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documentary filmmaker
Ken  Burns

documentary filmmaker Ken Burns with camera          short profile

movies by Ken Burns
RECENT movies & coming soon

books by Ken Burns

works about Ken Burns

friends & family

links


"I grew up certain for a while that I was going to be an anthropologist, until film turned my head."

"I began to feel that the drama of the truth that is in the moment and in the past is richer and
more interesting than the drama of Hollywood movies. So I began looking at documentary films."

"I subscribe to William Faulkner's view that history is not just about what we were before
but [about] who we are now."

"In a sense I've made the same film over and over again. In all of them I've asked,
'Who are we as Americans?'.

— Ken Burns


     B I O

     h e r e

P.B.S. official Ken Burns website
Ken Burns entry at Wikipedia
Ken Burns credits [since 1981] at Internet Movie Database


won shared Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Informational Programming for "The Civil War" [1990]  won shared Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series for "The Civil War" [1990]  won shared Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series for "Baseball" [1994]  won shared Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Special for "Unforgivable Blackness" [2004]  won shared Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Series for "The National Parks" [2009]       Ken Burns has won 5 shared Emmy Awards
— out of 12 nominations, 1986-2010

He also has received
two Erik Barnouw Awards from the Organization of American Historians, 1983 & 1986
two Oscar nominations, 1986 & 1988
shared Humanitas Prize Special Award, 1991
International Documentary Association Award, 1991
two awards from the Producers Guild of America, 1991 & 1998
Golden Space Needle Award at the Seattle International Film Festival, 1998
shared Bronze Wrangler Award at the Western Heritage Awards, 1998
shared Spur Award from the Western Writers of America, 1998
Best TV Documentary Award & a Lifetime Achievement Award at the St. Louis Intl. Film Festival, 2001
International Documentary Association Career Achievement Award, 2002
and a C.I.N.E. Leadership Award, 2003


Movies  By  Ken Burns
Ken Burns credits [since 1981] at Internet Movie Database
browse Ken Burns on DVD at Amazon
jump to NEW movies, coming soon

Ken Burns's America Collection DVD box set  "Ken Burns: America Collection" Box Set [1998]
P.B.S. Home Video color DVD set [9/2004] 7 disks for $89.99
P.B.S. Home Video color VHS [10/98] 7 tapes - out of prodn/used
contains 7 feature-length documentary films: "Brooklyn Bridge" [1981], "The Shakers" [1984], "The Statue of Liberty" [1985], "Huey Long" [1985], "The Congress" [1988], "Thomas Hart Benton" [1988], and "Empire of The Air" [1991]
Ken Burns's American Lives Collection DVD box set  "Ken Burns: American Lives Collection" DVD Box Set [2005]
P.B.S. Home Video color DVD set [10/2005] 7 disks for $66.99
contains 7 feature-length documentary films: "Thomas Jefferson" [1996], "Lewis & Clark"
[1997], "Frank Lloyd Wright" [1998], "Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony" [1999], "Mark Twain" [2001], "Horatio's Drive" [2003], and "Unforgivable Blackness" [2005]
·            ·

"Brooklyn Bridge" [P.B.S. Nov 1981]
Brooklyn Bridge documentary from P.B.S. & Ken Burns  Hour-long documentary on the design, construction, and recent history of the bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan, which opened in May 1883. Co-produced & directed by Ken Burns; co-produced & written by Amy Stechler; narrated by historian David McCullough; interviewees include Arthur Miller & Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.; Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature
P.B.S. Home Video color DVD [9/2004] for $17.49
P.B.S. Home Video color VHS [2/97] for $7.95
full credits at IMDbofficial movie sitemovie entry at Wikipedia

"The Shakers: Hands To Work, Hearts To God" (1984) /tt0243548/
http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Burns-America-David-McCullough/dp/B000BITUIY/
http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Burns-America-Shakers-VHS/dp/6304048734/
http://www.amazon.com/Shakers-Hands-Work-Hearts-God/dp/B00007KE4I/

"The Statue of Liberty" (1985) /tt0092011/
http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Burns-America-Statue-Liberty/dp/B000BITUJ8/
http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Burnss-America-Statue-Liberty/dp/B00006G8IM/
http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Burnss-America-Statue-Liberty/dp/6304048610/
http://www.amazon.com/Statue-Liberty-VHS-Ken-Burns/dp/5554771866/

"Huey Long" [1985 documentary] /tt0089310/
Directed by Ken Burns; credits at IMDb
http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Burns-America-Collection-Huey/dp/B000BITUHK/

"The Congress" (1988) /tt0272052/
http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Burns-America-Congress/dp/B000BITUG6/
http://www.amazon.com/Congress-VHS-David-McCullough/dp/6304048661/
http://www.amazon.com/Congress-David-McCullough/dp/B0002JP51I/
http://www.amazon.com/Congress-David-McCullough/dp/B00007KE4G/

"Thomas Hart Benton" (1988) /tt0272887/
http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Burns-America-Thomas-Benton/dp/B000BITUJI/
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hart-Benton/dp/B0002JP4RS/
http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Burns-America-Thomas-Benton/dp/630404870X/

see also Spirit of America Bookstore's Thomas Hart Benton [1889-1975] Art Page

"The Civil War" [Sept 1990]
http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Film-Ken-Burns/dp/B0002KPI2S/
http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Burns-Civil-War-Commemorative/dp/B004AR4WSA/
http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Ken-Burns/dp/B004IK30T6/
http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Film-Burns-Boxed/dp/6301996135/
http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Film-Ken-Burns/dp/B000068ULD/
http://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Ken-Burns-Video/dp/B000DN8F4M/ VHS

"The American Experience: Nixon" 3-part documentary [PBS Oct 1990]
American Experience, The Presidents - Nixon on DVD  Ken Burns is credited as 'senior creative consultant'
series credits from IMDbPart I creditsPart II creditsPart III credits
P.B.S. Home Video color DVD [8/2008] for $22.49
P.B.S. Home Video color VHS [7/2000] 2 tapes for $2.36

"Empire of The Air: The Men Who Made Radio"  [P.B.S. Oct 1991]
Ken Burns Empire of The Air  While showcasing on-air radio talents from long ago, this 100-minute documentary also details the corporate soap opera of the development of radio as a commercial medium.
Co-written & directed by Ken Burns; hosted by Jason Robards, Jr.
P.B.S. Paramount b&w/color DVD [9/2004] out of prodn/used
P.B.S. Home Video b&w/color VHS [2/97] out of prodn/used
full credits from IMDb
companion book by Tom Lewis
Harper Perennial 8x5½ pb [1/93] out of print/used
HarperCollins 9½x6½ hardcover [9/91] out of print/many used

"Seeing, Searching, Being: Three Films by Ken Burns" [indep 1992-99]
SPECIAL FIND: This Ken Burns short film trilogy is not listed at either IMDb or Wikipedia
Seeing, Searching, Being: Three Films about William Segal by Ken Burns  In the last decade of his life, philosopher, publisher, writer & painter William Segal
befriended filmmaker Ken Burns, and the two collaborated on an 'interior' trilogy of
short films: "William Segal" [1992?], "Vézelay" [1995], and "In The Marketplace" [1999]

Directed by Ken Burns • not listed at IMDb
P.B.S. Home Video color DVD [10/2010] for $14.99
Mystic Fire Video color DVD [6/2002] out of prodn/used
Mystic Fire Video color VHS [6/2002] for $12.95

subject William Segal [1904-2000]: official websiteentry at Wikipedia

"Gettysburg" [Oct 1993]
Ken Burns had a small role as Hancock's Aide, and is featured in the 'Making of ..." docufilm

"The Making of Gettysburg [2000] /tt0363789/
http://www.amazon.com/Gettysburg-Widescreen-Tom-Berenger/dp/B00003CXA6/

"Ken Burns's Baseball" mini-series [WETA/P.B.S. Sept 1994]
won Emmy for Outstanding Informational Series  Ken Burns's Baseball P.B.S. series DVD box set  Exec produced, co-written & co-directed by Ken Burns; co-produced, co-written &
co-directed by Lynn Novick; narrated by Aidan Quinn; won Emmy for Outstanding
Informational Series; 9 two-hour episodes; the nine 'innings' titles are
Inning 1: "Our Game"
Inning 2: "Something Like A War"
Inning 3: "The Faith of Fifty Million People"
Inning 4: "A National Heirloom"
Inning 5: "Shadow Ball: The History of The Negro Leagues"
Inning 6: "The National Pastime"
Inning 7: "The Capital of Baseball"
Inning 8: "A Whole New Ball Game"
Inning 9: "Home"
the 10th disk is called "Extra Innings"

P.B.S. Home Video b&w/color DVD set [9/2004] 10 disks for $74.48
P.B.S. Home Video b&w/color VHS set [4/95] 9 tapes for $32.68
Nonesuch soundtrack CD [6/94] 31 tracks for $10.08
full credits at IMDbP.B.S. official site
Who Invented The Game of Baseball? book by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns  
"Who Invented The Game?: Baseball, The American Epic" [1994]
by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns, with Paul Robert Walker

Knopf 10x8½ hardcover [3/94] for $12.00
Shadow Ball, History of The Negro Leagues book by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns   "Shadow Ball: The History of The Negro Leagues" [YA 1994]
by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns, with Jim O'Connor

Knopf 10x8 hardcover [9/94] out of print/many used
Knopf 9x6 hardcover [9/94] out of print/used
Baseball Illustrated History book by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns  "Baseball: An Illustrated History" [1994 companion book]
by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns

Knopf 10½x9 pb [8/96] out of print/many, many used
Knopf 11x9½ {5.2 pounds} hardcover [9/94] out of print/hundreds used
The Making of 'Baseball' film by Ken Burns video  "The Making of Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns" [1994?]
no details provided; not listed at IMDb
P.B.S. Home Video color VHS [1994?] for $5.95
Baseball, The Tenth Inning documentary film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick  "Baseball: The Tenth Inning" [P.B.S. Sept 2010]
2-part sequel covering events in the National Leagues in the sixteen years since the "Baseball" documentary was broadcast; bonus features include an interview with Ken Burns & Lynn Novick, additional scenes & outtakes, featurette on baseball in the Dominican Republic
Exec produced, co-written & co-directed by Ken Burns; co-produced, co-written &
co-directed by Lynn Novick
P.B.S. Home Video/Paramount widescreen b&w/color Blu-ray [10/2010] 2 disks for $21.75
P.B.S. Home Video b&w/color Blu-ray [10/2010] 2 disks for $17.45
P.B.S. Home Video b&w/color DVD [10/2010] for $16.48
'Top of The Tenth' credits at IMDb'Bottom of The Tenth' credits at IMDb

Baseball Illustrated History including The Tenth Inning book by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns  "Baseball: An Illustrated History - including The Tenth Inning"
[2010 companion book] by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns

Knopf 10¾x9¼ pb [9/2010] for $26.37
Knopf 11½x9½ hardcover [9/2010] for $52.50
see also Magic Lantern's Baseball Film Festival

"Thomas Jefferson: A Film by Ken Burns" [P.B.S. 1996]
Ken Burns Thomas Jefferson special  Directed by Ken Burns; written by Geoffrey C. Ward;
narration by Ossie Davis & Sam Waterston
P.B.S. Home Video color DVD [8/2001] for $25.49
P.B.S./Paramount color DVD [9/2004] out of prodn/used
P.B.S. Home Video color VHS [1/2002] for $16.23
Simitar color VHS [1996] 2 tapes for $4.95
full credits from IMDb

see also the Thomas Jefferson [1743-1826] Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

Ken Burns Presents "The West"  [1996 miniseries]
Ken Burns "The West" PBS miniseries  

Ken Burns The West companion book  

Executive produced by Ken Burns; directed by Stephen Ives; narrated by Peter Coyote
Episode One (to 1806): The People
Episode Two (1806-48): Empire Upon The Trails
Episode Three (1848-56): Speck of The Future
Episode Four (1856-68): Death Runs Riot
Episode Five (1868-74): The Grandest Enterprise Under God
Episode Six (1874-77): Fight No More Forever
Episode Seven (1877-87): The Geography of Hope
Episode Eight (1887-1914): One Sky Above Us

P.B.S. color DVD [9/2004] 5 disks for $116.99
P.B.S. color VHS [1/98] 9 tapes for $94.98
http://www.amazon.com/Burns-Presents-West-Film-Stephen/dp/B00093IC62/
full credits from IMDbPBS official website
"The West: An Illustrated History" {1996 companion book}
by Geoffrey C. Ward

Back Bay 10¾x9¼ pb [2/2003] for $16.47

"Lewis & Clark: The Journey of The Corps of Discovery" [1997]
http://www.amazon.com/Lewis-Clark-Journey-Corps-Discovery/dp/B000BITUHU/

Lewis & Clark Expedition [1804-06] Page at 'Readers of the Purple Sage' Western Bookstore

"Frank Lloyd Wright" [PBS miniseries Nov 1998]
Frank Lloyd Wright PBS special  Co-produced & co-directed by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick;
narration by Edward Herrmann; won Peabody Award
PBS Home Video color DVD [8/2001] for $26.98
PBS Home Video color VHS [1/2002] 2 tapes - out of prodn/many, many used
PBS Home Video color VHS [8/2001] for $8.99
full credits from IMDbPBS webpages

see also the Frank Lloyd Wright [1867-1959] Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

"Not For Ourselves Alone: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony" [1999]
http://www.amazon.com/Not-Ourselves-Alone-Elizabeth-Stanton/dp/B00008WI9Q/

"Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns" [P.B.S. miniseries Jan 2000]
Jazz miniseries by Ken Burns  Directed by Ken Burns; narrated by Keith David
Episode 1: Gumbo - Beginnings to 1917
Episode 2: The Gift, 1917-1924
Episode 3: Our Language, 1924 -1929
Episode 4: The True Welcome, 1929-1934
Episode 5: Swing - Pure Pleasure, 1935-1937
Episode 6: Swing - The Velocity of Celebration, 1937-1939
Episode 7: Dedicated To Chaos, 1940-1945
Episode 8: Risk, 1945-1955
Episode 9: The Adventure, 1956-1960
Episode 10: A Masterpiece by Midnight, 1960 to The Present

P.B.S. Paramount b&w/color DVD set [9/2004] 10 disks for $79.99
P.B.S. Home Video b&w/color DVD set [1/2001] 10 disks - out of prodn/used
P.B.S. Home Video b&w/color VHS set [1/2001] 10 tapes for $95.99
series credits from IMDb
"Ken Burns's Jazz: The Story of American Music" music CD set [2000]
Sony music CD set [11/2000] 92 tracks on 5 disks for $37.05

see also the Jazz Music Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

"Mark Twain" (2001)
http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Twain-Film-Directed-Burns/dp/B000BITUI4/
http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Twain-Film-Directed-Burns/dp/B00005RDB0/

see also the Mark Twain [1835-1910] Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

"Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip" (2003)
http://www.amazon.com/Horatios-Drive-Americas-First-Road/dp/B000BITUHA/
http://www.amazon.com/Horatios-Drive-Americas-First-Road/dp/B0000A02Y2/
http://www.amazon.com/Horatios-Drive-Americas-First-Road/dp/B0002JP4XW/

"Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson" [2005]
http://www.amazon.com/Unforgivable-Blackness-Rise-Fall-Johnson/dp/B0006FO8IY/
Announced 1/2013: H.B.O. remake as four- to six-part miniseries {see below}

"The War: A Ken Burns Film"  [P.B.S. Sept 2007]
Ken Burns' "The War" PBS miniseries  Co-produced & co-directed by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
P.B.S. widescreen color DVD [10/2007] 6 disks for $79.99
Sony TV soundtrack CD [9/2007] 67 tracks on 4 disks for $24.99
Sony 17-track soundtrack CD [9/2007] for $12.97
full credits from IMDbofficial P.B.S. website
The War / Intimate History  "The War: An Intimate History, 1941-1945" [2007 companion book]
by Geoffrey C. Ward & Ken Burns
Knopf 11x9½ hardcover [9/2007] for $29.99

"The National Parks: America's Best Idea" [2009]
http://www.amazon.com/National-Parks-Americas-Best-Blu-ray/dp/B002GWDK6Q/
http://www.amazon.com/KEN-BURNS-NATIONAL-AMERICAS-Format/dp/B002HK9HQY/
http://www.amazon.com/National-Parks-Americas-Best-Idea/dp/B002BO2R4K/
http://www.amazon.com/KEN-BURNS-NATIONAL-PARKS-AMERICAS/dp/B002HK9IOA/
http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Burns-National-Americas-Soundtrack/dp/B002UFIJRE/

"Prohibition: A Film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick"
3-part TV documentary [WETA-TV/P.B.S. Oct 2011]
Prohibition  Three 2-hour episodes; covers the history of alcoholic beverages in America, the passage of the 18th Amendment (ratified January 1919), the Roaring Twenties and The Great Depression, organized crime, and repeal by passage of the 21st Amendment (ratified December 1933). Episode titles are "A Nation of Drunkards", "A Nation of Scofflaws" & "A Nation of Hypocrites". DVD has 90 minutes of bonus material.
Co-produced & co-directed by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick; written by Geoffrey C. Ward
P.B.S. Home Video b&w/color Blu-ray [10/2011] 3 disks for $21.11
P.B.S. Home Video b&w/color DVD [10/2011] 3 disks for $18.57
the three episodes are available at iTunes • series credits at IMDbP.B.S. official series homepage

episode #3 "A Nation of Hypocrites" [2011]
'A Nation of Hypocrites' episode of the 'Prohibition' TV mini-series from Ken Burns  Directed by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick; written by Geoffrey C. Ward; narrated by Peter Coyote; featuring Pete Hamill, Ruth Proskauer Smith, John Paul Stevens, Daniel Okrent, Studs Terkel; with voice-over readings by Adam Arkin, Philip Bosco, Patricia Clarkson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Lithgow, Oliver Platt & Sam Waterston; and archive footage of Al Capone, Herbert Hoover, Fiorello LaGuardia, Franklin D. Roosevelt & Alfred E. Smith
episode DVD/Blu-ray not available • episode credits at IMDb

"The Dust Bowl" [scheduled for Nov 2012?]
http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/dustbowl/

"The Central Park Five" [Sundance Selects release Nov 2012]
"The Central Park Five" documentary film by Ken Burns  In April 1989, a lone female jogger was assaulted and raped an beaten; her injuries were so sever that she was expected to die, and though she did survive, she has no memory of the event. New York City police rounded up black teenagers, and released the names of five before their indictment. The five were convicted although DNA evidence did not match the single DNA 'print' on the victim's clothing. In 2002, a convicted rapist & murderer confessed to the crime, which was confirmed by a DNA match; the five defendants' convictions were vacated in December 2002. In 2003, lawyers for the five sued the city for malicious prosecution and such; the case was not resolved as-of April 2011. Directed by Ken Burns, with his daughter Sarah Burns and her husband David McMahon (all three co-produced & co-wrote);
DVD/Blu-ray not yet available • full credits at IMDb

"Jack Johnson" TV series [Playtone/H.B.O. - in production?]  
Announced 1/2013: H.B.O. remake of 2005 film {see above} as four- to six-part miniseries; to be directed by Ken Burns; co-produced & written
by Beau Willimon, based on Geoffrey C. Ward's book; exec producers Tom Hanks & Gary Goetzman • latest info at IMDb

"The Roosevelts" [scheduled for 2014]
Theodore Roosevelt [1858-1919] Page at Spirit of America Bookstore
Franklin Delano Roosevelt [1882-1945] Page at Spirit of America Bookstore
Eleanor Roosevelt [1884-1962] Page at Spirit of America Bookstore

"Jackie Robinson" [scheduled for 2015]

"Vietnam" [scheduled for 2016]

"Country Music" [scheduled for 2018]

"Ernest Hemingway" [scheduled for 2019]
Ernest Hemingway [1899-1961] Page at Spirit of America Bookstore


Books  by  Ken  Burns
Included here are books by Ken Burns that are NOT companion books to his films (which are coded above)

"Film and History" [1992] by Ken Burns
Florida Historians Film Committee pb [12/92] out of print/scarce

browse all books by Ken Burns at Amazon


Works  About  Ken  Burns

there don't seem to be any (10/2011)


Friends & Family

brother Ric Burns /nm0122849/

NOT related to Fox TV executive Kevin Burns /nm0122745/


L i n k s

P.B.S. official Ken Burns website
Ken Burns entry at Wikipedia
Ken Burns credits [since 1981] at Internet Movie Database

browse Ken Burns on DVD at Amazon
browse all books by Ken Burns at Amazon
browse all books by Geoffrey C. Ward at Amazon

April 2011 article "The Ken Burns Effect" from New Hampshire Magazine



Online sales in association with  browse Ken Burns on DVD at Amazon

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