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Ellis Island (2003)

Mandy Patinkin  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Ellis Island + Ken Burns' America: The Statue of Liberty + Island of Hope Island of Tears: The story of Ellis Island and the American immigration experience - By Four-Time Academy Award Winner
Price for all three: $40.65

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mandy Patinkin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, 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: February 25, 2003
  • Run Time: 150 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007GZYA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,022 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

For half a century, Ellis Island was America's Golden Door," the entry to a new life, freedom and opportunity. Immigrants of every background recall their extraordinary adventures, from the treacherous passage across the sea to the start of a new life in a new land. Features firsthand accounts, interviews, rare photographs and films. 3 cassettes. Color/50 min.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch it and weep... October 5, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
"My father hugged my mother and told her, 'you don't need to be afraid ever again. We're in America now.'"
That was one of the MANY personal narratives included in this FANTASTIC documentary that brought tears to my eyes. The stories of how immigrants reacted when they first came to this country and saw "Lady Liberty" is very well told and will leave you with a new appreciation of the great blessing of being born in this free and prosperous land.
I've watched this four-volume documentary two times and will probably watch it a third time. The stories are all so inspiring and so amazing and so emotional! Prior to viewing this, I did not have an understanding of what price our grandparents and great grandparents paid to get to this country.
I can't recommend this video highly enough. My daughter watched it in school and she loved it, too.
Of all the documentaries I've watched, I'd give this a 5 stars PLUS. I'd say it's one of the best I've ever seen. It will leave you changed. I can't even look at a flag now, without thinking about those precious, faith-filled immigrants and getting a tear in my eye. "Ellis Island" is *that* kind of video.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars how true this is--from someone who worked there June 17, 2011
Format:DVD
As someone who worked on Ellis Island in New York's harbor, I can readily attest to the fact that this is an outstanding documentary about "The Island of Hope, The Island of Tears." Mandy Patinkin hosts this three part film that showcases not just the history of Ellis Island and how America processed immigrants before it was built but also tells the very human story of how people from all over the world came to Ellis Island hoping desperately for a better life as American citizens.

There is the story of Castle Garden which was built to process immigrants before Ellis Island; and we see how the first buildings on Ellis Island were ruined by fire only a few short years after they opened. There is the story of how a half a million dollars was spent on a new set of buildings constructed of fireproof materials; and the footage of joyous newcomers sailing into the harbor as they first laid eyes on America with its Statue of Liberty is impressive and moving at once.

There are many, many stories of how people were processed over the years until the facility was closed in late 1954; some of the tales are thrilling but others quite heartbreaking. For example, families could be separated if one or two members were rejected because it was thought they might be too ill to enter--thus, some members of the family could enter and others were forced to return home, perhaps never to see their loved ones again. Still others committed suicide by jumping into the water rather than return to a life of misery in their native countries.

Yet for all the incredibly sad tales, we see just how hard the staff worked on Ellis Island to process and accept as many immigrants as possible. Kitchen employees cooked ethnic meals; and social workers and interpreters worked with immigrants to help them.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellis Island March 3, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
My grandfather was an immigrant from Germany as was my grandmother and her family.
This movie tells their story.
The requirements to be accepted in America were not easy.
If you failed,THEY SENT YOU BACK . HOW DEVASTING CAN THAT BE TO A FAMILY.
I was very humbled to watch the courage and price they paid to be Americans.
A must-see for every American.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and very well done! September 7, 2013
By Pamela
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am not a fan of Mandy Patinkin, but I have to admit that he does a wonderful job with this.

My grandfather emigrated to this country around the turn of the century, This is so well done that I can almost put myself in his place and imagine what he must have experienced both on the way over here and once he reached Ellis Island.

It's so very well done, and the old photographs are priceless in conveying the experiences of the immigrants. It's a very emotional journey; if you had family members come through Ellis Island this is definitely a must see!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth It February 2, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I purchased this video to use in my third grade classroom to supplement our immigration unit of study. It was viewed after my teaching of the unit was fairly well done. It is an excellent resource and even though at times I needed to pause and reexplain a point, the children were mesmerized and loved it. They asked to see it again. It made the unit real to them especially with so many wonderful photos, film and interviews. There was only once where the word "hell" was used otherwise nothing offensive. I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spoke to the heart April 28, 2014
Format:DVD
It was very emotional and proved how important it is to this country to welcome immigrants. There are hardly any americans that can't trace their heritage through Ellis Island.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Informative March 17, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As one would expect from the History Channel a thorough yet interesting depiction of the peak years of Ellis Island.
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