Posted: Dec 15, 2015 2:33 am
by Macdoc

The usual brilliant coverage by Ken Burns. Nine 90 minute episodes.

Stephen Ives and Ken Burns had worked together on several films, including The Civil War (1990) and Baseball (1994).[1] In 1988, Ives created his own production company, Insignia Films, and began working on The West as director, with Burns signed on to the project as executive producer.[1] In order to create The West, the film crew traveled over 100,000 miles (160,000 km) via airplane, conducted 72 interviews, visited 74 archives and collections, and filmed more than 250 hours of footage.[2] Notable interviewees included the historians Stephen Ambrose, J. S. Holliday, and Richard White; the novelists Maxine Hong Kingston and N. Scott Momaday; the environmentalists and writers Terry Tempest Williams and Marc Reisner; and the politicians Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Ann Richards, Stewart Udall, and Ralph Yarborough.[3]

Many notable actors lent their voices to The West, including Adam Arkin, Ossie Davis, Keith Carradine, John Lithgow, Mary Stuart Masterson, Blythe Danner, the famous playwright Arthur Miller, and Jimmy Smits. The film's narrator, Peter Coyote, later also narrated Burns' documentary film, The National Parks (2009).