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Biography: Benjamin Franklin - Citizen of the World (2006)

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

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: 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: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 26, 2006
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000H0M41Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,782 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

He was America's ambassador to the world, a unique individual who came to symbolize the inventiveness and industriousness of an entire nation. Benjamin Franklin's fascinating and diverse accomplishments defined him as a Renaissance man who will be forever enshrined in America's pantheon of heroes. He discovered electricity, invented the fuel-efficient Franklin Stove, and authored the still popular Poor Richard's Almanac. Most importantly, he offered wise leadership as a member of the continental Congress and ambassador to France during a young land's tumultuous drive toward freedom. The astounding story of one of the most unique, colorful and captivating figures in American history is told here through expert commentary, archival material, and Franklin's own writings.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good overview of an extraordinary life November 25, 2006
It seems that the more you know about Benjamin Franklin, the less you know about him. He was a brilliant man who somehow managed to be both simple and very complicated all at the same time. If I tried to list all of his accomplishments here, I would surpass the maximum word limit before I could even get my review started. At the birth of the new Republic, his was the face of America to Europe. I must admit, though, that I have never been all that enraptured with Franklin, despite all of his brilliance. He broke with the British Empire only after being excoriated by the Privy Council for his role in the "Hutchinson affair," he was not what you would call a humble man, he went years without seeing his wife (his first "short" trip to England lasted seven years, and he could have come home much sooner had he wanted to), he has always struck me as something of a dandy and a skirt-chaser, and it is hard for me to embrace anyone who was more at home with the French than with his American compatriots (the French simply adored Benjamin Franklin).

Still, the genius of the man cannot be denied, and this A&E Biography presentation does as good a job as possible given its allotted time of some 45 minutes. By necessity, it could only hit the high points without delving deeply into the man's character, but you can't help but be amazed by the wide range of knowledge and talent the man possessed, the inventions and innovations he bequeathed to his fellow man, the great spirit which animated him in all things for all of his 84 years, and his service to the new nation of America. It should be remembered that Franklin won international acclaim as a scientist years before he served as America's original elder statesman.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent documentary June 11, 2008
If you love Ben Franklin you will thoroughly enjoy this DVD. It's much shorter than the PBS version, but I think thats an advantage because it allows people who aren't interested in Franklin to get an understanding of just how important he was in American independence.

I've showed it to friends who aren't at all interested in Franklin or History and they all were impressed not only with the DVD, but surprised that Franklin did so much in his lifetime

I highly recommed this DVD
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Jack Perkins-hosted 44 minute BIOGRAPHY episode BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: CITIZEN OF THE WORLD first aired in 1987. Narrator is Monte Markham.

We've all heard that Ben Franklin flew a kite in a thunderstorm to demonstrate the electrical composition of lightning, but what actually happened that famous day? Was the kite struck by a bolt, or did a key he attached to the string start to glow? The answer is just one of many trivial tidbits found here.

Franklin, who invented the lightning rod and a device that generated small amounts of static electricity, was 46 at the time he and his 21-year-old son sent a home-built kite into the clouds. At the right moment, Ben put his finger near the key and a small spark zapped him, thus proving his contention about the nature of lightning.

During the tumultuous years prior to the American Revolution, Loyalist Ben was asked to represent the Colonies at court in London. While there, his skillful diplomacy and persuasion got the hated Stamp Act revoked. When Franklin's honor was later wrongly impugned in an hour-long Privy Council diatribe, he didn't protest or defend himself, but left those chambers a newly born American patriot.

Back at Philadelphia, Ben sat in the initial Continental Congress and contributed to the final version of the Declaration of Independence. Among many other accomplishments: original Postmaster General for the united Colonies, organizer of Philadelphia's fire and police departments, creator of the first insurance company and founder of a school that one day became the University of Pennsylvania. He invented bifocals and the Franklin stove, a device still used today.

The many homilies Ben published in Poor Richard's Almanack (a penny saved, a stitch in time, early to bed, etc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well done. November 28, 2012
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This was a well done documentary and it keeps my juniors interested--that says a lot nowadays. It has some good information on Benjamin and I like for students to know more about him!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Decent, basic biography November 17, 2011
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Dry. No reenactments. Superficial, more detail would have been nice. Seems accurate based on my limited knowledge. At least it has decent vintage pictures and sketches. Seems like a low budget endeavor.
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