HENRY FORD paints a fascinating portrait of a farm boy who rose from obscurity to become the most influential American innovator of the 20th century. Ford's Model T automobile and his five-dollar-a-day wage ushered in the modern world, earning Ford reverence from millions of Americans. Yet many of the changes he wrought deeply troubled the carmaker. In frustration, he lashed out at enemies, real and imagined.Written by
A lot to admire and a lot to abhor--it will never bore you
This installment of "The American Experience" is one that will never bore you despite its length. This is because there are so many things about the life of Henry Ford that will both impress you and completely repulse you--making him a strange and complex figure in American history.
The first portion of the documentary is about Henry Ford's rise towards becoming a titan of the auto industry. Most of this is stuff you will admire--his determination, his love of old fashioned values and the work ethic. However, as the show progresses the picture becomes more fuzzy and difficult to understand. While he was way ahead of his time by offering his workers fantastic wages, profit-sharing and a shorter work day, he later was rabidly anti- union, spied on his employees and was incredibly paranoid. But the picture gets worse as the film progresses, as Ford's antisemitism and narrow and inflexible manner make him a man that is easy to hate. All in all, with so much material and such a complex man, it must rank as one of the best episodes of this fantastic series--one that will impress you even if you aren't completely impressed by the man.
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