The Founding of America

A&E, 2009, Not Rated

This box set collects virtually every documentary and movie about the American Revolution shown by The History Channel over the past few years. Anchored by the documentaries Founding Fathers and Founding Brothers, no historical stone is left unturned and no angle left unexamined.

The documentaries are predominantly told by historians and enhanced with re-enactments and voiceovers by well-known actors like Edward Hermann and Hal Holbrook. The films, like The Crossing starring Jeff Daniels, are carefully crafted and well dramatized.

The treacherous Benedict Arnold gets a fresh look in Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor. While it might not vindicate him, it does provide an understanding of his motivations. The always-welcome Kelsey Grammer turns up as George Washington, while Aidan Quinn plays Arnold.

Based-on-a-true-story indeed takes on new significance in these films. In fact, it seems no matter how many documentaries and movies you've seen about the American Revolution there is always something new to learn about these extraordinary people and what they accomplished. Mixing in fact-based fiction films and documentaries seems odd though, which will give sticklers and nitpickers more room to quibble, but it’s nice to get all of these programs in one collection. Grade: A

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