American Experience: Season 3, Episode 5

The Crash of 1929 (19 Nov. 1990)

TV Episode  |   |  Documentary, History
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Examines the stock market crash of 1929 with interviews from descendants of several Wall Street insiders.


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Episode credited cast:
Reuben L. Cain ...
Himself - Stock Salesman, 1929
Calvin Coolidge ...
Himself - President of the United States (archive footage)
Rita Mitchell Cushman ...
Herself - Daughter of Charles E. Mitchell
William C. Durant ...
Himself - Former Chairman and CEO of General Motors (archive footage)
Himself - Inventor (archive footage)
Henry Ford ...
Himself - Former CEO of The Ford Motor Car Company (archive footage)
John Kenneth Galbraith ...
Himself - Economist
Manly P. Hall ...
Himself - Founder, Philosophical Research Society
Herbert Hoover ...
Himself - President of the United States (archive footage)
Ben Karol ...
Himself - Newpaper Delivery Boy, 1929
Edward Lamont ...
Himself - Grandson of Thomas W. Lamont
Patricia Livermore ...
Herself - Daughter-In-Law of Jesse Livermore
Arthur Marx ...
Himself - Son of Groucho Marx
Tom McCormick ...
Himself - Stock Sales Clerk, 1929


Examines the stock market crash of 1929 with interviews from descendants of several Wall Street insiders.

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Release Date:

19 November 1990 (USA)  »

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Even though Babe Ruth appears in archive footage playing baseball for the New York Yankees, the voice over narration does not mention "Babe Ruth," instead, the narrator refers to him as "George Herman Ruth," his proper name given to him at birth. See more »

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User Reviews

Examines not just the crash, but the reasons for it...
14 September 2011 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is another episode of "The American Experience"--a PBS series that's been on since the late 1980s. The reason it's been on so long despite is most likely because the show is so expertly crafted and interesting--provided you give a crap about history (which, sadly, many do not). And, fortunately, it's available on DVD and for rental from Netflix.

This was a particularly interesting episode of "The American Experience". That's because although I have seen documentaries about the Great Stock Market Crash and the Depression, I cannot recall any others that actually discussed WHY it occurred in the first place. Vague things like 'buying on margin' and 'speculation' were cited--but not much more. However, the root causes and how the market was being manipulated were discussed in the film. This was done through interviews with some of the families of manipulators, economists (such as John Kenneth Galbraith) and others. The show was narrated by Philip Bosco--who had a nice voice and who was born the year after the crash. In addition, photos, stock footage and period music were used to create a nice 1920s ambiance. The overall episode is excellent--insightful and well usual.

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