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Tesla: Master of Lightning (2007)

Stacy Keach , Elisabeth Noone , Robert Uth  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Stacy Keach, Elisabeth Noone
  • Directors: Robert Uth
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: 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: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VWZ0LG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,081 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This program recounts the life of scientist, inventor, and visionary Nikola Tesla, often remembered as more of an eccentric cult figure than an electrical engineering genius. Many of his achievements are still attributed to contemporaries Thomas Edison and Guglielmo Marconi. Tesla's surprising inventions are revealed in his autobiographical and scientific writings, supplemented by rare photographs and re-creations.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
73 of 73 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I picked up this documentary because I got really interested in Tesla after watching "The Prestige" starring Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. I suspect I'm one of many that fall into this category. I mean, I knew who Tesla was prior to seeing the movie, but I realized that outside of the Tesla Coil, I really didn't know much else about the man. So I took it upon myself to do a little research, I picked up this DVD and picked up a biography by Margaret Cheney (who actually is interviewed on this DVD to my surprise!). I'm a little over half done the biography as I'm writing this.

Anyway, this documentary was put out by PBS and I've been quite pleased with their documentaries and television shows in the past, so I didn't feel I had anything to worry about in terms of quality. I was quite correct for the most part. It's really not a very light hearted documentary and I would say it's even a bit dry at times. However, the content is very fascinating and tells you all the major things you need to know about this phenomenal inventor. Basically we would be dealing with a lot of power issues today if it wasn't for Tesla's alternating current. Usually in the United States (at least while I was in school) everyone talks about Thomas Edison and all his amazing accomplishments, but there are very few who mention Tesla, whom essentially enabled the world TO be lit with Edison's invention.

The documentary takes us from Tesla's humble beginnings in Serbia and his rising interest in engineering during the industrial explosion in the late 1800's. The documentary goes into detail on all his major accomplishments and some of the controversies he had to deal with. It touches on the war of the currents between Direct Current and Alternating Current.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Detailed & Entertaining! April 17, 2008
I've only recently been gaining an interest in Nikola Tesla but after reading his autobiography I ordered this on a whim and really enjoyed it! It is a long dvd but since the subject matter is so intriguing I didn't mind. The photographs and voice overs are really well done and not at all cheesy as may be the case with some documentaries. I watched it with my boyfriend's 10 yr. old daughter (pretty sharp for her age!) who was excited to learn about Tesla's impact on our civilization today & was curious as to why she wasn't learning more about him in school. I'd like to know the answer to that myself! He harnassed the power of Niagara Falls, invented the alternating current giving us the ability to transmit electricity over great distances, gave us the fundamentals of computer and missile science...and had an eccentric, interesting personality to boot. He mingled with the likes of Mark Twain, William K. Vanderbilt, J.P.Morgan, and Thomas Edison. I highly recommend this dvd for anyone who gets excited about amazing inventions (that work), science, the utoptian dream and conspiracy theories!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An accurate account of the fascinating life of a genius January 27, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I have read many accounts of Nikola Tesla, his life's story, inventions, and sad demise of an amazing inventor, visionary, and genius. This PBS documentary is excellent and I recommend it highly to schools to teach the TRUTH, and the true inventor of radio.
This documentary covers from birth to death of Nikola Tesla, and accurately portrays much of what I have read, and even more obscure facts on the man.
The video goes beyond the death of Tesla and explains the everyday appliances around us sprung forth from the inventive mind of this man. His "death ray" is also examined and a good discussion of particle beam weaponry follows. Reagan's Star Wars program is also discussed, along with HAARP, the super secret microwave array in a remote part of Alaska.
Tesla was truly a man who knew the secrets of electricity, some of his concepts some are only really beginning to understand. His thoughts on capturing free energy and transmitting it around the world was truly a humanitrian concept and the video explains how he was stopped by greedy capitalists and how he died a penniless man. His work continues to live through us all that are touched by wireless communications, electrical devices Tesla invented, and the fascination with resonance, a key to unlock the very secrets of nature's electric dynamo - the earth itself.
I only regret this movie lasted only 90 minutes. I wished it had talked about his electric car, although they showed him in the vehicle, they didn't really talk about it.
Get the video, you'll not be disappointed in this fascinating man!
High-Tech Magic
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TESLA! June 21, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Wow! What a life...what a video! After you watch this, you will realize this man, NOT Edison, is the great inventor of the 20th century. As you click the remote control on your TV to change channels, you'll always think of TESLA!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Documentary of Tesla's Life August 8, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This is much better than "The Secret of Nicola Tesla". Informative, professionally produced by PBS, the entire tale is told with accuracy, insight and detail unavailable in any other documentary on his life and work. We are all told of Edison's genius, but Tesla is always kept in the background...and he was a greater genius than Edison. Finally, Tesla is getting the recognition he deserves.
This is a first-rate production. If you care anything about the truth, buy it. Eschew other videos, they're not even halfway up to the mark on this one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good educational movie. There were some pictures I hadn't seen. Recommended for learning more about this peculiar genius.
Published 1 day ago by B. Griffith
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by Kim
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 14 days ago by Joe
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent documentary
Excellent video and biography. Does not hide how there is a correlation between the highly gifted and some degree of social dysfunction, which applied to the life of Nikola Tesla. Read more
Published 18 days ago by bachdog
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Arrived quickly, no damage.
Published 25 days ago by Captain Kirk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Documentary
Published 28 days ago by Patric Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! Great four the kids too
Learnt a lot of new and interesting facts about Tesla's life and ambitions. Watched it with my 5 and 8 year old and it maintained their interest most of the time. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mitchell M.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Quite good!
Published 1 month ago by Ramona DeRyan
5.0 out of 5 stars made the first drone, kept us from hurting ourselves with it.
important,interesting,sympathetic. about time people knew Edison was a hack and a thief. With the possible exception of George Washington Carver, America's greatest inventor.
Published 1 month ago by Bill Chastain
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Fascinating history of the man that changed the way we look at electricity.
Published 1 month ago by S. Briles
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