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"American Experience" Panama Canal (2011)

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American Experience: Season 23: Episode 4 -- From PBS and American Experience - On August 15th, 1914, the Panama Canal opened, connecting the world's two largest oceans and signaling America's emergence as a global superpower.


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View company contact information for Panama Canal on IMDbPro.
Original Air Date:
24 January 2011 (Season 23, Episode 4)
From PBS and American Experience - On August 15th, 1914, the Panama Canal opened, connecting the world's two largest oceans and signaling America's emergence as a global superpower. | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews: what else is new?! See more (4 total) »


 (Episode Cast)

Josh Hamilton ... (voice)
Stephen Ives ... Himself - Director
Walter LaFeber ... Himself - Historian

Carolyn McCormick ... (voice)

Michael Murphy ... Himself - Narrator

Theodore Roosevelt ... Himself (archive footage)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Stephen Ives 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Michelle Ferrari 
Paul Taylor 

Produced by
Susan Bellows .... series producer
Sharon Grimberg .... executive producer
Lindsey Megrue .... coordinating producer
Susan Mottau .... coordinating producer
Amanda Pollak .... producer
Mark Samels .... executive producer
Original Music by
Peter Rundquist 
Cinematography by
Andrew Young 
Film Editing by
George O'Donnell 
Production Management
Vanessa Ezersky .... post-production manager
Glenn Fukushima .... post-production manager
Greg Shea .... post-production manager
Nancy Sherman .... production manager
Art Department
Alison Kennedy .... designer
Sound Department
Dan Fulton .... assistant sound editor
Marlena Grzaslewicz .... dialogue editor
Matt Gundy .... sound re-recording mixer
John Jenkins .... sound mixer
Ira Spiegel .... sound designer
J.T. Takagi .... sound recordist
John Zecca .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Daniel Choy Boyar .... electrician
Daniel Choy Boyar .... grip
Rafael de la Uz .... additional cinematographer
Peter Nelson .... additional cinematographer
Buddy Squires .... additional cinematographer
Animation Department
Paul Docherty .... stills animator
Gina Tolentino .... stills animator
Editorial Department
Lauren DeFilippo .... associate editor
David Gauff .... conforming editor
Spencer Gentry .... on-line editor
Paul Taylor .... senior editor
Gina Tolentino .... assistant editor
Jane Tolmachyov .... colorist
Location Management
Anel E. Moreno .... location scout (as Anel Moreno)
Music Department
Joel Goodman .... composer: theme music
Joel Goodman .... musician
Other crew
Daniel Amigone .... production associate
Samantha Chan .... office production assistant
Emily Chapman .... office production assistant
Victor Chen .... production assistant
Joy Conley .... researcher
Julie Cresswell .... researcher
Julia DeWahl .... office production assistant
James E. Dunford .... series manager
Susana Fernandes .... project administration
Jay Fialkov .... legal
Janice Flood .... legal
Pamela Gaudiano .... project administration
Andrew Hall .... production controller
Merrell Hambleton .... office production assistant
Morgan Hartley .... office production assistant
Molly Jacobs .... production assistant
Maureen Jordan .... legal
Scott Kardel .... legal
James Kendrick .... legal service
Samantha M. Knowles .... office production assistant
Stephanie Morales .... office production assistant
Anel E. Moreno .... fixer (as Anel Moreno)
Marlene Q. Moura-Tejada .... office production assistant (as Marlene Q. Moura)
Matthew Parker .... consultant
Lauren Prestileo .... publicist
Sarah Rentz .... researcher
Tory Starr .... production assistant
John T. Sughrue .... director: Insignia Films
Ed Weisel .... production accountant
Tim Werenko .... project manager
Robert A. Wilson .... director: Insignia Films
Patricia Yusah .... project administration
Teresa Arosemena .... special thanks
Maria Beatriz Barletta .... special thanks
Helen R. DuBois .... special thanks
Van Hardeveld .... special thanks
Bill McLaughlin .... special thanks
Elizabeth Neily .... special thanks
Ginny Porrata .... special thanks

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Stephen Fitzmeyer  developer
Henry Hampton  creator

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

USA:84 min (original version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:


Who narrated this episode? (Panama Canal)
See more »
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful. what else is new?!, 1 October 2011
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

In the last couple months, I have watched several dozen PBS documentaries. And, as a result, I have an even greater appreciation for the exceptionally good quality of these shows--far better than the stuff seen on other networks. They are expertly crafted and highly engaging.

This film is about the American building of the Panama Canal--how the land was obtained, the extreme difficulties and dangers in building it and the technology employed to make this engineering feat work. Begun in 1904, it took about a decade to complete and was truly amazing considering the level of technology of the time.

Like most of these films, this documentary about the Panama Canal consists of narration (by Michael Murphy), various interviews, nice music and the extensive use of photos--which, in many cases, as scanned and zoomed in on by the camera to make them seem to come to life (a common technique in Ken Burns' films). It's top-notch throughout and tells this story quite well.

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