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Stories from the Vaults (2008)

Tom Cavanagh , na  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Cavanagh
  • Directors: na
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • 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: Smithsonian Networks
  • DVD Release Date: September 23, 2008
  • Run Time: 185 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001CDL6QQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,582 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ever wondered what's hiding behind the scenes of America s most renowned museum complex? Find out as host Tom Cavanagh (Eli Stone, Ed) takes viewers beyond the exhibit halls on an insider's tour of the private rooms, high-tech vaults and cutting edge labs of the Smithsonian Institution, revealing some of the amazing artifacts and rarely seen treasures that visitors can t see! Boasting more than 342,000 square feet of storage space and more than 31 million items in just one of their facilities... some of the oldest and weirdest artifacts are housed here!

In each episode of Stories From the Vaults, the Smithsonian's curators, experts and scientists open their collections and share their distinctive passions by presenting their most prized, surprising or enlightening artifacts, relics or specimens standouts among the 100 million or so items in the Smithsonian's collections currently not on exhibit.

Cavanagh climbs ladders, peers in drawers, looks behind doors, stares into microscopes and interacts with old bones, bringing a contagious enthusiasm and off-beat humor to the series. He uncovers the intriguing history of each object - its origins, how it came to the Smithsonian, how it is being painstakingly preserved and studied and what it might tell us about ourselves, our culture, where we came from or where we may be going.

Episodes from season one of this original Smithsonian Networks program include: Famous Donors, Superlatives, No Place Like Home, Beauty, Firsts, Life After Death and Random?

In recognition of its creativity, the Stories From The Vaults series recently received a Gold World Medal from the New York Festival, as well as a Parent's Choice Gold Award for Excellence.


File this one under educational and cool. Tom Cavanagh (Ed) takes viewers of this series from the Smithsonian Network behind the scenes at the venerable institution. In seven episodes, dig through the vaults and learn the history behind artifacts involving orchids, animals, Thomas Edison's drawers and video games. --Eric Henrickson - The Detroit News

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, fast look behind the scenes of the Smithsonian November 15, 2008
I wasn't quite sure what to expect from these 30-minute segments - or as Tom Cavanaugh as host. What I got was much more than expected: a fun, fast look behind the scenes of the nation's most prestigious museum. Learn about magic lanterns, Phyllis Diller's thousand-joke card catalog, taxidermy, and more.

I was really impressed. Cavanaugh kept the content from becoming too boring. He is lively, and his bounce is the perfect balance to the quiet personalities behind the museum.

These are short and easy to watch - perfect for home schoolers, or those who like tidbits of trivia. Definitely worth the watch.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting subject matter; Goofy host November 2, 2008
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The host seems intelligent enough, but he seems to think that his constant patter of silly humor makes the content more appealing. It doesn't. I think he could be a good host and guide, however, he needs to tone it down and remember that the content he is presenting is more important than his charming, fun-filled personality. As my wife said, "The subject matter was good, but he needs to stop bouncing off the walls."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Behind the Scenes... September 20, 2009
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Stories from the Vault is a great video showing how things end up in museums. Sounds somewhat boring, but with Tom Cavaunagh hosting the show, anything could happen in a hilarious adventure. Can't wait for season 2!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The main problem with STORIES FROM THE VAULTS... April 25, 2010
Verified Purchase Tom Cavanaugh. His constant "look at me, look at me" silliness detracts greatly from what could be a very interesting series. It needs a whole lot more content and a whole lot less Tom. Honestly, how many times can he mug for the camera, run into trees, trip, etc before somebody, somewhere goes, "Uh, Tom, you wanna knock it off. Yes, you have cute dimples and you can be fairly appealing, but STOP!"? His constant (Yeah, I know I used the word "constant" before, but it is what it is) interuption of the experts at the Smithsonian with stupid remarks, the camera minutes wasted with his antics just ruined the whole series for me.

I like the whole idea of going back into the inner workings of the Smithsonian and see the incredible amount of items they have stored. Information like the different buidings, the shear size of the place, and focusing on various items is interesting, which is the reason I bought the thing to start with.

He's in both the first and second series, unfortunately. Were I the one in charge I would have gotten someone like Leonard Nimoy to do the next one. Regardlyss, I won't be getting STORIES FROM THE VAULTS II, even though I love stuff like this, simply because Cavanaugh is the "host" - and I use the word with tongue in cheek.

Seriously, pass this one by and get Nova's THE VIKINGS instead. More content, less stupidity.
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