With hardly an exception the American Experience historical programs are gems. That the dumb heads in congress have succeeded in striking down the funding for both public TV and radio, crippling the ability to produce such shows as these, Ken Burns Civil War, and many others is nothing less than a sin against the nation.
While there is a bit too much slickness in this bio for my taste, and a musical score that is used rather too heavily, this is still a fine example of the type of programming that money bought; a sum that amounts to less than what the armed services spends on their military bands.
This bio also takes a different tact on Lee that is usual which has offended some, for in it we are treated to a sadden Lee, a Lee of nobility still, but where the warts are not air-brushed. To the detractors of this approach I can only say, when you stand too close to a marble statue you always see the cracks.
For Civil War buffs, even those who think they know everything there is to known, the viewing is well worth their time. If you’ve never watched the American Experience series this is a good enough one to start with. But hurry up, the breed may soon to be extinct.
Writer: Mark Zwonitzer
Cinematographer: Michael Chin
Narrated by Michael Murphy
Additional Voices: Jason Alan Carvell, Kara Jackson
DVD Release Date: 2011
Available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble other Online Vendors.