7.5/10
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EXPO: Magic of the White City (2005)

Narrated by Gene Wilder ("Young Frankenstein", "Blazing Saddles" and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"), "EXPO - Magic of the White City" brings the Chicago World's Fair to life. ... See full summary »

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Claire Litton ...
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Narrated by Gene Wilder ("Young Frankenstein", "Blazing Saddles" and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"), "EXPO - Magic of the White City" brings the Chicago World's Fair to life. Experience the world of 1893 through a cinematic visit to Chicago's Columbian Exposition. Many of the world's greatest achievements in science, technology and culture are unveiled there. In addition, fairgoers enjoy the popular and commercially successful Midway Plaisance where the festive atmosphere of this one-mile entertainment center offers an array of guilty pleasures such as belly dancing, street fighting and beer. Nearly 28 million visit the Fair. Dubbed the "White City," it inspires future innovators like Henry Ford and Frank Lloyd Wright, debuts the Ferris Wheel and Cracker Jack, and, in many ways, marks the beginning of the 20th century. Filmed in High-Definition, "EXPO - Magic of the White City" immerses viewers in one of the world's biggest extravaganzas and one of the most unforgettable ... Written by Anonymous

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements including some violent images and nudity
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13 September 2005 (USA)  »

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$300,000 (estimated)
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1.85 : 1
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Don't believe everything you see!
24 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Beware of documentaries that value the producer's fantasies more highly than their commitment to accuracy! At least one INTENTIONAL error in this film makes me question the integrity of the entire thing. The live-action footage of the belly dancer completely misrepresents how the women at the Columbian Exposition would have dressed and danced in 1893. Although the vintage still photos ALL show the dancers wearing blouses, with their midriffs and upper arms covered, the modern-day footage shows the dancer with a completely bare midriff and a horrid enormous navel jewel.

For those who care, the bra as we know it was invented in 1913 (according to patents issued), and the "jewel in the navel" idiocy was invented by Hollywood after the Hayes Code was instituted in the 1930's. So why did the producer force these anachronisms into a documentary about an 1893 event? I am told that the dancer tried to push for wearing historically-correct costuming, but the producer, Mark Bussler, insisted on a "1970's James Bond" look. If Bussler knowingly insisted on a 1970's look for one of the elements of his "documentary" about 1893, what other inaccuracies did he knowingly insert into it? He completely destroyed the credibility of this entire project by depicting the dancer with a look that was 80 years out of context.

For a historically-accurate description of the dancers at the Columbian Exposition, don't view this documentary. Instead, see the book titled Looking for Little Egypt by Donna Carlton.


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