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Now in his 70s, Franklin is the oldest revolutionary leader. Congress sends Franklin to France in an effort to secure an alliance with England's rival; Franklin's political skills help him coax the French to support the American cause, leading to final American victory at Yorktown. With peace secured, Franklin returns home. Two years later, an ailing Franklin enters the constitutional convention to guide rancorous delegates.
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Top customer reviews
The first part, Let the Experiment Be Made, is about his enthusiasm on the science and the impacts to the world. The most famous story may be the kite and the lightning. In addition, this part also talks about his early life. Some of his scientific works are scattered in the other parts of this film.
The second part, The Making of a Revolutionary, is about how he becomes a Patriot rather than sticking to a Loyalist. It is somewhat ironic since he regards himself as an Englishman rather than an American most of his life. At last, this turns out to be his darkest time since he and his son, who helped him in the kite and lightning experiment, are separated for different political beliefs.
The third part, The Chess Master, is mostly about his endeavors in France during the Revolution War. After winning the independence, he is also a key man for the peace treaty with England and France and the U.S. Constitution. It is not straightforward as we might think to reach the peace treaty with the European powers because they had their own agendas. The U.S. Constitution is also not seemed to work at that time since no one is satisfied with it due to so many compromises and fears. Overall, these make him the only one sign in the three most important documents in the early U.S. history, the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Paris and the U.S. Constitution.
The time is well spent after I have finished it. The narration and comments from experts are smooth and on focus. It's very pleasing to watch during the whole running time. I recommend this DVD to anyone interested in Benjamin Franklin, who deserves his fame.
The actor playing Mr. Franklin (Ralph Archbold) does a great job in connecting with the viewer, and capturing that wit, charm and spirit.
Watching the end, I felt a emptiness in having this great person leave my screen (I watch alot of documentaries, and this is the only one I felt that way). A must-have for every documentary or history fan. Would make a great gift too.
It believe this warrants a five star rating, but I think this depends on your interest in American culture and history. Franklin created many of the aspects of society that we now take for granted.