MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 33,439 this week

The Congress (1988)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary
7.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 153 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

WATCH NOW
ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1302 titles
created 19 Nov 2011
 
a list of 856 titles
created 12 Dec 2011
 
a list of 2590 titles
created 20 May 2012
 
a list of 20 titles
created 17 Apr 2013
 
a list of 192 titles
created 03 Jul 2014
 

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 7.2/10

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 7.7/10 X  

A documentary that examines the 1989 case of five black and Latino teenagers who were convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park. After having spent between 6 and 13 years each in prison, a serial rapist confessed to the crime.

Directors: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Kharey Wise
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
The West (TV Series 1996)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Stephen Ives' "The West" is a PBS 4-Video Series co-produced by Ken Burns: - "Death Runs Riot" 85 min. - "Fight No More Forever" 85 min. - "Ghost Dance" 58 min. - "The People" 82 min.

Stars: Peter Coyote, Philip Bosco, Murphy Guyer
Thomas Hart Benton (TV Movie 1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Thomas Hart Benton's paintings were energetic and uncompromising. Today his works are in museums, but Benton hung them in saloons for ordinary people to appreciate.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Henry Adams, Thomas Hart Benton, Arthur Danto
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

The history of the U.S. National Parks system, including the initial ideas which led to the world's first national parks and the expansion of the system over 150 years.

Stars: Peter Coyote, William Cronon, Dayton Duncan
Mark Twain (TV Movie 2001)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A biographical film about the acclaimed American humourist and author.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Keith David, Kevin Conway, Philip Bosco
Documentary | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The saga of Horatio Nelson Jackson, the first man to cross the United States by automobile--in 1903!

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Keith David, Tom Hanks, Adam Arkin
The Civil War (TV Mini-Series 1990)
Documentary | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.4/10 X  

A comprehensive survey of the American Civil War.

Stars: David McCullough, Sam Waterston, Julie Harris
The War (TV Mini-Series 2007)
Documentary | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

A seven-part series focusing on the many ways in which the Second World War impacted the lives of American families.

Stars: Keith David, Katharine Phillips, Tom Hanks
Documentary
    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, Doris Kearns Goodwin
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

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

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Jack Johnson, Keith David, Samuel L. Jackson
Vietnam (TV Series 2016)
Documentary

An in-depth look at the American military operations in Vietnam during the 1960s and '70s as well as the growing opposition against the war within the United States.

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:
?