Prohibition: Season 1, Episode 3

A Nation of Hypocrites (4 Oct. 2011)

TV Episode  -  Documentary | History
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 42 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

By the mid-1920s, a great many people had become convinced that prohibition was a serious mistake. Al Smith, the Governor of New York, was unsuccessful in getting the Democratic nomination ... See full summary »

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Title: A Nation of Hypocrites (04 Oct 2011)

A Nation of Hypocrites (04 Oct 2011) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself - Narrator (voice)
Pete Hamill ...
Himself - Writer
Jonathan Eig ...
Himself - Writer
Michael Lerner ...
Himself - Historian
Catherine Gilbert Murdock ...
Herself - Historian
Ruth Proskauer Smith ...
Herself - Resident of New York
Joshua Zeitz ...
Himself - Historian
Margot Loines Wilkie ...
Herself - Resident of Massachusetts
Jack Clarke ...
Himself - Resident of Chicago
John Paul Stevens ...
Himself - Resident of Chicago (as Justice John Paul Stevens)
...
Himself - Writer
William Leuchtenburg ...
Himself - Historian (as William E. Leuchtenburg)
Noah Feldman ...
Himself - Legal Scholar
Jack Roche ...
Himself - Resident of Chicago
Pauline Sabin Smith Willis ...
Herself - Granddaughter of Pauline Sabin
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Storyline

By the mid-1920s, a great many people had become convinced that prohibition was a serious mistake. Al Smith, the Governor of New York, was unsuccessful in getting the Democratic nomination for President in 1924 but succeeded in 1928. Smith was adamant that as President, he would repeal the 18th Amendment. He was not successful in seeking the Presidency though the fact that he was a Roman Catholic likely had more to do with his defeat. While alcohol consumption continued to rise, nothing demonstrated the failure of prohibition as did the rise of organized crime and the man who became the poster boy for crime and bootlegging, Al Capone. Soon, Pauline Sabin organized a national movement to restore the legal sale of alcoholic beverages. By the time 'Franklin Delano Roosevelt' was elected in 1932, beer was being sold and in less than a year, the 19th Amendment was repealed. Written by garykmcd

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4 October 2011 (USA)  »

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Features Flaming Youth (1923) See more »

Soundtracks

She's Funny That Way
(1928)
Music by Neil Moret
Lyrics by Richard A. Whiting
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User Reviews

 
A worthy conclusion to an excellent series.
19 June 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is the latest documentary series from Ken Burns--the docu-god for Public Broadcasting. Not surprisingly, with his amazing reputation for perfection, he was able to once again get many of America's top actors to provide their voice talents to the shows--such as Tom Hanks, Sam Waterston and Blythe Danner. And, like so many PBS documentaries, Peter Coyote narrates more than capably.

This final part of the three-part series on Prohibition concerns the disintegration of the popular support for Prohibition. As the episode begins, while there is quite a bit of non-compliance with the law, the country still is behind the law. After all, the country is going well, life is good and most Americans seem willing to back the status quo. When Al Smith runs on an anti-Prohibition platform, he's savaged by the combined forces of Prohibition, anti-Catholicism and anti-immigration movements. It's hard to imagine that within a decade, the public would be rather solidly behind repeal of the law. Other topics covered in the show include the rise and fall of Al Capone, the FDR election, the complete inflexibility of the Prohibitionists and how this led to the downfall of the law and the subsequent women's movement for repeal.

Part Three is well made and interesting throughout--and another worthy episode that wraps up the topic quite well. Worth seeing and well-crafted.


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