7.8/10
643
14 user 2 critic

Frank Lloyd Wright (1998)

A biography of the life and work of the American architect.

Directors:

Ken Burns, Lynn Novick
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Mark Twain (TV Movie 2001)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A biographical film about the acclaimed American humourist and author.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Keith David, Kevin Conway, Philip Bosco
Documentary | Biography | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The story of Jack Johnson, the first African-American Heavyweight boxing champion.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Jack Johnson, Keith David, Samuel L. Jackson
Documentary | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The story of the most important American exploration expedition in American history and the participants in it.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Hal Holbrook, Adam Arkin, John Logan Allen
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Documentary showing the history of the world-famous Statue of Liberty in New York harbor, the impact it still has on people and the state of liberty as a personal and political concept in America in 1985.

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: David McCullough, Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The history of the U.S. National Parks system, including the initial ideas which led to the world's first national parks and the expansion of the system over 150 years.

Stars: Peter Coyote, William Cronon, Dayton Duncan
Jazz (2001)
Documentary | History | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

A survey of the musical form's history and major talents.

Stars: Keith David, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet
Documentary | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The saga of Horatio Nelson Jackson, the first man to cross the United States by automobile--in 1903!

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Keith David, Tom Hanks, Adam Arkin
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

This documentary chronicles the world-famous Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. The difficult construction process is described in interesting detail; later parts of the film interview ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Burns
Stars: Paul Roebling, Julie Harris, Arthur Miller
Thomas Jefferson (TV Mini-Series 1997)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A biographical film about The United States' influential and profoundly enigmatic Founding Father.

Stars: Ossie Davis, Joseph Ellis, John Hope Franklin
The Dust Bowl (TV Mini-Series 2012)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A documentary about the 1930s drought of North American prairie farm land, and its consequences during the great depression.

Stars: Dorothy Williamson, Donald Worster, Timothy Egan
Prohibition (TV Mini-Series 2011)
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

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.

Stars: Peter Coyote, Pete Hamill, Catherine Gilbert Murdock
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (TV Mini-Series 2014)
Documentary | Biography | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A documentary that weaves together the stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, three members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.

Stars: Meryl Streep, Edward Herrmann, George Will
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Edward Herrmann ... Narrator (voice)
Philip Bosco ... (voice)
Julie Harris ... (voice)
Sab Shimono ... (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
William Cronon William Cronon ... Himself - Historian
Brendan Gill Brendan Gill ... Himself - Writer
Paul Goldberger Paul Goldberger ... Himself - Architecture Critic
Philip Johnson Philip Johnson ... Himself - Architect
Maya Lin Maya Lin ... Herself - Artist
Vincent Scully ... Himself - Architectural Historian
Meryle Secrest Meryle Secrest ... Herself - Biographer
Robert A.M. Stern Robert A.M. Stern ... Himself - Architect
Edgar Tafel Edgar Tafel ... Himself
Anne Whiston Spirn Anne Whiston Spirn ... Herself - Architect
David Wright David Wright ... Himself
Edit

Storyline

This film illustrates the life and work of the American architect. We follow the development of his work and his turbulent family life amidst scandal and tragedy. Despite all the difficulties of his personal life, Wright rises above all and beats all the odds to design some of the most famous buildings using brilliant and distinctively innovative designs that only his genius could create. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 January 1998 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Florentine Films,WETA See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Ken Burns: America's Storyteller (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Moonglow
Written by Will Hudson, Edgar De Lange, and Irving Mills
Performed by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra
Courtesy of EMI Music Publishing, Scarsdale Music Corp., and RCA Records Label of BMG Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A great documentary about a great man.
17 July 2007 | by budmasseySee all my reviews

Like many great men, Frank Lloyd Wright was complex and controversial. You either love his architecture, or you hate it. Few people are lukewarm about Wright's work. After seeing this documentary, few will be lukewarm about the man.

Raised on the idea that he was destined for greatness, Wright behaved throughout his life as if he were above the constraints of ordinary people. This documentary takes an unflinching look at the turmoil this caused in Wright's life.

The vignettes of family members are moving, particularly a scene near the end when his grandson recalls Wright's death. By simple chronological narrative, Burns takes us from dazzling heights when Wright's fellowship was thriving artistically and financially, to dismal lows when his wife had to wear hand-me-down coats in the cold Wisconsin winter.

The commentaries by architecture illuminati are illuminating, if perhaps a bit insular. Vincent Scully gained fame at the distinguished Yale School of Architeture. Phillip Johnson, a graduate of Harvard, once referred to Scully as the most influential teacher of architecture in history, and used his position as founder of MoMA Department of Architecture and Design as a bully pulpit to vilify Wright's work during Johnson's association with Bauhuas buddies Meis and Gropius. Robert A. M. Stern is currently Dean of Yale's School of Architecture, and with Scully, was responsible for popularizing the work of great architects like Robert Venturi. Still, this cabal of academic elitists sing a harmonious chorus of praise to Wright that demonstrates the rising and falling tides of Wright's popularity.

The documentary will not satisfy those who merely wish to see a catalog of Wright works, and after all, is there anyone alive who hasn't explored that body of work? It focuses instead on Wright the man, something much less understood. Wright is described as everything from a genius, a charlatan, and a con artist, to the greatest American Architect, and probably all are true. But if Wright and his early mentor Louis Sullivan were correct that form follows function, then perhaps genius is best understood by examining the life that developed it.

The makers of this film "get" Wright, and the consistency of Wright's vision, from his earliest work, to mid-career masterpieces like Fallingwater, to his final triumph with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue in New York City is presented with insight and perspective. A great documentary about a great man.


2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed