American Experience: Season 11, Episode 3

Hoover Dam (18 Jan. 1999)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 17 users  
Reviews: 1 user

Rising more than 700 feet above the raging waters of the Colorado River, it was called one of the greatest engineering works in history. The Hoover Dam, built during the Great Depression, ... See full summary »

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Title: Hoover Dam (18 Jan 1999)

Hoover Dam (18 Jan 1999) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Rising more than 700 feet above the raging waters of the Colorado River, it was called one of the greatest engineering works in history. The Hoover Dam, built during the Great Depression, drew men desperate for work to a remote and rugged canyon near Las Vegas. There they struggled against heat, choking dust and perilous heights to build a colossus of concrete that brought electricity and water to millions and transformed the American Southwest. Written by Anonymous

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18 January 1999 (USA)  »

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Moonlight on the River Colorado
(uncredited)
Music by Robert A. King
Lyrics by Billy Moll
Sung by a vocal group toward the beginning
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Good but limited in scope
5 February 2015 | by (Salem, Oregon) – See all my reviews

Having recently visited Hoover Dam and also read a book about the building of Hoover Dam, it was fun to see this documentary. It contains a lot of vintage footage of the dam under construction, which was fascinating.

However, considering all the things that could have been talked about, I found the scope of this documentary way too limited. It focused a lot on the Great Depression, difficult times finding jobs, the project leader for the dam, and some other things. What was woefully missing was any talk about the actual engineering that went into this! Just a few passing mentions of anything that would interest the technical-minded on how it was built and how it operates. Want to know how they made all that concrete? How they cooled it? Why they cooled it? Just what those intake towers do? What a penstock is? What happened to the diversion tunnels after the dam was built? How they tested the concrete? You won't find any of that here. Nor will you find more than a brief passing mention of Six Companies, and the story behind that.

Ultimately, it's mostly a story about the trying times and hardships workers faced and building a dam during the Great Depression. Still worth watching, though.


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