American Experience (1988– )
8.3/10
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3 user 1 critic

Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World 

The American Experience looks at the history of American whaling from its off-shore origins in the 17th century to the golden age of deep water whaling and the eventual decline in the decades after the Civil War.

Director:

Ric Burns

Writer:

Ric Burns
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Philip Bosco ... Gideon Folger & Paul Macy (voice)
D. Graham Burnett D. Graham Burnett ... Himself - Historian
Margaret S. Creighton Margaret S. Creighton ... Herself - Historian
Willem Dafoe ... Narrator (voice)
Andrew Delbanco Andrew Delbanco ... Himself - Writer
Eric Jay Dolin Eric Jay Dolin ... Himself - Writer
Mary K. Bercaw Edwards Mary K. Bercaw Edwards ... Herself - Melville Scholar
Stuart M. Frank Stuart M. Frank ... Himself - New Bedford Whaling Museum
Josh Hamilton ... Owen Chase & Peleg Folger (voice)
Vincent Kartheiser ... Thomas Nickerson (voice)
Robert Sean Leonard ... Herman Melville (voice)
Michael Moore Michael Moore ... Himself - Marine Biologist
Lisa Norling Lisa Norling ... Herself - Historian
Nathaniel Philbrick Nathaniel Philbrick ... Himself - Writer
Callie Thorne ... Poem Reader (voice)
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Storyline

The American Experience looks at the history of American whaling from its off-shore origins in the 17th century to the golden age of deep water whaling and the eventual decline in the decades after the Civil War.

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Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 May 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

WGBH See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Exceptionally well made BUT you might want to read through my warnings before watching.
3 November 2011 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"The American Experience: Into the Deep" is an exceptionally well made film that I strongly recommend. However, there are some seriously difficult portions of the film that are NOT good stuff for young kids or even some adults to watch. If you watch, you will see some very bloody and disturbing footage of whaling. Whales being killed and rendered is not something everyone wants to see or needs to see. In addition, there is a VERY graphic account in the show about a ship (The Essex) that was actually sunk by a whale (and it was the inspiration for Melville's "Moby Dick")--and the aftermath is quite nasty. Very vividly told accounts of men on lifeboats cannibalizing each other in order to make it back to land will turn a few stomachs. DO NOT SAY YOU WEREN'T WARNED!!

I appreciate the show because Whaling is a HUGE part of American history that most of us are unaware of today. And, being politically incorrect, many of us would rather just forget it. However, this is a mistake because the American economy of the 18th and 19th century grew to one of the strongest on the planet due, in large part, to whaling. Without whale oil, the industrial revolution might not have taken place or would have been severely curtailed. And, economically, it IS who the country was for much of our early history. Additionally, the stories of the incredible danger are quite compelling and should not be forgotten. The film uses the typical style of a PBS documentary--fantastically evocative music, photos, film clips, recreations and a slow and deliberate pace. It's an exceptional film--just be patient and watch the story unfold. Well worth seeing.

By the way, it's pretty easy to believe that Ric Burns (who made this film) is the brother of famed Ken Burns--as the style is very similar and both worked together on such amazing projects as "The Civil War".


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