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.
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2011  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Peter Coyote ...  Himself - Narrator 3 episodes, 2011
Pete Hamill Pete Hamill ...  Himself - Writer 3 episodes, 2011
Catherine Gilbert Murdock Catherine Gilbert Murdock ...  Herself - Historian 3 episodes, 2011
Michael Lerner Michael Lerner ...  Himself - Historian 3 episodes, 2011
Daniel Okrent ...  Himself - Writer 3 episodes, 2011
Noah Feldman Noah Feldman ...  Himself - Legal Scholar 3 episodes, 2011
Jack Roche Jack Roche ...  Himself - Resident of Chicago 3 episodes, 2011
William Leuchtenburg 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 John Paul Stevens ...  Himself - Resident of Chicago 2 episodes, 2011
Jonathan Eig Jonathan Eig ...  Himself - Writer 2 episodes, 2011
Margot Loines Wilkie Margot Loines Wilkie ...  Herself - Resident of Massachusetts 2 episodes, 2011
Martin Marty Martin Marty ...  Himself - Theologian 2 episodes, 2011
Jack Clarke Jack Clarke ...  Himself - Resident of Chicago 2 episodes, 2011
Ruth Proskauer Smith Ruth Proskauer Smith ...  Herself - Resident of New York 2 episodes, 2011
Edwin T. Hunt Jr. Edwin T. Hunt Jr. ...  Himself - Resident of Seattle / ... 2 episodes, 2011
Joshua Zeitz Joshua Zeitz ...  Himself - Historian 2 episodes, 2011
Philip Bosco ...  Reader 2 episodes, 2011
Kevin Conway Kevin Conway ...  Reader 2 episodes, 2011
Tom Hanks ...  Reader 2 episodes, 2011
Josh Lucas ...  Reader 2 episodes, 2011
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Storyline

Throughout American history, heavy alcohol consumption has been a pervasive part of its national social character. However in the 1800s, a growing Temperance movement arose determined to oppose the destructive habit by any means necessary. This series tells the story of this crusade until it achieved its ultimate goal of passing the 18th Amendment of the US Constitution which imposed prohibition. After that victory, the series covers this social reform's disastrous unintended consequences that encouraged clandestine drinking and organized crime while undermining civil liberties and society's respect for the law in ways that still reverberate today. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Taglines:

How did a nation founded on rights ever go so wrong?


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 October 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Prohibition See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Excellence throughout.
19 June 2012 | by MartinHaferSee 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.

The miniseries consists of three episodes. The first is about the background leading to Prohibition--the temperance movement and problems with alcohol over-consumption. It also ends with the implementation of the Constitutional Amendment. Part Two is about the practical aspects of the law. The difficulty in enforcement is due to a lack of widespread support, loopholes in the law as well as the way the law actually ENCOURAGED the growth of organized crime. Part Three is about the rising dislike of the law that led to its repeal.

Overall, it's yet another very good series by Ken Burn and is among the best shows you can find on the topic. Well worth your time--and it manages to make an educational show fun...of sorts.


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