The American Dream

Internationally acclaimed documentary series, which provides a dramatic and provocative account of the American Dream and paints a unique portrait of the most powerful nation on earth.

Released : 1998

Runtime : 5 x 60 minutes

No society has ever encouraged its people to dream so extravagantly and with such expectation as America. Provided you worked hard and luck went your way, nothing seemed impossible. The American Dream – many people have claimed to have found it, but is it merely illusory?

These are the stories of ten families over three generations who went in search of the American Dream. They talk from the heart and open their pasts – their yearnings and expectations, their struggles, their staggering achievements, and their bitter disappointments.  Their memories are interwoven with unique and previously unseen archive material – home movies, personal letters, diaries, and newsreel – to form an evocative and powerful narrative that uses original locations across America

The American Dream  is built around the great events of modern American history – the Depression, World War Two, the civil rights movement, the student revolt of the 1960s, Vietnam, the Reagan era. But it recasts them in an original and provocative light – drawing on the compelling oral testimony of the ordinary men and women whose voices usually go unheard. The American Dream is both an epic history of a nation and an intimate saga of a handful of families’ lives. It challenges the glib assumptions about the “land of opportunity” and the mythology of modern America.

Press

gorgeously articulate and heartbreakingly engaging

Time Magazine

A stirring five hour epic

The Independent

epic documentary series… beautifully photographed

Radio Times

an utterly engrossing and frequently moving story

Mail on Sunday

Credits

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Anthony Geffen

SERIES PRODUCER

Richard Bradley

NARRATOR

Peter Fonda

SERIES WRITER

Mark Hayhurst

EDITOR

Jim Latham

CAMERA

Brian McDairmant

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER (BBC)

Nicola Moody

SCRIPT CONSULTANT

Kag Kleiner

PRODUCTION MANAGER

Emma Fenton

PRODUCTION COORDINATOR

Larissa Heber-Percy

ASSISTANT PRODUCERS

Susan Jones
Linda Porto

ARCHIVE RESEARCH

Alex Cowan
Tony Dalton

UNIT MANAGER

Kim Sproul

SENIOR PRODUCTION MANAGER

Mickey McKenzie

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER (DISCOVERY)

Nancy Le Brun

MUSIC

Stephen Endelman

POST PRODUCTION COORDINATOR

Alison Whitlock

TITLE SEQUENCE

4:2:2 Bristol

SOUND

Fraser Barber

CAMERA ASSISTANT

Mike Carling

ONLINE EDITOR

Tom Jones

DUBBING EDITOR

Steve McGorry

NARRATION MIXER

Steve Brow

DUBBING MIXER

Richard Lambert

WITH THANKS TO

Denver Public Library
Film Images
Grinberg Film Libraries
Mike Smith
Mississippi State Archives
Museum of the Rockies
Sveriges Television
UCLA Film and Television Archive
Archives of Labor & Urban Affairs
Wayne State University

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