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Ben Franklin (History Channel)


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Editorial Reviews

Inventor, writer, businessman, scientist, diplomat, and the face gracing the hundred-dollar bill--this stately figure is the Benjamin Franklin history has taught us to remember. Now, in this revealing yet informal History Channel® presentation, the real man behind the myth is finally brought to light. By his own admission, the man who negotiated an alliance with France, helped write the Declaration of Independence and was the first to tame lightning was far from perfect. A self-promoter and occasionally ruthless competitor, this Founding Father never made a penny from his achievements and was more comfortable speaking in front of the British Parliament than he was being with his own family. Narrated in an easy, conversational tone by Edward Herrmann (Intolerable Cruelty, The Practice), BEN FRANKLIN features in-depth interviews with renowned biographers and historians, as well as reenactments shot in High-Definition video on locations in Philadelphia--a truly remarkable virtual "walk" in Franklin's footsteps. Available on DVD for the first time, BEN FRANKLIN is a fresh, down-to-earth, informative look at one of America's most essential human monuments. DVD Features: "Declaration of Independence" episode of SAVE OUR HISTORY; "The Many Faces of Ben Franklin" Making-of Featurette; Timeline; Anecdotes; Quotes; List of Innovations & Inventions; Interactive Menus; Scene Selection

Special Features

  • "The Many Faces of Ben Franklin" featurette
  • "Declaration of Independence" episode of the History Channel's Save Our History
  • Timeline
  • Anecdotes
  • Quotes
  • List of innovations and inventions

Product Details

  • Actors: Charley Carfrey, Michael Kelberg, Maggie Lakis
  • Directors: Joshua Alper
  • Writers: Joshua Alper, Raymond Bridgers
  • Producers: Dolores Gavin, Raymond Bridgers
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 22, 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000742FZM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,187 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ben Franklin (History Channel)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
67%
4 star
25%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
8%
See all 12 customer reviews
I found this A&E special excellent.
Digee
Ben Franklin was always my favorite of the founding fathers and now I know why!
Amazon Customer
Good to excellent documentary covering all aspects of Benjamin Franklin's life.
William Haugen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Digee on October 25, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I found this A&E special excellent. I purchased this DVD not just for the biography of Franklin, but for the great Declaration of Independence special. I used this documentary for my middle school class and know they all enjoyed the Declaration feature. I also showed clips from the Franklin biography and can tell you in one word: excellent! I highly recommend this history feature for the content. Franklin was an amazing American Renaissance Man that needs to have a feature movie made about his wonderful personality traits.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By William Haugen on July 3, 2006
Format: DVD
Good to excellent documentary covering all aspects of Benjamin Franklin's life. However would recommend for family viewing with care due to extensive coverage of Ben Franklin's personal life including an artist's rendering of an intimate situation involving Benjamin Franklin. While Ben Franklin's personal life is of interest and does shed light on important events in his life, it was distracting from the reason this DVD was purchased which was to learn more about the role Benjamin Franklin played in the early history of the United States.

9/16/2008 Addition - Have also watched the PBS Ben Franklin DVD and at least for me this History Channel presentation was more interesting and informative and as another reviewer mentioned there is an excellent approximately one hour History Channel special on the Declaration of Independence included. Other special features include The Many Faces of Ben Franklin featurette and a Ben Franklin timeline, quotes and list of innovations and inventions. Overall this is a great DVD with lots of special features and between the PBS documentary and this History Channel presentation at least for me was a better value and more interesting.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By nick202 on January 20, 2006
Format: DVD
This is a must have for any history fan or any Benjamin franklin fan. The DVD covers Ben's many accomplishments as a scientist, printer, statesman, and don't forget the adulterey in his life. It also covers how Ben franklin had trouble with his family, and how he had many affairs while he wa in Europe. In conclusion this DVD gives an in depth look at Ben franklin's life with interesting re-enactments.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Wilson on April 4, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
To me, Benjamin Franklin has contributed more to society today than anyone, period. Just after the year 2000, I gave a presentation of "The Person of the Millennium". It looked at the contributions between 1000 and 1999 to society of people such as Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Gandhi, King, Gutenberg, Edison, Bell, Columbus, Da Vinci, Mozart, Beethoven, Rembrandt, Pasteur and others. All of these men gave us things that are still important to us today. However, with the exception of Edison, these men contributed only from one to five things that we still have today. On the other hand, when you look at the list of what Franklin contributed -- well over 60 things -- it staggers the mind. Many of them make you say "That was Franklin's idea"?

This DVD (along with the one produced by A&E's "Biography" program) takes a look at the man and his ideas. He had an amazing way of seeing a problem and coming up with a solution -- swimming fins, bifocals, lightening rod, Congressional structure, library, professional fire fighter, police department, street lights, public college, hospital, paved roads, odometer, politican cartoon, battery, musical instrument, and on and on and on. The DVD also looks at the side of Franklin that most other shows avoid -- his dealing with women and how he treated his own family members. That shows us that Franklin was human, with human faults.

The DVD also has a "special" section that lists some of Franklin's countless famous quotes along with a list of some of his contributions. Additionally, there is a lengthy tie in of Franklin and the other Founding Fathers to the movie "National Treasure".

To me, Franklin is one of the most fascinating and interesting persons ever. That alone is why I had to have this DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Happy Camper on February 8, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Ben Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. I needed to know more about him and a good DVD is the easiest way, preferable for me to reading a book. Oh, I knew all the stuff we learn in school, about how he flew a kite in a thunderstorm and discovered lightning was electricity, how he invented the lightning rod, and how he wrote Poor Richard's Almanac, and the fact that he arranged for France to support the American Revolution. But I wanted more, and this DVD gave it to me.

I learned how he had been expiramenting with electricity long before he flew the kite, and how he had developed a theory of electricity. As part of that he discovered the single fluid theory of electricity flow, from positive to negative. His invention of the lightening rod has allowed the construction of tall buildings, because it precluded concerns for the devastating power of lightening strikes on them. It can be theorized that we would not have tall buildings today if not for the lightening rod.

I have learned much about Ben Franklin from this DVD that was very surprising to me, such as his charting of the current in the Atlantic which we now know as the Gulf Stream, his involvement in the creation of the first lending library, and his first use of a system of franchise operations for print shops along the Eastern seaboard for a portion of the profits.

This is an excellent DVD and I cannot say enough good things about it. I encourage all to use this DVD for a review of the Life of Benjamin Franklin.
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