Mark Twain

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Mark Twain. Ken Burns, dir. 2002. DVD.

DVD Cover

Description: Samuel Clemens rose from a hardscrabble boyhood in the backwoods of Missouri to become, as Mark Twain, America's best-known and best-loved author. Considered in his time as the funniest man on earth, Twain was also an unflinching critic of human nature who used his humor to attack hypocrisy, greed and racism. He created some of the world's most memorable characters as well as its most quoted sayings. And, in his often-misunderstood novel Huckleberry Finn, he brought forth a masterpiece that Ernest Hemingway called the true beginning of American literature. This remarkable film tells the story of Twain's extraordinary life—full of rollicking adventure, stupendous success and crushing defeat, hilarious comedy and almost unbearable tragedy. With fascinating interviews of Hal Holbrook, Arthur Miller, William Styron, and many others, the story is told primarily thorough the words of Twain himself, so viewers of all ages can be personally introduced to this compelling yet contradictory genius, who said with some justification, "I am not an American, I am the American."

Additional information, background material, director's commentary and activities related to Ken Burn's Mark Twain can be found at pbs.org.

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