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New York (7 Episode PBS Boxed Set)

72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Available previously as a 5-part VHS set, New York now boasts two all-new episodes. The series offers fourteen spectacular hours of programming that chronicle the history of New York - from its beginning in 1609 as a Dutch trading post, through the turbulent years of change in the decades following World War II, to its present day status as one of the most important and influential cities in the world.

SYNOPSES
Episode 1: The Country and the City(1609 - 1825) chronicles the arrival of the Dutch, the impact of the English, the horrors of colonial slavery and New York's critical role in the American Revolution.
Episode 2: Order and Disorder(1825 - 1865) looks at New York's rise as a burgeoning cultural center and multi-ethnic port, concluding with the Civil War Riots - America's bloodiest civil disturbance. Episode 3: Sunshine and Shadow(1865 - 1898) turns the spotlight on a period of greed and wealth that fueled the expanding metropolis - even as politics and poverty defined it.
Episode 4: The Power and the People(1898 - 1918) follows New York into a new century, examining the interplay of capitalism, democracy and transformation in the wake of an extraordinary wave of immigration and the birth of the skyscraper.
Episode 5: Cosmopolis(1919 - 1931) details the African-American experience, the birth of new media industries and the incredible array of human and cultural energies that converged, ending with the construction of the world's tallest building.
Episode 6: City of Tomorrow(1929 - 1941) traces the spectacular but often troubling changes that overtook New York due to the crash of 1929 and the beginning of World War II.
Episode 7: The City and the World(1945 - Present) chronicles the history of New York from the end of World War II through today, exploring the complexities of the post-modern city and the turbulent years of physical, social and cultural change in the decades following the war.


Special Features

  • 7-disc set
  • Charlie Rose interview
  • Additional interviews including Martin Scorsese, Donald Trump, and many more
  • Archival motion pictures
  • Deleted scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: David Ogden Stiers, Louis Armstrong, Mrs. Vincent Astor, Abraham Beame, Irving Berlin
  • Directors: Ric Burns
  • Producers: Donald Rosenfeld, Helen Kaplan
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Pbs Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2001
  • Run Time: 600 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NC51
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,948 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "New York (7 Episode PBS Boxed Set)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Eric V. Moye on October 28, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Burns family has come up with some fine work, from Baseball, to the Civil War; and now the latest, New York. A fine successor.
Ric Burns explores the early history of New York, starting with the God-created attributes of the region and one of the world's finest natural seaports. But the treasure is found in what man has added to the Apple, starting with the Erie Canal, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Subway system. The Bridge's history has itself been the subject of much scholarship, and Burns does it well also. The creation of the skyline, including the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building are some of the series best moments, filled with some of the fascinating type of information that fans of Burns' documentaries have come to expect and enjoy.
The history of New York is the history of immigrants, and the interaction of Irish, Italians, Africans and other groups is splendidly examined. The politics of the City, such as the rise and demise of Al Smith and Jimmy Walker are well explored also.
My few complaints are minor, and don't detract from the work. F. Scott Fitzgerald seems to have become a demi-god to Burns, and after awhile, I found the continued references to him and his
work tiring. More than a few minutes on the early history of Harlem would have been a welcome replacement.
I purchased the DVD version, although I had the videocassettes. Am I glad I did! It has two additional discs, which try to bring the series up to date. Fiorello LaGuardia and Robert Moses, the two most pivotal figures in the history of the City, are splendidly explored. More examination of the development and contribution of Harlem (which I lamented in the review of the VHS version) is also welcomed. New York's post W.W.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Eric V. Moye on May 14, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
The Burns family has come up with some fine work, from Baseball, to the Civil War; and now the latest, New York. A fine successor.
Ric Burns explores the early history of New York, starting with the God-created attributes of the region and one of the world's finest natural seaports. But the treasure is found in what man has added to the Apple, starting with the Erie Canal, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Subway system. The Bridge's history has itself been the subject of much scholarship, and Burns does it well also. The creation of the skyline, including the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building are some of the series best moments, filled with some of the fascinating type of information that fans of Burns' documentaries have come to expect and enjoy.
The history of New York is the history of immigrants, and the interaction of Irish, Italians, Africans and other groups is splendidly examined. The politics of the City, such as the rise and demise of Al Smith are well explored also.
My few complaints are minor, and don't detract from the work. F. Scott Fitzgerald seems to have become a demi-god to Burns, and after awhile, I found the continued references to him and his work tiring. More than a few minutes on the history of Harlem would have been a welcome replacement. Of course, history is harder to write the closer we are to it, but I would have liked to have seen the series end later (perhaps at the end of the 1960's).
Even those not from New York will find it to be a rich, interesting history, worth of the length of time one must devote to its viewing. Those expatriate New Yorkers will be tugged to head back home. All in all, very worthwhile.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By noir head on August 21, 2005
Format: DVD
When I first sat down and watched this tremendous film on DVD, I was stunned at the magnitude of information it contains. I learned so much about New York's origins, I felt ashamed I knew so little about the world's greatest city.

As I got deeper into the film, I realised just how riveted I was at the musical score. What a tremendous soundtrack! The drawings, photos, camera sweeps and interviews come alive in a way that's hard to describe, when combined with the music.

I was taken aback by the weight of emotion (mostly sadness) that the documentary was able to well up inside of me; there were so many incidents I was unaware of in the city's history that are just heart-breaking. I learned so much about the city's lowlights but there are also a great deal of highlights too. I was extremely proud of the Statue of Liberty segment - tears literally filled my eyes as the inscription on the statue was read. That's the kind of emotion the film brings.

These are stories I'm not likely to ever forget. Because of the way Ric Burns and his team put them on film in a way that's more than watchable; it's simply stupendous.

This is the finest film I have ever witnessed.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Rocco Dormarunno on November 4, 2003
Format: DVD
Released in two stages (parts 1-5 in 1999 and parts 6-7 in 2001), Ric Burns' NEW YORK, to a new viewer, might feel sadly outdated. There's a lot of buoyancy and, as others have noted, a lot of "rah-rah-ism" going on. After all, the series was filmed during Wall Street's dotcom-induced high of the mid-90s, and all those smiles on the faces of former mayor Rudy Giuliani, writer Brendan Gill, and historian David McCullough are blissfully ignorant of what the economic collapse of 2000 and the events of 9/11/01 would do to Gotham and America. And the dozens upon dozens of shots of the World Trade Center are almost unbearable, at least to this New Yorker.
But try, please, please try to look at this remarkable documentary from the point of view of a pre-Y2K American or, for that matter, from an American of the future not so horribly close to 9/11. I stress American because the documentary is so U.S.-focused it would bristle non-Americans. (Actually, it might even bristle non-New Yorkers.)
If you can do that, you'll be in for one of the most insightful, poignant, monumental, and nothing less than brilliant films on the history of New York City ever made. I'm going to take that a step or two further--it is one of the best histories of NYC in any medium and one of the best documentaries on any subject ever made. The pacing is incredible. Part 1 which covers, roughly, the first 200 years of the city's existence reveals just how far back New York's roots extend. And yet, the minutes (and hours) go by quickly in spite of the extraordinary amount of information that's covered. The same can be said of the other six parts, as well. It's all so informative and brisk. And you'll be surprised how much native New Yorkers can learn about their own city!
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