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Mark Twain 4x55

A film by Ken Burns, profiling of the remarkable life and times of America’s greatest writer, Samuel Clemens, known and beloved to the world as Mark Twain. It follows his rise from a hardscrabble youth in Missouri, his wanderings as a Mississippi riverboat pilot, Nevada prospector, California journalist, and as humorist on the lecture circuit. Due to his tours of Europe, Australia, and other parts of the globe, he became by the time of his death, one of the first truly worldwide celebrities. Mark Twain will reintroduce millions to this compelling yet contradictory genius, perhaps the only man who could say with some justification, “I am not an American, I am the American.” Nearly three years in the making; the film draws from more than 63 hours worth of material; stunning cinematography from the places important to Twain’s story; thousands of archival photographs of the man who called himself “the most conspicuous person on the planet;” and fascinating insights culled from nearly 20 interviews with some of the nation’s leading writers and top Twain scholars, including Arthur Miller, William Styron, Russell Banks, Ron Powers, Hal Holbrook, Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Laura Skandera-Trombley and Jocelyn Chadwick. Actor Keith David, who was the voice of Jazz, is the narrator. The skilled character actor Kevin Conway breathes a fresh life into Twain’s own words.

“Burns doesn’t just recount the colorful artist’s life story – he makes it come alive.” — Entertainment Weekly

Mark Twain does justice to an American treasure.”— People Magazine

“By the end you feel as if you know and both both Sam Clemens and Mark Twain.”— The Boston Globe