American Masters

Follow!

Produced (or acquired) by Thirteen/WNET New York for the Public Broadcasting System, episodes of American Masters are dedicated to documenting and honoring America's most notable creative artists and the inspiration behind their work. Each year a series of special broadcasts profiles a cross-section of the nation's finest artistic pioneers from the past and present.

Rated with 8.7/10 by 6 users
Episode Description

1

Private Conversations: On the Set of 'Death of a Salesman'

A behind-the-scenes look at the filming of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman for television.

2

Philip Johnson, Self Portrait

One of America's best-known architects is profiled, with emphasis on his early career and his later movement away from minimalism.

3

Katherine Anne Porter: The Eye of Memory

A biography of the well-known social critic and author Katherine Anne Porter.

4

The Unknown Chaplin (1)

An in-depth treatment of the life and sensibilities of the innovative silent film superstar Charlie Chaplin.

5

The Unknown Chaplin (2)

An in-depth treatment of the life and sensibilities of the innovative silent film superstar Charlie Chaplin.

6

The Unknown Chaplin (3)

An in-depth treatment of the life and sensibilities of the innovative silent film superstar Charlie Chaplin.

7

Billie Holiday: The Long Night of Lady Day

A biography of Billie Holiday, one of America's most unique and emotional jazz singers and the tragic end of her life at an early age.

8

James Levine: A Life in Music

The musical career of the long-time conductor of New York City's Metropolitan Opera as reflected by following his normal working day on camera.

9

Aaron Copland: A Self Portrait

One of America's signature classical composers and the unique elements he incorporated into his pieces.

10

Thomas Eakins: A Motion Portrait

The strikingly realistic and unsentimental paintings of the noted artist from Philadelphia.

11

Georgia O'Keeffe

A profile of the noted American artist originally produced to celebrate her 90th birthday.

12

Eugene O'Neill: A Glory of Ghosts

An examination of the life and work of the intellectually serious and talented playwright and his impact on the world of theater.
Episode Description

1

Isaac in America: A Journey with Isaac Bashevis Singer

A profile of the literary work of Isaac Bashevis Singer and his influence on preserving Jewish culture and the Yiddish language.

2

Directed by William Wyler

A retrospective on the rich legacy of cinema directed by Wyler with clips and commentary.

3

Rubinstein Remembered

A trip through the life and works of the piano virtuoso Arthur Rubinstein conducted by his son John.

4

Nik and Murray

A story of two talented personalities, Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis, and their collaborations in the world of dance.

5

George Gershwin Remembered

The music of the unique American master composer (as well as his brother Ira) with insights from his collaborators and friends.

6

Maurice Sendak: Mon Cher Papa

An installment that shows the author and illustrator at work staging a production of a Mozart opera.

7

The Negro Ensemble Company

An ode to the work of the African American theater group founded in the late 60s and its impact on the performing arts.

8

Unanswered Prayers: The Life and Times of Truman Capote

The evolution of the novelist and his impact on other artists and American culture.

9

The Ten-Year Lunch: The Wit and Legend of the Algonquin Round Table

A history of the famed social gathering of leaders, intellectuals, writers, and artists.

10

Buster Keaton: Hard Act to Follow

The story of the silent-era star who brought brilliance and originality to physical comedy.
Episode Description

1

Lillian Gish: The Actor's Life for Me

The famed career of the silent movie actress and an examination of the role of women in film during that era of American cinema.

2

A Duke Named Ellington

Detailed biography of the renowned jazz performer/conductor Duke Ellington and his band, including his easy-going grace and sophistication.

3

Andre Kertesz of the Cities

A retrospective of the urban photography of Andre Kertesz, told by tracking him in the final years before his death.

4

Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul

Franklin's life - from gospel to Grammy Awards.

5

Rivera in America

The murals and politics of the famed Mexican artist Diego Rivera.

6

Saint-Gaudens: Masque of the Golden Bowl

A dramatic recreation of the work and career of a renowned sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gaudens

7

Neil Simon: Not Just for Laughs

The whimsical work of the beloved playwright.

8

Broadway's Dreamers: The Legacy of Group Theater

The story of "method" acting.
Episode Description

1

Harold Clurman: A Life of Theatre

The life of the renowned Broadway director and arts critic, as well as co-founder of New York's Group Theatre.

2

Stella Adler: Awake and Dream!

A retrospective on the career of one of America's finest teachers of acting technique.

3

Satchmo: The Life of Louis Armstrong

The evolution and extraordinary musical creations of the nation's best-known jazz musician.

4

James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket

The noted author, his battles against racism, and its expression in his books.

5

Celebrating Bird: The Triumph of Charlie Parker

A biographical documentary on the short-lived career of brilliant jazz musician Charlie Parker. Features his only television appearance and rare concert footage. Includes cameos by such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, and Charles Mingus.

6

Jasper Johns: Ideas in Paint

The mind of a famed neo-abstractionist painter as it expresses itself on canvas.

7

Mort Sahl: The Loyal Opposition

The biting comedic satire of Mort Sahl and his rise to prominence in the 1960s.

8

W. Eugene Smith: Photography Made Difficult

The work of the provacative photographer for Life magazine.

9

Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius

Profile of the comedy standout from the silent era who is often mentioned third behind Chaplin and Keaton.

10

Milos Forman: Portrait

The movies of the Academy Award-winning motion picture maker.
Episode Description

1

Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer

The life of the famous director and scriptwriter, from his writings for the stage to his Hollywood acclaim.

2

John Cassavetes

A documentary that follows the varied career of the noted film director.

3

Martin Scorsese Directs

Interviews and film clips document the hard-hitting film work of Scorsese.

4

You're the Top: The Cole Porter Story

The career of Porter as seen through filmed versions of his work and commentary from performance stars.

5

Edward R. Murrow: This Reporter

The fascinating life of the model for the "hard-boiled" radio and television journalist.

6

John Hammond: From Bessie Smith to Bruce Springsteen

A documentary on the 50 year career of a legendary producer of recording artists and musicians.

7

Sanford Meisner: The Theater's Best Kept Secret

The work of an acting coach and instructor who had a profound impact on the American stage.

8

John Cage: I Have Nothing to Say and I'm Saying It

The outrageously odd and original compositions of an avant-garde musician.
Episode Description

1

Helen Hayes: First Lady of the American Theatre

A chronicle of the extraordinary actress and those who were influenced by her universally-respected work.

2

Miracle on 44th Street: A Portrait of the Actor's Studio

Inside the workings of the mecca of "method acting" techniques.

3

A. Einstein: How I See the World

The life of the creative and imaginative physicist and his thoughts and writings after coming to the United States.

4

Sarah Vaughan: The Divine One

A look at the soulful interpretations of the remarkable singer, mostly through filmed performances.

5

Frederic Remington: The Truth of Other Days

The artistic career of a painter and sculptor who defined western art and influenced America's ideas of the west.

6

Menuhin: A Family Portrait

The story of an American violin virtuoso, Yehudi Menuhin.

7

Robert Motherwell and the New York School

A biography of the artist Motherwell and the growth of abstract expressionism in New York City.

8

Ray Charles: The Genius of Soul

The obstacles overcome in the magnificent career of the famed musician.

9

Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter's Journey

Documentary on the writer who made his way back from the entertainment industry "blacklist" and became an acclaimed success.
Episode Description

1

Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time

The career and collaborations of Simon's 30 years in the music business.

2

George Lucas: Heroes, Myths & Magic

An examination of the thinking and techniques used by one of America's most-celebrated movie makers.

3

D.W. Griffith: Father of Film

A look at the innovator of primary motion picture techniques that are still important today and the controversy surrounding his beliefs.
Episode Description

1

Benny Goodman: Adventures in the Kingdom of Swing

The life of the clarinetist and band leader known as the "King of Swing."

2

Martha Graham: The Dancer Revealed

A documentary of the masterful American dancer.
Episode Description

1

Rediscovering Will Rogers

The life of the famed commentator on the American condition and his style of humor.

2

Tennessee Williams: Orpheus of the American Stage

The plays of a master of portraying human relations and the shades of love and hate.

3

Placido Domingo: A Musical Life

The rise of one of the world's most powerful and accomplished tenors and his great performances.

4

Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul

An examination of the author's life and a look at the specifics of some of his written works.
Episode Description

1

Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval

A documentary on the man who pioneered the use of early television for dramatic storytelling.

2

William Styron: The Way of the Writer

A retrospective on the author's writings including commentary from his professional associates.

3

Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light

The notable images of one of the nation's most famous fashion photographers.

4

Buckminster Fuller: Thinking Out Loud

An examination of the visionary and thinker and his most famous ideas.

5

Nichols and May: Take Two

A chronicle of the 1950s comedy team and the short-lived but memorable career of the duo.
Episode Description

1

Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice

A biography of the famed singer including her first big breaks in show business.

2

Danny Kaye: A Legacy of Laughter

A portrait of a masterful and versatile member of the entertainment industry for decades.

3

Man Ray: Prophet of the Avant-Garde

Biography of a multi-media artist and his ground-breaking works of artistic expression.

4

Jack Paar: As I Was Saying

A feature on the career of the famed television host and how he entered and left the TV industry.

5

Isamu Noguchi: Stones and Paper

The free-flowing design and sculpture of a man influenced by Asian sensibilities.
Episode Description

1

The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg

The poetry of the noted "beat generation" poet and the post World War II lifestyle and values reflected within his works.

2

Vaudeville

The origins and growth of a unique form of live entertainment in the 20th century.

3

Billy Wilder: the Human Comedy

A profile of writer-director Billy Wilder.

4

Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart

Profile of one of the major leaders of new directions in rock music.

5

Don Hewitt: 90 Minutes on 60 Minutes

The work of Don Hewitt in the CBS news department and the story of the long-running new magazine 60 Minutes.

6

Alexander Calder

A biography of the acclaimed sculptor known for his mobiles and large public art pieces.
Episode Description

1

Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note

Chronicle of the achievements of the noted composer and conductor of popular and classical music.

2

The Line King: Al Hirschfeld

An in-depth look at the famous art and caricatures of Al Hirschfeld.

3

Paul Robeson: Here I Stand

Documentary about the life of Paul Robeson: actor, scholar, and rights activist.

4

Robert Rauschenberg: Inventive Genius

The boundaries broken by the innovative experimental artist.

5

The Lives of Lillian Hellman

The politics and writings of the noted 20th century woman.

6

Dashiell Hammett: Detective, Writer

A profile of an author as mysterious as some of his well-known detective stories.

7

Yours for a Song: The Women of Tin Pan Alley

A story of the women who created some of Broadway's most memorable songs.
Episode Description

1

Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood

A chronicle of the clash between two film-making legends when they tried to work together in the 1940s.

2

Norman Rockwell: Painting America

A presentation of the award-winning PBS series American Masters, Norman Rockwell: Painting America etches a warm and indelible portrait of one of America's most beloved artists. Insightful commentary by art experts and historians enhances one's appreciation of Rockwell's deceptively simple work. To look at Rockwell's paintings, one observer notes, is to enter "a mythical land of childhood innocence and exuberance." Director Steven Spielberg, who paid homage to a Rockwell tableau in his film Empire of the Sun, adds, "He dealt with every touchstone in life and made a meal out of it.... He captured us in the blink of an artistic eye." Norman Rockwell: Painting America traces the artist's life and career. One might be surprised, for example, that Rockwell was not born and raised in a small town but in cosmopolitan New York City. We also get a privileged look inside Rockwell's studio for a glimpse into how he created his masterworks. One of his daughters relates an anecdote with the same impish smile her father so wonderfully captured in a famous painting depicting a disheveled schoolgirl sitting outside the principal's office, the victor in a playground tussle with a boy. Rockwell's paintings captured the way we were and how we should be. His legacy and spirit can be seen, for example, in Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life. "He told us we were good," one historian states. Seen in a Person to Person broadcast with host Edward R. Murrow, Rockwell himself remarks, "I paint life as I would like it to be." --Donald Liebenson

3

Ella Fitzgerald: Something to Live For

Profile of the well-known jazz singer, from early band performances and "scat" to her solo career.

4

Paul Taylor: Dancemaker

The story of a choreographer who contributed much to the style of American performance dance in the modern era.

5

Sidney Poitier: One Bright Light

A biography of one of the first African-American actors to regularly star in mainstream movies.

6

Isaac Stern: Life's Virtuoso

An installment on the violin master with comments from his musical colleagues.

7

The Source: The Story of the Beats and the Beat Generation

A chronicle of the artistic expression of the counter-culture movement.
Episode Description

1

Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows

Profile of the actor who rose from niche westerns to movie industry fame and influence.

2

Mailer On Mailer

The American writer Norman Mailer and his bristling personality - in his own words.

3

On Cukor

A profile of the half-century career of George Cukor, one of the most beloved motion picture directors and producers, and the impact he had on those in the industry.

4

Lucille Ball: Finding Lucy

The incredible career of Lucille Ball, from youth through the movies, from television star to media mogul. Some of the personalities that comment in this film include Fran Drescher, Van Johnson, Dick Martin, Edie Adams, and Carol Burnett. This episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program.

5

Bob Marley: Rebel Music

A profile of reggae superstar Bob Marley (1945-1981), featuring performance and newsreel footage, still photos and interviews with the singer, members of his family and musicians, and music-industry execs he worked with.

6

A Conversation with Gregory Peck

Documentary following the Hollywood star Gregory Peck on a tour of speaking engagements, as well as at home with his family in America and Italy. His career is illustrated by extracts from such movies as To Kill a Mockingbird, Roman Holiday, Cape Fear and McArthur.

7

Alfred Stieglitz: The Eloquent Eye

Biography of a photographer and leader in bringing modern art works to the galleries of the United States.

8

Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians

A documentary on a photographer who spent decades trying to record the authentic Native American life.
Episode Description

1

Goldwyn: The Man and His Movies

The story of the dreams and accomplishments of Samuel Goldwyn, a determined immigrant who founded a Hollywood movie dynasty.

2

F. Scott Fitzgerald: Winter Dreams

An examination of the themes and characters of the noted novelist.

3

Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest Sounds

The remarkable songs of America's best-known composer of music for the stage.

4

Quincy Jones: In the Pocket

Profile of the career of the ground-breaking musician and producer.

5

Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy of Sun Records

The story of how Sam Phillips founded the record company that pulled together some of the early legends of American Rock 'n' Roll.

6

Merce Cunningham: A Lifetime of Dance

A biography of one of the 20th century's most innovative choreographers.

7

Ralph Ellison: An American Journey

The impact of African-American author Ellison on the state of culture and literature in the United States.

8

Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer

The colorful life of the choreographer and performer who has often been acknowledged as America's most powerful and athletic dancer.
Episode Description

1

Willie Nelson: Still is Still Moving

An up-close look at the songs and lifestyle of the popular country western personality.

2

Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces

A biography of the influential actor and director of silent film classics and his contributions to character expression and make-up effects.

3

Juilliard

A retrospective on the history and work of the famous American school for academic mastery of the performing arts.

4

Alice Waters and her Delicious Revolution

Portrait of an American woman who helped pioneer the fresher and simpler cuisine that emerged in California in the later 1970s.

5

Joni Mitchell: A Woman of Heart and Mind

The life of the folk singer and songwriting artist and the evolution of her work over three decades.

6

Muddy Waters: Can't Be Satisfied

Biography of the legendary blues player from the deep South who's music contributed to the origins of rock-and-roll.

7

Robert Capa: In Love and War

A documentary on the famous war photographer and the life he led.

8

The Education of Gore Vidal

A spotlight on the eclectic and often humorous American writer and his many accomplishments.
Episode Description

1

Arthur Miller, Elia Kazan and the Blacklist

The dispute between one of America's most influential playwrights and a respected movie director over actions taken during the "red scare" of the 1950s.

2

James Brown: Soul Survivor

The highs and lows of the life of James Brown, the colorful and controversial "Godfather of Soul."

3

Cary Grant: A Class Apart

“Eternally elegant” screen superstar Cary Grant (1904-86) is profiled. Included are clips from his films and interviews with ex-wife Betsy Drake and widow Barbara Grant. There are also comments from biographers and film critics, and costars Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau. Helen Mirren is the narrator, and Jeremy Northam provides the voice of Grant.

4

Balanchine

A retrospective on the life and work of George Balanchine, a founder of American ballet.

5

Judy Garland: By Myself

A detailed examination of the celebrated vocalist's career, from her amazing successes to her self-doubts and personal problems.

6

Henry Luce and Time-Life's America: A Vision of Empire

The remarkable work of Luce in combining timely reporting and exciting photography - leading to one of the US's most formidable media empires.

7

Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues

The brief but impressive career of the man most responsible for defining what is modern "country music."

8

Julia! America's Favorite Chef

Julia Child was not a natural-born cook - when she married, she could barely boil an egg. But she fell in love with French food, and soon enrolled at the Cordon Bleu where she learned the great tradition of Classical French cuisine. Later, with two French women, she devoted years to writing a manuscript finally published as "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" which became a culinary classic and sold over one million copies. Warm and exuberant, Julia was a natural television star. In 1963, she appeared on public television in "The French Chef," a cooking series unlike anything yet seen on TV. Scooping up a spilled potato pancake or coaxing a reluctant soufflé, Julia was not afraid of making mistakes. Soon a nation fed on Shake n' Bake and Tang would be experimenting with quiche Lorraine and boeuf bourgignon and cooking would become a national pastime. This is the story of Julia's two great loves-love for her husband Paul and for cooking. Through an interview with Julia herself, filmed in her fabled kitchen, and rare images from the photo collection of Paul Child and from family photo albums, Julia Child is revealed as few have seen her before in this tribute and testament to a great American icon.
Episode Description

1

James Dean: Sense Memories

The brief but bright career of the cinema star who inspired an entire generation.

2

Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice

A profile of the musical group of African-American women who uniquely blend many cultural and historical themes in their work.

3

George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey

The life of the famous movie director as told through the eyes of his son (who is also a director).

4

Bob Newhart: Unbuttoned

A chronicle of the famed comic's life and success, from humble accountant to world-famous funny man.

5

Willa Cather: The Road is All

An analyis of the writings of the early 20th century prairie writer and the inner conflicts they exposed.

6

Ernest Hemingway: Rivers to the Sea

The famous author and his colorful life as told through his writings, letters, and interviews with family and scholars.

7

Bob Dylan: No Direction Home

A journey through the poetry and music of Bob Dylan.
Episode Description

1

John Ford/John Wayne: The Filmmaker and the Legend

2

The World of Nat King Cole

Archival performances, home movies and interviews illustrate singer Nat King Cole's achievements during a 30-year music and television career.

3

Woodie Guthrie: Ain't Got No Home

4

Marilyn Monroe: Still Life

5

Walter Cronkite: Witness to History

Walter Cronkite was the man who gave us the news for two tumultuous decades in the late 20th century. As historian, journalist and author David Halberstam says in praise of the great CBS newsman: "Most Americans really learned of the evening news and learned of Vietnam and learned of the civil rights movement and learned of Watergate with Walter Cronkite as the man who ushered it into their homes. And did it with great professionalism over a very long time and was I think absolutely true to himself." In AMERICAN MASTERS Walter Cronkite: Witness to History, a documentary narrated by Katie Couric, historians, fellow journalists and CBS colleagues appraise the career of the man who was called "the most trusted man in America." CBS writer and commentator Andy Rooney, legendary producer/director Don Hewitt, correspondents Mike Wallace, Morley Safer, Lesley Stahl and Barbara Walters, columnists Molly Ivins and Helen Thomas, Senator John McCain and President Jimmy Carter guide the viewer from Cronkite's early days as a foreign correspondent in World War II through his thirty-year career at CBS News.

6

Andy Warhol: A Documentary (1)

Ric Burns' absorbing profile of Andy Warhol (1928-87) traces the pop icon's rise from poverty to an artist who, said art critic Dave Hickey, “changed the world.”

7

Andy Warhol: A Documentary (2)

Ric Burns' fine study of Andy Warhol (1928-87) traces the pop artist's rise to fame.

8

Sketches of Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry loves to sketch. It is the beginning of his architectural process. From Gehry’s sketches flow the models, one after another, each a refinement, that will eventually become finished buildings unlike any others in the architectural world. It is this sketch quality, what he calls the “tentativeness, the messiness,” that Gehry clings to as a way of guarding against formula or repetition. And it is this sketch quality that Sydney Pollack was so keen to explore in the film SKETCHES OF FRANK GEHRY, seen on AMERICAN MASTERS. Beginning with Gehry’s own original sketches for each major project, Pollack’s film explores Gehry’s process of turning these evanescent, abstract drawings into tangible, three-dimensional form: finished buildings of titanium and glass, concrete and steel, wood and stone. Working closely with his colleagues, Gehry takes his sketch ideas and, as quickly as possible, makes them three-dimensional, the better to see how his buildings work, how they fit with their neighbors, how they function in the most essential way. Model after model is scanned into a sophisticated computer and rendered into working drawings.

9

Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens

This film traces the artistic self-realization of Annie Leibovitz, from childhood through the death of her beloved friend, Susan Sontag, and includes snippets of Leibovitz's last visual memories of Sontag. The film traces the arc of her photographic life, her aspirations to artistry, and the trajectory of her career through phases that included the tumultuous sixties in Berkeley, CA., touring with the Rolling Stones, a mentorship by Hunter S. Thompson, and, later, capturing the last candid moments of John Lennon's life with Yoko Ono. It closes with her reflections on life, children, and the the wake of her relationship with Sontag. The archival material presented here is invaluable for framing an understanding of this immeasurably influential visual artist.
Episode Description

1

Novel Reflections on the American Dream

Contemporary scholars and novelists give fresh perspectives on some of the great American written works of the 20th century.

2

Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built

How Ahmet Ertegun built a recording industry empire in the decades after World War II.

3

Les Paul: Chasing Sound

The musical career and startling technical innovations of a 20th century guitar and sound recording master.

4

David Hockney: The Colors of Music

The story of an internationally renowned production and set designer for the greatest opera houses in the world, a music lover who is going deaf.

5

John James Audubon: Drawn From Nature

A documentary on the wildlife art of an early American naturalist who achieved long-lasting acclaim.

6

Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends

The musical career of one of America's most enduring popular singers.

7

Orozco: Man of Fire

A portrait of the dramatic work of a Mexican-born muralist and artist, Jose Clemente Orozco, as he made his mark on the United States.

8

Good Ol' Charles Schulz

The motivations behind the man who created one of America's most beloved comic strips.

9

Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character

The career of funny woman Carol Burnett, from Broadway to television stardom.
Episode Description

1

Pete Seeger: The Power of Song

The folk music of a world-famous performer as interested in social change as in the history of American roots music.

2

Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun

A recounting of the versatile and controversial work of one of the most flamboyant African-American writers from the first half of the 20th century.

3

Marvin Gaye: What's Going On

An in-depth profile of the talented but troubled star who brought more contemporary issues to soul music.

4

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story: You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet (1923-1935)

Clint Eastwood narrates the history of Warner Bros., which opens with "You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet (1923-35)," about the studio's first years, when its biggest star was Rin Tin Tin. Also remembered is its move into gritty fare, featuring James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson and Barbara Stanwyck, and its musicals. Included: "The Jazz Singer,""Public Enemy,""42nd Street,""Baby Face" and "Little Caesar"; interviews with Busby Berkeley, Alfred Hitchcock, Robinson and William Wellman.

5

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story: Good War, Uneasy Peace (1935-1950)

"Good War, Uneasy Peace (1935-50)" focuses on how Warner Bros. responded to the Great Depression and World War II, when such stars as Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis and Errol Flynn graced its pictures. Also: the post-war film noirs are explored. Included: "Casablanca,""Now, Voyager,""The Adventures of Robin Hood,""Kings Row" and "White Heat"; interviews with James Cagney, Howard Hawks, Ronald Reagan and Alexis Smith. Clint Eastwood narrates.

6

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story: A New Reality (1950-1970)

"A New Reality (1950-70)" details how Warner Bros. fought back against TV with such innovations as CinemaScope and 3-D, as well as with such new stars as Doris Day and James Dean. Also: how a battle between Jack and Harry Warner changed the studio's direction. Included: "A Streetcar Named Desire,""East of Eden,""Cool Hand Luke,""A Face in the Crowd" and "My Fair Lady"; interviews with Warren Beatty, Elia Kazan, Kim Hunter, Arthur Penn and Carroll Baker. Clint Eastwood narrates.

7

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story: Woodstock Notions (1970-1989)

"Woodstock Notions (1970-89)" recalls the creative renaissance of Warner Bros. during the 1970s and '80s. Included: "Mean Streets,""The Exorcist,""Superman: The Movie,""The Shining" and "Body Heat"; interviews with Dustin Hoffman, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson and Robert Redford. Eastwood narrates.

8

You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story: The Big Tent (1980-Present)

"The Big Tent (1980-Present)" chronicles the success of Warner Bros. during the 1980s, '90s and 2000s, including Clint Eastwood's Oscar winners, "The Matrix" franchise and the Harry Potter films. Included: "The Color Purple,""Unforgiven,""Mystic River,""Michael Clayton" and "The Departed"; interviews with Tim Burton, George Clooney, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg. Eastwood narrates

9

The Brothers Warner

An intimate portrait of the four Warner brothers and their rise to movie-making greatness.
Episode Description

1

Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About

The work of the American dance pioneer and choreographer who brought ballet techniques to the Broadway stage.

2

Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts

Scott Hicks' acclaimed 2007 film on a year in the life of the modern experimental composer.

3

Hollywood Chinese

From the first Chinese-American film produced in 1916, to Ang Lee's triumphant Brokeback Mountain nine decades later, this films brings together a group of actors, writers, directors -- and iconic film images -- to examine Chinese contributions to an industry that was often ignorant and dismissive about race. Such artists as Wayne Wang, Joan Chen, David Henry Hwang, Nancy Kwan and Amy Tan share their experiences of being "the other." These stories and film clips from more than 90 films -- some dating back to the 1890s -- weave a rich tapestry and complex history.

4

Neil Young: Don't Be Denied

The work of the legendary rock musician and his artistic and intellectual transitions over the decades.

5

Garrison Keillor: The Man on the Radio in the Red Shoes

A retrospective on the famed radio personality and author centering on A Prairie Home Companion.

6

Trumbo

An account of Dalton Trumbo, a powerful motion picture screenwriter who refused to succumb to the stigma of the Hollywood "blacklist" and rose to prominence once again.

7

Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound

The folk music career of Joan Baez and the progressive movements she both participated in and influenced.

8

Louisa May Alcott: the Woman Behind 'Little Women'

The author of 'Little Women' is an almost universally recognized name whose reputation as a morally upstanding New England spinster masked a literary double life.
Episode Description

1

Sam Cooke: Crossing Over

Sam Cooke put the spirit of the black church into popular music, creating a new American sound and setting into motion a chain of events that forever altered the course of popular music and race relations in America.

2

I.M. Pei: Building China Modern

The work of the innovative Chinese-American architect with a focus on his efforts to build an historical museum in China.

3

The Doors: When You're Strange

A documentary that traces the roots of Jim Morrison's iconic rock group and their live and studio performances.

4

Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself

Merle Haggard actually lived the rambling, gambling, love ‘em and leave ‘em, often brutal life that remains the bedrock of country music lyrics.

5

Cachao: Uno Más

A feature on the Cuban-born bassist Israel "Cachao" Lopez, an internationally renowned musician, composer, and pioneer of Mambo.

6

A Letter to Elia

Martin Scorsese pays tribute to the life and work of noted American film director Elia Kazan.

7

Lennon NYC

A look at the period of time musician John Lennon and his family spent living in New York City during the 1970s.

8

Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould

A fresh look at the life of a singular pianist and poet who made an international impact with his music and recordings.
Episode Description

1

Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides

A retrospective on the laid-back actor who has entertained audiences for close to 40 years.

2

Troubadors: Carole King/James Taylor & the Rise of the Singer-Songwriter

Focusing on musicians ranging from James Taylor and Carol King to Elton John.

3

John Muir in the New World

This documentary explores the life and legacy of America’s first environmentalist and Sierra Club’s founder. Mountaineers portray Muir in reenactments filmed in Yosemite, the Sierra Nevada, Alaska, Wisconsin, and Alhambra Valley.

4

James Levine: America's Maestro

A behind-the-scenes lok at the internationally-renowned conductor of New York's Metropolitan Opera.

5

Pearl Jam Twenty

Told in big themes and bold colors with blistering sound, Pearl Jam Twenty chronicles the years leading up to the band’s formation, the chaos that ensued soon-after being catapulted into superstardom, their step back from the spotlight with the instinct of self-preservation, and the creation of a trusted circle that would surround them — giving way to a work culture that would sustain them. Part concert film, part insider hang, part testimonial to the power of music and uncompromising artists, the film celebrates the freedom that allows Pearl Jam to make music without losing themselves, their fans, or the music lovers they’ve always been. Pearl Jam Twenty features new interviews with original band members Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, and Eddie Vedder, drummer Matt Cameron, and friend and Soundgarden singer/guitarist Chris Cornell, as well as archival performance and interview footage of Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, Kurt Cobain, and Neil Young.

6

Bill T. Jones: A Good Man

Bill T. Jones, the recipient of a prestigious MacArthur "genius" grant and winner of two Tony Awards, has been named "an irreplaceable treasure" by the The Dance Heritage Coalition. Above all, he is a socially conscious choreographer who never shies away from controversy -- tackling thorny subjects such as race and politics with elegance and intelligence, artistry and originality.

7

Woody Allen: A Documentary (1)

A film that traces the life and accomplishments of America's unique and recognized comedian/writer/filmmaker.

8

Woody Allen: A Documentary (2)

Iconic writer, director, actor, comedian, and musician Woody Allen allowed his life and creative process to be documented on-camera for the first time. With this unprecedented access, Emmy®-winning, Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Robert Weide followed the notoriously private film legend over a year and a half to create the ultimate film biography.

8

Woody Allen: A Documentary (2)

Iconic writer, director, actor, comedian, and musician Woody Allen allowed his life and creative process to be documented on-camera for the first time. With this unprecedented access, Emmy®-winning, Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Robert Weide followed the notoriously private film legend over a year and a half to create the ultimate film biography.

9

Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter

From 1941 to 1978, this husband-and-wife team brought unique talents to their partnership. He was an architect by training, she was a painter and sculptor. Together they are considered America’s most important and influential designers, whose work helped, literally, shape the second half of the 20th century and remains culturally vital and commercially popular today. They are, perhaps, best remembered for their mid-century modern furniture, built from novel materials like molded plywood, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, bent metal wire and aluminum – offering consumers beautiful, functional, yet inexpensive products. Revered for their designs and fascinating as individuals, Charles and Ray have risen to iconic status in American culture. But their influence on significant events and movements in American life – from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age – has been less widely understood. Charles and Ray Eames are now profiled as part of American Masters. A film by Jason Cohn and Bill Jersey. Narrated by James Franco.
Episode Description

1

Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune

Three-time Emmy®-nominated filmmaker Kenneth Bowser examines one of American history’s most iconic folk music heroes and political agitators. Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune is a revealing biography of a conflicted, truth-seeking troubadour who, with guitar in hand, stood up for what he believed in and challenged us all to do the same.

2

Cab Calloway: Sketches

A singer, dancer and bandleader, Cab led one of the most popular African American big bands during the jazz and swing eras of the 1930s-40s, with Harlem’s famous Cotton Club as his home stage. Best known for his “Hi de hi de hi de ho” refrain from signature song “Minnie the Moocher,” portrayal of Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess (1952), and role in The Blues Brothers (1980), Cab influenced countless performers, including Michael and Janet Jackson, and many of today’s hip-hop artists.

3

Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel

Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel engages leading historians, biographers and personal friends to reveal a complex woman who experienced profound identity shifts during her life and struggled with the two great issues of her day: the changing role of women and the liberation of African Americans.

4

Harper Lee: Hey, Boo

One of the biggest bestsellers of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) is the first and only novel by a young woman named Nelle Harper Lee, who once said that she wanted to be South Alabama’s Jane Austen. Lee won the Pulitzer Prize and became a mystery when she stopped speaking to press in 1964. More than 50 years after its publication, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than 40 languages worldwide, still sells nearly one million copies each year and is required reading in most American classrooms, making it quite possibly the most influential American novel of the 20th century. The 1962 film version, starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, won a trio of Academy Awards. Harper Lee: Hey, Boo chronicles how this beloved novel came to be written, provides the context and history of the Deep South where it is set, and documents the many ways the novel has changed minds and shaped history. For teachers, students or fans of the classic, Hey, Boo enhances the experience of reading To Kill a Mockingbird.

5

Johnny Carson: King of Late Night

Quite possibly the biggest star that television has ever produced, Carson commanded, at his peak, a nightly audience of 15 million viewers – double the current audience of Leno and Letterman – combined. Rarely giving interviews, Carson chose to remain a very private man whose public persona made him an American superstar.

6

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

For much of the 20th century, Sandburg was synonymous with the American experience, a spokesman on behalf of the people. One of the most successful writers in the English language, Sandburg was a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner for his poetry as well as part of his six-volume Lincoln biography. Yet, after his death, Sandburg’s literary legacy faded and his poems, once taught in schools across America, were dismissed under the weight of massive critical attack.

7

Inventing David Geffen

David Geffen’s far-reaching influence — as agent, manager, record industry mogul, Hollywood and Broadway producer, and philanthropist — has helped shape American popular culture for the past four decades.

8

Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance

Documenting how the Joffrey revolutionized American ballet – combining modern dance with classic technique, art with social statement and rock music with traditional choreography – this film is a palpable expression of Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino’s vision and artistry.
Episode Description

0

Mel Brooks: Make a Noise - additional interview, dvd extra

1

Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock & Roll

Despite not being a household name today, Sister Rosetta Tharpe is one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Her flamboyance, skill, and showmanship on the newly electrified guitar played a vital role in the conception of Rock & Roll as a genre of music. Featuring archival performances and using new interviews with fellow musicians, producers, friends, and colleagues, this film tells the story of a talented and determined woman that introduces spiritual passion of her gospel music background into Rock & Roll. Learn more about Sister Rosetta Tharpe, her life story, and lasting artistic legacy.

2

Philip Roth: Unmasked

American Masters explores the life and career of Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novelist Philip Roth, often referred to as the greatest living American writer. Reclusive and diffident, Roth grants very few interviews, but for the first time, allowed a journalist to spend 10 days interviewing him on camera.

3

Mel Brooks: Make a Noise

Mel Brooks: Make a Noise journeys through Brooks’ early years in the creative beginnings of live television — with Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows — to the film genres he so successfully satirized in Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety, and Spaceballs — to the groundbreaking Broadway musical version of his first film, The Producers. The documentary also delves into his professional and personal ups and downs — his childhood, his first wife and subsequent 41-year marriage to Anne Bancroft — capturing a never-before-heard sense of reflection and confession. Robert Trachtenberg is writer, director, producer, and editor. Susan Lacy is American Masters series creator and executive producer.

4

Billie Jean King

For the first time, American Masters profiles a sports figure: Billie Jean King, a determined woman who has been a major force in changing and democratizing the cultural landscape. American Masters Billie Jean King premieres nationally Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) to commemorate the 40th anniversaries of the Billie Jean King v. Bobby Riggs “The Battle of the Sexes” match on Sept. 20, 1973, and the founding of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) by King on June 20 of that year. This new documentary traces the incredible life of the single most important female athlete of the 20th century as her 70th birthday nears.

5

Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train a Comin'

The documentary unveils previously unseen performance footage and home movies while sourcing an extensive archive to provide new insight into the musician's personality and genius with interviews with those closest to him. The film details the meteoric rise of the Experience, the creation of his groundbreaking music, the building of Electric Lady Studios, and concludes with his final performance in Germany in September 1970, just 12 days before his death at age 27. Directed by Bob Smeaton.

6

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

Composer, conductor, genius, mensch: Marvin Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – Aug. 6, 2012) earned four Grammys, four Emmys, three Oscars, three Golden Globes, a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize before his untimely death, making him one of only two PEGOT winners ever. Hit after hit — “The Way We Were,” “Nobody Does It Better” and scores for The Sting, Sophie’s Choice and the Broadway juggernaut A Chorus Line — made him the go-to composer and performer for film, Broadway, every U.S. President since Reagan and concert halls worldwide. With exclusive access to Hamlisch’s personal archival treasure trove and complete cooperation from his family, Dramatic Forces and THIRTEEN’s American Masters explore his prolific life and career in the series’ Season 27 finale, Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love, premiering nationally Friday, December 27, 2013, 9 -10:30 p.m. ET on PBS
Episode Description

1

Salinger

Featuring never-before-seen photographs, personal stories and moments from J.D. Salinger’s (Jan. 1, 1919 – Jan. 27, 2010) life and harrowing service in World War II, Salerno’s new director’s cut expands his intimate portrait of the enigmatic author of The Catcher in the Rye. American Masters was the first to close a deal with Salerno for Salinger, securing the exclusive domestic television rights to the documentary in January 2013. An official selection of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival, the film made front page news all over the world with its revelations. Associated Press called the research yielded during Salerno’s 10-year investigation “unprecedented” and “thoroughly documented.”

2

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Writer and activist Alice Walker (b. Feb. 9, 1944) made history as the first African-American woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her seminal novel The Color Purple (1982), for which she won the National Book Award. American Masters presents Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, premiering nationally Friday, February 7 at 9 p.m. on PBS in honor of Walker’s 70th birthday and Black History Month. Filmmaker Pratibha Parmar’s new documentary tells Walker’s dramatic life story with poetry and lyricism, and features new interviews with Walker, Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, Quincy Jones, Gloria Steinem, Sapphire and the late Howard Zinn in one of his final interviews. American Masters — Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth charts Walker’s inspiring journey from her birth into a family of sharecroppers in Eatonton, Georgia, to the present. The film explores Walker’s relationship with her mother, poverty, and participation in the Civil Rights Movement, which were the formative influences on her consciousness and became the inherent themes in her writing. Living through the violent racism and seismic social changes of mid-20th century America, Walker overcame adversity to achieve international recognition as one of the most influential — and controversial — writers of the 20th century.

3

A Fierce Green Fire

An exploration of the environmental movement from the 1960s through 2009. Included: the battle in the 1960s to block dams from the Grand Canyon; the Love Canal scandal of the 1970s; Greenpeace's efforts to save whales and baby harp seals; the global resource crises of the 1980s; and the 25-year effort to address climate change. Narrators include Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, Ashley Judd, Van Jones and Isabel Allende.

4

Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself

Famed participatory journalist George Plimpton (1927–2003) was a writer, editor, amateur sportsman, actor, and friend to many. Plimpton’s remarkable life is showcased in a documentary that is both a chronicle of one of the last century’s most intriguing characters, as well as a cinematic adaption of his nuanced and funny literary style. Using Plimpton’s own narration, new interviews with friends, family and contemporaries, and extensive archival material, the film creates a compelling portrait of a one-of-a-kind person who lived fully, strangely and incredibly. Plimpton co-founded and worked as the editor of influential literary magazine The Paris Review for 50 years (1953-2003). The Paris Review and Plimpton’s widow Sarah Dudley Plimpton, granted filmmakers Tom Bean and Luke Poling full access to George’s private archives, including previously unseen material. Aside from his work at The Paris Review, Plimpton wrote for Sports Illustrated; hung out with U.S. presidents and was part of the Kennedys’ inner circle; played quarterback for the Detroit Lions; got Willie Mays to pop out in Yankee Stadium; photographed Playboy models; played goalie for the Boston Bruins; performed with the New York Philharmonic; boxed against light-heavyweight champion Archie Moore; acted alongside John Wayne, Warren Beatty and Matt Damon; and authored more than 15 books, including Out of My League (1961), Paper Lion (1966) and The Bogey Man (1967). Some of Plimpton’s DIY journalism stunts were turned into primetime network television films, including his circus flying trapeze act, African wildlife photography for Life magazine, and attempt at stand-up comedy. Sharing these experiences and more, American Masters: Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself is about football, literature, magazines, fireworks, hockey, movies, presidents, lawn chairs, geniuses, and the true tall tale that brought them all together. Featured interviews include Robert Kennedy, Jr.; Hugh Hefner; Gay Talese; Graydon Carter; Ken Burns; Ric Burns; James Lipton; The Paris Review co-founder and childhood friend Peter Matthiessen; Sports Illustrated Media Group editor and The Paris Review board member Terry McDonell; former The Paris Review editor and founder/editor of The New York Review of Books Robert Silvers; novelists James Salter and Jay McInerney; his widow Sarah; children Medora and Taylor; siblings Oakes and Sarah Gay; and first wife Freddy Plimpton. “George’s life was about seeking out and trying new things, regardless of the outcome. And as an artist, his life was his greatest work of art,” said co-director, co-writer and co-producer Tom Bean. “We hope Plimpton! inspires audiences to find that adventurous spirit within themselves and the desire to live life to the fullest.” “For the uninitiated, we hope our introduction makes new audiences fall in love with George Plimpton. For the people who knew and read him, we hope our movie brings him and his joie de vivre back for 90 minutes,” added co-director, co-writer and co-producer Luke Poling (Twelve). “George Plimpton was a deft curator of the literary elite via The Paris Review, the cultural elite via his storied parties and, above all, the human experience,” said Stephen Segaller, executive-in-charge of American Masters and vice president of programming for WNET. “Who’d have thought a man nicknamed ‘Mr. Zero’ would also be called an ‘American Master’?”

5

Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun

Tanaquil Le Clercq (1929–2000) was a star ballerina with the New York City Ballet who greatly influenced choreographers George Balanchine (her husband) and Jerome Robbins (her friend). Filmmaker Nancy Buirski spotlights Le Clercq’s ballet career, influence on dance, and her struggle with polio, which paralyzed her at the height of her fame.

6

Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning

Her celebrated photograph Migrant Mother is one of the most recognized and arresting images in the world, a haunting portrait that came to represent the suffering of America’s Great Depression. Yet few know the story, struggles and profound body of work of the woman who created the portrait: Dorothea Lange (May 26, 1895 — Oct. 11, 1965). American Masters — Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning premiering nationwide Friday, August 29 at 9-11 pm on PBS (check local listings) explores the life, passions and uncompromising vision of the influential photographer, whose enduring images document five turbulent decades of American history, including the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and World War II Japanese internment camps. Peabody- and five-time Emmy award-winning cinematographer Dyanna Taylor — the granddaughter of Lange and writer/social scientist Paul Schuster Taylor — directs and narrates this intimate American Masters documentary. Taylor, who learned to see the visual world through her grandmother’s eyes, combines family memories and journals with never-before-seen photos and film footage to bring Lange’s story into sharp focus. The result is a personal documentary of the artist whose empathy for people on the margins of society challenged America to know itself. The film features newly discovered interviews and vérité scenes with Lange from her Bay Area home studio, circa 1962-1965, including work on her unprecedented, one-woman career retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Showcasing more than 800 works by Lange, her first husband Maynard Dixon and second husband Paul Schuster Taylor combined, American Masters — Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning reveals the camera as Lange’s first muse and the confluence of artists at work and in love. Explaining the impact of these relationships on Lange’s life and documentary photography style, filmmaker/narrator Dyanna Taylor demonstrates the challenges of balancing artistic pursuits and family. The documentary weaves Lange telling her own story with new interviews of family, friends and colleagues, including Lange’s son Daniel Dixon; Lange’s goddaughter and biographer Elizabeth Partridge; Richard Conrad, Lange’s assistant for the MoMA exhibit; photographer Rondal Partridge, Lange’s assistant and son of photographers Imogen Cunningham and Roi Partridge; Becky Jenkins, Maynard Dixon’s granddaughter; Dr. Margot Taylor-Fanger, Paul Schuster Taylor’s daughter; and many others. “My grandmother’s photographs grew out of her depth as a person. Ever since I began my career in filmmaking, I’ve wanted to make a film which would express the true breadth of her work and the ways she perceived the world,” said Dyanna Taylor, whose past work on American Masters films includes Ernest Hemingway: Rivers to the Sea and F. Scott Fitzgerald – Winter Dreams. “During my young years, as we spent time together, she taught me how to see, to understand that nothing is as it appears at first glance.” “We are fortunate to have a family member, who is also a talented filmmaker, telling Dorothea Lange’s remarkable life story in a way that no one else possibly could,” said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. A DVD will be available September 9, 2014, from PBS Distribution. The film’s companion book, Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning (Chronicle Books) by Elizabeth Partridge, is available now.

7

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

8

The Boomer List

From the time of its birth, the baby boomer generation (1946-1964) has significantly and uniquely changed our world. 2014 marks an important shift in American culture, as the last boomers turn 50. American Masters: The Boomer List, tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom:

9

Bing Crosby Rediscovered

Bing Crosby (1903-77) is remembered via home movies, Dictabelt recordings, photos and insights from wife Kathryn, daughter Mary and sons Harry and Nathaniel. He scored nearly 400 hit singles, including the classic "White Christmas"; and appeared in such popular films as "White Christmas" and "Going My Way." The profile details the allegations of abuse leveled against him by son Gary (1933-95); and explains how his beloved duet with David Bowie on "Little Drummer Boy-Peace on Earth" came about.
Episode Description

1

Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practice

This portrait of the inimitable magician Ricky Jay delves into the mysterious world of sleight-of-hand and its small circle of eccentric devotees. Jay is also a best-selling author, historian, actor and a leading collector of antiquarian books and artifacts. Told largely in Jay’s own distinctive voice, the documentary traces the story of his achievement and that of other master magicians.

2

August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand

Unprecedented access to Wilson’s theatrical archives, rarely seen interviews and new dramatic readings bring to life his seminal 10-play cycle chronicling a century of African-American life. Wilson won two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama.

3

Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler

A profile of legendary violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz (1901-87), featuring remarks from violinists Itzhak Perlman, Ivry Gitlis and Ida Haendel; former students Ayke Agus and Sherry Kloss; and biographers John Anthony Maltese and Arthur Vered.

4

American Ballet Theatre: A History

Delving into the rich history of one of the world’s preeminent ballet companies, Ric Burns combines intimate rehearsal footage, virtuoso performances and interviews with American Ballet Theatre’s key figures.

5

Harper Lee

One of the biggest American bestsellers of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) was thought to be the first and only novel by Harper Lee. However, on July 14, 2015, Go Set a Watchman was released, featuring characters from Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Newly updated version of Mary McDonagh Murphy’s 2012 documentary, Harper Lee: Hey, Boo.

6

Althea

This is the story of Althea Gibson (1927-2003), a truant from the rough streets of Harlem, who emerged as the unlikely queen of the highly segregated tennis world in the 1950s. She was the first African American to play and win at Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals (precursor of the U.S. Open) — a decade before Arthur Ashe. Interviewees include Wimbledon champion Dick Savitt and Billie Jean King.

7

Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer's Journey

An exclusive interview with Mexican-American photographer Pedro E. Guerrero explores his life and work. He collaborated with iconic American artists of the 20th century -- architect Frank Lloyd Wright and sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson -- and became one of the most sought-after photographers of the “Mad Men” era.

8

The Women's List

Meet 15 women who define contemporary American culture in Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ new “List” film featuring Madeleine Albright, Margaret Cho, Edie Falco, Betsey Johnson, Alicia Keys, Nancy Pelosi, Rosie Perez, Wendy Williams and more. All trailblazers in their fields, these women share their experiences struggling against discrimination and overcoming challenges to make their voices heard.
Episode Description

1

Mike Nichols

The life and 50-year career of director Mike Nichols, one of only two people who have won Peabody, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.

2

B.B. King: The Life of Riley

The challenging life and career of blues guitarist B.B. King; candid interviews feature Bono, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Ringo Starr.

3

Carole King: Natural Woman

Rare home movies, performances and photos help illustrate the life and career of singer-songwriter Carole King, from 1960s New York to Los Angeles in the 1970s to the present.

4

Fats Domino

5

Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl

A profile of country music icon Loretta Lynn, whose hard-fought road to stardom was dramatized in the 1980 film "Coal Miner's Daughter." Included: home movies, photos and concert footage, plus insights from family, friends and fellow musicians, including Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson, Jack White and Trisha Yearwood.

6

Janis: Little Girl Blue

One of the most revered and influential rock ’n’ roll singers of all time, Janis Joplin (January 19, 1943 – October 4, 1970) thrilled audiences and blazed new creative trails before her death at age 27. Oscar-nominated director Amy Berg (Deliver Us From Evil, West of Memphis, Prophet’s Prey) examines Joplin’s story in depth, for the first time on film, presenting an intimate portrait of a complicated and driven artist.

7

The Highwaymen: Friends Till the End

Discover the story behind the pioneering outlaw country music supergroup that featured Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson, told through vintage performances and new interviews about life on the road and in the studio.

8

Norman Lear

Writer/producer Norman Lear's turbulent childhood, early success with sitcoms ``All in the Family,'' ``The Jeffersons,'' ``Good Times'' and ``Maude,'' and social activism.

9

Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future

The film explores the life and visionary work of Finnish-American modernist architectural giant Eero Saarinen (1910-1961). Best known for designing National Historic Landmarks such as St. Louis’ iconic Gateway Arch and the General Motors Technical Center (Warren, Mich.), Saarinen also designed New York’s TWA Flight Center at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Yale University’s Ingalls Rink and Morse and Ezra Stiles Colleges, Virginia’s Dulles Airport, and modernist pedestal furniture like the Tulip chair.

12

Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline defined modern country music by using her singular talent and heart‐wrenching emotional depth to break down barriers of gender, class and genre. In her music and her life, she set a standard of authenticity towards which artists still strive
Episode Description

1

By Sidney Lumet

In a 2008 interview, director Sidney Lumet talks about his life and career, which included 44 films in 50 years.

2

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

The life of author and activist Maya Angelou, with comments from Oprah Winfrey, Common, Bill and Hillary Clinton and others.

3

Patsy Cline

A profile of influential country singer Patsy Cline (1932-63), featuring archival performances of such songs as "Walkin' After Midnight,""I Fall to Pieces" and "Crazy"; and remarks from artists who knew her and others influenced by her.

4

James Beard: America’s First Foodie

Experience a century of food through the life of one man, James Beard (1903-1985). Dubbed the “Dean of American Cookery” by The New York Times, Beard was a Portland, Ore., native who loved and celebrated the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. He spoke of the importance of localism and sustainability long before those terms had entered the vernacular.

5

Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft

Discover the story of Chef Jacques Pépin (b. December 18, 1935), a young immigrant with movie-star looks, a charming Gallic accent, and a mastery of cooking and teaching so breathtaking he became an early food icon—joining James Beard and Julia Child among the handful of Americans who transformed the way the country views the food world
Episode Description

1

Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune

As the United States continues to engage in foreign wars, Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune is a timely tribute to an unlikely American hero whose music is as relevant today as it was in the 1960s. Phil Ochs was moved by the conviction that he and his music would change the world. Unyielding in his political principals and unbending in his artistic vision, Ochs tirelessly fought the good fight for peace and justice, in both song and action, throughout his short life (12/19/1940 – 4/9/1976). The tragedies of 1968, including the deaths of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy and the violent events at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, changed the country and changed Ochs, who sank deep into depression and alcoholism. This, and a familial tendency to bipolar disorder, led to his suicide at the age of 35.

2

Cab Calloway: Sketches

Best known for the “Hi de hi de hi de ho” refrain from his signature song “Minnie the Moocher,” for his portrayal of Sportin’ Life in Porgy and Bess (1952) and for his role in The Blues Brothers (1980), Calloway influenced countless performers, including many of today’s hip-hop artists.

3

Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill a Mockingbird

A profile of "To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee, whose childhood in Monroe, Ala., provided the inspiration for the classic 1960 novel, her only book. The documentary also delves into the making of the Oscar-winning 1962 film; Lee's friendship with childhood neighbor Truman Capote; and the impact the novel had and still has on readers. Included: remarks by Lee's sister Alice Finch Lee.

4

Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel

A profile of "Gone With the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell (1900-49), who blazed trails as one of Georgia's first female newspaper reporters. She also funded the education of the South's first black doctors with her "Gone With the Wind" money. Included: reenactments based on her letters; remarks by friend Sara Mitchell Parsons; Pat Conroy ("The Prince of Tides"); Pearl Cleage ("What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day"); and Molly Haskell ("Frankly My Dear: Gone With the Wind Revisited").

5

Johnny Carson: The King of Late Night

He was seen by more people than anyone else in American history – a fixture of national life, a piece of the cultural furniture, a part of the Zeitgeist. In exploring the career, the complexities and contradictions of the biggest star television has ever produced, AMERICAN MASTERS had the estate’s first-time-ever cooperation and permission – unrestricted entrée into his personal archives and, perhaps, Carson’s greatest legacy – all episodes of The Tonight Show from 1970 – 1992. Clues about his life, stories about his childhood and early days in the business can be found there – as well as in the expansive family albums and memorabilia. Original interviews with friends, colleagues, his wives and the many performers who appeared, or began, on The Tonight Show, offer additional texture and context – Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, Jay Leno and David Letterman, Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon, Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin

6

The Day Carl Sandburg Died

Episode Description

1

Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train a Comin' Bonus Performances

5

Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train a Comin'

Presented as part of a year-long celebration around his 70th birthday year, the two-hour Hear My Train A Comin’ uses Hendrix’s own words to tell his story, illustrated through archival interviews and illuminated with commentary from family, well-known friends and musicians including Paul McCartney, band members Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, long-time sound engineer Eddie Kramer; Steve Winwood, Vernon Reid, Billy Gibbons, Dweezil Zappa and Dave Mason. A pioneering electric guitarist, Hendrix (Nov. 27, 1942 — Sept. 18, 1970) had only four years of mainstream exposure and recognition, but his influential music and riveting stage presence left an enduring legacy. Hear My Train A Comin’ traces the guitarist’s remarkable journey from his hardscrabble beginnings in Seattle, through his stint as a US Army paratrooper, unknown sideman to R&B stars such as Little Richard, Joey Dee and the Isley Brothers and his discovery and ultimate international stardom.

6

Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love

Composer, conductor, genius, mensch: Marvin Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – Aug. 6, 2012) earned four Grammys, four Emmys, three Oscars, three Golden Globes, a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize before his untimely death, making him one of only two PEGOT winners ever. Hit after hit — “The Way We Were,” “Nobody Does It Better” and scores for The Sting, Sophie’s Choice and the Broadway juggernaut A Chorus Line — made him the go-to composer and performer for film, Broadway, every U.S. President since Reagan and concert halls worldwide. With exclusive access to Hamlisch’s personal archival treasure trove and complete cooperation from his family, Dramatic Forces and THIRTEEN’s American Masters explore his prolific life and career in the series’ Season 27 finale.
Episode Description

1

Salinger

Featuring never-before-seen photographs, personal stories and moments from J.D. Salinger’s (Jan. 1, 1919 – Jan. 27, 2010) life and harrowing service in World War II, Salerno’s new director’s cut expands his intimate portrait of the enigmatic author of The Catcher in the Rye. American Masters was the first to close a deal with Salerno for Salinger, securing the exclusive domestic television rights to the documentary in January 2013. An official selection of the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival, the film made front page news all over the world with its revelations. Associated Press called the research yielded during Salerno’s 10-year investigation “unprecedented” and “thoroughly documented.”

2

Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

3

A Fierce Green Fire

An exploration of the environmental movement spans 50 years of grassroots and global activism; narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep.

4

Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself

An exploration of the environmental movement spans 50 years of grassroots and global activism; narrated by Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Van Jones, Isabel Allende and Meryl Streep.

5

Tanaquil Le Clercq: Afternoon of a Faun

Tanaquil Le Clercq (1929–2000) was a star ballerina with the New York City Ballet who greatly influenced choreographers George Balanchine (her husband) and Jerome Robbins (her friend). Filmmaker Nancy Buirski spotlights Le Clercq’s ballet career, influence on dance, and her struggle with polio, which paralyzed her at the height of her fame.

6

Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning

Her celebrated photograph Migrant Mother is one of the most recognized and arresting images in the world, a haunting portrait that came to represent the suffering of America’s Great Depression. Yet few know the story, struggles and profound body of work of the woman who created the portrait: Dorothea Lange (May 26, 1895 — Oct. 11, 1965). American Masters — Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning premiering nationwide Friday, August 29 at 9-11 pm on PBS (check local listings) explores the life, passions and uncompromising vision of the influential photographer, whose enduring images document five turbulent decades of American history, including the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl and World War II Japanese internment camps. Peabody- and five-time Emmy award-winning cinematographer Dyanna Taylor — the granddaughter of Lange and writer/social scientist Paul Schuster Taylor — directs and narrates this intimate American Masters documentary. Taylor, who learned to see the visual world through her grandmother’s eyes, combines family memories and journals with never-before-seen photos and film footage to bring Lange’s story into sharp focus. The result is a personal documentary of the artist whose empathy for people on the margins of society challenged America to know itself. The film features newly discovered interviews and vérité scenes with Lange from her Bay Area home studio, circa 1962-1965, including work on her unprecedented, one-woman career retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Showcasing more than 800 works by Lange, her first husband Maynard Dixon and second husband Paul Schuster Taylor combined, American Masters — Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning reveals the camera as Lange’s first muse and the confluence of artists at work and in love. Explaining the impact of these relationships on Lange’s life and documentary photography style, filmmaker/narrator Dyanna Taylor demonstrates the challenges of balancing artistic pursuits and family. The documentary weaves Lange telling her own story with new interviews of family, friends and colleagues, including Lange’s son Daniel Dixon; Lange’s goddaughter and biographer Elizabeth Partridge; Richard Conrad, Lange’s assistant for the MoMA exhibit; photographer Rondal Partridge, Lange’s assistant and son of photographers Imogen Cunningham and Roi Partridge; Becky Jenkins, Maynard Dixon’s granddaughter; Dr. Margot Taylor-Fanger, Paul Schuster Taylor’s daughter; and many others. “My grandmother’s photographs grew out of her depth as a person. Ever since I began my career in filmmaking, I’ve wanted to make a film which would express the true breadth of her work and the ways she perceived the world,” said Dyanna Taylor, whose past work on American Masters films includes Ernest Hemingway: Rivers to the Sea and F. Scott Fitzgerald – Winter Dreams. “During my young years, as we spent time together, she taught me how to see, to understand that nothing is as it appears at first glance.” “We are fortunate to have a family member, who is also a talented filmmaker, telling Dorothea Lange’s remarkable life story in a way that no one else possibly could,” said Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters. A DVD will be available September 9, 2014, from PBS Distribution. The film’s companion book, Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning (Chronicle Books) by Elizabeth Partridge, is available now.