MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,681 this week

The Congress (1988)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 145 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

The U. S. Congress is one of the country's most important and misunderstood institutions. Ken Burns tells the story behind this branch of government.

Director:

Writers:

(additional writing), , 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 269 titles
created 21 Aug 2011
 
a list of 2539 titles
created 20 May 2012
 
a list of 1994 titles
created 11 Nov 2012
 
a list of 20 titles
created 17 Apr 2013
 
a list of 2005 titles
created 25 Apr 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "The Congress" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Congress (TV Movie 1988)

The Congress (TV Movie 1988) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Congress.
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 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, Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Dust Bowl (TV Mini-Series 2012)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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

Stars: Peter Coyote, Donald Worster, Dorothy Williamson
Medal of Honor (TV Movie 2008)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of the Medal of Honor - the highest U.S. award for valor in combat - is told through personal accounts of bravery and daring.

Director: Roger M. Sherman
Stars: Stephen Lang, Alfre Woodard
The Congress (2013)
Animation | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An aging, out-of-work actress accepts one last job, though the consequences of her decision affect her in ways she didn't consider.

Director: Ari Folman
Stars: Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Jon Hamm
Huey Long (1985)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Ken Burns' portrait of Louisiana governor/U.S. senator Huey Long.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Huey Long, Russell Long, David McCullough
The American Experience (TV Series 1988)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A series showcasing documentaries on American history.

Stars: David McCullough, David Ogden Stiers, Michael Murphy
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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

Directors: Ken Burns, Amy Stechler
Stars: David McCullough
Biography (TV Series 1987)
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The life stories of various historical figures and celebrities are told.

Stars: Jack Perkins, Peter Graves, Harry Smith
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
Jack Johnson (TV Mini-Series 2013)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Another milestone in film history - this may well have been the very first film to have been developed and shown to its subjects (the members of the Congress of Photographic Societies) on ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière
Stars: Auguste Lumière, P.J.C. Janssen
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
David McCullough ...
Himself - Writer / Narrator
Charles McDowell ...
Himself - Newspaperman
Barbara Fields ...
Herself - Historian
John C. Stennis ...
Himself - Former Senator
Alistair Cooke ...
Himself - Journalist
Cokie Roberts ...
Herself - Journalist
David Broder ...
Himself - Reporter
George Tames ...
Himself - Photographer
James MacGregor Burns ...
Himself - Historian
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jerome Dempsey ...
(voice)
...
(voice)
Ronnie Gilbert ...
(voice)
...
(voice)
...
(voice)
...
(voice)
Edit

Storyline

The U. S. Congress is one of the country's most important and misunderstood institutions. Ken Burns tells the story behind this branch of government.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Also Known As:

To kongreso  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Good, but the topic is WAY too broad for the time allotted to this film.
11 October 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I have a lot more criticism of this film than most viewers would--simply because of my background as a history and government teacher. So, I noticed things others probably wouldn't--just like a baseball fan would notice problems in a documentary about baseball that non-fans would not notice. So, when you read all my comments, keep this in mind.

This film by Ken Burns attempts what seems impossible--to encapsulate the history of Congress in only 91 minutes!! This SHOULD have been something for a mini-series but Burns did a dandy job of shoving in an explanation of it as well as the highlights over the last 200+ years--albeit it was a HURRIED film. It covers such major topics as slavery and sectionalism, the power of big business on Congress in the 1800s (and this sure hasn't changed), the 17th Amendment, Progressive politics, the Nixon trial and the Capitol building itself. But, it also misses many important topics--a couple of which are inexplicably absent. How could the film never explain exactly HOW Congress works--the process, the differences between the House and Senate, overriding vetoes and the like? And, most confusing, how could the film mention the Nixon trials in 1974 without also talking about the impeachment of Andrew Johnson a hundred years earlier? So, when it comes to completely encapsulating what is Congress, it is a failure. Now this does NOT mean it's a bad film--it's just a very incomplete film--mostly because there just wasn't enough time for such a big undertaking. Oddly, Burns DID make some exceptionally long documentaries (such as on the Civil War, WWII and baseball)--but this just isn't the case here.

One important thing about the film--it IS interesting. The interviews are generally very good and the use of old film and photos exceptional--like you'd find in any Burns documentary. Well made.

By the way, as I said above, having taught American history as well as government, I noticed that a common mistake was repeated in the film. According to the film, the Constitution "guaranteed the separation of Church and State". Actually, this isn't in the Constitution at all (though popular opinion is that it is) but comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson well after the Constitution was adopted. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion AND guarantees that there will be no national religion (such as England and the Church of England). The phrase 'separation of church and state' as well as the concepts just aren't there but were later assumed to be. This isn't my opinion--this just is what the document actually says.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Barbara Fields, sexiest historian ever? jalbert1
Discuss The Congress (1988) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?