American Experience (1988– )
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Henry Ford 

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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.


Sarah Colt





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Oliver Platt ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Henry Ford ... Himself (archive footage)
Steven Watts Steven Watts ... Himself - University of Missouri
Douglas Brinkley ... Himself - Rice University
John M. Staudenmaier John M. Staudenmaier ... Himself - University of Detroit Mercy
Nancy F. Koehn Nancy F. Koehn ... Herself - Harvard Business School
Greg Grandin Greg Grandin ... Himself - Professor of History, New York University
Hasia Diner Hasia Diner ... Herself - New York University
Bob Casey Bob Casey ... Himself - Retired Senior Curator, Henry Ford Museum
Beverly Gage ... Herself - Yale University
Nelson Lichtenstein Nelson Lichtenstein ... Himself - University of California, Santa Barbara
Charles A. Lindbergh ... Himself (archive footage)
Helen Keller ... Herself (archive footage)
Clara Ford Clara Ford ... Herself (archive footage)
Edsel Ford Edsel Ford ... Himself (archive footage)


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 Anonymous

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Release Date:

29 January 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Experience: Henry Ford See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

A lot to admire and a lot to abhor--it will never bore you
31 January 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

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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