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The National Parks: America's Best Idea

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Ratings: 6.20/10 from 10 users.

Storyline

National Parks - America's Best IdeaA strong candidate for the most beautiful program ever to air on American television. The National Parks is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved for everyone. The series traces the birth of the national park idea in the mid-1800s and follows its evolution for nearly 150 years, chronicling the addition of new parks through the stories of the people who helped create them.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea is a six-episode series directed by Ken Burns and written and co-produced by Dayton Duncan. Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature's most spectacular locales – from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, the Everglades of Florida to the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea is nonetheless a story of people: people from every conceivable background – rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs; people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy.

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Comments and User Reviews

  • yavanna

    I recommended this doc for the site. Took me a long time to watch it all. It is really excellent however. Some gorgeous photography both modern and old. The first 3 parts are IMO the best and tell the story of John Muir, his almost accidental meeting with Teddy Roosevelt and the beginnings of the national park system. The final three parts are more from personal involvement perspectives and from a foreigner's point of view, a bit dull.

  • InedibleHulk

    An already thriving forest community is no place to park a nation! Shame on USA, and shame on filmmakers who infuse beautiful things with patriotic jibber jabber. The Grand Canyon was alive and well while dinosaurs were, long before 1776. It is not an "American Treasure". It is Earth.

  • wee jamie

    I am aware this is off topic and nobody really cares but...

    "The National Parks is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence"...the decleration of independence was slightly based on the decleration of arbroath and were designed to acheive the same thing preventing london rule

  • Natasha D

    Great film, brimming with outstanding photography/cinematography of some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Not strictly a documentary, however; more a cinematic guide to North America's National Parks.
    The only thing I didn't really like about this was all the patriotic and poetic jibber-jabber; far better, it would have been, to have had David Attenbrough narrate and provide a more scientific, geological portrayal of these landscapes. Nature, after all, has no nationality.
    Overall, however, it was certainly worth the ride; if you have time to loose yourself in these beautiful landscapes and amazing cinematography, I thoroughly reccomend you watch this.

  • patrick

    2:35 center cactus sprayed with shotgun?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cchristiankg Christian Klinckwort Guerrero

    USA, you are not owners of anything. ir is one world, one humanity. In this Video you find again and again the opportunity to show off your arrogance

  • http://www.facebook.com/cchristiankg Christian Klinckwort Guerrero

    it draws you to your arrogance, at least in this documentary

  • http://www.facebook.com/cchristiankg Christian Klinckwort Guerrero

    at least you say América, which is from Alasca to Estrecho de Magallanes

  • http://www.facebook.com/cchristiankg Christian Klinckwort Guerrero

    I'd like to propose to United Nations, to rise a Woorld Flag, not United Nations flag, deffenitly not the Vatican's, but a Worlds Flag, a Planet Flag, a Humanities Flag

  • ProudinUS

    then can we raise the US flag? Christian what the hell are trying to get off your chest???

  • ProudinUS

    @Christian Klinckwort Guerrero

    What exactly bugs you about the US? Is it the Hispanics?...the blacks?...the Asians?...the Arabians? Is it a certain faith....Catholic?...Christian?...Muslim?
    ...Mormon?....Jewish?...church of Elvis?...ect...ect. Is it the white people?...maybe?...j

  • http://www.facebook.com/cchristiankg Christian Klinckwort Guerrero

    The way you use the name "America" shows up the ignorance and false pride of your "Nation with NO name". America goes from Alasca to Greenland all the way to Patagonia. I live in Mexico, and I am an Amercan. You are just fools

  • Jennifer

    Does anyone know of where this can be viewed? I don't mind paying for it, however, the only site I've been able to locate it through is PBS, who originally aired it, and they want $80. I'm not sure I want to pay $80!

    Although Christian seems to be on a bit of a tear, his one point is well-taken - "America" is often used as a stand-in for the United States of America. In fact, there are several American continents - Canada (where I live) is part of North America, just as the US and Mexico are, and recall that there's also a Central and South America. It does sometimes seen as though Americans are quite "US-centric," however, I'm not sure this warrants anyone here being called "fools"...

  • Ying Chen

    Name three different states the filming took place: