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American Experience: Henry Ford


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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: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00AJER44M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,186 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

It was done extremely well.
David Eichermuller
The life of this great man was painted so perfectly in this documentary and you could see all the wrinkles in personality of a demigod and made Henry Ford more human.
Al Shaikoli
He, like the others, was a very interesting character.
Just Older

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful By B. Szafranski on May 29, 2013
Format: DVD
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 By Moj8888 on January 2, 2014
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 By Pen Name on 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 on December 23, 2013
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 on September 13, 2013
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 By V. R. Padgett on May 11, 2013
Format: DVD
Stunning portrait of this odd man, rising from the farm to become the richest man in America if not the world, but unconcerned about this fortune.

At the end, building a Disneyland of fantasy from his early years, complete with the china his mother once had, very moving, and sad.

He was anti-Semitic and anti-intellectual. Yet his court-adduced ignorance (in a libel case) only made him more popular with the masses.

Watch this film, read the Stephen Watts biography, on which it is based, to study the genius of this unique American, our greatest industrialist, who ushered in the decline of the 19th Century, and himself escaped from it, after driving his only son to his early death, in his own fantasy land of his early years.
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