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American Experience: Henry Ford (2013)

 NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Henry Ford American Experience
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Pbs (Direct)
  • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2013
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AJER44M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,166 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

This film examines the life of Henry Ford and offers a look at the birth of the American auto industry as well as a thought-provoking reminder of how Ford's automobile forever changed the way we live.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This is another fine example of the kind of documentaries that PBS' "American Experience" produces. They make the assumption that the viewer may be well versed in the basics of a subject's life or they could just as well know nothing. The basics are often covered entertainingly so as not to bore the former and the musical score often keeps the interest in the story, even if the facts get too technical.

This 110-minute documentary begins in the rubber forests of Brazil - and ends there. Not something you would expect for the story of one of America's great industrialists. But - as you will see if you watch it - it makes sense. And, it moves - just like Ford's Model T Ford - at a nice pace. Ford was responsible to the ground-breaking $5.00 wage and the assembly line but he also did "social engineering" building "towns" for his workers to live in and providing social activities for them. He also was an anti-Semite and this is not denied in the script.
The director is clever in using lots of archival movie footage - which keeps things moving along, but younger viewers should remember that until the mid-1920s, except for some experimental sound films by Ford's friend Thomas Edison, all movies were silent. So all the sounds you hear until 1930 (which is the bulk of footage here) has been supplemented by sound effects. But nicely done.

One weakness I found in this production that I don't remember being in other AE productions is the identification of the "talking heads" who are interviewed. With the sole exception of Bob Casey, Curator of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI - all the "experts" are identified by their name and the title "Historian".
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I had such high expectations for this DVD. After watching it in one sitting it was obvious that it concentrates only briefly on just a few of Henry Ford's accomplishments, and instead focuses on his idiosyncrasies (or eccentricities, if you prefer) and his failings. This DVD held so much promise and ended up producing so much disappointment.

As a GM/Chevy guy, I'm no devotee of all things Ford - not that there's anything wrong with that - it's just who I am. But as a writer of manufacturing-history articles and as a mechanical engineer, I'd've expected that some time would've been spent in this DVD on at least a few of Henry Ford's major accomplishments. Unfortunately, this DVD focuses on all the negatives aspects of Henry Ford's life which the writers and producers could find and, thus, exploit. That is so sad.

The people who wrote and produced this DVD could've produced a true historical document about Henry. Instead, all they ended up doing was airing their gripes & complaints about what they dislike about the man. Again, that's so sad. They should've known better, as should the so-called historians who appear in this DVD. I'm guessing that some of the people interviewed are disappointed that only their negative comments were extracted and put into this DVD.

Please remember that July 2013 marks 150 years since the birth of Henry Ford. As this DVD was produced in 2012 I had guessed (wrongly, obviously) that it would concentrate more on the positives of Henry's life, rather than the negatives. Further, I'm shocked that this DVD is for sale on the Henry Ford Museum website's Gift Shop. Are the museum directors so greedy that they'll even sell a negative DVD about Henry? That, too, is so sad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great overview of Henry Ford's life and work January 2, 2014
By Moj8888
Format:Amazon Instant Video
It is obvious most of us have heard about Henry Ford's contribution to industrial revolution. Bits and pieces here and there, some positive and some negative. I was really curious to learn more, what made him to become the Henry Ford we all know, his thought process, life all around. This documentary gave me that overview. Although it is still a snapshot and interpretation of outsiders looking back years later, I think it tells you a lot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed every moment! January 1, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
This was a great documentary on Mr. Ford.
It was done extremely well.
A must watch if you love history in the U.S..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How true is it? December 28, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
II appears the information provided in the film is accurrate and if so then the documentary is very informative therefore the rating but without further research I can not be sure the conclusions are true.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Omar
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Amazing! This man is a legend!! He is one of the most influential people in history. His name will live on forever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Roger
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
They completely left out his obsession with Thomas Edison. I watched this right after going to the Henry Ford Museum in Deerborn, MI and thought the video spent to much time on the relationship with his son (which is important) but missed a lot of the other things he did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My husband and I watched this on PBS and thought it was a fascinating and balanced portrait of Henry Ford. It showed his strengths and his flaws, and although we thought we knew quite a bit about the man, we still learned new information. Very well done documentary.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good work
Published 8 days ago by Derrick T Myers
5.0 out of 5 stars Very engaging and interesting
Excellent documentary! Great way to learn about important business history and business tycoons. It is much more engaging than from a history book for kids and adults alike. Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. Ye
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Biography
This movie let me know more details of the Henry Ford's life, and visionary he was, it also made look for more biographies of this extraordinary innovator.
Published 2 months ago by Lino
4.0 out of 5 stars Henry Ford
It was ok, for a documentary about his life and works. Very educational for those who want to know about Ford cars and business. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Deborah Keene
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, I'll never buy another ford.
Having live in the Detroit area all my life and even having worked on the Ford Motor assembly line, I still never knew this about Henry. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Joel R. Wise
5.0 out of 5 stars love the history and so does my 9yr old son
I bought this for homeschool lesson on "Henry Ford" wow did we both learn about who made the first car. My son loves the movie and was amazed.
Published 3 months ago by E. Shanks
5.0 out of 5 stars An insight into American History
This video has many lessons for all disciplines of civil management, and its a great historical story with high impact on current public management. Read more
Published 3 months ago by James Brosius
4.0 out of 5 stars Very informative and entertaining
Excellent documentary of Henry Ford. The video is both informative and entertaining, and includes actual footage of Mr Henry Ford
Published 4 months ago by Joe
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Henery Ford
Very good documentary it showed sides of H Ford that I never knew about including his rabid anti-Semitism, a point largely lost in most information I have seen or read about him. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Glenn W. Gelineau
5.0 out of 5 stars Great documentary on not only Ford automotive, but the man behind the...
Great and informative documentary about the man who changed the landscape of travel and so much more here in the USA.
Published 4 months ago by Logan Carmichael
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