7.8/10
600
14 user 2 critic

Frank Lloyd Wright (1998)

A biography of the life and work of the American architect.

Directors:

,
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The story of the most important American exploration expedition in American history and the participants in it.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Hal Holbrook, Adam Arkin, John Logan Allen
Mark Twain (TV Movie 2001)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A biographical film about the acclaimed American humourist and author.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Keith David, Kevin Conway, Philip Bosco
The Dust Bowl (TV Mini-Series 2012)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A documentary about the 1930s drought of North American prairie farm land, and its consequences during the great depression.

Stars: Dorothy Williamson, Donald Worster, Timothy Egan
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Ken Burns examines the American utopian 19th century religious sect known as the Shakers.

Directors: Ken Burns, Amy Stechler
Stars: Olga Bellin, Tucker Burr, Jesse Carr
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Documentary showing the history of the world-famous Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: James Baldwin, Tucker Burr, Ray Charles
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

This documentary chronicles the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. The difficult construction process is described in interesting detail; later parts of the film interview ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Paul Roebling, Julie Harris, Arthur Miller
Thomas Jefferson (TV Mini-Series 1997)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A biographical film about The United States' influential and profoundly enigmatic Founding Father.

Stars: Ossie Davis, Joseph Ellis, Gwyneth Paltrow
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

For 50 years, radio dominated the airwaves as the first mass medium. Ken Burns examines the lives of three men who shared the responsibility for its invention and early success.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Jason Robards, Red Barber, Erik Barnouw
Jazz (2001)
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A survey of the musical form's history and major talents.

Stars: Keith David, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The story of Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight boxing champion.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Jack Johnson, Keith David, Samuel L. Jackson
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (TV Mini-Series 2014)
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

A documentary that weaves together the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.

Stars: Meryl Streep, Edward Herrmann, George Will
Prohibition (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The story of the American activist struggle against the influence of alcohol, climaxing in the failed early 20th century nationwide era when it was banned.

Stars: Peter Coyote, Pete Hamill, Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
...
(voice)
...
(voice)
...
(voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Cronon ...
Himself - Historian
Brendan Gill ...
Himself - Writer
Paul Goldberger ...
Himself - Architecture Critic
Philip Johnson ...
Himself - Architect
Maya Lin ...
Herself - Artist
...
Himself - Architectural Historian
Meryle Secrest ...
Herself - Biographer
Robert A.M. Stern ...
Himself - Architect
Edgar Tafel ...
Himself
Anne Whiston Spirn ...
Herself - Architect
David Wright ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

This film illustrates the life and work of the American architect. We follow the development of his work and his turbulent family life amidst scandal and tragedy. Despite all the difficulties of his personal life, Wright rises above all and beats all the odds to design some of the most famous buildings using brilliant and distinctively innovative designs that only his genius could create. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 January 1998 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Ken Burns: America's Storyteller (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Quartet 32 in A Minor, Op. 132
By Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Guarneri String Quartet
Courtesy of BMG Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A great documentary about a great man.
17 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

Like many great men, Frank Lloyd Wright was complex and controversial. You either love his architecture, or you hate it. Few people are lukewarm about Wright's work. After seeing this documentary, few will be lukewarm about the man.

Raised on the idea that he was destined for greatness, Wright behaved throughout his life as if he were above the constraints of ordinary people. This documentary takes an unflinching look at the turmoil this caused in Wright's life.

The vignettes of family members are moving, particularly a scene near the end when his grandson recalls Wright's death. By simple chronological narrative, Burns takes us from dazzling heights when Wright's fellowship was thriving artistically and financially, to dismal lows when his wife had to wear hand-me-down coats in the cold Wisconsin winter.

The commentaries by architecture illuminati are illuminating, if perhaps a bit insular. Vincent Scully gained fame at the distinguished Yale School of Architeture. Phillip Johnson, a graduate of Harvard, once referred to Scully as the most influential teacher of architecture in history, and used his position as founder of MoMA Department of Architecture and Design as a bully pulpit to vilify Wright's work during Johnson's association with Bauhuas buddies Meis and Gropius. Robert A. M. Stern is currently Dean of Yale's School of Architecture, and with Scully, was responsible for popularizing the work of great architects like Robert Venturi. Still, this cabal of academic elitists sing a harmonious chorus of praise to Wright that demonstrates the rising and falling tides of Wright's popularity.

The documentary will not satisfy those who merely wish to see a catalog of Wright works, and after all, is there anyone alive who hasn't explored that body of work? It focuses instead on Wright the man, something much less understood. Wright is described as everything from a genius, a charlatan, and a con artist, to the greatest American Architect, and probably all are true. But if Wright and his early mentor Louis Sullivan were correct that form follows function, then perhaps genius is best understood by examining the life that developed it.

The makers of this film "get" Wright, and the consistency of Wright's vision, from his earliest work, to mid-career masterpieces like Fallingwater, to his final triumph with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue in New York City is presented with insight and perspective. A great documentary about a great man.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Best of 2017: Our Favorite Movie and TV Stills

Take a look at our favorite movie and TV stills from the past year. Spot any of your faves?

Browse the Best of 2017