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The West 

Stephen Ives' "The West" is a PBS 4-Video Series co-produced by Ken Burns: - "Death Runs Riot" 85 min. - "Fight No More Forever" 85 min. - "Ghost Dance" 58 min. - "The People" 82 min.
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1  
1996  
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Peter Coyote ...  Himself - Narrator 9 episodes, 1996
N. Scott Momaday ...  Himself - Writer 8 episodes, 1996
Murphy Guyer ...  Himself 8 episodes, 1996
John Trudell ...  Himself 8 episodes, 1996
Eli Wallach ...  Himself / ... 8 episodes, 1996
Arthur Miller ...  Himself 7 episodes, 1996
T.H. Watkins T.H. Watkins ...  Himself - Writer / ... 6 episodes, 1996
Richard White Richard White ...  Himself - Historian 6 episodes, 1996
Philip Bosco ...  Himself 6 episodes, 1996
John Lithgow ...  Himself / ... 6 episodes, 1996
Dayton Duncan Dayton Duncan ...  Himself - Writer 5 episodes, 1996
Adam Arkin ...  Himself 5 episodes, 1996
Tantoo Cardinal ...  Herself 5 episodes, 1996
Hector Elizondo ...  Himself / ... 5 episodes, 1996
Zahn McClarnon ...  Himself 5 episodes, 1996
August Schellenberg ...  Himself 5 episodes, 1996
Daniel von Bargen ...  Himself / ... 5 episodes, 1996
Blythe Danner ...  Herself / ... 4 episodes, 1996
Peter Gallagher ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1996
Julie Harris ...  Herself 4 episodes, 1996
Derek Jacobi ...  Himself 4 episodes, 1996
Jason Robards ...  Himself - Brigham Young / ... 4 episodes, 1996
George Plimpton ...  Himself / ... 4 episodes, 1996
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Storyline

This documentary covers the history of the American West from the Native American tribes to their encounter with Europeans and how the Europeans conquered them and settled the land. In telling this story, the film takes into the account to both the viewpoints of Indians and other minorities to balance the white populations history. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

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Details

Official Sites:

Perspectives on the West

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The West - Die Eroberung des Westens See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original)

Sound Mix:

Dolby
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User Reviews

 
Interesting, just a pity about the editorial bias
12 January 2019 | by grantssSee all my reviews

The history of 'The West', the area of the United States west of the Missouri River, from the 16th century to the early 1900s.

Interesting documentary series. Well-researched, with some great detail. Doesn't cover just bigger-picture history but also some of the micro stuff, the lives of everyday people involved.

While the facts are interesting, this negated to some extent by the editorial bias. Instead of just giving the history, the writers decided to centre the series on the native Americans. This means that the common theme is that the white/US expansion into the west is bad and that whites are evil. You can sense the delight in Peter Coyote's voice as he details Custer's Last Stand.

Covering the native American perspective was necessary but it didn't have to be the only perspective or a good vs bad, us vs them sort of thing. This focus extends into everything, including the intro theme, the music of which became very irritating, very quickly, yet got played ad nauseam in the series.

In addition, the one thing most people would have looked for in this series was stories of famous gunslingers and outlaws from the late-1800s. There's a brief mention of people like Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday, but that's it. This is consistent with a comment towards the end of the series that the actual West wasn't as glamourous or action-packed as Hollywood makes it out to be. This is true, but they could still have covered some of that history.

Overall, worth watching for a detailed history of the West. Just don't expect stories of gunslingers or a balanced approach to history.


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