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EXPO - Magic of the White City DVD (2005)

Gene Wilder , Claire Litton , Mark Bussler  |  PG |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Gene Wilder, Claire Litton
  • Directors: Mark Bussler
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Inecom Entertainment Company
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2005
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000977JBW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,114 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "EXPO - Magic of the White City DVD" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Special Features:
  • Feature Length Commentary track with World's Fair historian, David Cope
  • Making the Fair Art of the Fair
  • Storyboards of the Fair
  • Pictures of the Fair
  • Commentary tracks on Special Features by director, Mark Bussler and writer, Brian Connelly
  • Deleted scenes
  • Trailers for:
  • Gettysburg and Stories of Valor
  • Johnstown Flood
  • Horses of Gettysburg
  • Winters of War
  • Civil War Minutes - Confederate
  • Shot to Pieces
  • Video transfer from the Director's Cut High Definition master

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A dazzling trip back to another time." --Bill Diehl, "ABC Radio Network"

"One of the year's finest. This one is a must-watch." --Jamie Clark, "Video Business"

"A notable release." --"The Washington Post"

Product Description

Narrated by Gene Wilder, "EXPO - Magic of the White City" brings the Chicago World s Fair to life! Experience the world of 1893 through a cinematic visit to Chicago's Columbian Exposition. Many of the world's greatest achievements in science, technology and culture were unveiled there. Fairgoers enjoyed the Midway Plaisance where a one-mile boulevard of fun offered camel riding, belly dancing, street fighting and beer drinking. Nearly 28 million visited the Fair. Dubbed the "White City," it inspired future innovators such as Henry Ford and Frank Lloyd Wright, debuted the Ferris Wheel and Cracker Jack®, and, in many ways, marked the beginning of the 20th century. Against the backdrop of 1893 s troubles with workers' rights, prejudice, discrimination and corruption, the World s Columbian Exposition cast a brief ray of hope for the future of humanity. Filmed in high definition, "EXPO - Magic of the White City" immerses viewers in one of the world s biggest extravaganzas and one of the most unforgettable events in American history. There will never be another event like it...or will there? Special Features: - Feature Length Commentary Track with World s Fair Historian David Cope - "Making the Fair" - "Art of the Fair" - "Storyboards of the Fair" - "Pictures of the Fair" - Commentary tracks on Special Features by Director Mark Bussler and Writer Brian Connelly - Deleted scenes

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great to see a documentary about this fair September 18, 2005
Format:DVD
If you have only read "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson and want to see and know more about the fair you will be happy with this documentary. If you have read many books about the fair and taken advantage of all the resources at the Paul V. Galvin Library Digital History Collection online you may find yourself wanting more.

The focus of this documentary was mostly a tour of the fair. In recent books on the fair there seems to be either a "horray for progress/wasn't the fair pretty?" or a "damn American imperialism, racism, and sexism" route. The tone of this documentary was neutral/celebratory as it largely omitted discussion of racism and sexism (with only a few passing mentions). There were photos I hadn't seen before, and the narration (Gene Wilder) was superlative.

I do have quibbles with the film, which are most likey not the fault of the creators. See, what I really want is a bigger-budget version of this, full of computer reproductions of the fair so that we can "walk through" it instead of just scenes of a camera panning over a still photograph or painting. The live reinactments were limited to a belly dancer, beer drinking, and the murder of Mayor Harrison. There was also some live footage of fish and animals that the fair goers would have seen, which I am ambivalent about. But don't just tell me that the great pyramid would fit inside the Palace of Manufactures and Liberal Arts, drive the idea home with a little graphic, even a simple one, of the pyramid sitting inside it.

All that said, this was worth every penny and contained a lot of great material which I am bound to watch over and over again.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Documentary of the Year September 16, 2005
Format:DVD
The Columbian Exposition was vast in every way - from the sheer size of its physical location to the number of its visitors to the diversity of its exhibits - yet this film covers it all using a historically responsible and entertaining approach. "EXPO" treats its viewers to a detailed "behind-the-scenes" look into the Exposition with Gene Wilder as a guide. The tour is chock-full of fascinating tidbits, and the period photographs add a whole other dimension that is often absent from texts on the subject. The film truly drops the viewer smack in the middle of the Fair. The quality of the high-definition transfer is stunning, and the picture looks as clear and crisp as a high-definition broadcast. The sound is enveloping and adds depth to the documentary; you actually feel as if you're surrounded by the Fair's bustling crowds. The film is without a doubt satisfying for everyone from the amateur history buff to the well-read historian.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Info but static video June 17, 2009
Format:DVD
Thinking that this film would be a documentary that I could use in teaching economics and U.S. History, I bought it. Well . . . I found it very detailed in terms of explaining the various exhibits and structures, this part of the video I'd give 5 stars to. The rest however, left me hoping the video would come to an end. Gene Wilder, while a fun actor is not the best narrator, he would put a class of teenagers to sleep. The film is very static in that it only uses old photos and artist portrayals with panning in and out of them to tell this story. Then there is the cheesy belly dancer that is put in the video and is about the only thing that moves. This documentary would have been better interviewing Chicago historical society folks, some professors and maybe bringing in the present day site before the end. I was dissappointed in the way this story was presented. Great info for informations sake, but not very good in terms of being watchable.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chicago History January 5, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I found the DVD of the Chicago World's Columbian Expo, 1893, an excellent record of the exposition. I am from Chicago and my great grandfather came to Chicago, from Germany. He was a brick layer in Berlin. Chicago was where the jobs were. I know he was in Chicago when the Columbian Expo was going on. There was very little written about family backgrounds.

My wife's maiden name is Ferris. For generations her family believed they were related to George Washington Ferris, inventor of the Ferris wheel, which was first exhibited at the Chicago Columbian Expo.

Further investigations revealed that the family myths were just that, myths. The DVD gave us a lot of information on the inventions of the day, why the Expo was so popular. As a youth, growing up in Chicago, one of my favorite places was the Museum of Science and Industry. The only building still standing, from the fair. I think that museum may have had a lot of influence on my career. I'm an engineer. Great DVD.

Bob Kozlowski
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely captivating! My kids were transfixed. September 11, 2007
By Quaker
Format:DVD
I received this DVD as a gift last year and have since recommended it to every Chicagoan I know.

Despite having lived in Chicago some years ago, my knowledge of the World's Fair of 1893 was quite limited. I had seen the occassional photo of "Big Mary" and Court of Honor, but was not familiar with the scale and history of the Exposition.

I was advised that my whole family would enjoy this DVD, but my 8- and 11-year olds weren't interested. That is, they weren't until they walked into the room where the documentary was playing. Perhaps it's something about Gene Wilder's voice, or perhaps it's those incredible images, or simply the mystery and romance of a time when electric lights were a magical new phenomenon; but once engaged, they were completely transfixed.

I can't recommend this DVD enough. We all loved it, and it inspired each of us to seek out age-appropriate books related to the 1893 fair (I'm now reading "Devil in the White City" and the kids are reading "Fair Weather").
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 7 days ago by Llama
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Chicago sure has changed.
Published 11 days ago by Dave / FL
5.0 out of 5 stars The scale of this event for the 1800s or today is amazing. Perhaps if...
Mind blowing! The scale of this event for the 1800s or today is amazing. Perhaps if the world leaders competed in this format they would respect humanity and the gifts all people... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Robert Hotto
5.0 out of 5 stars TERRIFIC
VERY GOOD. NOT ONLY GIVES A GREAT RUN DOWN OF THE FAIR ITSELF, BUT ALSO SETS IN IN THE PERIOD PROPERLY.
Published 1 month ago by Thomas Jacques
3.0 out of 5 stars A must if you never knew
I have much information in my head that it was redundant for me. But good.
Published 1 month ago by Judith R Hardman
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and thorough narrative about this event
Excellent and thorough narrative about this event. I would recommend it be purchased by those who want to get a detailed understanding of this event in history. Excellent!
Published 1 month ago by W. Brennan
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Well done and informative.
Published 1 month ago by Bobbie
1.0 out of 5 stars Never received
I chose this rating, because after pouring through everything, it turns out, it never arrived, amongst all the other orders. I figure it is too late to do anything about it now. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kilgore Trout
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, Fabulous, Fabulous
This was a really well made documentary about one of the greatest events in American history. I personally have a fascination with this particular world expo and all the many... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael Metzger
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY ASTONISHING - must watch!!
My headline, is by no means an overstatement. Even the narrator (actor Gene Wilder) of this documentary flat out says "there is no place built on earth ever before, or built... Read more
Published 3 months ago by MrPatrick
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