to the automobile and the ways it has shaped American life. Horatio's Drive is both educational and completely entertaining. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

Get set for an adventure that marked a new era in America! Film-maker Ken Burns presents the hilarious 1903 saga of the first transcontinental automobile trip. On a visionary whim and a $50 bet, Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson became the first person to drive an automobile across the continent. His arrival in New York City, after every imaginable breakdown and delay, proved that the "horseless carriage" really did have a future.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
3.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE KEN BURNS' STUFF Jan. 31 2004
Format:DVD
lots of fun following their voyage, hard for us to visualize 100 years ago what our country looked like and what was happening in the average persons life. no long distance travel in a matter of hours. every trip took days. you either stayed within a few miles of home, or you were gone for weeks. We memorialize rt. 66 and the Lincoln Highway, but Horatio didn't even have the ole 2 lane blacktop. no motels, no koa's with electrical hook-ups. this is roughing it to the max. Just like traveling back roads today and meeting "the People" he was saved time and again, by the good ole common man of this u.s.a. the folks who still pull over to help stranded motorists, or pitch in to rescue someone caught in natural disasters, car accidents etc. our pioneer spirit is still alive and working, and watching a movie like this shows all of us, where Yankee ingenuity, american initative, pioneer spirit, and all the rest comes from. Just like Lewis and Clark, Horatio led the way to something we all take for granted today, and most of us can not imagine ever doing without.....OUR BELOVED WHEELS...... A++
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable DVD Jan. 19 2004
Format:DVD
I really enjoyed the story Horatio Jackson. Burn's tells of a relatively little know person who did an amazing thing that today we take for granted. The film is as entertaining as it is informative. I also enjoyed the soundtrack.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Road Trip! Dec 1 2003
Format:DVD
What a great movie. If you enjoy road trips, wilderness adventures, or just tinkering around the garage fixing things, you will find similarities with Horatio Nelson Jackson. He drove cross-country on a $50 bet when most people thought it was impossible. He had to find his way through the American wilderness, fix the auto when it broke, find gasoline where there were no stations, and keep his spirits up when things turned bad.
Jackson grasped the opportunity to become part of history at the perfect time. Cars we becoming more reliable, Indians were no longer a threat, and America was populated enough that he didn't go too long without seeing other people. And in just a few short years roads and cars would be commonplace, which would make the feat less exciting and adventurous.
Ken Burns does a fantastic job of documenting this journey of a lifetime. He has a way to make the viewer feel like they are sitting right along side with Jackson, his mechanic, and the dog.
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By A Customer
Format:DVD
Horatio's Drive is not simply about one man's impulsive bet that he could become the first person to drive across the U.S. in an automobile. It is also about the dawn of a new form of transportation in the United States, one that would forever change way we travel.
The story, told mostly through the letters that Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson writes to his wife as he slowly weaves his way across the continent, is about the first wave of the future passing through an American that had remained unchanged for many years. Jackson, ever the optimist, writes about how certain he is that he can make it even when faced with a hostile terrain, no road maps and an under powered car prone to breaking down at the worst possible time. As he passes through one small town after another, he and his mechanic become instant celebrities. As one newspaper account of the time read, it would have been no less of a story had a spaceship touched down in the middle of town.
I though the story was intriguing and a real history lesson. It's amazing to think of Nelson and his mechanic crossing the continent without a major highway or road, let alone in a car that needed near daily repair.
The film itself is well done and certainly worth watching. Old time car historians will enjoy the mention of models come and gone. History buffs get a glimpse at a changing America. And while Horatio's Drive may not have the depth of other Ken Burns works, this is a delightful 'light' version of an interesting time and a wonderful story.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Nov. 20 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This was absolute Garbage. Burns is an old pompous whinbag, who glorified himself throughout this entire film. What a discrace. And who wants to know about some idiot who drove across the country? Not Me. save your money. this is without a doubt, the worst film in the history of the world.
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