Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Grocery Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Voyage Cyber Monday Video Game Deals Outdoor Deals on HTL
  • List Price: $24.99
  • You Save: $9.47 (38%)
& FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Thomas Jefferson - A Film... has been added to your Cart
Used: Good | Details
Sold by tickletext
Condition: Used: Good
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for up to $1.00
Learn More
Trade in now
Other Sellers on Amazon
Add to Cart
& FREE Shipping on orders over $35.00. Details
Sold by: Fulfillment Express US
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Thomas Jefferson - A Film by Ken Burns

88 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
New from Used from
(Sep 28, 2004)
"Please retry"
$12.28 $7.26
(Sep 28, 2004)
"Please retry"
$9.47 $6.78

Try Prime FREE to Stream Movies & TV Shows
Start Your 30-day Free Trial Try Prime FREE to stream thousands of movies & TV shows. Learn more
$15.52 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Thomas Jefferson - A Film by Ken Burns
  • +
  • Lewis & Clark - The Journey of the Corps of Discovery
Total price: $30.73
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Returning from France, Jefferson strives to preserve the fragile new U.S. government and helps create the first political party, in bitter struggles with the Federalists. He becomes vice president in 1797, and the third U.S. president in 1801. His Louisiana Purchase doubles the nation's size, but he faces controversy and scandal, finally retiring to his beloved Monticello in 1809.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Directors: Ken Burns
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Full Screen
  • 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: September 28, 2004
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,852 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Thomas Jefferson - A Film by Ken Burns" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

165 of 177 people found the following review helpful By bixodoido on January 3, 2003
Format: DVD
Ken Burns's documentaries are always well put together and very interesting. This one on Jefferson is no exception. The pictures, personal accounts, and music are what make his films so great. In this documentary, Burns takes a look at the life of one of the founding fathers of our nation.
As I said, I really enjoyed the style of this documentary, but there are problems as well. Unlike his excellent film on the Civil War, Burns seems here to ignore some basic historical facts. It's almost as if he tries to set up Jefferson as THE founding father instead of A founding father. Credit to Jefferson for drafting the Declaration of Independence is well-deserved, but giving him full credit for the treaty in France (which Franklin, Adams, and Arthur Lee had much more to do with than he did) is stretching it a lot.
When speaking of Jefferson's years in France, the film is silent as to the great friendship between he and John Adams. Indeed, Adams is portrayed as the great antagonist, and Burns here calls him a friend and close ally of Alexander Hamilton (also not true). Later, when Adams and Jefferson begin their famous correspondence late in life, you can barely understand why the two men are writing to each other (since it makes only passing mention of their previous close friendship).
Ken Burns has given us another good documentary here, but it would have been better, in my opinion, to make this one a little longer to be able to provide a more accurate portrait of Jefferson's life. Instead, many basic historical facts have been ignored, and we are left with a picture of Jefferson that, despite making him seem a great hero of the revolution (which he was), is not accurate.
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
59 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Adams on January 14, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Six years ago this three hour biography of America's third president was telecasted for the first time on PBS. It should be retelecasted annually on July 4th as part of the annual celebration of the nation's independence.
Gore Vidal and George Will, at the opposite ends of the political spectrum, are among the historians and commentators that appear, reflect and illuminate on the life and ideas of the most contradictory of America's founders.
Like most, if not all, of Ken Burns' productions, "Thomas Jefferson," the program's script/narration is its most distinctive and memorable feature.
I only wish a text of program's script accompanied the DVD.
The appearance and commentary by Black historian John Hope Franklin provides appropriate balance to the program that tends to applaud Jefferson the man, his achievements and contributions.
The fact that Jefferson didn't free his slaves, and/or regularly had sexual intercourse with one of his slaves seem to me easily understood, considering his life and times. I'm not the least bit shocked, and my admiration of Jefferson is not diminished by these facts and/or speculations.
Every American should regularly be introduced to this giant of the American Experience.
"Thomas Jefferson: A Film By Ken Burns" should be every collection of quality DVD documentaries, and shown and studied in all American History classes.
I hope that PBS continues to release all of Ken Burns' productions on DVD.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: DVD
This was an extremely pleasant television biography of our most complex president, and it certainly had a number of good things going for it. For instance, there are many, many wonderful shots of Monticiello in all kinds of weather, and this seemed to bring the viewer closer to Jefferson than many such examinations of his life do. And as in most of Ken Burns's undertakings, a number of eloquent scholars contributed their perspectives to the show. But the fact is that the show ends up passing over too many facts and aspects of Jefferson's life. By any standard, Jefferson is the most complex prominent American in our history. More has been written about Lincoln, and while there are aspects of his personality that baffle us, compared to Jefferson he is a model of transparency. So, I do not fault the documentary for leaving Jefferson a bit of a mystery. As Joseph Ellis remarks in it (repeating the central image of his admirable biography), if Jefferson were a statue, he would be a sphinx. I've read several biographies of Jefferson as well as at least a dozen or so books in which he features prominently, and the more I read about him, the perplexing aspects of his life and personality become more and not less baffling.

The documentary does a decent job of hitting the high points of Jefferson's life, though there is a definite tendency to skip over some aspects, perhaps because of time limitations. For instance, Jefferson was an absolutely awful vice president under Adams, and actively conspired to undermine his presidency, but no mention of this is made whatsoever in the series.
Read more ›
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
43 of 51 people found the following review helpful By G. Zilly on July 15, 2007
Format: DVD
I recently checked out this DVD from the library as I am currently reading the six volume biography of Jefferson by Dumas Malone (I am currently well into the fifth volume) and thought this would provide some additional visual references. This film certainly seems to be in line with the recent trend in biography towards psychoanalysis, of which this film, in my opinion, vastly overreaches itself, and is barebones on real facts and history. While Jefferson is certainly not a straightforward individual to understand, I do not believe he is the enigma that this film claims him to be. Certainly Jefferson's statements and writings assert strongly ideological ideas that were not always in line with the actions of his political and personal life, but this is by no means a rare human quality, especially in politics. Indeed, had Jefferson been an uncompromising ideologue, such as congressman John Randolph - his rival in the democratic-republican party of the time, he would have been roundly criticized for being aloof from reality. Jefferson held strong guiding principles, but recognized that pragmatism and compromise would be required to avoid jeopardizing the long term success of his ideals and the American experiment.

I also believe this biography overreaches in its portrayal of Jefferson as a tragic figure. It is certainly true that Jefferson lost many close friends and relatives throughout his life, including his father at an early age, his wife when she was still very young, his closest friend, and five of his six children before his death, but this is not extraordinary given the time period, nor do I think a strong argument can be made that these events significantly influenced Jefferson's thoughts, republican ideals, or actions.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Topic From this Discussion
closed captioned?
Again, yes, please read the replies in the other places that you asked this.
Feb 15, 2008 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 2 posts
Music Be the first to reply
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Thomas Jefferson - A Film by Ken Burns
This item: Thomas Jefferson - A Film by Ken Burns
Price: $15.52
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: the american president pbs series, pbs dvd history, biographies dvd movies