The American Experience: Season 19, Episode 15

Alexander Hamilton (15 May 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | History
7.6
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Narrator (voice)
...
Sally Thorpe
...
Philip's schoolmate
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Peter Fenner
Lauren Bloom ...
Young Eliza Schuyler
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Shopkeeper Evans
John Curless ...
David Hosack
Michael Cumpsty ...
James Callender
Richard Easton ...
...
Robert Bartlett
...
...
Ephraim Slattery
Neil McGarry ...
Julia Morrison ...
Mary Paget
...
Gouverneur Morris
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Underrated.
6 February 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Alexander Hamilton was one of the strangest of the founding fathers in America. In some ways, he's incredibly noble and brilliant. And, in other ways, he's a stupid potato-head! A truly contradictory and fascinating man in this excellent episode of "The American Experience".

Like all episodes of this excellent PBS series, it's exquisitely produced and very, very watchable. It confuses me, then, that the film has a very mediocre overall rating--perhaps due to the very small number of ratings (where a few low scores can skew the overall figure). I like how they made the film--not just with narration but actors playing the various characters who talk to the audience. And, to do that, they use the actual writings of the people--their diaries, letters and books from the period. This keeps the film honest and accurate--and fascinating.

As far as Hamilton goes, he was a brilliant guy who, according to the film, was THE ultimate Federalist. It was he who pushed the hardest for the Constitutional convention, solved the huge problem with the national debt and was incredibly idealistic. But, he also had a knack for alienating people, was a very unwise adulterer and got himself killed due to his arrogance and foolishness. All this--wrapped up into just one man! Overall, another exceptional film--perhaps more interesting than some other films on the early American leaders because Hamilton was such a knucklehead! Intriguing and wonderful from start to finish.

By the way, pay attention when the film begins. This portion with a friend of Hamilton's trying to write his eulogy was rather funny and really encapsulated the man very well. Also, John Adams' comment about 'puppyhood' is pretty funny as well.


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