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Alexander Hamilton

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Editorial Reviews

The first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton's career was equal parts ambition, brilliance, arrogance, scandal and tragedy. Despite a life that was rife with controversy, he laid out the template for the nation's economy and helped transform America into an industrial powerhouse. As seen on American Experience . 2007/color/2 hrs/NR/widescreen.

Special Features

  • Behind the Scenes
  • Deleted Scenes

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2007
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NA21WM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,430 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Alexander Hamilton" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

PBS has assembled absolutely some of Broadway's most talented stage actors today to recreate, based upon the diaries and writings of the time, an intensely engaging and extremely informative look at arguably one of the most important and influential founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton is studied and dissected from his most ignoble birth as an illegitimate from the West Indies to his rise to fame as leader pro-temp of the American Revolution and his ultimate death in a duel. There is nothing candy-coated about PBS's approach to Hamilton, superbly acted by Tony Award Winning stage actor Brian O' Byrne (DOUBT,FROZEN).Hamilton is presented in an extremely fair and unbiased way as the genius that he was, the braggart and irascible pain he could be,as a dutiful husband, as an adulterer, as an abolitionist,as a friend to Washington and as a foe to Jefferson.In other words, Hamilton will be seen with all of his bravado and all of his warts. Even the most amateur psychologist would have a field day with Hamilton!

The pace is brisk and lively and informative.There is nothing boring or overly documentarian about this PBS special.History becomes VERY ALIVE with this interpretation of Alexander Hamilton. The times, the people and the historical events are portrayed accurately and with real panache, perfect for teaching or simply informative viewing.You will learn about the struggle to bring the Constitution to law, the founders who opposed it and why, and that a lot DOES NOT change to the present!!! A MUST SEE AND HAVE FOR THE SERIOUS VIEWER!

A great companion film would be the Ric Burns' 5 or 7 set NEW YORK which contains a lot of info on Hamilton.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J.T.J., an Author on March 11, 2008
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After watching this PBS documentary, I am very much inclined to highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning about the Founding Fathers. Much has been said through the ages about Washington, Adams, and Jefferson, but there has been a serious neglect of Hamilton. This program goes a fair distance to help make up for the imbalance. Hamilton's pride, stubborn steak, adultery, and partisanship are all dealt with, but his genius in pulling the nation out of Revolutionary War debt, establishing the Bank of the United States (the initial concept of a Federal Reserve System), opposition to slavery, and belief in a strong national government were considered equally. The classically trained actors in this program are more concerned about bringing the written words of Hamilton and his contempories alive than giving any movie star-type performances. Still, their efforts succeed in entertaining and instructing quite effectively. The program makes a strong case that Hamilton's notion of America becoming a great industrial power rather than a Jeffersonian land of isolationist farmers is persuasive. It does not necessarily demonstrate that Hamilton was better than any of the other Founding Fathers, but that his ideas and convictions were just as valuable and prophetic. For example, it was Hamilton who strongly believed in protecting America from foreign enemies with a strong, standing national army rather than an often unreliable militia argued by the Republicans of the era. At one time he was the leader of the Federalists, a party that rapidly ebbed away following his tragic death. More important, he was one of the key figures that believed anyone, if he worked long enough, and hard enough, could accomplish great things in America. The DVD clearly, and effectively argues this is one of Mr.Read more ›
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By I. Chiang on May 30, 2007
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Alexander Hamilton is one of the founding fathers of the United States. This film goes through his life, from childhood to death. The pace is gentle and vivid. It's pretty enjoyable to watch.

I, however, have to say this film is kind of scratching the skin. For example, as Secretary of the Treasury, his policies have enormous impacts on the whole country, from the Louisiana Purchase to NYSE. Unfortunately, you can't sense this in the film, even this part is complemented in the Special Features. In addition, you can't feel he is a man with the personality of controversy as told in the beginning of this film. You just feel he is a man with passion and idealism. The reason might be that this film stresses more on his bright sides rather than dark sides. Of course it's good to know his contributions and I admire that. But it is just not so realistic.

My favorite part of this film is the last chapter, Hamilton's Legacy. Even though the content of this film is not so convincing, I still feel moved when watching this chapter. The comments on him are also excellent. For example, "He doesn't need a monument (as Washington and Jefferson). We live in Hamilton's monument."

For me, it's good to know more about Alexander Hamilton. After all, he is the man on the 10 dollar bill and he must have something great. In a word, He is a visionary whom prople didn't appreciate at his times.
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Marc Soloman, portraying Mr. Hamilton in short takes herein, does a great job conveying emotion as he speaks directly in the camera to us in this rather well-done PBS production probing the character of a hero of the American Revolution and architect of America's financial system.

The camera, in one particular take, while showing the room behind him too, draws in on a facial expression of Mr. Soloman that just beams with the self-confidence and insecurities of a self-made man. For a moment, it's almost as if Hamilton himself has been caught on film, as Soloman petitions us thusly: "Why has government been instituted at all?"......"Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without restraint."

Later Soloman continues to quote Hamilton that "order is the key to [personal] liberty."

Oh, so was a royalist, was he? Jefferson thought he was, or at least tried to tar him with that moniker because Jefferson continued to imbibe of the Spirit of 76 even after the 1787 'Miracle at Philadelphia,' at least in part, superseded it. Regarding "the dangers of maintaining a continuous revolutionary mentality in America, Hamilton believed that revolutions ended in tyranny because they glorified revolution as a permanent state of mind. The spirit of compromise and a concern with order were needed to balance the quest for liberty. That's why Hamilton penned the Federalist Papers (enlisting support from Madison and, to a lesser extent, John Jay) to champion the proposed American Constitution; a constitution designed to check unfettered passions from going the way that the French Revolution did just a few years hence.
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