Ric Burns (brother of the famed documentarian Ken Burns) presents an exhaustive history of New York City from the settling of the area by the Dutch to the attack by terrorists nearly 400 ... See full summary »
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2003   2001   1999  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Narrator (8 episodes, 1999-2003)
John Steele Gordon ...
 Himself - Commentator (7 episodes, 1999-2001)
Kenneth Jackson ...
 Himself - Commentator (7 episodes, 1999-2001)
Robert A.M. Stern ...
 Himself - Commentator (7 episodes, 1999-2001)
...
 Himself - Commentator (7 episodes, 1999-2001)
(6 episodes, 1999-2001)
Brendan Gill ...
 Himself - Commentator (6 episodes, 1999-2001)
Calvin O. Butts III ...
 Himself - Commentator (5 episodes, 1999-2001)
Robert A. Caro ...
 Himself - Commentator (5 episodes, 1999-2001)
Peter Hamill ...
 Himself - Commentator (5 episodes, 1999-2001)
Alfred Kazin ...
 Himself - Commentator (5 episodes, 1999-2001)
David McCullough ...
 Himself - Commentator (5 episodes, 1999-2001)
(5 episodes, 1999-2001)
Luc Sante ...
 Himself - Commentator (5 episodes, 1999-2001)
(5 episodes, 1999-2001)
Craig Steven Wilder ...
 Himself - Commentator (5 episodes, 1999-2001)
(4 episodes, 1999-2001)
(4 episodes, 1999-2001)
...
 Himself - Commentator (4 episodes, 1999-2001)
...
 Himself - Commentator / ... (4 episodes, 1999-2001)
(4 episodes, 1999-2001)
Daniel Czitrom ...
 Himself - Commentator (4 episodes, 1999)
(4 episodes, 1999)
Peter Quinn ...
 Himself - Commentator (4 episodes, 1999)
Marshall Berman ...
 Herself - Commentator (3 episodes, 1999-2001)
...
 Himself - Commentator (3 episodes, 1999-2001)
...
 Himself - Comentator (3 episodes, 1999-2001)
Josh Hamilton
(3 episodes, 1999-2001)
David Levering Lewis ...
 Himself - Commentator (3 episodes, 1999-2001)
...
 Himself - Commentator (3 episodes, 1999-2001)
Carol Willis ...
 Herself - Commentator (3 episodes, 1999-2001)
Caleb Carr ...
 Himself - Commentator (3 episodes, 1999)
(3 episodes, 1999)
Phillip Lopate ...
 Himself - Commentator (3 episodes, 1999)
...
 Himself - Commentator (3 episodes, 1999)
(3 episodes, 1999)
John Kuo Wei Tchen ...
 Himself - Commentator (3 episodes, 1999)
Joshua Freeman ...
 Himself - Commentator (2 episodes, 1999-2001)
Ruth J. Abram ...
 Herself - Commentator (2 episodes, 1999)
Thomas Bender ...
 Himself - Commentator (2 episodes, 1999)
Carol Berkin ...
 Herself - Commentator (2 episodes, 1999)
(2 episodes, 1999)
Margo Jefferson ...
 Herself - Commentator (2 episodes, 1999)
Frederic Kimball
(2 episodes, 1999)
David Margulies
(2 episodes, 1999)
Gretchen Sullivan Sorin ...
 Herself - Commentator / ... (2 episodes, 1999)
(2 episodes, 1999)
Bella Abzug ...
 Herself - Commentator (2 episodes, 2001)
Frances Golden ...
 Herself - Commentator (2 episodes, 2001)
Cheryl Greenberg ...
 Herself - Commentator (2 episodes, 2001)
Ada Louise Huxtable ...
 Herself - Commentator (2 episodes, 2001)
...
 Himself - Commentator (2 episodes, 2001)
...
 Herself - Commentator (2 episodes, 2001)
(2 episodes, 2001)
Ray Suarez ...
 Himself - Commentator (2 episodes, 2001)
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Storyline

Ric Burns (brother of the famed documentarian Ken Burns) presents an exhaustive history of New York City from the settling of the area by the Dutch to the attack by terrorists nearly 400 years later. Told in a sentimental tone, Burns weaves a lyrical tale of the great metropolis that encompasses not only the city's streets, but also that of the history of America. Though around fourteen hours in length, this epic documentary presents a thoughtful, entertaining look at our relatively young country. Written by Chris Bogner

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Release Date:

September 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Experience: New York - A Documentary Film  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally, the film was to be a seven-episode documentary. After the World Trade Center was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, an eighth episode - "The Center of the World" about the rise and fall of the Twin Towers - was made. It aired September 8, 2003. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: On September 2nd, 1609, an English explorer hired by the Dutch to find a faster route to the riches of the Orient steered his 80 ton ship off the surging currents of the North Atlantic and into an immense sheltered bay. Sailing into the mouth of the mile-wide river that flowed into it from the north, he pushed 100 miles upstream, hoping it led to China. It didn't.
See more »

Connections

Features In the Street (1948) See more »

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User Reviews

If ever there was anything you wanted to know about New York's history, this is where you start.
29 March 2000 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

As a native New Yorker, and one who's very knowledgeable of this fine city's history, I was intrigued by this documentary series when I happened upon it on TV one lazy Saturday morning. There were familiar stories being told about the first settlers on the southern tip of Manhattan to the magnificent art deco era skyscrapers. But there was so much information, so many historical stories and significances that I had not known about until I watched this. It gives one (especially New Yorkers) a finer understanding of New York.

True, the series is rather long (FIVE TAPES NO LESS!) but it grasped me so much that I couldn't stop watching. It has the interesting stories accompanied by excellent narratives by anyone and everyone, and fine archival photos and film. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to know how this city came to be. I think it would be especially of interest for historians, architects, and urban environment scholars.


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