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"Prohibition" (2011) More at IMDbPro »TV mini-series 2011-

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Prohibition -- Support for Prohibition diminishes in the mid-1920s; the law has given savvy gangsters a way to make huge profits, wreaking havoc in cities across the country. By the late 1920s many American women believe that the "Noble Experiment" has failed. After the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, Congress easily passes the 21st Amendment, which repeals the 18th, and the states quickly ratify it. In December of 1933, Americans can legally buy a drink for the first time in 13 years.


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Release Date:
2 October 2011 (USA) See more »
How did a nation founded on rights ever go so wrong?
The story of the American activist struggle against the influence of alcohol, climaxing in the failed early 20th century nationwide era when it was banned. Full summary »
Won Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Ken Burns' latest docu: goes great with ice and a twist of lime See more (11 total) »


 (Series Cast [24])

Peter Coyote ... Himself - Narrator (3 episodes, 2011)
Pete Hamill ... Himself - Writer (3 episodes, 2011)
Catherine Gilbert Murdock ... Herself - Historian (3 episodes, 2011)
Michael Lerner ... Himself - Historian (3 episodes, 2011)

Daniel Okrent ... Himself - Writer (3 episodes, 2011)
Noah Feldman ... Himself - Legal Scholar (3 episodes, 2011)
Jack Roche ... Himself - Resident of Chicago (3 episodes, 2011)
William Leuchtenburg ... Himself - Historian (3 episodes, 2011)

Patricia Clarkson ... Reader / ... (3 episodes, 2011)

John Lithgow ... Reader / ... (3 episodes, 2011)

Campbell Scott ... Reader (3 episodes, 2011)

Sam Waterston ... Reader (3 episodes, 2011)
John Paul Stevens ... Himself - Resident of Chicago (2 episodes, 2011)
Jonathan Eig ... Himself - Writer (2 episodes, 2011)
Margot Loines Wilkie ... Herself - Resident of Massachusetts (2 episodes, 2011)
Martin Marty ... Himself - Theologian (2 episodes, 2011)
Jack Clarke ... Himself - Resident of Chicago (2 episodes, 2011)
Ruth Proskauer Smith ... Herself - Resident of New York (2 episodes, 2011)
Edwin T. Hunt Jr. ... Himself - Resident of Seattle / ... (2 episodes, 2011)
Joshua Zeitz ... Himself - Historian (2 episodes, 2011)

Philip Bosco ... Reader (2 episodes, 2011)
Kevin Conway ... Reader (2 episodes, 2011)

Tom Hanks ... Reader (2 episodes, 2011)

Josh Lucas ... Reader (2 episodes, 2011)

Series Directed by
Ken Burns (3 episodes, 2011)
Lynn Novick (3 episodes, 2011)
Series Writing credits
Geoffrey C. Ward (3 episodes, 2011)

Series Produced by
Sarah Botstein .... producer (3 episodes, 2011)
Ken Burns .... executive producer / producer (3 episodes, 2011)
Elle Carriere .... coordinating producer (3 episodes, 2011)
Karen Kenton .... producer (3 episodes, 2011)
Jean Lane .... producer (3 episodes, 2011)
McKay McFadden .... associate producer (3 episodes, 2011)
Lynn Novick .... producer (3 episodes, 2011)
Mike Welt .... co-producer (3 episodes, 2011)
Series Original Music by
David Cieri (3 episodes, 2011)
Series Cinematography by
Buddy Squires (3 episodes, 2011)

Stephen McCarthy (unknown episodes)
Allen Moore (unknown episodes)
Series Film Editing by
Ryan Gifford (3 episodes, 2011)
Tricia Reidy (3 episodes, 2011)
Series Makeup Department
Maria Torfeld .... makeup artist (3 episodes, 2011)
Series Production Management
Dalton Delan .... executive in charge of production (3 episodes, 2011)
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Christopher Darling .... assistant director (3 episodes, 2011)
Series Sound Department
Francis X. Coakley .... sound recordist (3 episodes, 2011)
Erik Ewers .... sound effects editor (3 episodes, 2011)
Dan Fulton .... assistant sound editor (3 episodes, 2011)
Miles Fulwider .... assistant engineer (3 episodes, 2011)
Marlena Grzaslewicz .... dialogue editor (3 episodes, 2011)
Scott Harber .... sound recordist (3 episodes, 2011)
Dan Korintus .... dialogue editor (3 episodes, 2011)
Dave Mast .... sound effects editor (3 episodes, 2011)
Michael Miller .... original dialogue mixer (3 episodes, 2011)
Jacob Ribicoff .... music editor (3 episodes, 2011)
Brian Roth .... voice over recording (3 episodes, 2011)
Mark Roy .... sound recordist (3 episodes, 2011)
Rob Silverthorne .... sound recordist (3 episodes, 2011)
Michael Suarez .... audio prelay (3 episodes, 2011)
Dominick Tavella .... sound re-recording mixer (3 episodes, 2011)
Lou Verrico .... voice over recording (3 episodes, 2011)
John Zecca .... sound recordist (3 episodes, 2011)
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Chris Beardsley .... technician (3 episodes, 2011)
Bob Bushfield .... gaffer (3 episodes, 2011)
Kathy Gallo .... assistant camera (3 episodes, 2011)
Ned Hallick .... gaffer (3 episodes, 2011)
Sarah L. Hendrick .... assistant camera (3 episodes, 2011)
Peter Kuttner .... assistant camera (3 episodes, 2011)
Stephen McCarthy .... additional cinematographer (3 episodes, 2011)
Allen Moore .... additional cinematographer (3 episodes, 2011)
Joe Morrone .... assistant camera (3 episodes, 2011)
Stephen Mortell .... video technician (3 episodes, 2011)
John M. Roche .... gaffer (3 episodes, 2011)
John Romeo .... assistant camera (3 episodes, 2011)
Anthony Savini .... gaffer (3 episodes, 2011)
Jill Tufts .... assistant camera (3 episodes, 2011)
Series Editorial Department
Evan Barlow .... assistant editor (3 episodes, 2011)
John Dowdell .... colorist (3 episodes, 2011)
Peter Heady .... finishing artist (3 episodes, 2011)
Ted Raviv .... apprentice editor (3 episodes, 2011)
Richard Rubin .... assistant editor (3 episodes, 2011)
Margaret Shepardson-Legere .... assistant editor (3 episodes, 2011)
Tim Spitzer .... hd supervisor (3 episodes, 2011)
Series Music Department
Estelle Bajou .... violin (3 episodes, 2011)
David Cieri .... musician: piano (3 episodes, 2011)
Vincent Gardner .... musician: trombone (3 episodes, 2011)
Victor Goines .... musician: clarinet (3 episodes, 2011)
Carlos Henriquez .... musician: bass (3 episodes, 2011)
Ali Jackson .... musician: drums (3 episodes, 2011)
Dan Morgenstern .... music consultant (3 episodes, 2011)
Dan Nimmer .... musician: piano (3 episodes, 2011)
Marcus Printup .... musician: trumpet (3 episodes, 2011)
Wynton Marsalis .... music arranger / musician: trumpet (2 episodes, 2011)
Series Other crew
Lisa Andracke .... production assistant (3 episodes, 2011)
Paul Barnes .... program advisor (3 episodes, 2011)
Dayton Duncan .... program advisor (3 episodes, 2011)
Julie Dunfey .... program advisor (3 episodes, 2011)
Catherine Gilbert Murdock .... program advisor (3 episodes, 2011)
Robert N. Gold .... legal services (3 episodes, 2011)
Anne Harrington .... media director (3 episodes, 2011)
Lisa Hartjens .... research assistant (3 episodes, 2011)
Brenda Heath .... financial advisor (3 episodes, 2011)
Mike Hill .... research assistant (3 episodes, 2011)
Craig Impink .... developer (3 episodes, 2011)
Kim Klein .... developer (3 episodes, 2011)
Patty Lawlor .... financial officer (3 episodes, 2011)
Michael Lerner .... program advisor (3 episodes, 2011)
William Leuchtenburg .... program advisor (3 episodes, 2011)
Valerie Marcus .... legal services (3 episodes, 2011)
Martin Marty .... program advisor (3 episodes, 2011)
Dave Mast .... technical director (3 episodes, 2011)
David Mcmahon .... program advisor (3 episodes, 2011)
Daniel Okrent .... senior creative consultant (3 episodes, 2011)
Drew Patrick .... legal services (3 episodes, 2011)
Polly Pettit .... research assistant (3 episodes, 2011)
John Russick .... program advisor (3 episodes, 2011)
Colleen Sackheim .... transcriptor (3 episodes, 2011)
Stacey Schwartz .... project manager (3 episodes, 2011)
David S. Thompson .... project director (3 episodes, 2011)
Kim Tomadjoglou .... research assistant (3 episodes, 2011)
Geoffrey C. Ward .... senior advisor (3 episodes, 2011)
Kathryn Wilson .... project manager (3 episodes, 2011)

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Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Jeopardy!: Episode #28.10" (2011)See more »


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Ken Burns' latest docu: goes great with ice and a twist of lime, 5 March 2012
Author: Joe Kucharski (joker-4) from Cherry Hill, NJ

Daniel Okrent's "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition" and Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's "Prohibition" mini-series were two similar projects that began together resulting in two different end products. Together, both provide a rather detailed account not only of Prohibition's place in American history, but the events leading up to such, the results of repeal and the long-lasting societal impact of the entire matter. Separate, both are still strong, informative and entertaining yet each tend to focus on different themes that sometimes do not intermingle and the result is noticeable.

Ken Burns, in his trademarked fashion, intermingles fantastically- original photos and video with colorful interviews from subject-matter experts and first-hand histories over-laced with celebrity voice-overs, makes learning hip and brings about a passion for a dark, but necessary, time in American history. Burns' documentary was too light in certain instances where a deeper look at American history would have benefited the story. Okrent's novel definitely fills in such details that Burns either ignored or edited out but was definitely too heavy at times with whole sections coming across as a historical text book rather than an entertaining narrative.

Burns, and Okrent as well, enlighten 21st-Century audiences to the fact that Prohibition, what can be now considered a silly arrangement, was not only responsible for the rise of Jazz, the introduction of mixed drinks and the invention of speed boats but also led to very beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement and the outright success of Women's Suffrage.

Naturally, Burns provides much attention to that of the gangsters of the era, particularly Chicago's Al Capone. But again, he provides just enough details for a satisfactory display of information yet fails to get deeper. Similarly, this occurs when discussing the role of the Church and the Prohibition movement. Dry Congressmen and Senators knew how to convince their Baptist and Methodist ministers to use the pulpit to condemn the evils of alcohol, particularly in the Mid-West states.

Likewise, Prohibition was an outcry not just against alcohol but also against the rise of poor immigrants filling America's urban centers. The Irish, the Germans, the Italians, all known for enjoying wine and spirits, and all Catholics, became a scary threat for "decent, Protestant country folks". Cutting off immigrants from their alcohol was a way to ensure that these new Americans were productive members of society, not a burden of filthy drunkards. Burns did not spend too much time on these ideals.

However, Burns attention to detail and crafting of a narrative tale is shown in his vision and with what is presented. He does keep entertainment at the forefront of his documentary, much like what he has done in the past, especially with his must-see Baseball series. Some indirect humor is presented with history playing the comedian to a more naïve time. Burns does get political with some of his views, but at no time are such views sobering enough to prevent the viewer from seeking out a drink.

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