Mark Twain

2002, TV Show

Ken Burns traces the life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910). He "used the way we talk and turned it into literature," says Hal Holbrook, who has portrayed Twain in one-man shows. Burns supplements comments by Holbrook and 12 other interviewees with Twain readings (by Kevin Conway) in a four-hour portrait. Part 1 covers Clemens' early life on the Mississippi and concludes with the publication of "Huckleberry Finn." It "put a face on black folks," says Dick Gregory. Narrator: Keith David.

Videos

Free | PBS Posted: 5/2/2014

Under the boasting of Mark Twain was a great suffering.

Free | PBS Posted: 5/2/2014

Twain was a passionate man and when he might want to give up he rallies through his personal tragedies and continues to go on.

Free | PBS Posted: 5/2/2014

Twain was a genius of the stage. He used silence to his advantage. The pauses were the preludes to the cascade of humor.

Free | PBS Posted: 5/2/2014

The idea of Place formed Mark Twain. Hannibal, MO is seen as an Eden, the eternal summer.

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Premiered: January 15, 2002
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: Ken Burns traces the life of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835-1910). He "used the way we talk and turned it into literature," says Hal Holbrook, who has portrayed Twain in one-man shows. Burns supplements comments by Holbrook and 12 other interviewees with Twain readings (by Kevin Conway) in a four-hour portrait. Part 1 covers Clemens' early life on the Mississippi and concludes with the publication of "Huckleberry Finn." It "put a face on black folks," says Dick Gregory. Narrator: Keith David.

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