The Films, ranked – Ken Burns
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Ken Burns is a filmmaker and documentarian, best known for documentaries such as ‘Brooklyn Bridge’ (1981), ‘Baseball’ (1994), ‘Prohibition’ (2011), and ‘The Vietnam War’(2017).

His is known for his signature style of using a lot of archival material and footage, photographs, and periodicals in his films.

After earning his arts degree, he co-founded a production company called ‘Florentine Films,’ in 1976.

He started shooting documentaries as a producer for ‘BBC’ and soon made a feature documentary called ‘Brooklyn Bridge,’ which was nominated under the ‘Best Documentary’ category for ‘Oscars.’ His third documentary, ‘Statue of Liberty,’ got him another ‘Academy Award’ nomination.

Till date, he has released more than 20 documentaries, including ‘The Civil War’ (1990), ‘Thomas Jefferson’ (1997), ‘Jazz’ (2010), ‘Mark Twain’ (2011), ‘The National Parks: America’s Best Idea ‘ (2009), ‘Jackie Robinson’ (2016), and ‘The Vietnam War’ (2017). He has also won several ‘Emmy Awards’ for his work.

1. Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2004)

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Ken Burns
Genres:
Sport, Documentary, Biography
Star Cast:
Keith David, Samuel L. Jackson, Philip Bosco, Kevin Conway, Adam Arkin
Awards:
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Special

2. Brooklyn Bridge (1981)

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, the film chronicles the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge across the East River in New York City, giving interesting details about its difficult construction process. The later part features interviews by notable personalities, who talk about its effects on the city.

As:

Producer, Director

Director:

Ken Burns

Genres:

History, Documentary

Star Cast:

Arthur Miller, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Julie Harris, Paul Roebling, Richard Pini

3. The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God (1984)

Narrated by David McCullough, this is a documentary film, which examines a 19th century religious sect known as the Shakers. The film features interviews with several living Shakers, as well as with historians and philosophers.

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Ken Burns, Amy Stechler
Genres:
Documentary
Star Cast:
David McCullough, Julie Harris, Olga Bellin, Tucker Burr, Jesse Carr

4. Gettysburg (1993)

As:
Cast
Director:
Ron Maxwell
Genres:
War, Drama, History
Star Cast:
Sam Elliott, Jeff Daniels, Tom Berenger, Martin Sheen, Donal Logue, George Lazenby, Andrew Prine

5. The Central Park Five (2012)

As:
Producer, Director, Writer
Director:
Ken Burns, David McMahon, Sarah Burns
Genres:
History, Crime, Documentary
Star Cast:
Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, Kharey Wise

6. Frank Lloyd Wright (1998)

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Ken Burns, Lynn Novick
Genres:
Biography, Documentary, History
Star Cast:
Julie Harris, Edward Herrmann, Sab Shimono, Philip Bosco, William Cronon

7. Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio (1991)

As:
Producer, Director, Writer
Director:
Ken Burns
Genres:
History, Documentary
Star Cast:
Jason Robards, Norman Corwin, Red Barber, Erik Barnouw, Ken Bilby

8. Huey Long (1985)

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Ken Burns
Genres:
Biography, Documentary
Star Cast:
David McCullough, Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Huey Long, Russell Long, Jennings Randolph

9. The Statue of Liberty (1985)

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Ken Burns
Genres:
Documentary, History
Star Cast:
Ray Charles, James Baldwin, Tucker Burr, Mario Cuomo, Carolyn Forché

10. Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War (2016)

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Ken Burns, Artemis Joukowsky
Genres:
War, Documentary, Biography
Star Cast:
Tom Hanks, Marina Goldman

11. Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (1997)

As:
Producer, Director, Writer
Director:
Ken Burns
Genres:
Biography, History, Documentary, Adventure
Star Cast:
Matthew Broderick, Stephen Ambrose, Adam Arkin, Tantoo Cardinal, John Logan Allen

12. Mark Twain (2001)

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Ken Burns
Genres:
Documentary, Biography
Star Cast:
Blythe Danner, Keith David, Kevin Conway, Philip Bosco, Tim Clark

13. Horatio’s Drive: America’s First Road Trip (2003)

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Ken Burns
Genres:
Adventure, Documentary, History
Star Cast:
Keith David, Tom Hanks, Adam Arkin, Tom Bodett, Philip Bosco

14. Medal of Honor (2008)

As:
Producer
Director:
Roger Sherman
Genres:
War, Documentary, History
Star Cast:
Alfre Woodard, Stephen Lang

15. The Address (2014)

As:
Director, Writer
Director:
Ken Burns
Genres:
Documentary

16. The Congress (1988)

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Ken Burns
Genres:
Documentary
Star Cast:
David McCullough, Alistair Cooke, Charles McDowell, Barbara Fields, John C. Stennis

17. Thomas Hart Benton (1988)

As:
Producer, Director
Director:
Ken Burns
Star Cast:
Jason Robards, Burl Ives, Henry Adams, Thomas Hart Benton, Arthur Danto

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