Mark Twain (2001) | Dir. Ken Burns | Documentary


As a producer and director, Burns has become the epitome of this genre of documentary filmmaking. He and his crew have produced a work of outstanding detail and quality about a man, Samuel Clemens, an amazing bigger than life character of immense depth and insight. An excellent work and well worth your time. lb

About the film

A popular humorist, philosopher and social satirist, Mark Twain was the well-known nom-de-plume of writer Samuel Clemens, the nation’s first literary celebrity. One of the most quoted men of his time, he was born in 1835, the year Haley’s Comet passed over, and vowed that he would not die until he saw the famous comet. He died in 1910 — the day after the comet’s return. Tracing Twain’s rise from his humble birth in Missouri to his prosperous life in Connecticut as the nation’s best-selling author, Mark Twain reveals a compelling portrait of the father of American literature.

Nearly three years in the making and drawing from 63 hours of material, thousands of archival photographs and nearly 20 interviews with top writers and Twain scholars, Mark Twain is the story of an extraordinary life­-one full of rollicking adventure, stupendous success and crushing defeat, hilarious comedy and unbearable tragedy. Told primarily through the words of Twain himself and narrated by Keith David (the voice of Jazz), viewers of all ages will be personally introduced to this compelling yet contradictory genius, who said with some justification, “I am not an American, I am the American.” (2001)

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