History

American Masters

American Masters, committed to producing comprehensive film biographies about the broad cast of characters who comprise our cultural history.

Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On

1h 29m

Experience the story of the Oscar-winning Indigenous artist from her rise to prominence in New York’s Greenwich Village folk music scene through her six-decade groundbreaking career as a singer-songwriter, social activist, educator and artist.

Episodes

  • Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On

    S36 E6 - 1h 29m

    Experience the story of the Oscar-winning Indigenous artist from her rise to prominence in New York’s Greenwich Village folk music scene through her six-decade groundbreaking career as a singer-songwriter, social activist, educator and artist.

  • Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road

    S36 E5 - 1h 23m

    Explore the life and career of the singer, songwriter and co-founder of The Beach Boys. The film traces the legendary performer’s journey of reflection on a drive through Los Angeles with his longtime friend and Rolling Stone editor Jason Fine. It includes interviews with Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Nick Jonas, Linda Perry, Jim James, Gustavo Dudamel and Al Jardine.

  • Waterman – Duke: Ambassador of Aloha: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Waterman – Duke: Ambassador of Aloha

    S36 E3 - 1h 23m

    Narrated by Jason Momoa, discover the inspiring story and considerable impact of five-time Olympic medalist Duke Kahanamoku. He shattered swimming records and globalized surfing while overcoming racism in a lifetime of personal challenges.

  • Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands

    S36 E2 - 1h 53m

    Discover an international singer who captivated royalty in Europe and defied the conscience of 1939 America. Watch rare archival footage and hear audio recordings exploring her life and career from the Metropolitan Opera to the State Department.

  • Ailey: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Ailey

    S36 E1 - 1h 23m

    Discover the legendary choreographer Alvin Ailey whose dances center on the Black American experience with grace, strength and beauty. Featuring previously unheard audio interviews with Ailey, interviews with those close to him and an intimate glimpse into the Ailey studios today.

Extras + Features

  • When Groucho Marx hosted "The Tonight Show": asset-mezzanine-16x9

    When Groucho Marx hosted "The Tonight Show"

    S36 E8 - 2m 10s

    After Jack Paar left and before Johnny Carson replaced him, "The Tonight Show" had a fleet of guest hosts, including Groucho Marx, who brought on Dick Cavett as one of his writers. "I wondered if he would use anything I wrote," said Cavett of that time.

  • Dick Cavett's early days of standup comedy: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Dick Cavett's early days of standup comedy

    S36 E8 - 8m 18s

    When Dick Cavett first started doing standup, he quickly learned that performing comedy yourself and writing comedy for another person are two very different ventures. In this outtake from "Groucho & Cavett," Cavett reflects on the trial and error in his early days of standup and the lessons he learned along the way.

  • Groucho & Cavett: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Groucho & Cavett

    S36 E8 - 1m 46s

    Discover the enduring friendship between television personality Dick Cavett and his mentor iconic comedian Groucho Marx. Their relationship is chronicled through interviews with Cavett, archival footage and interviews with George Burns and others.

  • Groucho Marx roasts Dick Cavett: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Groucho Marx roasts Dick Cavett

    S36 E8 - 2m 2s

    ABC aired "The Dick Cavett Show" three times a week during primetime, considered an unusual schedule at the time. "In fact, when Groucho came on, he said, 'You know you need a secretary to know when this show is on,'" said Cavett.

  • What made Groucho Marx a great writer: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    What made Groucho Marx a great writer

    S36 E8 - 3m 8s

    Groucho was a prolific writer with "a genuine intellect," according to Cavett, despite not finishing public school. His proudest achievement was having a book of his letters published at the Library of Congress.

  • The Adventures of Saul Bellow: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Adventures of Saul Bellow

    S36 E7 - 1m 33s

    Explore Nobel Prize winner Saul Bellow's impact on American literature and how he navigated through issues of his time, including race, gender and the Jewish immigrant experience. Featuring interviews with Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie and others.

  • Salman Rushdie on Saul Bellow's books: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Salman Rushdie on Saul Bellow's books

    S36 E7 - 3m 59s

    Salman Rushdie talks about some of his favorite Saul Bellow books in this outtake from "The Adventures of Saul Bellow." Rushdie says, "These are some of the great masterpieces of American literature."

  • Ernest Hemingway versus Saul Bellow: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Ernest Hemingway versus Saul Bellow

    S36 E7 - 1m

    Ernest Hemingway was the master of the simple, declarative sentence during his time. By contrast, when Saul Bellow came along, he wrote descriptive sentences full of verbal energy. "This was a great shift in the American notion of what a great prose style was," said Philip Roth.

  • Philip Roth talks Saul Bellow in his final interview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Philip Roth talks Saul Bellow in his final interview

    S36 E7 - 8m 38s

    In this outtake from "The Adventures of Saul Bellow," Philip Roth describes his friendship with and admiration for Bellow, and he Bellow was a "powerhouse" of an author. "There are very few tools that he couldn't pick up and use," Roth said in the final interview he gave before his death in 2018.

  • A classic Saul Bellow rant about Chicago: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A classic Saul Bellow rant about Chicago

    S36 E7 - 1m 42s

    Saul Bellow's novel "The Dean's December," released in 1982, details the blowback a writer faces after publishing an exposé on Chicago's corruption. "You can't live in Chicago without being sharply aware of the presence of this underclass," said Bellow of writing about the city in the 1980s.

  • Buffy Sainte-Marie brought Indigenous representation to TV: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Buffy Sainte-Marie brought Indigenous representation to TV

    S36 E6 - 1m 55s

    When Buffy Sainte-Marie was asked to play a lead role in the TV series "The Virginian," she also insisted that all of the Indigenous parts be played by Indigenous people—sparking a revolutionary conversation on representation that we are still having today.

  • How Buffy Sainte-Marie won an Oscar for "Up Where We Belong": asset-mezzanine-16x9

    How Buffy Sainte-Marie won an Oscar for "Up Where We Belong"

    S36 E6 - 1m 39s

    When Jack Nitzsche became stumped while scoring the film "An Officer and a Gentleman," he turned to his friend Buffy Sainte-Marie for help. Buffy played him the melody for her song "Up Where We Belong," which took on "a life of its own." The iconic song eventually went on to win several major awards, including the award for Best Original Song at the 55th Academy Awards in 1983.

Schedule

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    American Masters: TVSS: Banner-L1

    American Masters

    The Adventures of Saul Bellow

    Friday
    Dec 16

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Examining writer Saul Bellow's influence on American literature and how he dealt with issues such as race, gender and the Jewish American immigrant experience.
  • Image
    American Masters: TVSS: Banner-L1

    American Masters

    The Adventures of Saul Bellow

    Saturday
    Dec 17

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Examining writer Saul Bellow's influence on American literature and how he dealt with issues such as race, gender and the Jewish American immigrant experience.
  • Image
    American Masters: TVSS: Banner-L1

    American Masters

    The Adventures of Saul Bellow

    Saturday
    Dec 17

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Examining writer Saul Bellow's influence on American literature and how he dealt with issues such as race, gender and the Jewish American immigrant experience.
  • Image
    American Masters: TVSS: Banner-L1

    American Masters

    The Adventures of Saul Bellow

    Saturday
    Dec 17

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Examining writer Saul Bellow's influence on American literature and how he dealt with issues such as race, gender and the Jewish American immigrant experience.
  • Image
    American Masters: TVSS: Banner-L1

    American Masters

    The Adventures of Saul Bellow

    Saturday
    Dec 17

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Examining writer Saul Bellow's influence on American literature and how he dealt with issues such as race, gender and the Jewish American immigrant experience.
  • Image
    American Masters: TVSS: Banner-L1

    American Masters

    Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You

    Saturday
    Dec 17

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Writer/producer Norman Lear's turbulent childhood, early success with sitcoms "All in the Family," "The Jeffersons," "Good Times" and "Maude," and social activism.
  • Image
    American Masters: TVSS: Banner-L1

    American Masters

    The Adventures of Saul Bellow

    Sunday
    Dec 18

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Examining writer Saul Bellow's influence on American literature and how he dealt with issues such as race, gender and the Jewish American immigrant experience.
  • Image
    American Masters: TVSS: Banner-L1

    American Masters

    Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You

    Sunday
    Dec 18

    1 Hour 30 Minutes

    Writer/producer Norman Lear's turbulent childhood, early success with sitcoms "All in the Family," "The Jeffersons," "Good Times" and "Maude," and social activism.

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