American Experience 1988 | TV Show Watchlist

American Experience

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This much-honored PBS documentary series explores American history, one topic or person at a time. Its Peabody Award winners include profiles of FDR and Malcolm X, and such diverse topics as Nixon's 1972 trip to China, the controversy surrounding `Citizen (more…)

Premiered: October 4, 1988

Rating: TV-PG

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Season 12, Episode 11 Houdini

First Aired: May 7, 2000

Mandy Patinkin narrates a biography of Harry Houdini (1874-1926) that focuses on his amazing feats (later ones are seen in clips; others are re-created) and the obsessions---notably his mother and death---that shaped his personality. “Escapology” was also high on the list. “He was so insanely devoted to what he did,” observes author E.L. Doctorow, “that the ultimate insanity of his life never occurred to him.”